Sharpening & tuning hand tools in East Sussex



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.

Refunds are not available on this booking. Start dates may be amended on request.

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

Message the tutor More from this maker All reviews


Bankside Farm
Ditchling Common
Burgess Hill
East Sussex
RH15 0SJ

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Parking provided
  • Suitable for beginners


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

Platinum Badge
What does this mean?

This craft course provider has been awarded Platinum status for receiving 50 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.

The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.

They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.

Browse similar courses, kits, live classes and online workshops in:


Bob Latham - - #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….

Niels Archer - - #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.

Iain Bell - - #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.

Anton Leach - - #5651

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

Leave a review

Will be published next to your review
Will not be published

Contact information will not be shared or used for marketing unless you opt to receive our monthly newsletter about UK creative courses. You will be notified by email within two weeks if the course provider responds to your review.

Have you done this course?