Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The cutest little impaled robot pencil sharpener

For the record, I am pro-robot. As such, I am not sure how I feel about the fact that to use this pencil sharpener you need to drive the pencil straight into the chest of this cute little robot. I guess it's OK because the act of turning the pencil winds the robot up so that it can then walk a little. I suppose it's more like 'adding fuel' than 'impaling'. I can live with that, though, it still doesn't seem quite right.

Here's a link to the walking robot pencil sharpener.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Smith's PP1 "Pocket Pal" Multi-Function Sharpener

mith's PP1 Pocket Pal Multi-Function Sharpener
I haven't done a mini tool review in a while. Well, I've found something that truly deserves mention. I was lucky enough to receive the Smith's PP1 "Pocket Pal" Multi-Function Sharpener as a holiday gift. I have sharpened my share of knives, carving tools, and chisels. I've also purchased a lot of tools to do that sharpening. So, I admit, I was a little skeptical about this pocket-sized sharpening tool. My trusty Swiss Army Knife doesn't get the same attention that my woodworking tools get, so I decided to try the Smith tool on it. I ran the dull blade through the carbide slot a few times, then the ceramic slot a few times. The difference was incredible! I have yet to use the tapered diamond part of the tool, but I don't sharpen too many serrated blades. It can, of course, be used on non-serrated blades too, as well as on small gouges, scorps, and even fishing hooks. This tool is well worth the price in my book.

Here is a link to Smith's PP1 Pocket Pal Sharpener on Amazon.

[ Thanks Kev! ]

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Friday, August 14, 2009

8" slow-speed grinder on sale to end of August

8 inch Slow-Speed Grinder on sale
Woodcraft is offering this 8-inch slow speed grinder on sale from now until the end of August, 2009. Regularly priced at $110, it is now on sale for $95. The grinder comes equipped with 120 grit and 60 grit white aluminum oxide grinding wheels.

From the grinder description:
This quiet, smooth 1/2 HP, 1725 RPM slow-speed grinder is great for sharpening tools without generating the tool destroying heat that you get so quickly from 3450 RPM grinders.

Here's the link for more info 8 inch slow speed grinder.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

FLEXCUT Starter Kit: 17 Carving Tools & Wood Box

FLEXCUT Starter Kit imageHere's a post for the automata-makers and aspiring makers. Flexcut offers a set of carving tools in a starter kit. If you don't already own carving tools, this could be a great first set.

The kit comes with the most important carving tool of all -- the standard carving knife with a ergonomically designed handle. We're off to a good start.

In addition, the kit offers interchangeable carving tool tips of every conceivable shape that fit into a handle. This could be a bit a hassle if you need to switch blade types frequently. Flexcut wisely decided to give you TWO handles in this set. This is a simple and wise solution in my view. With the standard knife and two blades mounted in the palm handles, blade changing should be minimal.
Flexcut carving tool box setThe kit also comes with Flexcut's unique SlipStrop. A strop is a surface (often leather or leather-like) on to which you put a fine abrasive compound (also included). You run the tool over the strop to give it a fine, polished edge. What makes the SlipStrop so useful, is that it has a series of ridges shaped just like common carving tools. There are other ways to hone a carving tool, but this is very convenient. I have used one for years.

Finally, keeping track of all those interchangeable blades could be a burden, but the kit is packed in a nice wood box, which should protect your set and keep it organized.

Get a full list of the tools included in the FLEXCUT Starter Kit.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Work Sharp - PowerTool Sharpening System

I am always looking for the next new type of sharpening tool. Let me introduce you to the Work Sharp 3000.

The Work Sharp employs a spinning glass wheel on to which you have adhered an abrasive sheet. The "see-through" wheel allows you to look down to see what you are sharpening.

The sharpening port enables sharpening of 20, 25, 30, and 35 degree angle chisels and plane irons up to 2" wide without he use of a jig.

The unit is cooled with forced air and a heat sink allowing you to removal metal without affecting the steel's temper. This means you won't ruin your tools.

The Work Sharp 3000 comes with a 2 year manufacturer's warranty, 2 tempered float glass wheels, a see-through slotted wheel, top tool rest, a crepe stick, and PSA abrasive kit.

Head over to to check out the Work Sharp 3000

I see that Amazon also carries the Work Sharp 3000.

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Friday, August 31, 2007

Spyderco Sharpening Ceramic Stones

As some of you know, I am a advocate for sharp woodworking tools. Traditionally, fine woodworkers have used water stones. Other options include oil stones, abrasive papers, and more recently, diamond impregnated plates.

Water stones are messy (as they must be stored in water, used wet, and occasionally flattened). Likewise, oil stones require honing oil which can be a bother. Abrasive papers wear out (meaning there is a large hidden cost). Diamond stones are convenient because they only require a bit of water as lubricant and don't need flattening. They are, however, somewhat expensive.

Spyderco is now offering ceramic sharpening stones. These new ceramic stones seem to have everything going for them: no oil, no water, no wet storage, no flattening, no replacing paper. They require only the occasional cleaning with an abrasive kitchen cleaner (Comet, or the like). They are fairly affordable to boot!

Note that Spyderco has the traditional flat stones (right) for sharpening chisels, planes, jointer blades, and knives. In addition, they are have a set of specially shaped stones (left) for sharpening odd shaped carving tools.

Check out the new Spyderco Ceramic Sharpening Stones.

Here's a video on the product courtesy of Woodcraft Woodworking Supply.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Diamond Sharpening System for $50!

Diamond Tri-Hone Sharpening System
Diamond Tri-Hone Sharpening SystemThis is a great product at full price ($70), but a GREAT deal at Rockler's current sale price of $50.

Diamond stones are effective, easy to care for, and last a long time. I've used a Smith Tri-Hone for years (pre-diamond version) and have always found the system to be convenient.

This 3-stone sharpening system features coarse and fine diamond stones and natural Arkansas stone for final finishing. You just flip the center element around to put the grit of your choice facing up.

Notice also, that the diamond face includes a micro-tool sharpening pad for small tools (such as carving tools). The set comes with a helpful little a helpful little angle guide and sharpening instructions.

Check out the Diamond Tri-Hone Sharpening System

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