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The Complete Guide to Sharpening by Leonard Lee The Complete Guide to Sharpening
by Leonard Lee

Paperback: ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.60 x 10.99 x 8.53
Publisher: Taunton Pr; (December 1996)
ISBN: 1561581259

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From Book News, Inc.: A reference on sharpening methods, techniques, and devices in woodworking, for professionals and hobbyists. Explains basic metallurgy, abrasiveness, and the physics of cutting, and shows how to sharpen all types of woodworking tools, from chisels to tweezers. Includes sidebars on the history of woodworking tools, b&w photos and diagrams, a glossary, and appendices on chip classification and international grit standards.

Ingram: Lee, a well-known tool manufacturer, covers the practical and technical information to sharpen tools quickly, efficiently and safely. Descriptive photos, clear line drawings and step-by-step instructions show exactly how to improve the performance and safety of any cutting tool. 255 photos.

Customer Reviews
before you buy a "sharpening system", read this!, February 26, 2003
Reviewer: Steve Dummit from Chappaqua, NY United States
I checked this book out from my local library, and read it cover to cover. It is so full of practical and useful information, I think I will have to purchase it to add to my library.

Lee covers theory, research about metallurgy and how wood reacts to sharp edges, with very practical applications of this theory and research. His writing style is very clear and understandable, and his knowledge base is clearly built upon a lifetime of woodworking experience. He points out that, no matter how much you spend for fancy stones, wheels and jigs, and top end tools, you will not get a sharp edge and satisfying result without a basic understanding of wood, metals and abrasives.

The book is nicely illustrated with clear photos and beautiful electron micrographs and very well edited. Essentially all hand woodworking and power tools are covered. It also includes appendices covering research results of how wood reacts to cutting edges and useful reference tables about abrasives.

This is one of those uncommon books that brings together science, art, and craftsmanship is a very pleasant-reading text worth keeping for reference.

A great blend of theory and practice, April 22, 2002
Reviewer: mruseless from Highlands Ranch, CO USA
Leonard Lee takes an open-minded, scientific look at a subject that many woodworkers treat as voodoo. Lee presents photographs that detail the differences between "razor sharp" and truly hair-splitting sharp. He explains techniques for getting the keenest edge possible on chisels, saws, plane blades, scrapers, and a variety of other edges tools. He takes the time to explain edge geometry and how it will affect the steel based on some simple metallurgy. He also explains how different woods and types of cuts require different geometries.

This book has become one of my basic reference manuals in the shop.

Rare blend of how-to with informative theory, March 28, 2002
Reviewer: mmurdoch from NY, United States
This book manages not only to give step-by-step instructions for how to make things (anything, from chisels to awls to scissors) super sharp, but also to explain the reasons behind those steps. There is some excellent discussion of the angles involved in cutting, a whole chapter called "The Physics of Cutting Wood Fibers," and explanations of things like why a kitchen knife shouldn't have the same mirror-finish edge that a chisel should. Excellent book. Everything in my house is getting sharper, one blade at a time.

Understanding Sharpening, December 21, 2001
Reviewer: Jef Raskin from Pacifica, CA USA
This book is clearly written, extraordinarily complete in the scope of sharpenable tools it covers, and explains why cutting tools have to have the kinds of edges they do. It also explains how sharpening tools, such as stones, diamond hones, belt sanders, and burnishers do their job.

Understanding helps you figure out what to do when sharpening, whereas a pure cookbook-style sharpening guide requires that you memorize rules-of-thumb for each kind of blade or constantly refer to the book. This book succeeds in being both deep and practical while being easy to read, a rare combination.

I can only concur with the other reviewers. Five stars all the way.

Fantastic, definitive and best book on sharpening, ESSENTIAL, July 25, 2000
Reviewer: oavde from Leichhardt, NSW Australia
Ooooh what a book ...

All the positive reviews made me want to know more, so I asked about it at a local woodworking shop and they said, "This is THE best book on sharpening."

It is essential to have sharp tools, I do all my work with handtools but the book goes into great detail on ALL tools, machines, different shapes of tools, the advantages of different techniques ... great detail, but it is also concise, VERY easy to read and understand, and has excellent placement of photos within the text - if you are reading about something on page 30 the pictures will be on page 30, not page 29, not page 35. Also the large pages are broken up nicely with tidbits of fascinating historical and scientific information. In parts, I actually laughed out loud!

There are electron microscope photographs of the edges of blades that have been sharpened using various methods. You can actually see the effects ... you will gain appreciation of lapping and rust prevention ... you will know how to select good tools, good sharpening aids ... you will learn about the structure of wood and how to cut with a blade.

Part of the way through it I thought, "this is great, but I wish it told me how to sharpen my kitchen knives" - wholah! in a few pages it did, it showed me how to use that stupid thing that came with the set of knives, and the method worked very well.

I could not be more pleased with this book. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in sharpening, especially woodworkers, these are essential skills. Sharp tools will enhance your entire woodwork experience. You will produce finer work with greater ease, even if you use mostly power tools.

I give it 6 stars out of 5.

If it had all colour photos and was bound in leather, I would give it 10 out of 5 AND it would be a fantastic coffee table book as well (warning: that does not mean it is insubstantial, just that many non-woodworking visitors would very much enjoy it)

In the Top 10 for your Woodworking/Turning/Carving Library, May 10, 2000
Reviewer: William Kohr from California
Leonard Lee clearly describes both the theory and practice of sharpening. His writing is clear and concise - Where he has an opinion or preference, he states them as such. This well researched treatise provides the reader with the information necessary for them to make informed decisions about which method may best for their application. ... and if that were not enough, his writing style is friendly and unassuming.

If you're not happy with your current sharpening results - Buy this book!

***** Five Stars *****

Complete and Easy to Follow, January 7, 2000
Reviewer: Clarke Green from Kennett Square, PA - World Mushroom Capitol
Sharpening is not, as it seems to the beginner, half black magic and half luck. Grasp a few simple principles and obtain the correct materials outlined in this book and with a very little practice one can ceate a sharp edge on all important hand tools.Lee's style is friendly (many anecdotes are interspersed throughout the book) and his well-illustrated directions are complete and easy to understand. There is some highly technical and involved information in the first two chapters, but you don't really have to slog through it to sharpen well.

A "must have" book for sharpening all your shops tools., February 26, 1997
Reviewer: A reader
Having read over a dozen books on this topic, this is the best book on how to sharpen every tool in your shop. Lee includes a good review of the different kinds of sharpening stones and alternate methods such as using sanding papers. There are many illustrations to help explain the text and special jigs you might need to perform a job. I am particularly interested in hand planes. The chapter on them includes information on blade angles and how to true and flatten the sole plate that is integral to getting good results after you sharpen the blaade. This is an example of how complete the information is in this book

Mandatory book for woodworkers, October 13, 1996
Reviewer: A reader
The definitive book on sharpening woodworking tools. This should be the first book woodworkers buy

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