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The Complete Guide to Sharpening Paperback – October 9, 1995
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About the Author
Leonard Lee is a contributor for Taunton Press titles including The Complete Guide to Sharpening.
Top Customer Reviews
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)
Lee starts right out with the definition of sharpness, the physics of cutting wood, metallurgy, abrasives and equipment. Then he gets down to tools and techniques. Everyone expects chapters on chisels, planes, and knives, but Lee goes on to tweezers, Phillips screwdrivers, claw hammer claws and several other things that you may have never thought were dull.
For all the density of information, Lee's delivery is clear and he makes good use of illustration. And there is a great deal of pleasure to be gained from owning a book that really does live up to its title. Whether beginning or expert sharpener, this is certainly the text to own
I also have the cd/dvd companion to the book. It is almost as complete, with a lot of hands on demonstration.
I have always been able to get a good edge on my chisel's and turning tools (except the mini's, old eyes ya know), but was never happy with the edge I would get on my planes. Now they cut those beautiful "curls" everytime. His book makes it simple and easy for me to achieve this.
Recommend this book to everyone, woodworker or not, who needs to be able to get that "edge" on their cutting tools. Can't give it a high enough rating.
The cd/dvd rates way up there also.
There is a lot of good information in this book for people who want to know all about sharpening and maintaining woodworking tools, particularly some lost-art tools like broad axes, shipwright adzes and two man buck saws. There is also lots of stuff on more obscure tools like Japanese planes and saws, scorps, inshaves, hand molding planes etc. So if you need to figure out the best wat to sharpen your scorp, this book is for you. For the collector, or just the curious about traditional woodworking tools, this book is a must-have.
However it is very light on modern shop tool sharpening and forget about stuff outside the realm of woodworking.
For example: The advice on sharpening a twist drill, a subject upon which an entire book could be written, the author suggests getting a jig or a commercial drill sharpener... but doesn't discuss at all how to use the various jigs, the merits of one vs. another, the differences in drill cutting geometry, or how to obtain various sorts of drill points. He devotes less than one column to the entire subject of twist drills while devoting a whole chapter to burnishing cabinet scrapers. This is a noteable omission as "old school" machinists all considered hand sharpening twist drills accurately for differing tasks to be a necessary basic skill. I would have thought that the author would have found the subject much more interesting.
The book pretty much deals with all the other other improtant cutting tools used in today's power-tool driven carbide-cutter shops the same way. i.e. Send them out to a pro sharpening shop to get best results.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book with plenty of useful information. Wxell written and very impartial.Published 3 days ago by CaptBomber
My husband loves this book. He is always telling me all he learns from it. It walks about different blades and their uses and hardness and how to sharpen them, etc. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Heywood
Book is good for wood workers & related tools. At least there is one chapter on sharpening regular knives....very informative.Published 2 months ago by rsyeracad
Thank you to Leonard Lee and his photographer for compiling book together. I had no idea how to sharpen tools correctly. Read morePublished 2 months ago by David F
A great didactic book on the art of sharpening well all kind of tool blades.
I have not read this entire book, as 10 to 15 minutes of reading anything puts me to sleep. Now then, that being said, I learned to sharpen knives and tools an early age, and in... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Allen G.
I can't imagine there being a better book about sharpening. Absolutely love this book. It also covers the proper tuning of tools, which is just as important as sharpness.Published 7 months ago by 0112358
A really good book that is easy to understand. Very good illustrations to go along with it. A must have for anyone who is remotely interested in edge tools of any kind.Published 7 months ago by Sdaddy68
Leonard Lee is obsessed with the minutae of sharpening, so this is an amazing primer for anyone that wants to know how sharpening works. Read morePublished 9 months ago by W. Harvey