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Workshop Heaven Scary Sharpening Kit (Magnum)

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£93.30

£93.30

Workshop Heaven Scary Sharpening Kit (Magnum)

93.3

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Scary indeed. Review by Hakon Soreide
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I recently started woodworking, and I quickly realised that one of the main skills I needed to work on was sharpening and honing my tools. Buying some cheap chisels on sale, as well as sharpening a lawnmower blade, on some whetstones (240/1000 and 3000/8000) got me decently flat backs and sharp edges, but it was messy and the 240 grit stone got visibly concave really after my first session. There had to be a better way. I looked into diamond stones, but with the mixed reviews and experiences I found, coupled with the initial cost of good-quality stones, I got a bit put off.

That is when I found this system which looked excellent on paper. It comes with a perfectly flat slab of glass, and the latest high-tech top-notch lapping and finishing paper from 3M. The product description said the consumables should be good for at least two months of sharpening, but I figured with my relatively low activity and modest use of chisels and planes, that might last me two years, and so it seemed quite a cheap solution too.

The pack came with two sheets each of the abrasive foils, which I cut into strips on a paper cutter. They were easy to stick to the glass, and once there create a grinding surface flatter than anything but a brand new or lapped whetstone.

The honing fluid, which smells like an interesting mixture of solvents, anti-corrosives and oils – similar to the gun oil I once used in the Navy – comes in a bottle that is not convenient for pouring, so I will be finding another container for it, but I quickly tried it just to see how it works, and its properties are excellent for sharpening, adding just the right kind of moisture to the lapping sheets, lubricating and protecting the tool as well, and with an odour that is not overpowering, but of course does remind you that frequent use would require good ventilation or a mask against chemical vapours.

Just testing it quickly, I got out a 3mm chisel, flattened the back for a few seconds on the 40 micron lapping paper, then carefully drew the bevel across it a few times, and removed the burr. And, amazingly, just a few seconds of using the coarsest of the lapping papers (save for the 100 micron meant for grinding), the chisel was already as sharp as it was when I bought it. It was faster, less messy and better than any result I got from working a lot harder on my whetstones when I tried those out. It was actually ready for any but the most detailed fine cutting.

In short, I am thoroughly impressed already, and that's even before honing my way through the different papers to the very finest for what I can only assume is an edge so scarily sharp one really should not touch it.

Highly recommended! (Posted on 09/08/2017)

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