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Thread: Work Sharp Wonder

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
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    4,944

    Work Sharp Wonder

    Hi Everybody,

    In an earlier thread Glenn mentioned I purchased a Work Sharp. I did. I really wondered if I was being stupid (I do that so well). I assume you all know that so many things promote so much better than they produce. Well anyway I did buy the WS with a couple hundred dollars and some prayer. Since I am such a brave soul I tried it with some magnificent Harbor Freight chisels I purchased for rough stuff...like a little chiseling and prying or there is probably a nail in there somewhere stuff. I'm sure you know what the blades looked like.

    I went through the first two stages (out of four) of sharpening. Then I did the 30 degree bevel. At that point those two chisels were sharper than I can do on good chisels. Except for my father, the Bradley family do not have the sharpening gene. OK these are cheap chisels---approx. a buck a piece---so I did not sharpen any more.

    I got brave and dug out one of my father's old chisels. This chisel is up towards a hundred years old. It was in good shape and sharp. Well the WS made it so sharp, that what I though was sharp was really dull.

    Then I went to work on my good chisels---WOW!

    By the way I do not have any connection with WS or anyone who sells them.

    After I opened the box and started applying the abrasive I saw an arc shaped scratch on one surface. I am virtually positive I put it there when moving the glass on the jig I made to apply the abrasive disks properly. I called WS to ask it the disk was OK to use. I was transferred to a very nice lady who asked me some questions like: how deep the scratch was, how near the edge it was, etc. She said that the disk should be fine to use. She said that since the unit was new she would send me another disk just so I would feel comfortable with it. The disk arrived three days later.

    Now that is what I call superb customer service!

    Some thoughts if you purchase a WS: Start with an old or cheap chisel. It takes five minutes and a few jerky movements to get used to the feel moving the chisel. I works much better if the sides of the chisels are smooth (better than the HF units). In fact I think it was the rough edges that caused my initial jerky movements. WS instructions say to remove the coating on a new tool before processing it. This was no problem with the HF tools. However, the good chisels use VERY good coating. That stuff is on there to stay. I tried alcohol, paint thinner, razor blades, laquer thinner and a few words and was getting no where (paint remover did the trick---learned that from a member). Since the coating was doing such a great job protecting the tools, I decided to only clean off the first inch and a half from the cutting edge.

    Enjoy,

    Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    2,323
    Hi Jim ,
    Thanks for sharing that info on the sharpening. I know I should sharpen more but I don't. It is very enlightening to actually KNOW the difference in the once thought sharp tool and the really sharp tool, especially if you have done gone and made the sharp one sharper.
    Abraham Lincoln once said ( or so I read) "If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree......I would spend 6 hours sharpening my axe." Nice to have you aboard.
    Shaz
    I am a registered voter and you can be too. We ( registered voters ) select the moderators for this forum by voting every six months for the people we want to watch over this family forum.
    Please join me. Register now.
    Shaz
    Here is how

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    1,487
    Thanks for the review!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    The Heart of Dixie
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    4,268
    Couldn't agree more Robert. I am always amazed when I resharpen my hand planes and chisels. You don't realize how dull they are till then.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  5. #5
    Thanks for the review Jim. I have been looking into grabbing one of those things. I hate sharpening, but it's a necessary evil.

  6. #6
    I'm glad it works because I know there are a lot of woodworkers out there that are always willing to spend a lot of money hoping the marketing ploy really does do all it says it will do. In that case, I hate to see anyone get ripped off.

    Still I am kind of biased about this machine. This is my opinion, and my opinion alone, and not meant to detract from your post here, but its the whole principal that will keep me from buying one of these machines.

    To me, the Scary sharp method was an excellent tool sharpening method. The ultimate method really. It was simple, inexpensive, fast and produced great results. It did all that with nothing more than a piece of glass, sand paper, and fixture for holding the cutting edge or tool. It was a cheap-skates way of sticking it to the man, the man being the big companies that try to market and ploy ten thousand different expensive ways of getting the same sharp edge on a tool.

    I knew it was only a matter of time before some company came out with a gizmo that used the glass on sandpaper method, but with a big accompanying price tag. I did not have to wait long. Here it is I guess. The first of many more to come.

    As I said, I am glad it really works, because far to many of these gizmo's don't work, and really just pull hard earned money away from good woodworkers. Myself, I'll stick it to the man in my old fashioned sharpening way. It just works for me.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    The Heart of Dixie
    Posts
    4,268
    Just to toss another option in the mix, and there are plenty of sharpening options out there!! I looked at most of them but was never serious about any. Like Travis I was very happy with the simple and cheap Scary Sharp.

    Then I ended up with 2 jointers and a 12" planer in my shop and I wanted a way to sharpen those blades. We have a fellow that does them but it's a side job and he is not convenient for me. Even as much as I drive around the county. So I started looking for options. The only one that I thought would do a good job was Tormek but I felt it was way overpriced. The accessories were even worse! I don't know the exact numbers but it was close to $400 for everything I would need. No way! Used ones on EBay were just as bad.

    Then I found the Makita Knife sharpener. I read everything I could find on the net about it and I found very little bad, mostly good comments. And everyone knows the unhappy are more vocal than the happy. A check on EBay closed auctions showed me they did come up on there fairly regular and prices were reasonable.

    To keep this short, I watched and found one with 4 stones. An 80 grit for rough grinding and the two finer water stones with one spare. I have sharpened my jointer and planner blades and extremely well pleased. I tried my hand plane blades and while you really need to jig to held them square, it will get them sharp enough to shave hair with the fine stone.

    There is a small learning curve, but I really like this machine. And I have about a $100 bucks in mine!
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
    Posts
    4,944

    Back to Work Sharp Wonder

    Hi everyone,

    I hear your responses---however, remember I have NO sharpening gene. I am like Glenn; I need something that keeps me completely out of the equation. I cannot remove a blade from the abrasive and return to the precise position needed.

    The previous sharpening tools all required that I replace the chisel, or whatever, in the tool exactly where it was before. I cannot accomplish that with any of the previous sharpeners I had or any I have seen except Glenn's Scary system.

    Glenn says he can reposition a tool to the precise position using Scary. He also says it is a time consuming job to do it correctly. The "pins" do allow for accuracy. "Sharpening two chisels is all I want to do at one time." he says. He also says that I can sharpen 8 chisels with WS and still be ready to do more. When he sharpens two chisels he is ready to quit. He says that the WS is so fast that it is SCARY (that's a pun).

    I can precisely touch up a chisel in about 8 seconds. If it is the same chisel I used in the past it only takes 4 seconds, because I don't have to set the machine for the width of the particular cutting tool.

    Glenn also says that everytime he comes to visit he is bringing all of the tools he has used (since last visit) for sharpening on the Work Sharp.

    WS is fast, it is easy, it is precise and let's face it I am a type "A."

    Gads. It sounds like I own the company. I'm sorry I got so wound up but it is so nice to get something that does what the advertising people claim it will do. If Drill Doctor works as well, it will be the first drill sharpening tool that I have heard of that works. I keep vascillating---should I buy Drill Doc or just continue to buy drills when I need sharp ones.

    Possible negative with WS: If the blade is over 2 inches wide you have to leave the precision, from the bottom up, mechanism and use another mechanism on the top of the machine. I have not used this part yet so I cannot give information about it.

    There is also a "see through the abrasive" wheel where you can see the steel meet the abrasive (Yeah you car guys, that's like where the rubber meets the road) and visually control the angle, etc. I have not used this part either.

    Enjoy,

    Jim
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

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