Tool sharpening

Wednesday 25 - Thursday 26 November 2020


The course

Learn how to sharpen wood cutting tools to professional standards and select new or second-hand tools that are well engineered. This two day course has been designed for those with little or no previous tool sharpening experience, who enjoy working with wood but have found difficulty achieving a satisfying standard of work due to their lack of tool tuning and sharpening skills. From this, an understanding of the importance of tool technology and the acquisition of tool tuning skills, you will be in a position to experience the pleasure of working wood by hand to a finer degree of accuracy and with less effort. Students are advised not to buy tools or equipment for the course, but bring any tools they in whatever condition they may be.

Day 1
Tools and equipment for tuning / sharpening:
Straight edges and squares. Surface plates and abrasive powders.
Bench and disc grinders.
Japanese, American and European honing stones. Lubricants.
Japanese, American and European burnishing stones. Lubricants.
The strop. Abrasives for the strop.

Sharpening: Chisels and planes.
Restoring damaged cutting edges. Grinding cutting edges and bezels to profile.
Honing techniques.
Honing chisels and plane irons.
Burnishing techniques.
Burnishing the bezels and backs of chisels and plane irons.
Stropping techniques.

Tuning: Wooden and metal plane bodies.
Plane castings. Faults and remedies. Artificial weathering. Surface grinding and tuning.
Bench planes.
Block planes.
Shoulder planes.
Moulding planes.

Day 2
Tools and equipment for tuning / sharpening:
Diamond hones. Slip stones. Ticketers.

Sharpening: Axes, knives, scrapers, draw knives and spoke shaves.
Restoring damaged cutting edges. Grinding cutting edges and bezels to profile.
Jointing axes. Cutting angles for side axes and hatchets.
The cabinet scraper.
Sharpening wooden and metal spoke shaves.
Sharpening draw knives.
Tuning screwdrivers and hammers.

The tutor

Philip Hodge is a fully trained furniture restorer, cabinet maker and gilder and has been practising and teaching these skills for over 20 years. As well as courses from his own workshop Philip has also designed and run courses for BAFRA, Norfolk Local Education Authority and the Workers Education Authority. Philip is keen to pass on traditional skills and techniques to interested people as well as keeping them up to date with new materials and technology.

Participant information

Participants should bring with them:
Any old woodworking tools that they may have, however damaged they might be, such as: metal and wooden bodied planes, chisels, gouges, hatchets and axes, bill hooks, drawknives, metal and wooden spoke shaves, sharpening stones, screwdrivers, scrapers, knives, cutting gauges, hammers etc.
2 sheets of 1000 grit wet & dry paper.
Pair of gardening gloves.
3 kitchen rolls (paper towels).
A candle.
Notepad and pencil.
Large tipped, black marker pen (permanent ink)
Protective clothing.
Pair of stout shoes or safety shoes (you will not be able to wear sandals or canvas shoes in the workshop).

Items that you will be able to borrow:
Cabinet scraper.
30cm satin chrome rule.
6000g Japanese water stone.
Honing stones .
Engineer’s square.
Cutting gauge.
No 5 or 5 1/2 bench plane.
4 & 10mm glass.
Mechanical and digital callipers.

Fee and refreshments

£230 per person, inclusive of teas, coffees and a light lunch. Please let the museum know in advance if you have any dietary requirements.



Please read our terms and conditions before booking.