How do I care for my fine woodworking tools?

In as far as maintenance is concerned woodworking tools are similar to kitchen knives. Regular use causes wear and tear and the tools that are supposed to be sharp to be effective, become dull and ineffective. A dull tool means that a saw takes more time to cut wood so does drilling a hole with a dull drill.

Caring for woodworking tools involves keeping them sharp and in good condition. There are sharpening and grinding tools for various woodworking tools. While the type of tool determines the type of sharpening device, woodworkers tend to develop preferences for particular methods and sharpening tools.

You can sharpen tools with sharpening stones, often natural minerals. These can be sued to sharpen knives, plane blades, scissors and other fine woodworking tools. Sharpening stones come in various sizes, shapes and grades. While most of them are manufactured from stone some are synthetically produced.

The grade of a sharpening stone is measured in grit size, which determines the quality of finish obtained from the sharpening and grinding operation. A finer grit size results in a finer finish. Since sharpening involves removing material from the tool, a finer grit size sharpening tool takes more time as it removes less material as compared to rougher grit.

Then there are files, which are instruments with sharp parallel ridges covering a hardened steel bar. These are essentially hand tools used for sharpening and grinding cutting tools like saws, knives and chisels.

Bench grinders, on the other hand, are machine apparatus used for making fine finishes and can also be used for polishing and buffing depending upon the type of wheel mounted on the motor.

It is a good policy to check all tools before you start work and sharpen whichever you think isnot sharp enough to be effective.



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