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Thread: Sharpening Bench

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Sharpening Bench

    Because of Monsoon and the heat most of my shop time today will be spent sharpening whatever needs it and maybe a few that don't, that got me to thinking about sharpening stations/benches, that and there are several new sharpening threads on the forum dealing with stones and I think how to. Something that is at least as important as what stones to use is where you sharpen. BTW, I have some new Japanese chisels that need setting up but I'm not sure I'll have the energy or ambition for that much work. Anyway I haven't posted a photo of my sharpening set up in awhile and there is no time like the present to do so.

    sharpeningBenchJuly2019.jpg

    As always, click it to big it.


    Here it is, a portable Moravian bench with the vise removed. The oil stones are on the left with strops in the center. The most used oil stone is a Medium India that I use for grinding bevels and to remove damage before going to the set up stones. The other oil stones are used mostly for narrow or shaped irons.

    The right side has the water stones, in the tool tray are the man made water stones and my JNat finish stone. On the bench the most used JNats are to the left of the "pond". The pond has a stone holder and a diamond flattening stone. Some of the JNats will not fit in the stone holder, depending on the stone's thickness I use non slip mats either in the pond or to the right to hold'em.

    The bench is a step or so off the left end of the main workbench and is pretty efficient. It doesn't take long to go from kinda dull to sharp and because of that I will seldom put a dull iron to the side to sharpen later and I tend to sharpen before the cutter really needs it.


    Next to the main workbench the sharpening station is the most important tool in the shop.




    ken

  2. #2
    Thanks for that, Ken. I have been thinking about how to go about this in my shop. I am still in the "Time to sharpen" mode, which means I am neither keeping up with the tools nor getting the best out of them or me. I currently have to get everything out and get at it. I am thinking a small cabinet with slide out trays with the glass, water or diamonds that can be simply slid out and set on the top with a bench hook type tray.
    How are you all handling this?

  3. #3
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    Iím very space constrained. Iíve dedicated about 2 feet on a countertop for sharpening. Iíve settled on a pretty minimalistic set up. A holder with 3 diamond stones and one spyderco with a slow speed grinder next to that and a diluted spray bottle of windex. A strop sets beyond the stones that can be easily pulled out for use. Keeping it all out does make touch ups more convenient. I use to wish I had more room, but frankly this has worked very well for me.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Frederick View Post
    Thanks for that, Ken. I have been thinking about how to go about this in my shop. I am still in the "Time to sharpen" mode, which means I am neither keeping up with the tools nor getting the best out of them or me. I currently have to get everything out and get at it. I am thinking a small cabinet with slide out trays with the glass, water or diamonds that can be simply slid out and set on the top with a bench hook type tray.
    How are you all handling this?
    Jack,

    A dedicated area makes it much easier to sharpen early and sharpening early is the key to keeping tools sharp. A sharpening bench or cabinet in my experience works much better than a tray on the workbench. They keep your workbench cleaner and a sharpening bench is always set up and ready for use.

    ken

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Mueller View Post
    I’m very space constrained. I’ve dedicated about 2 feet on a countertop for sharpening. I’ve settled on a pretty minimalistic set up. A holder with 3 diamond stones and one spyderco with a slow speed grinder next to that and a diluted spray bottle of windex. A strop sets beyond the stones that can be easily pulled out for use. Keeping it all out does make touch ups more convenient. I use to wish I had more room, but frankly this has worked very well for me.
    Phil,

    You have found the secret, everything where they are easy to use and not too many. I have everything out because I have the room, truth is three stones are all you need and if really tight on room two will do the job.

    ken

  6. #6
    My tablesaw has a 52" fence and extension table. Since it sits right behind my bench, I use a 2 ft space on the extension table. It's covered in laminate.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Tucson? Monsoon? What did you have, a 5 minute cloudburst? (FWIW, I love Tucson).

    I have have a dedicated sharpening bench similar to what you assembled. I used abrasive media (scary sharp) on glass blocks so no running water required. My media blocks sit on a granite surface plate I use for flattening. It has a plywood cover. The grinder I use for the primary edge is a Delta variable speed from the Borg. It works great, but would benefit from a tool rest upgrade. Like yours, click = bigger

    EC02A391-65DE-4835-B1B4-8898E15F4E9E.jpg
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Skelly View Post
    My tablesaw has a 52" fence and extension table. Since it sits right behind my bench, I use a 2 ft space on the extension table. It's covered in laminate.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Luter View Post
    Tucson? Monsoon? What did you have, a 5 minute cloudburst? (FWIW, I love Tucson).

