WoodCentral's Book Reviews
The Complete Guide to Sharpening

The Complete Guide to Sharpening
by Leonard Lee

Taunton Press, 1995
Paperback, 245 pp., $22.95
ISBN 1-56158-067-8

       Order Now!

    Leonard Lee, president of Lee Valley Tools and Veritas Manufacturing, presents here a thorough study of what "sharpness" really is. With black and white photos and line drawings, he discusses the physics of severing wood fibers, metallurgy, abrasives and different styles of sharpening equipment.
     Have you ever seen the edge of a simple craft razor blade magnified under an electron microscope? On that scale, it curls over like the leading edge of a tidal wave. Lee used the resources of the National Research Council of Canada to microphotograph the edges of tools, magnified to as much as four microns (four millionths of a meter.) One double-page spread shows an interesting comparison of chisel edges sharpened on oil stones and water stones of varying grits.
     He discusses bevel angles, the history of tool design features, chip formation, shop-made sharpening aids and the proper techniques for using them. With indidvidual chapters on chisels, planes, knives, carving tools, turning tools, scrapers, handsaws, axes and adzes, power saw blades, drill bits and milling cutters, Leonard covers just about everything you could want to sharpen.This book will be a lifelong reference for all your shop sharpening needs.

...Barb Siddiqui