Can you describe your sharpening station?

Pretty much it. What do you use to sharpen and how do you have it arranged. I've a couple of Arkansas in boxes that I mostly keep on a shelf. I imagine a reasonably flat surface and a piece of plate glass are Coming Soon, so I'm looking for ideas that others have found useful.
SWMBO tells me there's a package from Garrett-Wade on the front porch. Likely there's a thing or two in there that needs sharpening, just a guess.
I'm planning on starting her coffee table over Thanksgiving. I'm going to practice the M&T technique described by Tage Frid in the "FWW on Joinery," for the next couple weeks on my astonishingly large scrap piles.
Meanwhile . . . to sharpen a rock . . .
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Belt sander, one medium stone for a few swipes, then a buffing wheel with white rouge.
--
Rumpty

Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
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you left out the most important part of the answer. HOW is it all arranged? <g>
dave
Rumpty wrote:

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The belt sander is under one bench, the stone is under another bench and the buffing wheel is under a pile of stuff.
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Rumpty

Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
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Charles will no doubt sleep well tonight.
dave
Rumpty wrote:

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Oh I forgot, the Makita waterstone sharpener is over by the sink.
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Rumpty

Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
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aha, you thought you could withhold some information! Your conscience is alive and well, though. Charles will be entering that extra tibit into his diary.
dave
Rumpty wrote:

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<barely suppressed giggle> Arranged? Well, let's see...if I was the OCD fellow I worked with at GE a few years back, I'd keep them all lined up, equidistant from all intersecting surfaces, and each other. They would be shimmed from underneath so that their top surfaces were uniformly level to a within .1 MM.
Since I'm not afflicted with OCD, the sharpening equipment goes in one of 12 general purpose drawers, except what won't fit, which then goes wherever it does fit.
Perhaps you should sign up for your local "let's peer into everyone's garage" tour. You know, kinda like the Tour of the movie stars homes in Hollywood?
I REALLY can't imagine what difference it makes as to where someone's stone is kept!
<still chuckling...>
dave
Charles Krug wrote:

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wrote:

My sharpening station is in pieces under my workbench.
It consists of:
A variable speed electric grinder & Veritas tool rest. (5) glass strips attached to MDF (220-320-400-600-1200 3M wet/dry paper) for flattening the backs of things (2) double sided diamond plates (XC-C-F-XF) for scraper edges A mill file & Veritas file fence (scrapers) Veritas burnishing tool (scrapers) Water stones in water - 800-1200-2000-4000 (chisels, plane irons, etc...) Veritas sharpening guide (chisels, plane irons, etc...) General sharpening guide. (chisels, plane irons, etc...) Water stone flattening materials WD-40 or kerosene (Sandpaper lube) 3M77 (sandpaper glue)
As the water stones wear out, I'm moving toward Shapton's stones as replacements. You could use the sandpaper for actual sharpening, but I find it a PITA to keep replacing paper. So, I do the backs on the sandpaper, and the fronts on stones. I don't find the stones flat enough for backs.
Barry
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wrote:

I've a roll-around table with a laminate top.
It has a low-speed six inch grinder on it with one white wheel and one buffing wheel.
It has a POS Delta Sharpening Station with a wet wheel and a dry wheel.
There are four Japanese Water Stones, 800, 1200, S-1, G-1.
There are four diamond rasps for carbide.
There is a piece of 3/4" plate glass and a collection of wet/dry sandpaper, up to grits that are measured in microns.
How do I deal with a nicked chisel?
I turn the belt sander upside down and take the nick out.
Followed by a cursory wipe on the 800 and 1200 grit stones.
(sad but true)
Regards, Tom Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania http://users.snip.net/~tjwatson
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I have several tools. A Makita waterstone sharpener, bench grinder, several oil stones of various shapes, diamond dresser, and a few leather strops. I have three shapening books that show techniques. I learned that natural light is important, so if your shop has a window, that's a good spot for your sharpening station. I have a sharpening cabinet with sliding doors that is mounted on the wall. There I store the water stones. The grinder has its own cast-iron stand (that I use mostly for sharpening mower blades, screw drivers, etc.)
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Just starting this whole sharpening business, but I choose the sandpaper method.
I had a pair of 12" x 29" 3/8" glass shelves laying about. At this time I have only used one of them. I have spray glued 80 grit, 150 grit, 320, 400, 1000, and 1600 wet dry papers to them.
Using a veritas honing jig I make a few thousand swipes to bring a old dull plane blade back to life. Shave a few hundred arm harms for just fun and go make some .0017 shavings of some pine in the garage. It does take a while, and if I have a nick I turn the belt sander upside down, clamp it to the table saw cabinet and spend a bit of time trying to keep it straight.
The glass travels with me, at the moment it is on my computer desk where I can make a quick 200 passes in a minute or two while I getting a blade back into shape. I always lap my blade on the sandpaper as well.
I have also started flattening my plane soles and will likely get a long strip of 80 grit for the other piece of glass just for such a purpose.
Alan
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I use my old w*rkm*tt as my sharpening station. I added an extra top of a quarter-sheet of 3/4 plycut in half and laminated to give extra surface area and stability. On top of that I keep three granite surface plates with various grits of PSA-backed lapping and microfinishing film.
The honing plate has 15, 5 and 0.5 micron strips on it. The next one has 30, 60 and 80 micron. I usually keep a full sheet of coarse grit on the last plate, and use that for lapping soles or backs of irons, etc.
I have the Veritas jig and the Eclipse (side clamp) style on the bench, even though I usually hone freehanded. I also have various slipstones and dowels wrapped with paper for my carving tools. I store those in a bin next to the bench along with my extra sheets of paper.
I have found that having a dedicated station is a huge plus. Previously I would have to clear my bench, break out the plates, sharpen and then clean up, store the stuff, etc. before I could get back to work. Now I simply walk over to the bench, give a plane iron or chisel a few swipes to touch up the edge and I'm back at it. It's also a good idea to keep the swarf away from your regular bench. DAMHIKT.
Chuck Vance
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Charles Krug wrote:

