Tool sharpening made simple

Categories: How To
Published on: March 25, 2015

Mother Earth News / Steve Maxwell / February/March 2007

HowToSharpenChisels3The best way to sharpen tools, such as wood chisels, plane irons and knives, doesn’t necessarily involve sharpening stones. Even though I own a dozen fancy stones, I don’t use them anymore. Instead, I turn to my shop-built buffing wheel, because it works so quickly and so well. It’s also very simple.

Picture a hard felt disk about 8 inches in diameter and 1 inch wide, its edge saturated with a fine, waxy abrasive compound, mounted on a spindle spun by a motor. That’s all there is to a buffing wheel. You press the edge of a dull tool against the edge of the spinning wheel, and in a minute or so it’s sharp enough to shave hair cleanly.