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The Perfect Edge: The Ultimate Guide To Sharpening For Woodworkers

Sharp tools work better!If you've never experienced the pleasure of using a really sharp tool, you're missing one of the real pleasures of woodworking. In The Perfect Edge, the mystery of the elusive sharp edge is solved by the long-time sharpening expert and tool maker Ron Hock. You'll soon find how easy and safe hand tools are to use.This book covers all the different sharpening methods so you can either improve your sharpening techniques using your existing set-up, or determine which one will best suit your needs and budget. Ron shows you the tricks and offers expert advice to sharpen all your woodworking tools, plus a few around-the-house tools that also deserve a perfect edge.

Paperback: 224 pages

Publisher: Popular Woodworking Books; Reprint edition (November 7, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1440329958

ISBN-13: 978-1440329951

Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.6 x 10.9 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #373,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #615 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > Woodworking > Projects #3539 in Books > Arts & Photography > Graphic Design #11610 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Crafts & Hobbies

All woodworkers know Ron Hock. He makes and sells superb blades for planes and knives. If you do not yet know him, this book is an introduction and a good way to benefit from his experience.He starts by explaining what tool-steel is: a combination of iron and a small percentage of carbon. Then he explains the different properties of steel alloys. He describes how steel is made, forged, heat-treated and quenched. He explains how all of those operations affect the steel that tools are made from. Without too much boring background, you can quickly learn what took me decades to learn: how different steels affect tool performance.Some readers may find this too academic, but I assure you of two things: 1- this is the most "user friendly" introduction to applied metallurgy I have ever seen, and 2-you cannot possibly understand sharpening without knowing at least a little about steel.If you just love tools and are considering which tools to buy, then metallurgy is fundamental to spending wisely. For that reason alone, I can recommend this book because Ron's knowledge can save you THOUSANDS! (no exaggeration)Woodworkers are bombarded with ads for a bewildering array of gadgets, machines, abrasives and "sharpening systems." Which one is the right investment? Ron explains them ALL and divides them into categories anyone can understand. You will have to "read between the lines" a bit though. The publishers are wary of offending their advertisers. So Ron must temper his critiques with practical compromises. He can't come outright and say, "this is the best way to sharpen planes" or "This system sucks." He must offer alternatives and show pictures of all manufacturer's products. The reader is left to use Ron's impartial facts and make his own decisions.

I'm a woodworker who wants to understand more than just the nuts and bolts of how to do things. I like to understand how metal, wood, water, finishes and adhesives behave, at the cellular level, as a way to understand why they do what they do at the macro level. And I love this book! I don't know how I overlooked it earlier. I've had to search everywhere to find useful, accurate information about tool steel edges.Nearly everything I've found on the internet is either somebody's amateur, second-hand opinion ("Yeah, Rockwell 65 will keep an edge longer, but gimme a good high carbon Sheffield O2 over them brittle Japanese chisels any day") or it's very technical, comparative information designed for manufacturers or metallurgists. Blacksmithing and knife-making websites sometimes have good information, but they usually don't understand the issues woodworkers face. I learned a lot from the Lee and Lie-Nielsen books too (the Lee book and DVD are excellent how-to guides) but this new book by Hock explains things at a level of detail that I really enjoy.Reading this book will not, by itself, make your tools sharper, but if you're a serious woodworker I'll bet reading it will leave you with a finer appreciation for how your tools work, and for what constitutes an effective cutting edge. The next time you get tear-out from your smoothing plane, you'll understand why and how to correct it. (Even experienced woodworkers often reason, incorrectly, that a LOWER angle of attack is the answer to tear-out.)The next time you chop a mortise, you'll want to do it more precisely. When you get used to thinking about your craft in a precise way, the quality of your craftsmanship will naturally improve.

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