Sunday, September 7, 2008

King Japanese Water Stones

Life is for doing things slow, like trees.

Makoto Imai, Japanese builder of Shrines




I finally bought some water stones from Lee Valley and all I can do is ask myself why did I wait so long! These stones are phenomenal, the speed that they sharpen at and mostly importantly, they make plane blades sharp! For years I have been sharpening my tools on wet/dry sandpaper adhered to a piece of plate glass with decent results, but whenever I would sharpen freehand the paper backing allowed the edge to roll over. The last couple of months I pulled out a sharpening jig I bought years ago and have been using it with so-so results. That is why I also bought a Mark II honing guide from Lee Valley, I want my tools sharp and I want to be able to repeat the results. Recently, I had a conversation with a friend who gunsmiths for a hobby, he enjoys working on older double barreled shotguns, about sharpening, he is having a hard time getting his inletting tools sharp. I recommended that he read up on the skill and try the "scary sharp" system of sandpaper sharpening and told him he would see better results. I hope he tries it.

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