Sharpening Your Own Chisels and Plane Blades


Sharpening Your Own Chisels and Plane Blades

Learn two methods for sharpening your plane blades and chisels to a razor-sharp edge.

Meeting Times
  1. Fri, 1/12/2024 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Fri, 1/12/2024

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Class, Has Prerequisite

Woodworking & Small Boatbuilding Studio

General Woodworking, Hand Woodworking


Using sharp tools, whether they're BARN's or your own, is not only safer, it's also the key to dramatically improve the quality of your work. Experience the joy of doing fine woodworking by hand!

You'll learn how to sharpen your personal chisels using either of two methods:

  • The system used for BARN's chisels and plane blades, which involves sharpening flat bevels using the Lie-Nielsen Honing Guide.
  • A hollow-grind method, which involves using a grinder to create a concave bevel and then flattening the heel and toe on water stones up to 6000 grit.

Also covered is an essential step with both methods — flatting the back of the chisel or plane blade by using sandpaper and water stones, a chore needed only once in the life of a blade unless rust spots develop.


  • Bring one or two plane or chisel blades that need sharpening, if you have them. You can get hands-on experience with the hollow-grind method only on your personal tools. Note that there might not be enough time in class to get tools really sharp if they're in very bad shape.
  • If you don’t have tools to bring, no problem. You can learn BARN’s method on BARN tools.


Class Policies

  • Ages 14 and up are welcome.
  • Wear closed-toe shoes, tie back long hair, and avoid loose-fitting clothing and jewelry. You must wear safety glasses in the shop. We recommend bringing your own safety glasses.

BARN Policies

Instructors or Guides

Ted Newman

Ted studied woodworking and has taught classes at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine. He is active in BARN's woodworker group and volunteers as a safety monitor.

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