Hand Tools Archive


david weaver
if I was able to do freehand, I wouldn't have the ruler trick, I'd probably use two stones (a single diamond hone and the cast plate with 1 micron) and I think the sharpening time would be very comparable to oilstones, but, as you're aware, I don't want someone to question my ability to freehand hone at a specific angle even though you know as well as I do, it's probably not tolerable to vary the edge by more than a degree because it doesn't feel right.

I thought about freehanding one for this test, but it just wouldn't add anything to the data other than prove that i wouldn't lose edge life freehanding. I'll probably add a comment to the article about the sharpening method and make it clear that I wouldn't suggest it for someone in the long term - it makes people frustrated to hear it, but a guide is, in my mind, something to be left behind for anyone who is going to do more than one sharpening per shop session. It's a serious hindrance to sharpening things that aren't straight edged, too. It's important to develop the neurons, brain and hand.

if I asked you how you sharpened knives, or chisels or plane irons, etc, once you have the neural development, it's all the same. You decide what you want for geometry and just do it. You receive feedback from what's been sharpened, and you make adjustments and settle into what's idea for your use. I know there are machinists and engineers who don't believe that you can give up that precision, but they're camping in neurotic territory instead of developing neural capability. I choose neural development over neurotic thinking.

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