In this month’s column, I want to talk about what I believe is the number one skill for hand tool woodworkers and that is sharpening.  This is a skill that at times seems more like art than science and there are almost as many ways to accomplish the objective as there are woodworkers.  At the end of the day, you are trying to create an edge that is the meeting of two planes at a point.  This applies to all types of tools from planes to auger bits, to lathe tools.  Below are links to two resources that I have found useful in understanding sharpening and a place to acquire the necessary materials.  The water stones and ceramic stones mentioned in the video is just one way to accomplish the objective.  If you are new to sharpening, my advice is to study the possible methods, pick a method that appeals to your skills and budget and then practice the method until you become pleased with the results.  An excellent book that can be used to acquaint yourself with the possible options is Ron Hock’s book, “The Perfect Edge” which I highly recommend.  Click here to search Amazon.

Other information from Lee Valley:
Sharpen-Net: A Woodworkers Resource
Care and Maintenance of Ceramic and Water Stones .

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