19 June 2010

Sharpening - James Krenov

This is the second of a number of posts about sharpening.

In his book The fine art of cabinetmaking (1972, 1992) James Krenov discusses (p 109-115) sharpening tools.

Hand-type bench grinder
He goes for a 5-6' fine grit wheel combined with a sturdy wooden toolrest that allows one handed operation. The hand type is for low speed.  The small diameter is for a good hollow grind.  Krenov proposes to hesitate in the middle of each swing to keep the grinding balanced.
That was 1992,  today it is even harder to find hand-type bench grinders, apart from ebay USA at 5$. But low speed grinders are less a problem even if they can be expensive.

Oilstones
After his fine grit wheel he uses fine oilstones with fine cutting oil or even better kerosene. He favors a one handed grip and short strokes.  Small chisels and scrapers get there own stone to minimize damage.

Irons
The irons of his planes are impressively thick.  He proposes to have spare plane irons and extra chisels, to avoid interrupting the flow of other work

The story
James Krenov has his own writing style.  Technically I don't have the hand grinder and the thick plane blades, making it difficult to follow his method.