    I have have a dedicated sharpening bench similar to what you assembled. I used abrasive media (scary sharp) on glass blocks so no running water required. My media blocks sit on a granite surface plate I use for flattening. It has a plywood cover. The grinder I use for the primary edge is a Delta variable speed from the Borg. It works great, but would benefit from a tool rest upgrade. Like yours, click = bigger

    EC02A391-65DE-4835-B1B4-8898E15F4E9E.jpg
    Fred, Rob,

    Just the point I was trying to make, It's not too important what you use but it is that you have a place to do it without hassle.

    Rob,

    The other day in about 30 or so minutes the rain filled the swimming pool, turned the back gully into a raging river as it did the road in front of the house and flooded my shop floor . We kill a few almost every year by catching 'em in a flash flood. If the heat doesn't get you the floods will. Here was the view out the back garden but sadly not of the bottom of the gully.

    monsoonBackGarden.jpg

    Like you I love Tucson where for the most part living is easy but the desert isn't a place to mess with if you do not know what you are doing,

    ken

  9. #9
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    Agreed Ken. You need a dedicated space and yours looks great.

    Regarding the rain... Yikes! I knew you folks had the occasional gully washer that flushed out the dry creeks, but I had no idea. Hoping your shop dries out soon.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  10. #10
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    Hmmm, Monsoon?

    Huntsville, 130.JPG
    had one a few weeks ago...
    screen shot,Ludlow Rd.JPG
    4" in 10 minutes of rainfall....this ditch is about 8' deep
    South Main St. Bellefontaine.JPG
    Was a bad night....
    Sharpening supplies are in a drawer, to keep the dust-bunnies away...IF I need them, I just plop them right on the bench, then put them back when done...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven c newman View Post
    Hmmm, Monsoon?

    Huntsville, 130.JPG
    had one a few weeks ago...
    screen shot,Ludlow Rd.JPG
    4" in 10 minutes of rainfall....this ditch is about 8' deep
    South Main St. Bellefontaine.JPG
    Was a bad night....
    Sharpening supplies are in a drawer, to keep the dust-bunnies away...IF I need them, I just plop them right on the bench, then put them back when done...
    Steven,

    Being in Ohio I doubt that was a Monsoon rain, a frontal system Thunderstorm or even just a heavy frontal system rain I can believe. Monsoon not so much.

    ken

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken hatch View Post
    Steven,

    Being in Ohio I doubt that was a Monsoon rain, a frontal system Thunderstorm or even just a heavy frontal system rain I can believe. Monsoon not so much.

    ken
    According to the dictionary on my computer a monsoon is a weather phenomenon of South and Southeast Asia:

    Monsoon.png

    Up here in Washington it isn't even considered rain until more than a tenth of an inch falls. Just north of me, on the Olympic Peninsula, is an area with 100 inches or more of rain a year.

    My area only gets about 40 - 50 inches a year according to this map:

    Wash Rainfall.png

    My 'area' is in the lower right part of Washington on this map.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    According to the dictionary on my computer a monsoon is a weather phenomenon of South and Southeast Asia:

    Monsoon.png

    Up here in Washington it isn't even considered rain until more than a tenth of an inch falls. Just north of me, on the Olympic Peninsula, is an area with 100 inches or more of rain a year.

    My area only gets about 40 - 50 inches a year according to this map:

    Wash Rainfall.png

    My 'area' is in the lower right part of Washington on this map.

    jtk
    Jim,

    Our Monsoon season is very similar to the Indian Monsoon season. The desert heat in late June early July causes a large area of low pressure which draws low level moisture from the Gulf of California and high level moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Combine heat, moisture (high RH), unstable air and sky islands and you have the makings of some pretty spectacular thunderstorms. About 30% of our annual rainfall happens during the Monsoon season from mid-July to mid-September. The only problem is the rain can be scattered, I've gone some Monsoon seasons with barely a drop and other almost drowned but one thing is certain, someplace in the desert is getting rain almost every day of the season.

    ken

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