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)