If I had room for it, I just remembered that I have an octagonal glass table stuff behind some bushes. No use for it, but I'm stupidly sentimental about one of the first pieces of furniture SWMBO and I bought together. That would make a kickass sharpening station, because I could put full sheets of every grit on the thing and leave them there.
Woulda, coulda, shouldda... What I *actually* use is very compact, and somewhat tedious.
I have 1/3 sheets in 60, 100, 150, 220, 320, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500, 2000 grits in some little flimsy plastic puke bucket SWMBO brought home from the hospital. I keep the sheets stacked in the correct order, and weight them down when not in use. Add to the kit a piece of 1/3-sheet sized granite counter backstop, a Veritas angle guide flummy, a weird little clamp that used to hold something to a desk, a front vise, and a 4" x 36" belt sander.
* pick and angle, and fix the dull item into the Veritas jig
* determine whether it needs a little or a lot of attention
* if it needs a *lot* of attention (nicks or a total angle change), take it over to the belt sander... I rigged an angle iron table screwed to the side of the sander so that I can keep the tool in the same angle guide, and don't have to screw with the angle setting on the sander table itself. I grind at 100 grit until I get what I want done.
* if I'm starting from scratch, I'll start with 60 grit. If I've done some power sanding, I'll start with 150 grit. Either way, pick the low grit, clamp it in, then slide, slide, slide, slide slide.
* repeat for every grit
For some circumstances I will use an additional clamp on the paper to keep it from wrinkling up. Depends on what I'm sharpening. If it's a plane iron or a wide chisel, I sometimes just roll it with one hand, and hold tension on the paper with the other. For narrow chisels that want to pivot around, I hold with both hands and use two clamps for those grits that require it.
Leaves something to be desired (like a big hex glass table with full sheets of every grit) in terms of convenience and speed, but it gets me there consistently in minimal space.
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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Scary Sharp. In the drawer, with all 8 grits on one 1x1 foot piece of glass. I don't run a cabinet shop and I'm not a Neander per se; I have 2 planes, 4 chisels and 3 scrapers. That does it for me.
Killers by day, lovers by night, drunkards by choice--but Marines, by God. -Phil Crow
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Warning: Long
A little late getting in on this one, but here goes nonetheless I researched the sharpening question for what turned out to be ridiculously long time. In the process, I formed the opinion that many people regard their particular sharpening system with a nearly religious devotion. After thorough consideration I finally committed myself last month, sending off a flurry of orders to various catalog outfits. At this point, furniture making and finish carpentry are my pursuits and my basic needs are to sharpen plane irons, chisels, and a few carving knives. I don't do woodturning right now, so gouges are not a consideration. For cutting the basic bevels, I chose a Baldor 7-in slow-speed grinder. I decided on this sometime back, after visiting a good friend at the North Bennett Street School in Boston. I saw several of these units in use during that visit and my friend heartily endorsed this particular tool. I replaced the stock gray wheels with 60-80 and 100-120 grit aluminum oxide wheels by Norton. For anyone contemplating the purchase of a 7-in grinder, go forewarned that the selection of wheels is somewhat limited compared to the 6 and 8-in units. For example, I was unable to source white aluminum oxide wheels and ended up going with tan wheels that have a slightly harder bond. Between the slow speed and light cuts however, I've had no problem so far with overheated edges. This same friend made me feel better about not being able to find the white wheels, when he told me what went on at his school. He said going in, he was a "wheel snob", but once there he watched the craftsmen at North Bennett use great technique to put razor sharp edges on their tools using even the skankiest of gray wheels. As the next component in my "system", I went ahead and replaced the stock Baldor tool rest on my fine wheel with a Veritas adjustable model. This coupled with their sliding tool holder allows more precise control of the basic bevel angles. This is one area I deviated from the "North Bennett" philosophy. My friend