Shop-made Sharpening Fixture
It can be difficult to maintain the same angle as you rock a gouge or V-tool along its sweep. I designed this fixture to help maintain the proper angle while sharpening tools of any size.
Start by making the body of the fixture. The %”-thick plywood base is 2" longer than your sharpening strop or stone. The %”-thick plywood sides are 2" longer than your stone and 2" higher than the thickness of your stone. I round the corners of the sides, but that is optional. Use the drawing below as a guide to drill a series of ^”-diameter holes on each end of the sides. Glue and clamp the sides to the base, making sure the holes are aligned on the left and right sides of each end. Cut a ^”-diameter dowel 14" longer than the total width of the fixture.
To use the fixture, place the sharpening stone inside the fixture and hold your tool bevel tightly against the stone. Choose the hole that will position the dowel next to the tool’s ferrule. Slide the dowel in place and hold the ferrule against the dowel as you rock your gouge back and forth. To sharpen a V-tool, use the same method to determine which holes to use. Hold the V-tool’s ferrule against the dowel and slide the tool back and forth to sharpen one side of the V. Flip the V-tool over and repeat on the opposite side of the V. Then hold the ferrule against the dowel and rock the point of the V-tool lightly across the stone to remove the hook at the intersection of the bevels.
Reusing and Recycling
Use the plastic bags newspapers are delivered in as gloves when finishing your carvings. You may need to cut the bags to fit them over your forearms.
Turn wooden handles from foam paintbrushes into painting sticks. Remove the foam and plastic insert and use epoxy to attach a screw with the head removed to the handle. For smaller carvings, epoxy a small screw eye into the slit in the handle. Drill a variety of and ^”-diameter holes in a board to support the paint sticks.