Sharpening & Tuning Hand Tools

Skill Level : Beginner / Intermediate 

Cost : £250

Duration : 2 Days

Other : Students are invited to bring their existing toolkit for appraisal

Dates :

28-29 July 2018

3-4 August 2019


About the course

This course is aimed at the woodworker who has some experience but who wishes to learn how to tune or ‘fettle’ a basic woodworking tool-kit and how to sharpen blades to ‘razor sharp’ using a combination of grinder and bench stones. If you have never experienced the joy of working to very fine tolerances, using a plane that is well set up, with a razor sharp blade, this course will be a revelation!

The main purpose of this course is to emerge with a set of tuned/sharp tools that will allow you to make furniture to a very high standard.

Students are expected to bring along whatever woodworking tools they may have for evaluation and discussion. Advice will be given on buying new or used tools before or during the course, and various tools and sharpening systems will be available to try and buy.


What You Will Learn



·         Flattening and fine tuning the castings and various components that make up any plane

·         Setting up a cutting gauge and if necessary upgrading the blade



·         Grinding bevels using bench grinder and whetstone grinder

·         Grinding / honing angles

·         Flattening bench stones

·         Honing techniques with bench stones – freehand and using honing guides

·         Techniques for sharpening shaped blades e.g. carving chisels, moulding planes

·         Sharpening a cabinet scraper


The tools covered on this course will include the following:

Bench plane – The No.05 or No.05½ ‘Jack Plane’ is probably the most useful. This plane will be your main workhorse, which despite its size, when tuned will be able to undertake remarkably fine work.

Block plane – Useful for end grain and very delicate work.

Shoulder Plane – Designed, not surprisingly, for trimming shoulders, but also very useful for trimming rebates and cutting mouldings by hand.


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Read what our recent students say about this course

"The information available and the willingness to discuss other areas associated with cabinet making."

"At first as thought the pace was slow. But, I soon realised that the combination of John's style and pace were just right. I enjoyed the entire two days learning. Very useful."

"Relaxed atmosphere, easy access to very skilled tutor, great facilities, pace that allowed coverage of info plus plenty of time to put it into practice."


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