|I am really proud to say that after reading Fine Woodworking Magazine since Issue 4 I have finally have an article in the June 2008 issue of the magazine. The article is about grinding using a dry grinder. |
I am a big fan of the dry grinder. I think it's one of the most important tools in the workshop and saves oodles of time in sharpening. Unfortunately a lot of people of scared of burning their tools and as a result there are tons of strategies around to avoid grinding and the market for expensive, slow wet grinders is pretty big.
I was taught grinding by Barry Iles in the space of about 5 minutes. It's actually pretty easy to learn and I think one of the weird things I have discovered about a lot of traditional techniques is that people don't believe it's that simple. They want a more complicated formula, a scientific approach. I'm not usually a fan of that approach. I'm believe more in simple technique, training your hands and learning to observe what you are doing. Then a little practice and you can quickly become an expert.
Asa Christiana did a fine job editing down my 8000 plus word manuscript to something manageable and it is very interesting to me how the article is designed to be understandable on many levels. Depending on whether you look at the pictures, just read the headlines and captions, or actually read it word or word, the goal is that a coherent level of information will be conveyed and at each level there is stuff to be learned.
In the editing process a lot of peripheral explanation was left out but overall the material is pretty well covered and I'm proud of the result. Of course unlike a blog, a magazine article starts out with my draft but ends of the product of a lot of people, Asa, the art director, the page layout people, the illustrators, I asked Asa how many people worked on my article but I forget the exact number - but it's a lot. I'm amazed it all came together the way it did.
In the excitement I did leave out one useful tip. By leave out I don't mean it was left on the cutting room floor, I just never got around to putting it in the draft in the first place. When grinding back to a line the goal should be to grind to as straight a line as possible however freehand you won't get a perfect line. This doesn't actually matter as after you grind and hone the edge the honing stones will even everything out, but sometimes after I grind to the line, with the rest squared, before I switch to grinding the bevel, I hold the blade perpendicular on a stone (diamond stone works great for this) and give is a few stokes just to straighten up the edge. Not a big deal if you don't do this, but it does give a more even reference to grind the bevel too.
If the proceeding paragraph makes no sense I guess you have to read the article, which is at the newsstand now, or you can visit Fine Woodworkings website and get a copy (if you have an on-line subscription.
By the way if you are in the market for a professional grade grinder we just became Baldor distributors and we also stock the 3X Norton Wheels that I use and run cooler than a hipster at a poetry slam. You will of course need a quality multi-point wheel dresser and we stock several models.
Note: I just got off the phone with Matt Kenney, an editor at Fine Woodworking who was wondering if I knew anyone who did woodworking in an apartment. He figured being the only woodworking shop in NYC we might have a few leads. He is generally interested in finding people who do woodworking under very constrained space and logistical accommodation. There are interesting questions on how you manage to get stuff done, what about noise and dust, etc. Anyway if you can help please drop me or Matt an email. His email is: MKenney@taunton.com.
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