Archive for the 'Sharpening' Category

Aug 28 2014

Recent New Tool Releases for Fall 2014

The 2014-2015 woodworking season is upon us, And we wanted to share a bit about what’s new here with everyone!

We have recently released a Sharpening Station System called the Magstrop™. It offers the ability to sharpen quickly and easily, using horse butt and suede leather strops, as well as glass platens for use with sandpaper’s from very coarse to microfine grits. The Magstrop sharpening system is expandable, and we have future plans for that but for now I’ll just say there is more coming soon.

We developed the Magstrop with several desires in mind…

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Aug 24 2014

On Sharpening Better Part 2

In my last post, I discussed sharpening and how changing our thinking about it as well as some of the gear used to perform it could be improved.

We covered steels and their improvements, Abrasives and their evolving improvements as well. I also touched on the learning process of sharpening, and how a lot of what we know about it comes through trial and error. When we find a sub process of sharpening that works for us, we stick with that, and usually that is good, and other times it can limit us so that we stop pushing to find better.

It is true, the sharpening process is a series of smaller processes, that depend on a lot of material factors, and the user’s experience of knowing which factor is being observed so the right process for that factor can be applied at the right time. This is an evaluative matrix of solutions that come from knowledge and experience. It can save us time, but if we miscalculate, we can spend more time. It is developed practice to be sure.

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Aug 20 2014

On Sharpening Better.

If we read and follow what is written on sharpening, we learn there have been debates. It’s all good, we all understand what we understand. It’s a developed perception, and those perceptions reflect what we understand at the point we’re at.

I am not here to debate. But I am here to share some thoughts I feel are worth considering if we want to become better at sharpening.

Depending on where one finds themselves on the sharpening learning curve, our current place on that curve is influential to our thinking on the matter. True, no matter if we are novice, proficient or between.

People are different. Some roll with the first thing that works for them and settle in. At the other end of the spectrum, are the adventurous who push the envelope, always. There is value in both types, and both can offer valuable advice and opinion. I’ve learned it is good to understand that there is always a mix, it is good to be willing to adapt, and more we can learn if we keep an open beginner’s mind.

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Oct 12 2012

Woodworking Tools for the Left Handed Woodworker. (Righties Too!)

We have heard from many left handed clients, thanking us for our attention to left handed tooling. We have offered nearly every right handed tool we make in a left handed version since day one, as well as with the introduction of each new tool we offer, and for the same price, either hand.

Call it a mission statement if you like, but I personally like helping woodworkers create, while achieving their personal best levels of craftsmanship no matter which hand they favor. Our tools are designed to help create fine craftsmanship with either hand, no matter which side you favor. We make a number of woodworking tools and jigs that are purpose-made to help unlock the creative process, making the tools you may already have, work even better and more accurately, by giving both you and your tools as much capability as we can in the process. Continue Reading »

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May 01 2012

Improving Tool Sharpening Capabilities.

Sharpening. All roads in woodworking lead to it, and there seems to be as many ways to accomplish it as one can imagine. Scary Sharp with Abrasives, Water Stones, Oil Stones, Leather, Steel, Powered, which also employs abrasives, stones, leather, et al. All of the various styles have strengths as well as weaknesses. Many woodworkers often decide to mix and match different sharpening media to optimize the best methods for their kit.

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For many years, I have had a continued interested in tool sharpening, as well as how they dull through use, while paying attention to the many trade-offs offered by different sharpening methods. I looked for ways to optimize the sharpening process for better workflow. Along the way, sharpening more frequently, meaning not waiting until blades are unusably dull stood out as very important, and some other ideas became viable as solutions to challenges other woodworkers I spoke with were having. Sharpening needed to be handier, and the sharpening tools tools more effective. The fruits of these studies are coming forth in the Sharpening Aids we are offering through our ‘Woodworks Store’.

We are introducing a Sharpening Station based on Abrasives over Glass, otherwise referred to as “Scary Sharp”. We call it the ‘Sharpening Station 1’ “Scary Sharp”. There are several strengths it brings to sharpening. Continue Reading »

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Feb 27 2011

A Sharpening “Horse-Butt” Strop for the Workbench.

We have introduced a new leather strop sharpening system, that uses genuine horse butt leather, for helping maintain the finest edges on edge tools while they work.

Maintaining an edge during the woodworking process provides higher levels of working sharpness from edge tools, promoting accurate cuts and joinery, smoother wood surface finish quality, and saves woodworkers an enormous amount of wasted time regrinding, by avoiding dullness, affordably.
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It comes down to convenience. This is very important, because when sharpening isn’t convenient or is too messy, we tend to allow tools to become so dull, that restoring sharpness is a lot of hard work. Dullness is avoidable if we maintain sharpness as we work. Maintaining edge tools should be easy.

