Taunton's Complete Illustrated Guide to Sharpening

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by: Tom Lie-Nielsen

Topics include: fleam angle, honing compound, file every other tooth, spokeshave blades, primary bevel, grinding jig, scraping planes, remove the wire edge, auger bit file, honing the back, hone the bevel, card scraper, honing the bevel, back bevel, jointer knives, diamond files, planer knives, secondary bevels, your sharpening, plane blades, deep flute, diamond dresser, saw vise, slim taper, check the bevel

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From Book News, Inc.
Illustrated throughout with hundreds of detailed color photographs, this resource for professionals and do-it-yourselfers describes the techniques used in sharpening common woodworking tools. Toolmaker Lie- Nielsen begins with an overview of the uses of basic tools and materials such as grinders and abrasives. In each of the remaining chapters, he provides step-by-step instructions for sharpening particular types of tools (i.e., knives, planes, chisels, drills, handsaws, power tools, etc.). Copyright Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Book Description
As a toolmaker, Tom Lie-Nielsen brings a special perspective to the subject of sharpening. In this must-have reference, the author covers all types of sharpening equipment and methods of sharpening hand tools. Over 700 color photographs and illustrations are included, along with information on sharpening power tool blades and bits.

Although the book has great illustrations, it just doesn't give much information. Yes, the author discusses the sharpening of virtually every cutting instrument, but usually only using a certain jig that you probably don't have. There is little depth to this book; it's like a vast ocean that is only an inch deep. The book is a better review of sharpening tools and jigs on the market than it is about sharpening, and if you have these tools, you don't need the book to tell you how to use them.

I would have liked to see in-depth sharpening information- what a tool that is sharp looks like and how to get it there with basic tools. The book rarely achieves this.

Although I have a great deal of respect for both the author and the publisher, I was forced to give this book a negative rating. This is due to the fact that the book offers no real recommendation as to which system to use for sharpening or real advantages and disadvantages for each method. I bought this book because I don't know a lot about sharpening other than woodturning tools. The author briefly discusses the various systems, waterstones, oilstones, grinders, sandpaper, etc. But I was not able to make an informed decision as to which was preferable and why.

The chapter on sharpening woodturning tools only briefly discussed the various ways to sharpen each of the major types of turning tools without going into detail. No discussion of the carious grinds to put on a bowl gouge, for example. So I was forced to assume that the other chapters were unnecessarily brief as well.

The book is beautiful and the color photos were well done. But if you are going to buy this book because you are a rank beginner at sharpening, I think you will be disappointed as to how little information is in here and will look in vain for recommendations.

The author builds some of the best hand tools out there today. I know because I own some. Other books and magazines published by Taunton are well thought out and beautifully presented. But this book lacked the detail I expected.


Taunton's Complete Illustrated Guide to Sharpening
Thomas Lie-Nielsen
Master the techniques for hand and power tools
This step-by-step reference provides quick access for learning this essential woodworking process. More than 750 photos and drawings illustrate the equipment available for sharpening and the methods for getting sharp edges on all types of tools -- from basic chisels to molding planes and jointer knives.

Among the subjects covered:
. Choosing a sharpening system
. Sharpening planes and saws
. Touching up blades and bits
. Shaping turning gouges
. Honing carving tools
About the author
Toolmaker Thomas Lie-Nielsen brings a unique perspective to the subject of sharpening. He started making hand tools in 1981, after working in New York City at tool dealer Garrett Wade. Lie-Nielsen Toolworks now makes several dozen different high-end hand planes and saws, based on traditional designs.

Taunton's Complete Illustrated Guide to Sharpening

Thomas Lie-Nielsen

Master the techniques for hand and power tools

How to Use This Book

PART ONE: Tools and Materials

SECTION 1. Steel
Basic Tool Steels
Heat Treating

SECTION 2. Abrasives
Grinding Wheels
Diamonds for Sharpening
Abrasive Paper and Other Sharpening Aids
Flattening Waterstones
Flattening Oilstones

SECTION 3. Machines for Sharpening
Bench Grinders
Horizontal-Style Grinders
Belt Sanders

SECTION 4. Sharpening Kits
Getting Started
A Step Up
A Complete Set
Other Supplies

SECTION 5. Jigs and Fixtures

Waterstone Holder
Skew Plane Jig
Honing Jigs
Saw Vise

PART TWO: Sharpening Tools

SECTION 6. Gauges and Knives
Marking Gauges
Layout Knives
Kitchen Knives

SECTION 7. Planes
Blade Back
Chip Breakers
Straight Blades
Curved and Angled

SECTION 8. Chisels
Paring and Mortise
Japanese Chisels
Corner Chisels

SECTION 9. Spokeshaves and Beading Tools
Beading Tools

SECTION 10. Scrapers
Card Scrapers
Curved Scrapers
Scraping Plane Blades

SECTION 11. Drills
Twist Drills
Specialty Drills

SECTION 12. Handsaws
Jointing and Setting
Crosscut Saws
Veneer Saws

SECTION 13. Axes and Adzes
Curved Adzes
Lipped Adzes

SECTION 14. Carving Tools
Oar Jigs

SECTION 15. Turning Tools
Dressing the Wheel
Skew Chisels
Parting Tools
Hook Tools

SECTION 16. Power Tools
Jointer and Planer
Router Bits



Taunton's Complete Illustrated Guide to Sharpening

Thomas Lie-Nielsen

Master the techniques for hand and power tools

Sharpening common woodworking tools is not a difficult or complicated process. You don't need a metallurgist's understanding of steel, or serve a long apprenticeship, to produce durable, razor-sharp edges. Woodworkers will find a large selection of good tools and materials on the market, and the methods of getting the job done properly are usually straightforward. A bit of practice is necessary, but much less than it would take to perfect your golf swing.

Don't worry about ruining a blade. Steel tools are forgiving, and many of the mistakes you inevitably make in the beginning are easy to correct. A blade that has been over-heated and scorched on a bench grinder can be ground back, and a lopsided bevel can be straightened and squared. Even if your early attempts at sharpening a blade actually ruin it, you can always buy a new one. The experience you gain will be worth the price.

It is important first to learn the difference between a properly sharpened tool and a badly sharpened one. Shiny surfaces are not enough if the cutting edge is uneven or rounded over. A plane blade whose back is not flat will never be truly sharp even if it is polished to a mirror finish. Think of a razor blade -- straight and sharp. Use a magnifying glass and good light so you can really see what you're doing, and think in terms of simple geometry: the intersecting planes, lines an angles that produce a sharp working edge.

This book is not about turning sharpening into a hobby. Sharpening woodworking tools is a means to an end, and that end is woodworking. Your collection of sharpening tools and your work area should be arranged so it is convenient to use and designed to help you get accurate, predictable results in a minimum amount of time. If you succeed in doing that, you will be encouraged to sharpen often and not avoid it as people often do.

An inevitable question is just how sharp a blade really needs to be. Competitors in planing exhibitions try to make the longest, thinnest shavings they can (usually in a cooperative species of wood). This is a fascinating exercise, but the point of knowing how to sharpen your woodworking tools is not to make specimen shavings but to accurately dimension and smooth wood. Honing a blade until it can remove a shaving of wood no more than one-thousandth of an inch thick is overkill when all you want to do is remove the high spots from a rough board with a scrub plane. On the other hand, if you're trying to create a glassy smooth finish on hard maple with a handplane alone it will help to know how to prepare your blade. The trick is in knowing what kind of edge you really need.

To that end, it is helpful to keep things simple, to focus on results, and not to worry too much about theory or opinion. The best way to sharpen is the way that works for you.

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