Dec 112018
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Christopher Schwarz has noticed a trend in some sections of the woodworking world: otherwise capable woodworkers struggle when it comes to using their hand tools, even when their tools are of the highest quality. Chris thinks he knows why that might be the case.

Click here to find out




  4 Responses to “Sharpen Up or Shut Up – Chris Schwarz weighs in on the Handtool Backlash”

  1. Thanks Chris. I lucked out when it came to woodworking. I started three years ago. I had learned my lesson about a decade before that.

    I had another hobby that I have been doing since age 10 (i.e. started the hobby in 1978). By the time the internet came about and I discovered blogs in the late 2000s, I had been actively doing the hobby for 30+ years. I suddenly discovered that there were all kinds of theoretical issues I never knew existed and had never ever bothered me. In my case ignorance was bliss.

    As such, when I started woodworking and wanted to learn how to do it. I focused on you and Paul Sellers. I ignored the rest of the world and did NOT go to online blogs. You and Paul are no nonsense when it comes to woodworking. I picked a system, got what I needed, and sharpened. After 3 years, I can get a sharp edge fairly quickly and I just sharpen often. It’s not that difficult.

    Thank God I didn’t go out and read a lot online about sharpening or which tools to buy. There is simply too much out there and most of it doesn’t matter.

  2. Amen Brother.

  3. …and I reiterate what the above two comments say: Amen, brother. But I do have to admit that since I am unable to afford Paul Sellers’ diamond plates, I had to find another inexpensive way. But it works, as well as Paul’s and probably yours too, though I haven’t had the pleasure of inspecting your edges. Nonetheless, sharp is sharp, so go on preaching. You’ve got a long way to go.

  4. I took the title literally and hoped to learn how to minimize the backlash I experience adjusting hand planes. It”s probably less, but I feel sometimes I have to turn 360 degrees to move from advancing to retracting an iron on one of my (mostly Stanley) planes.

    I hope the fact that I see this as a major woodworking issue shows that you’re preaching to the choir with me on sharpening.

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