Earlier this month we paid a visit to Peter Galbert at his chair shop in Sterling, MA. Besides catching the chairmaking bug something fierce, we also took the time to shoot some video of Pete demonstrating the Drawsharp.
Although this video is edited a little (mostly to remove some shaky spots) it shows Pete taking a neglected drawknife from a pathetic state to making waxy, end-grain shavings in white pine in real time. The entire process took about 8 minutes. The latter portion of the video shows how to freshen the edge of a drawknife that has been previously sharpened with a Drawsharp. That process takes about 2-3 minutes. Pete did this numerous times to several different drawknives, all with widely varying bevel configurations. The results were all the same.
A note on The Rehab Kit. Its not required to sharpen a drawknife. The included abrasives will get you to your final edge just fine. Here's when you may want to pick up the Rehab Kit.
- You're hesitant to take a particularly ratty knife to the grinder.
- You're sharpening ratty drawknives out in the woods.
On the former, we suggest you educate yourself on the particulars of grinding drawknives. Because as awesome as the Drawsharp is, you may toast your edge beyond its capabilities. And by that we mean damage beyond normal use. Dropping the knife, shaving too close to something metal, a nail or some foreign object in a workpiece, your neighbor using the knife as a paint scraper. Point being, if you get a deep nick in your blade, obviously you will need to grind it out, or simply use that knife for less important work until normal sharpening sessions take you past the nick.
But grinding is not as scary as it may seem. It only takes a light touch (as with all grinding) and very little jigging on your grinder's tool rest. If you have a 1" belt grinder, those work quite well for drawknives, since there is no motor to interfere with the knife's handles. Take a look at Pete's blog for lots of info on grinding. As you 'll see, you can do it quick and dirty, or make a full blown micro-adjustable tool rest.
You can order a Drawsharp directly from us, via our Store Page.
The following domestic dealers also carry the Drawsharp.
Lee Valley Tools (and Canada)
and in Germany
Dieter Schmid Fine Tools
A pleasant surprise was the arrival of the young and talented toolmaker and woodworker Tim Manney. Tim makes the Chairnotes Reamer, (highly recommended) and is currently developing a chairmaker's adze with Peter Galbert. I got a chance to try out the adze on an actual chair seat, and although I'm relatively new to this tool, everything about it felt so right. Tim also makes exquisite chairs and spoons. It's quite difficult to photograph the crisp details and delicate forms of Tim's work. Each spoon displays a real deftness and skill not only with the tools, but also the design and form. I know these pictures don't do justice, but here goes nonetheless. Make sure you take a look at Tim's blog.