Good sharp tools are essential for woodworkers and learning to take a blunt piece of metal and get it to razor sharp is a very empowering experience. There is often a lot of mystery involved but there should not be, sharpening is simple and it all hangs on proper understanding and learning of basic techniques.
In my experience most woodworkers study sharpening just long enough to find a system that works for them and then they stick to it for a lifetime swearing that it is by far the best way. I like to keep an open mind. All sharpening systems are effectively doing the same thing, they are using something abrasive to cut away metal, removing the damaged or worn edge and revealing a new sharp edge underneath.

We will cover all the different options for hand sharpening systems from abrasive paper and old oilstones to diamond and synthetic saphire stones. Most of the work will concentrate on using Japanese waterstones though all the others are available to try. Waterstones are very easy to learn good technique on and the technique is transferable to any other system. We will concentrate on hand sharpening straight carving knives first but also cover axes and curved hook or spoon knives. The techniques once mastered are directly transferable to all other woodworking tools. Bring along any blunt or damaged tools from home and take them home razor sharp.

This will be a one day course on Tuesday 25th October 10am-5pm including lunch and the cost £85
You get to use over £2000 worth of different stones and sharpeners which is a great way of getting a feel for the ones you like before deciding if it is worth spending your own money. You will also learn that it is possible to get a brilliant edge using a system that costs only £10 it is all down to good technique. I have a very good quality microscope and various other magnification aids which help you really understand exactly what is happening at the edge as you are working, I have found this to be the very best teaching aid.

As with all my courses this will be a relaxed and friendly day aimed at folk with no prior knowledge though I am sure than many folk that have been tool sharpening for years would still find something to learn.

Author Robin Wood

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