Sharpening Hand Tools for Timber Framing and Beyond
The goal for this course is to have the students develop a practical approach to sharpening hand tools (chisels, planes, gouges, knives, axes, drawknives, etc.). We will examine general approaches to achieving the final goal of a sharp edge for any tool under consideration, and discuss specific steps relative to the type of edge one wishes to sharpen. A simple, inexpensive sharpening protocol will be discussed and practiced during class. At a minimum, this course will cover characteristics of steel relative to holding a sharp edge and the basics of tempering steel, grinding versus honing, or creating the profile of the cutting edge and then increasing the sharpness of that edge, power sharpening equipment versus hand sharpening equipment, types of cutting edges and appropriate sharpening techniques, pitfalls to avoid when sharpening, demos, class participation, and discussion of problems students have faced in sharpening tools. Students are encouraged to bring tools to sharpen in class as the class project.