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In-person course

Sharpening & tuning hand tools


About the Course

This course is aimed at the woodworker who may have some experience but who wishes to learn how to tune or ‘fettle’ a basic woodworking tool-kit and how to sharpen blades to ‘razor sharp’ using a combination of grinder and bench stones. If you have never experienced the joy of working to very fine tolerances, using a plane that is well set up, with a razor sharp blade, this course will be a revelation!

The main purpose of this course is to emerge with a set of tuned/sharp tools that will allow you to make furniture to a very high standard.

Students are expected to bring along whatever woodworking tools they may have for evaluation and discussion. Advice will be given on buying new or used tools before or during the course, and various tools and sharpening systems will be available to try and buy.

What you will learn:

• Flattening and fine tuning the castings and various components that make up any plane
• Setting up a cutting gauge and if necessary upgrading the blade

• Grinding bevels using bench grinder and whetstone grinder
• Grinding / honing angles
• Flattening bench stones
• Honing techniques with bench stones – freehand and using honing guides
• Making and using a strop
• Techniques for sharpening shaped blades e.g. carving chisels, moulding planes
• Sharpening a cabinet scraper

The tools covered on this course will include the following:

Bench plane – The No.05 or No.05½ ‘Jack Plane’ is probably the most useful. This plane will be your main workhorse, which despite its size, when tuned will be able to undertake remarkably fine work.

Block plane – Useful for end grain and very delicate work.

Shoulder Plane – Designed, not surprisingly, for trimming shoulders, but also very useful for trimming rebates and cutting mouldings by hand.

Chisels – European or Japanese, depending on your personal preference.

Cutting Gauge - Used primarily for marking out joints, such as dovetails, and also used in hand veneering.

Cabinet Scraper – When sharpened properly, this simple tool can take the finest shavings from the wildest woods and veneers.

If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

Teaching hours are from 8.30 am - 6pm with a break for lunch. The workshops are open from 8am until 7pm for unsupervised practice. Tea, coffee and cakes will be provided but students are requested to bring their own packed lunch.


John Lloyd at John Lloyd Fine Furniture
Bankside Farm
Ditchling Common
Burgess Hill
East Sussex
RH15 0SJ
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Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Parking provided
  • Suitable for beginners

Available as a gift

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2 days (9:00am to 6:00pm)

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In-person course
- - #16258

Superb course, many thanks for expert tuition. Already being put into good use- I went mad at local auction on Tuesday and have restored several items with much sharper tools….

In-person course
- - #5653

A relaxed atmosphere, easy access to very skilled tutor, facilities, pace that allowed coverage of info plus plenty of time to put it unto practice.

In-person course
- - #5652

At first as thought the pace was slow. But, I soon realised that the combination of John's style and pace were just right. I enjoyed the entire two days learning. Very useful.

In-person course
- - #5651

I really liked the environment, the expertise you have in the subject, getting a much better understanding about the tools.

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