Freehand Sharpening Workshop

by Mathieu

Yesterday I gave a workshop in freehand sharpening for woodworking tools. It was an event that I had planned for quite some time and put considerable effort into preparing it. In the past I have given many other workshops but those where never related to woodworking and had a very clear outline and accompanied established courses. With some experience I was convinced that I could get away focusing my prep work on the written essay that companioned the workshop. I should have paid more attention to the presentation since I had a hard time to get started and lost track of what I was explaining a couple of times. After a slow start things started to get rolling and all was good.

I sincerely hope the participants where able to understand the basics of freehand sharpening and where gained some understanding in the essence of it’s mechanics. Besides that it was my goal to share me passion for the subject and lower the threshold to work freehand while sharpening. I am still not sure to what extend I succeeded in my goals and was only able to tell about half as much as I wanted. It would have helped if I had worked out a fixed timeframe for the different subjects but I was too careless to give that enough attention. In the end I hope it was a success, it is too early to draw any conclusions. Only if most of the participants will actually start too sharpen freehand I can evaluate it’s effect. We will see…

It was a good learning experience for me as well and I am sure I will approach the organization of a workshop slightly different in the future. The subject of sharpening is so broad that seven hours is just too little too cover all the subtleties that come with it. At the end of the day I was happy to see some good results with most participants which are on their way too become confident free hand sharpeners.

There still remains a lot of work to do on the essay and I hope to finish that by the end of april to make it available to a broader public. I will keep you posted on it’s progress…