“The Mechanics of Stropping – Why Stropping Works”

Another well-written, informative blog post from Joel, at Tools for Working Wood which I purloin with impunity. (This one has color illustrations!) This is a sharpening blog, after all, and I’m always on the lookout for sharpening tips, tricks, gadgets and gear that I agree with and think you should know about. Joel’s latest post is The Mechanics of Stropping – Why Stropping Works. Once again, I agree with him completely — a good analysis of what stropping is all about and how to put it to the best use. Thanks again, Joel, I appreciate your ongoing contributions to our community.

"This is a really great book"
“This is a really great book”

And, yes, I include a bit about stropping in my book, The Perfect Edge, The Ultimate Guide to Sharpening for Woodworkers, on pages 110 and 111. It’s out in paperback (Buy Paperback Now!) now but we still have a limited (dwindling) supply of hardback copies (Buy Hardback Now!) in stock.

Scratch Stock Review from PWW

Popular Woodworking’s editor, Megan Fitzpatrick, wrote a review of our Scratch Stock. Her blog post is here (there’s a video!) and the review itself is here.  You can buy a HOCK Scratch Stock by clicking here.

From HOCK TOOLS.com:


HOCK Scratch Stocks are made from tough, wear-resistant bamboo plywood. We’ve included two spring steel blades, one of which has a quirk-bead shape cut into it, to get you started using your Scratch Stock with no more than final honing. Other shapes are up to your imagination and are cut into the blades with files and slipstones.

The body measures 3/4″ x 1-1/2″ x 4-3/4″, the blue-tempered spring steel blades are .050″ by 3/4 x 1-3/4″

HOCK Scratch Stock #SC075 $30.00 Buy Now

Extra blades for the Scratch Stock are available in four-packs:

Four-Pack of Blades for Scratch Stock #SCB075-4 $6.00 Buy Now

Instructions for using the Scratch Stock, including how to make the cutters are here.

“How to Ineffectively Sharpen Anything”

My friend Joel, at Tools for Working Wood, writes a great blog entry or two every week. When one of them is about sharpening, I take full and slothful advantage of his valuable input and link to it from here. This is a sharpening blog, after all, and I’m not above a bit of well-intentioned intellectual piracy. So his recent post (and great title) is In The Belly of The Bevel – Or How To Ineffectively Sharpen Anything. I agree with him completely (I almost always do — he’s really smart). It’s good advice; worthy of your consideration. He promises his next entry will be about strops. I’ll cadge that one, too.

Thanks, Joel! Arrr!

Pulp… Friction?

"Science Stories"

You too, can create your own pulp magazine cover! It’s easy! And Fun!   

Supply of Hardbacks is Limited. Hurry to get yours!
Supply of Hardbacks is Limited. Hurry to get yours!

Even though the cover is not nearly as, uh, gritty as the Science Stories cover above, I’ll take this opportunity to plug my book, The Perfect Edge, The Ultimate Guide to Sharpening for Woodworkers. It’s out in paperback (Buy Paperback Now!) now but we still have a limited supply of hardback copies in stock (Sorry Sold Out).

CR: Winter Show and Marketing Symposium Update

Ejler Hjorth-Westh, Acacia Chair

College of the Redwood’s Fine Woodworking Program’s Winter Show is on display now at Fort Bragg’s Town Hall and it is spectacular! Take a look at the comprehensive gallery of the work here.   They’ve recently built a Facebook page, too.

The reception was Friday evening — well attended, as usual — a blast, as usual. And Saturday morning there was a marketing symposium for woodworkers called “Realities” with furniture-makers Brian Newell, Thomas Hucker and Jefferson Shallenberrger on the panel. An audio recording of the seminar is available (2 hours 27 minutes, 76 mb mp3 download.)

“Irish Folk Furniture” video by Tony Donoghue

This short film — 8.5-minutes — is a real delight. Check it out!

IRISH FOLK FURNITURE: Debuting at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival
An animated documentary about repair and recycling in rural Ireland.

Directed by Tony Donoghue. Funded by The Irish Film Board, RTE, The Arts Council.


How to Make a Board, by Dave Barry

Sorry, I’ve been asked by the very nice person at DaveBarry.com to remove the column that I had reprinted here. Mr. Barry’s assistant wrote, “Thanks for writing, but we don’t give anyone permission to post Dave’s columns online. Sorry!

It’s a hilarious column however and if you google “”How to Make a Board” by Dave Barry” you just may find it out there somewhere.