Tips from Old Millrat - James D. Thompson


 
 

Keeping it Simple...

 

I have a can of 1000 grit "Clover" brand valve grinding compound that I have been using for a VERY long time.  The finest grit it comes in is 1200.  A one pound can costs a little more than $30.

I keep my home made leather strops loaded with this stuff about once a year, and it keeps my carving tools as sharp as I want them to be.

There is entirely too much rocket science involved in our sharpening.  None of the ancient masters had any of the modern mechanical stuff that we keep discussing, and they seemed to do rather well.

Speaking only for myself, I really do not care one little bit if a chisel is within .000x" of perfection.  I just want it to cut cleanly.

Keeping it simple is really the way to go.  If you don't want to bother to learn to do it right, then by all means go spend several hundred dollars on some new device that will supposedly do it for you.  It won't, but you will probably be happy anyway.

The best money I ever spent on sharpening equipment was when I bought my hard felt wheel for $18.  Life has been much simpler since then.  The other $1000 worth of crap languishes in boxes somewhere.

James D. Thompson
the Old Millrat in Riverside, CA


 
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