Tom Bartlett

Tom's Profile

Tom Bartlett

A Bit About Me:

I enjoy green woodworking; using hand tools to shape unseasoned wood from locally felled urban trees. I make objects for use in the home, like cups, bowls and cooking utensils. I’m originally from the UK and moved to Madison, WI in 2015.

Favorite Part of My Job

I really enjoy playing with all the different kinds of sharpening systems we have. Before starting at Sharpening Supplies I just used water stones and my trusty Tormek. Now I get to mess around with guided sharpeners, lapping plates, electric sharpeners, oil stones, sharpening steels, razor strops. The list goes on!

Sharpening Tip:

When sharpening by hand, think about the position you're holding your body in. You will be repeating the same motion for multiple repetitions and want each one to follow the same path. If you can lock your arms in place and get the forward and back movement coming from your legs for example, you're likely to have a more consistent motion.

Sharpening Philosophy:

Sharpen often. Keeping a great edge on my woodworking tools makes the carving process so much more enjoyable. If I let my edges get blunt, carving isn't as fun and the eventual sharpening takes longer.

Tom's Favorite Product:

In keeping with my 'sharpen often' philosophy I strop my tools a lot. I really like the size of the 12" Leather Bench Mountable Strop. Together with the Green Honing Compound, this is how I maintain the edge of most of my tools.


Woodworking, videography, hiking, weightlifting and Stoicism.

Tom's Articles

Sharpening a Sloyd Carving Knife
June 26, 2020 In the middle of carving, I started to notice what looked like scratches in the wood. These white lines left by the knife are a sign that the blade has a tiny chip in it. Instead of being scratches, they’re li...
This Level of Sharpness Isn't For Everyone
"He wondered if something could be so sharp that it began to possess, not just a sharp edge, but the very essence of sharpness itself, a field of absolute sharpness that actually extended beyond the last atoms of metal." – Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man...
Thanks John, I am so glad to be working with people who know their products and how to use them. You have a very informative and well laid out website and I learned a lot. It was a rainy Sunday and I watched every video and read through each article. The information you provided was very helpful in teaching technique and helping me decide what to buy. Also your products are so well thought out, that no matter what stone you prefer (oil, water or diamond), there is a nice package available for a beginner. All of the products you put together each had their own advantages and believe me, each one spent some time in the shopping cart until I made my final decision.
Randy Q, New York, NY