3-Day Foundational Course Part 1 Day 1

Great day all day!

We got straight into the essentials of sharpening first. If you don’t master sharpening you don’t want to start woodworking by hand. The most core essential skill to hand tool woodworking is the ability to sharpen tools surgically sharp and to do it quickly and efficiently.  Equally so, you must be able to consider the work in hand and then sharpen the tools to task. One key problem I see today with those touting micro-bevel (secondary-bevel) sharpening only, which is almost all, is that they know nothing about the significance of sharpening to task.

How many of you know that craftsmen for three hundred years never used micro-bevel sharpening methods and yet their edges equalled anything we can accomplish with all of our modern methods and especially micro-bevel sharpening. So, what we did this morning is debunk false views and false teachings that permeate woodworking on every level today.

I think that the important first step is for you to start trying and experimenting and researching for yourself!

After practice time laying out and cutting dovetails by hand we were on with the actual dovetailed box, a Shaker candle box actually. I completed mine before they finished the first corner of their box. Tomorrow I introduce the most fool proof hand method of cutting pristine dovetails known. I developed it, but kept it secret. It’s about to be revealed universally so watch this space!

Learning to make dovetail joints by hand still fascinates, but it’s more fascinating to teach others to make them. I may make dovetails well, but I make woodworkers do them better. I’ve made thousands of them and I no longer even think about how to do it but my students do.

I’m still passionate about making boxes and drawers and furniture, but I must now spend my time training others too.

No other way to learn saw sharpening than one on one at the bench. We are discussing methods, shapes, sizes, grain, set versus no set, pull versus push.Elements of saws that make them cut as well as the best from around the world. That’s what a woodworking course is all about. It’s about really working wood and woodworking know how.

2 thoughts on “3-Day Foundational Course Part 1 Day 1”

  1. Dear Mr. Sellers,
    I can sharpen my chisels and irons planer using sandpaper (# 400, # 600 and # 1200) instead of grinding stones with the same grain size? It is correct to use as the basis of sanding a thick glass plate when using a sandpaper?

    1. You can use abrasive paper of any kind and glass too, but these methods should only be seen as temporary as they are not time efficient and expensive long term. That os unless you only work with hand tools for an hour or so a month, I suppose.

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