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Last Updated: , Created: Tuesday, September 14th, 1999

Sharpening tools

Leonard Lee, President of Lee Valley Tools, was a guest on my TV show where he demonstrated to us how to do some very basic inexpensive sharpening of knives and chisels. I'm not going to try and repeal a lot here, because Leonard actually "wrote the book" on sharpening, which you can purchase from Lee Valley Tools -- and it is worth it if you ever wanted a real detailed yet practical explanation of sharpening just about everything that cuts.

In the first picture you see Leonard working, not with a fancy grinding wheel as you might expect, but with a "model-T" sanding belt, which does wonders quickly and inexpensively.

In the second picture you see a honing trick, after sharpening a chisel on the belt sander. He used the chisel to cut a groove in a piece of pine, then rubbed in some honing compound and now he has a custom shaped honing tool for this particular chisel.

I learned an interesting detail for the kitchen knives: for chopping knives you want to hone the edge to a razor sharpness -- for slicing knives, grind but do not hone, to leave the tinny rough edge that acts as teeth to cut fibers.


Keywords: Sharpening, Techniques, Tools

Article 178