Hone your tools and skills on this Sharpening Center

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By John English

Unfortunately, there’s a tendency among woodworkers to store sharpening supplies here and there throughout the shop, out of sight and out of mind. Perhaps that’s a subconscious effort to avoid what many see as a chore. Having a designated station in the shop focuses a woodworker’s attention on this essential task, transforms a chore into a satisfying experience and keeps things organized.

This station is not mobile, since even locking casters allow a little play – not a desirable trait in a sharpening station. It has an optional, built-in 8" grinder designed to replace standard single-speed 6" units (Fig. 1). The larger stone delivers a smaller hollow grind (a flatter arc), but its real advantage is speed, or more accurately, the lack of it. The grinder has two speeds, 1150 rpm and 1725 rpm. The slower speed works well for both buffing and grinding. At this speed, contact with the 60-grit stone of friable white aluminum oxide generates very little heat. 

A ¾-hp used capacitor start motor is ideal (although a ½-hp will work).    Appliance repair shops are a great source for these. Whether you decide to go with a commercial grinder or the built-in version, the cabinet construction is essentially the same.

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