Using the WorkSharp 3000

This article explains how to setup and use the Work Sharp 3000 Most chisels are at 25 degrees unless you put a micro bevel on and you will need a honing guide for that.

Setting the Angles

Here is how you set the angles.

There is a handle at the end of the bed or guide. By pulling the handle towards yourself, it will disengage the locking tab. You will learn the feel for pulling the handle and feeling the notches go by for each angle. By raising the bed all the way up, you are at 20 degrees. Each notch down is another 5 degrees stopping at a maximum of 35 degrees.

As you face the handle and guide, there is a knob on the right side of the guide. By turning the knob, that will either tighten or loosen the rail on the left side. Lay a chisel or plane iron bevel up on the guide and tighten the knob until the rail on the left side just touches the edge of the tool being sharpened. You want the tool to slide easily between the rails, The moving rail is only to square the blade to the wheel.

Lay the tool in the guide, adjust the rail so there is no tension or drag on the tool. Hold it back a little bit from the wheel and start the motor. Now just push the blade into the wheel for a couple seconds and then pull it back to you until you can't hear any friction. Do this several times and then check the bevel surface. You should be able to feel light scratch marks on the bevel. You will want the scratches to cover most of that bevel area in order to be sure the bevel is correct on the tool.

For the first time with a chisel or plane iron, start with very coarse paper on the wheels. Then work your way up through the finer grits.

One key to this machine is to let it work for you. The motor is only 1/5 HP so it isn't a bench grinder by any means. I work with mine and to make sure I'm not getting too much heat into the blades, I will lay the end on the inside of my wrist. If it is slightly uncomfortable, that is about all the hotter you want to get. A few seconds on the wheel and then back away. The guide has abrasive on it, and by moving up and down the guide, that will remove any bur that develops on the back side or some call it the top of the blade.

There is a process to sharpening, starting with flattening the back side of the blade first., See Below Don't worry, this is a very user friendly machine. You can't hurt anything quickly with it like you can with a grinder. It is more of a finishing tool Submitted by Bob Kenedy

Additional notes by Dale Levens Additional Leather Honing Kit The leather covered honing wheel does put a wonderful polish on the final passes of your blades. I don't remember if I got both the polish and a crape sponge sandpaper cleaner with mine or if I bought one separately, I don't remember a tube of goo though. The polish which I refer to as jewelers rouge is a solid bar, somethinglike chalk. It is to be rubbed onto the leather, it doesn't take much, I usually set the wheel with the leather up on the machine and get it spinning then gently touch the flat face of the rouge to the leather for a few revolutions then turn the disk over so the leather faces down oriented ready to polish the chisel. I don't apply rouge with each use of the strop the leather will do a pretty nice job without it but being a really fine abrasive it does help. Unless I have damaged my edge I usually just touch up with the two finest grits of paper then a bit of strop and I try to remember to do this before I put the chisel away. Submitted by Dale Leavens.

Flattening the back of chisels and plane irons

If your chisel or hand plane blade has already been ground to the proper bevel angle, then you are ready to begin the process of flattening the back of the tool. If you need to grind a new bevel, then use a low speed grinder set to the desired angle. After you grind the bevel on a stone or ceramic wheel, you're ready to flatten the back. This flattening of the back usually only needs to be done when you first acquire the tool whether it is a brand new tool or a used one that you've acquired. I think the best way to flatten the backs of chisels and plane blades is to use 220 grit sandpaper on a slab of glass or MDF. Lay the back of the tool flat on the paper skewed at about 45-degrees and then place your fingers over the blade so that one of two fingers are pressing down right at the cutting end of the tool and the other fingers are distributed along the shaft. Keep the pressure evenly distributed along the centerline of the tool. Your thumbs will provide most of the pressure for the forward movement and your fingers will provide the pressure for the movement back towards your body. Well distributed and even finger pressure will keep the tool flat on the sandpaper. Now push the tool forward at the skewed angle and then pull it back. Repeat this back and forth motion about 30 or 40 times and the back of the tool will develop a regular scratch pattern. If there are spots, circles or areas that are not scratched, that indicates a low spot on the blade that has not yet touched the abrasive sandpaper. You will have to continue the back and forth motion until that area disappears completely and is covered with a regular scratch pattern. Now reverse the skew angle. If the handle was pointing towards the right, turn it so it is now pointing towards the left, or vice versa. Again push and pull about 30 to 40 times. This should remove the previous scratch pattern and leave an entirely new pattern. If there are spots, circles or areas where the scratch pattern is irregular, that indicates a low spot on the blade and you will have to continue the back and forth motion until that area disappears completely and is covered with a new regular scratch pattern. The foregoing is the hardest part of all. Do not move on to higher grits until the back is completely flat, that is, there is only a regular scratch pattern and there are no irregular areas visible. Once you achieve that, you move onto higher and higher grits. Your objective now is to remove the scratch pattern and replace it with finer and finer scratch patterns until finally no scratches are visible to the eye and the back shines and gleams spotlessly. Go from 220 to 320 in the same manner and continue until the previous scratch pattern is replaced with a slightly finer new pattern. Go for 25 to 30 repetitions. You are no longer sanding off only scratches and that will take fewer repetitions because you are no longer removing steel to flatten the back. In the process have the tool skewed first one way and then the other. Then go from 320 to 400, and then to 600. By now most of the scratches should be gone and the back should start to shine. Go from 600 to 1000, to 1200, then to 2000. At this point you should have a good shine on the back of the tool. If you wish, you can go to higher and higher grits if you can find the sandpaper. Check automotive parts stores for high grit sandpapers. If you cannot, then stop at 2000 and you will still be able to hone a very sharp chisel or plane blade.