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Sharpening Station (Various Years)

Sharpening is not something I want to spend any more time on than necessary. So to facilitate quick but effective sharpening sessions I centralized all the equipment needed into one dedicated area of the shop. Nothing fancy, but everything I need is there, and it makes it a quick excercise to get something sharp so that I can get back to project work.

This has evolved over the last few years. It started with a dedicated corner of my bench for the Tormek. Then as I added a 6" VS bench grinder and a few more stones I devoted a single base cabinet. When I replaced the 6" grinder with a 8" Woodcraft slow-speed bench grinder and a Oneway Wolverine system for turning tools, I expanded the area to two base cabinets and part of a wall cabinet.

The grinders live permanently on the work surfaces - ready to go at a moment's notice. All the jigs, stones, and other necessary sharpening parephenalia are stored in the cabinets. I think I have too much sharpening stuff.....

What a luxury to have everything centralized! It's still a chore to sharpen a tool, but it's much less of a drudgery since there's a dedicated space with everything I need. It seems I'm now less prone to postponing maintenance sharpening. I often make the trip to the grinder or stones to give an edge tool a quick touchup and get right back to work. It's well work a few square feet of shop space!

Here is another pic:

Here is the benchtop set up ready to go with waterstones (used mostly for chisels and plane irons):


In the picture above you can see (from left to right) the Norton flattening stone I used to keep the stones flat during usage, a King 800 grit stone, a King 4000 grit stone, and a King 8000 grit stone.  You'll also notice a small Nagura stone in the upper right corner of the water tray, the spray bottle of water (to keep the stones wet) above the tray, and the Lee Valley MkII honing jig to the right of the tray.

For most touchup sharpening tasks I skip the 800 grit stone, and this allows me to use the setup as shown below.  I keep an mdf cutoff loaded with green honing compound (pic) for final stropping of the tools after the 8000 grit stone.  The 800 grit stone lives immersed in water in a plastic container, and the other stones are flattened then dried and stored on the lower shelf of the cabinet hanging on the wall.


And just for good measure here are links to close-ups of the Tormek and the slow speed grinder (I'll use links for the dial up folks):

Last Updated 11-21-2006
© Copyright 2006 Chris Billman