How to Make Your Own Sharpening Stone Station

The easier it is to sharpen your tools, the more you'll actually do it.

This simple setup uses a scrap piece of plywood with a small retaining rim, made out of 1/2 x 1/2–inch softwood, for each stone. I started with an 18 x 24–inch square of ¾-inch plywood. That gave me plenty of room to position my water stones, each of which measures 2 3/8 x 7 3/8–inch.

In terms of size of the station and position of the stones, you can easily adapt this design to your particular sharpening stones and needs. In my case, I sharpen chisels and plane irons. This meant that the stones could be positioned equally on the plywood base, at the same height. It’s counterintuitive to think of positioning sharpening stones at different heights, but that setup is advantageous if you’re going to be sharpening carving tools or cutlery with large handles, like lathe-turning tools, that require clearance.

To make my station, I cut the wood strips ahead of time: six long strips for the long axis of the stones and six short strips for the short axis. I placed each stone on the plywood base, butted a strip up to it, then fastened the strip with wire brads. When I use my station, I clamp its base to the bench, pull my stones out of their water bucket, set each in place, and I’m sharpening in minutes.


This appears in the September 2018 issue.

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