Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Random Thoughts While Sharpening

Sharpen, then sharpen some more.
Sometimes I just get in the mood to sharpen tools, then I pull out some stuff that needs and edge and sit to work. Sometimes these are tools that I've been using, other times new tools that need their edges set up.  Whatever it is there's something about sharpening that brings up some interesting thoughts.

A common thought I have is something along the line of "Why do I have all this stuff?" I guess that has to do with the amount of time sharpening can take, especially when getting new tools ready. It definitely reminds me to keep the tool collection down to a manageable scale. It also makes me glad I only have 6 bench chisels instead of a 16 pc set.

Another one that comes up often is "Am I doing this right?" That happened a lot with the carving tools shown above. Spent a good deal of worry on whether I was improving the edges or messing them up. After a while I started to worry less, it's fixable and I'm learning. Some cross grain cutting afterwards showed the results, 3 and 5 sweep gouges were awesome, the 9 sweep is pretty good and the vee tool needs more work. Curved edges are always interesting.  By the time I'm done with these the bench gouges will be easy I hope.

"I'm going to cut myself doing this." definitely came up while I was sharpening the drawknife. I was using the broad side of my slips on it, which exposes my fingers to the edge. Maybe someone knows a better way, or maybe this is the way and being careful is what it takes. Anyway it's sharp now, real sharp.

I know after a big sharpening session I usually resolve to sharpen the tools I use regularly more frequently so I can do it more quickly on the finer stones. We know how resolutions sometimes go. Feeling the sharp tool on the wood makes it all worth it though. And the thought that practice does make you better at sharpening and it was worth the time.

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