advocates both free-hand grinding and honing. Maybe it's the engineer in me, or maybe it's Leonard Lee's sharpening bible, but I just can't give up the idea of using jigs for better control. I just think without jigs, my edges wouldn't be as straight and all my bevels would creep toward some median value that may not be ideal for the particular tool. On the other hand, it's hard to argue with the fantastic work my friend turns out with his "sloppy" edged tools. He also does this stuff for a living, so speed is more of a consideration for him. For me though it's a hobby, so I don't mind taking some time to set up a jig. For truing the grinding wheels, I got a single point diamond dressing stick. Mounted at a negative angle in the Veritas sliding tool rest, this stick makes short work of truing up the wheel. As far as honing goes, I went with Arkansas stones. I lubricate these with a 50/50 mixture of kerosene and commercial honing oil. I chose 8x3 wide bench stones to make it easy to do my largest plane irons. I obtained one each in the Hard and Hard Black (Surgical) varieties. I strongly considered going with water stones, but I guess I'm a traditionalist at heart. Water stones offer greater cutting speed, but as I mentioned this is a hobby for me, so that's not much of a consideration. I like the idea of having stones that will probably outlast me and not having to flatten them as often. Also, putting oil on steel tools makes more sense to me than water. Again for honing, the idea of using a guide appealed to me. I chose the Veritas model along with their nice aluminum angle-setting fixture. This guide fits all the tools I currently own and is pretty easy to set up. I really like the cam-action on the roller that allows you to dial in a 1 or 2-degree micro-bevel. For initial flattening of plane beds, chisel faces, etc, I went with a 9x12 (?) granite surface plate from WoodCraft. This just fits a full sheet of wet-dry sandpaper. Lubricating the paper with that same mixture of cutting oil and kerosene also serves to stick the paper to the granite. The plate quickly get tools pretty flat, but in most cases I've been following up with a little work on the stones for a finer finish. Using this "system", I've been able to tune up my tools and put nice sharp edges on all my blades. I'm sure I still have a ways to go with my technique before my edges are "scary sharp" but so far so good. I don't think I'll have any regrets about the methods I chose. Right now, the grinder and tool-rest are attached to an old scrap of 2x10. All the rest of the stuff is in a box on the shelf. I just move everything to the bench to do my sharpening and put it away when I'm done. The long-term plan is to build a dedicated sharpening bench to eliminate the setup time. The design I'm thinking of would be about 2x4 feet on top and only around two feet tall. This would allow me to pull up a chair and easily get over the work. I plan to mount the grinder facing one of the 2-foot sides and another high-speed grinder/buffer combo at the opposite end. Baldor makes a nice combo unit like this. The second unit would be for coarse work and metal polishing. This should leave just enough room between the grinders to lay out the stones and the surface plate. I plan on having one or two drawers below to help organize and keep clean the various sharpening tools and supplies. Before this bench gets built however, I'd better first turn out some real furniture. My wife has been very patient as I've put together my shop. It wasn't the most direct path. Off and on over the last five years I've restored a 1950's era Craftsman 8-in table saw and 14-in drill press, a 1960's Power-Craft 4-in jointer and 12-in band saw, and another 1950's K-line 12-in surface planer. Each of these was a project in itself. I replaced nearly every bearing and fastener, re-painted most of the castings, and added numerous upgrades along the way. I've rounded out this unusual cadre of vintage tools, with an assortment of newer machines and hand tools as well. Through all this, the shop itself has been the project and now it's time to turn out some "real" work. I'm now well equipped to take on the furniture and carpentry projects I've had in mind all these years. I really think my wife believes this has been one big black hole of time and money. I hope to change her mind when I surprise her with a Greene & Greene inspired full-length mirror this Christmas. Thanks to my newly tuned-up cutting tools, this first "real" furniture project is now nearing completion.
Richard Johnson Camano Island, WA
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