Grinding an axe the Sheffield way

This is Brian Alcock grinding one of my carving axes as they always used to do it in Sheffield.

Brian is the last full time self employed grinder in Sheffield, the city that was once the tool capital of the world. 50 years of experience a great eye and a huge wheel running with water allow him to grind fast and accurately without heating the steel. Read a bit more about Brian and an interesting sculpture project here and see the finished axes for sale here 

4 Responses to Grinding an axe the Sheffield way

  1. David February 18, 2015 at 2:23 am #

    Does anyone still sell big water-cooled grinding wheels?

  2. Terry March 3, 2015 at 7:08 am #

    My dad used to sharpen all his hunting knives & axes on wet stones and wheels like that. You have to know what your doing. It may be easy to catch on but easier to mess up a good edge. Nice pic. brought back a lot of memories.

  3. Ray March 10, 2015 at 7:26 am #


    Did you have any articles about how to dry the bowl which made of wet wood.It’s easy to crack when I finish the bowl.Because the day with low humidity here,Dali China.

    Looking forward to your reply.


    • Robin Wood March 16, 2015 at 5:33 pm #

      I don’t have online articles but that issue is covered well in my book the wooden bowl. Bowls do not crack due to fast drying they crack due to incorrect conversion from the log. The main tip is to cut the central growth rings out of the tree and throw it away, the wood at the sides away from the pith is much more stable.