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The Truth about Honing Guides

September 28, 2013

Honing guides. Yes, it’s OK to use them and no, they aren’t considered cheating. If someone tells you they are, don’t listen to them and consider un-following them on Twitter. ( just kidding..; ) Honing guides are dependable. Honing guides make sharpening easy and repeatable. Some people prefer not to use honing guides and that’s […]

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A Sharpening Bench

June 19, 2013

I received a letter from a reader in the Knoxville area and wanted to share. Brent has built a great version of my sharpening bench with some added storage below. Nice job Brent, and thanks again for sharing. If you’d like to build your own dedicated sharpening bench, check out my sharpening bench series here. […]

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How sharp…

June 10, 2013

During my classes over the last couple of months, I repeatedly get asked questions like; “How sharp is it?” or, ” How sharp does it have to be?“- “Are these stones really worth the extra price?” or ” What stones are best for the sharpest edge?” and so on… Ahh, the sweet mystery of sharp […]

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In Stages

May 19, 2011


I was wondering what sharpening kit you use? I have the shapton glass-ceramic stones and although I love them I have gone through two of the 1000 grit stones in the last few years. Do you use or know anyone that use the professional shaptons?

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Dovetailing with Sketch-Up

February 22, 2010

David Richards has a new post over at www.finewoodworking.com about drawing dovetails using a new plug in for Sketch-up. Sitting here sipping my morning coffee and wondering what the hell happened to…

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A Dedicated Sharpening Bench – part 8

January 2, 2010

In my last post I finished gluing the bench together so now I’m ready for the drawers and the details. I should apologise for taking so long to post this last article but was waiting for one final element to arrive through the mail to complete the project. The drawers and the details were actually […]

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A Dedicated Sharpening Bench – part 7

December 12, 2009

In the last post I finished off the cut out for the granite plate insert and I’m ready to start the glue-up. One last detail I took care of before beginning to glue the frame was to plane some rabbets into the lower cross stretchers. I didn’t get any shots of the process but they’re […]

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A Dedicated Sharpening Bench – part 6

December 9, 2009

With the frame assembly dry fit and the bench surface placed into the leg joinery, I carefully place the granite insert on top to establish its permanent location. My initial thoughts were to install it off to one side but after laying it on the work surface and imagining how it would function in daily […]

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A Dedicated Sharpening Bench – part 5

December 4, 2009

In my last post I finished the leg to bench surface joinery and can now get into the rest of the mortise and tenon joinery to complete the frame work. As mentioned, the stock is 1 1/2″ square so I’m making 1/2″ tenons and mortises. It’s a work out chopping through the Ipe but my […]

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A Dedicated Sharpening Bench – part 4

December 2, 2009

I mentioned in the first post that I’m using some ‘off the shelf’ hardwood for the bench frame; this was great for my budget but not ideal for my hand tools. Because it was ‘dimensioned’ at the mill (and I use that term very loosely) I have to re-dimension it all again before I can […]

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