The Trick To Keeping Your Woodworking Tools Sharp

I was bad at keeping my carving tools sharp until I started using this little trick.

I knew that stropping was the easiest way to maintain an edge. It only works if you do it regularly, improving an edge that hasn't gotten properly dull yet.

Woodworking is a flow activity for me. I lost in the groove of doing it. So I'd often keep carving until my tools were dull. Not only are dull tools more dangerous, but they leave an inferior finish to the wood surface.

Stopping to sharpen felt like an interruption because, at the time, it was. Waiting until my tools were blunt meant pulling out my sharpening stones. Even though I often just needed the higher grits, it's a bit of a process. But there's an easier way.

Regularly stropping. I managed to get into the habit of doing it by setting a two-minute timer. Just two minutes. Every time I took a little break from carving I'd spend those two minutes stropping the tool I was using.

Just light pressure so you don't round the bevel. And you get to return to carving with a sharper tool that's much easier to move through the wood.

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