Why would we want a strop optimized for our workbench? Most strops on the market today are not optimized for honing woodworking tools well. Some come closer than others, but overall they don’t offer the right combination of leather types, flatness, length or ergonomics all at once. Woodworkers want some options and ease when they maintain their edge tools. Our strop is capable of maintaining tool sharpness, reducing or eliminating the mess, while fixturing itself on the bench where the tools are working.

Enter the ‘Bench Strop’ from Evenfall Studios. Continue Reading »

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Apr 04 2010

The Care and Feeding of Granite Surface Plates in the Shop

Published by under Metrology,Sharpening

Granite Surface Plates are the world standard for flatness in any shop. There are a number of places you can get them and the pricing on these tools varies widely. It is important to note that for most of us, they needn’t cost more than necessary.

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There are a lot of great things to know about them, but there is one thing that is really important to touch on first off.

The grading of Granite Surface Plates is of importance to the woodworker. Please have a look Continue Reading »

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Apr 22 2008

Edge Tool Sharpness and Flatness, The Fast Track.

…Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Honing. 😀

Ok, this is a little longish, but there is no substantial way to provide a sharpening primer in a sound bite. I’ve tried to write about what will work well overall, without getting too focused on too many particulars in any sharpening media. No matter which way you choose to go ahead with sharpening, this advice should be helpful to you overall. It’s a reasonable primer that will put you on the road with usable sharpening skills. So grab a snack and a drink, and settle in for a bit. If you really want to learn to sharpen, reading this will likely be worth your time. Your Questions and Comments are invited as always!

When it comes to sharpening, abrasives are abrasives the world around. They may have particular idiosyncrasies you need to pay attention to, but they all abrade metal. Once you choose the abrasives you feel will work best for you, you will establish your own routine for working with them. All paths are means that will lead to a similar end. Waterstones, oilstones, ceramics, particulates, sandpaper, various styles of machine sharpening etc. The steel does not care; the abrasives don’t care either, as long as the grit equivilents of abrasiveness are appropriate to the goal. Sharpness.

For the sake of this discussion, I am referring to the abrasive grits, as they correspond to the grits common to waterstones. I do this simply for the reason that waterstones are very popular, but I am in no way advocating that waterstones are the best abrasive. Most all abrasives will sharpen, and it is up to the end user to investigate the pros and cons of the various abrasives to determine the best paths for themselves. For cross-reference please refer to this cross reference chart to derive the equivilent grit for the media you choose.

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It is important to keep in mind that the goal of sharpness has stages.

Coarse grits are for grinding, heavy material removal, bevel forming, flattening. Initial flattening and bevel angle forming are the biggest jobs and to aid getting the job over with, the coarsest grits should be used to get the bulk of these tasks done.

Fine grits are for honing and polishing. Once you have established bevels and flatness on the backs, you will want to polish it. Removing coarse scratches in steel with finer ones is what creates finer sharpness. Sharpness actually is where the intersection of the two planes formed by the bevel and the back meet. The finer they are polished, the sharper they will be. the act of creating the wire or feather edge happens when the bevel side of the iron or blade is abraded until the dullness has been honed away. This is required to establish a fresh edge on the tool, and can be done with any number of the different honing or grinding grits.

It is up to the sharpener to determine how dull the tool is, and select the coarseness or fineness of abrasive grit needed to restore the edge to sharpness the fastest way. This means, it comes down to how much steel needs to be removed on the bevel side to form the wire, or feather. You must determine the condition of the edge, and the fastest way to restore it. If only a lttle honing is needed to restore the edge, don’t select coarse abrasives when you begin. If a lot of honing is needed, don’t select fine abrasives when you begin, but realize you will have to polish all the way up through the grits to the fine abrasives to restore the sharpness.

It is important to get a feel for the finish your honing equipment will give you as a finish result at each stage of the work. It will aid you to learn to evaluate what is needed, where to start, how long to hone, and when you have reached what was needed. Knowing this simplifies the task and helps you save time. This is experiential– it is learned by using the sharpening tools you have on your edge tools. It is getting to know one another. Call it sharpening intimacy if you will. Continue Reading »

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Apr 13 2008

Improve your Sharpening with a Portable Sharpening Station

Lets face it, sharpening can be a big undertaking. Many edge tools we bring in our shops will benefit from having a flattened back and the optimum bevel angle for the task it is meant to do. Streamlining the process is possible, and most of that comes from organizing the honing gear so it can work the best with your applications.

Sure, That is a very large amount of application options. There are variables such as steel types. Cast steel, hand forged, high carbon, O1, A2, and D2. There are sharpening options. You have scary sharp, water stones, oilstones, and diamond stones amongst your choices for abrasives. There are a number of different sharpening methodologies, various jigs, freehand, even machines.

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I use a portable sharpening station designed for use with stones, with both jigs and freehand manner. This helps facilitate the process, contain the mess, protect other shop furniture from damage and helps keep the honing tools organized. It can be used in a couple configurations, and can be moved out of the way when necessary. It is simply stored when not in use. Continue Reading »

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