One thing I did notice in the process, however, was that may tools were all blunt. Now, I've never gone whole hog on the sharpening thing - I know some people make a science of it, have umpteen grades of Japanese water stones and use a microscope to see the striations on the tool edge. I nearly choked the first time I looked at the price of water stones in Axminster, and whilst I know there is a proper way to do it, and that those people who invest in the right kit will get a much better, neater and safer result than me, well, it just isn't in my nature to do things properly.
I have found that with proper, careful use, other than the occasional accident (like a month or so ago when I chopped my Nic Westerman axe into my chopping block only to discover a hidden nail!!), tools rarely if ever need full scale sharpening or re-profiling, and so I use a small water stone that Julian picked up from a car boot and gave me - it's fairly fine - and then an EZE LAP diamond stone, and then finish off with a strop with Flexcut polishing compound.
|My very minimalist sharpening kit.|
This is not a perfect method - the stones are both small and take my fingers in a rapid circling motion too close to an increasingly sharp edge for comfort. It gives me a lovely sharp edge, but as it wears I get tiny striations on the blade which leave a striped effect on my work, but I don't mind too much. I really do enjoy a good sharpening session.
Then, with newly sharpened tools, I carved a couple of spoons - both in green birch, a joy to carve. One small eating spoon, heavily cranked and shallow bowled.
The other a long serving/spatula type affair.
Both need to dry for a few weeks now and then a spell in oil and I'll then carve some decoration on them.