Staying Sharp With Diamond Stones: The Star Of Rough Cut Prefers To Take A Diamond-Studded Route To The Perfect Edge
Every woodworker knows how important it is to work with sharp tools. We also know there are plenty of opinions about how to get chisels and plane blades sharp and keep them that way. When I worked as a carpenter, I used oilstones. Later on, when I studied woodworking at the North Bennet Street School, I learned how to get razor-sharp edges using waterstones. But I also discovered how quickly waterstones become dished and require flattening. The first time I used a diamond stone, it wasn’t for sharpening, but for flattening my waterstones. Eventually, I got tired of flattening my waterstones and went straight to diamond stones made by DMT–a company right in my own neighborhood.
Despite its humble appearance, a card scraper is remarkably versatile at refining surfaces. It will remove hardened glue, smooth and level difficult woods and exposed joints, and smooth a finish.
Sharpening straight-edged tools, such as chisels and plane irons, is a necessary and regular part of ownership. A dull tool is a dangerous tool. A sharp tool cuts better and is safer because you have more control, and the results speak for themselves: You get clean, flat surfaces that are free of scratches, crisp lines that hit the mark without chipping or blowing out, and the joy of pushing or pulling a tool without undue force or stress. In short, a sharp tool is a good tool. Anything less, and it’s time to sharpen.
For years, I’ve regarded my rasps and files as my not-so-secret secret weapons. Hidden in plain sight beside my workbench, my collection has never generated a single comment from any visitor. Admittedly, these simple steel-toothed tools lack the romance of my planes, handsaws, and chisels, but what they lack in allure, they make up for in function.
Make sharpening easy with this handy station that houses all your tools and supplies in a central location.