It’s already noontime and this morning we went through sharpening planes, chisels, spokeshaves and tomorrow I will cover the various aspects of sharpening and setting handsaws.
Pretty standard for me because it’s so critical to what we do today, but for the students it was an eye-opener to see the simplicity and speed of non-mechanical sharpening.

It’s been a good morning and their input and enthusiasm is terrific. Great questions throughout. This is what working wood is all about sharing time, interests and space together. It’s also clay-on-the-wheel time and who know what this will mean to them individually when they take all of this home to their garages and sheds. They all know exactly what sharp is now, but more than that they know how to get perfect cutting edges in just seconds.

I too know what a sharp edge is now. The wood split unexpectedly and I cut the upper area of my forefinger with a super-sharp axe. Couldn’t stop longer than to put on a plaster (bandaid US) though. Too much to get through today.

We discovered the first one of the essential three joints they will be making today and that means they can start thinking bookshelves and other case goods. Making their first housing dado with surgically sharp edge tools and saws is a first, but making truly accurate joints that fit using no machines is truly freeing! This is the bookshelf joint, which has many other applications too—from toddle trucks to tool totes and cantilevered drawer backs to display shelves.

Back to class. Post more again tonight.



  1. KevinWilkinson on 20 November 2012 at 1:07 am

    The dam has burst! Run for the hills!

    I got hit with a flood of emails, this one that I’m replying to is the last of over 100 sent in the space of a few minutes.

    This is not a complaint, just a heads up.

    • JosephSellers on 20 November 2012 at 9:54 am

      Hi Kevin,

      We had a couple of people tell us they had trouble. Sorry. We were just moving some things around and re-released some very old posts (300 of them!). It is very unlikely that this will ever happen again.

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