Sunday, June 19, 2011

Modular Sharpening Station

 YEAH!!! SPRING IS FINALLY HERE!!!  
Spring brings mixed emotions.  We had a very long winter and what has seemed to be a quite wet and extended spring has turned our very beige environment into a very green one.  Sylvia's Garden that we planted last year with a bunch of trees and a perennial wildflower mix is vibrant!  More than anything SUMMER IS ALMOST HERE!!  Our summers here are great.  The days are hot and the evenings are perfect for hanging out on the patio and taking evening swims.  The flip side of that is I don't get into the shop nearly as much as I'd like, due to spring wake up and weekly maintenance chores.


Here and there, I've managed to get into the shop and my latest project has been to install my deep sink and small hot water tank.  
This, of course, facilitated a great place to have a sharpening station.
To design this station, I took a few things into consideration.  First, I wanted it to be modular to enable full access to the water tank for maintenance flushing and the sewer clean-out in case I ever need access to that.  Second, I wanted this station to house all my sharpening arsenal, except the variable speed grinder, which will mount around the corner.  Finally, I wanted a no mess solution to my water stone sharpening regimen.


The first thing I did was build the base, 
then the cabinet to house my sharpening tools and supplies.  The drawers come later.
Next up was the sharpening basin.  A buddy had an off-cut piece of Corian he let me have.  I was originally going to use it for the top of my upcoming router table, but I really liked the idea of using it here as it is impervious to water.  The first thing I did was create a sub-base that I could more easily create the actual basin in.  This was made 1/2" plywood for the bottom and 3/4" for the sides.  For proper drainage I needed to create slope.  To do this I split the bottom of the basin.  So, I cut the plywood bottom and then created a deep kerf to allow it to bend.  I also added a small strip of 1/8" plywood on the left and front side, then added the 3/4" sides.  Now, I was ready to start cutting the Corian basin.  The first piece to fit was the thin strip shown here.
Next I cut and fit the remaining pieces and glued them up.  I used epoxy for a watertight seal and torqued the basin as much as I could without breaking it to allow the slope I wanted.

After the glue up I tested it for leaks and proper drainage.  

I also cut an other piece of Corian to be the dam for the basin.  That didn't quite work, as you can see in this shot.  It was a slow leak, but I'm kinda OCD and it wasn't good enough. 


Next up, stone holders.  For cutting these little pieces I pulled out my crosscut sled.  It was the only solution I could think of that I felt was a safe option for cutting these.

Then over to the basin to position and mark everything out for glue up. 


I used a file to round over the edges of the blocks, so they were less prone to chip in use.

I used pure silicone sealant to adhere the blocks into place.  I preferred this over epoxy to allow me to remove them in the future if I get new water stones and they don't quite fit.


When I test the basin earlier for leaks and drainage, I noticed surface tension was making the water curl back around the end of the drain and get the wood wet.  The solution to this was gluing on a little off-cut piece I still had. 


 Before I said the dam I'd made of Corian wasn't quite cutting it.  I scoured the shop and found an old foam rubber sanding block I never use and this worked perfectly.



 Here is the final product and everything in it's place!











I know it's not pretty.  It is, however, functional and it's just shop furniture.  I think the only two nice pieces I will ever build for the shop are going to be my hand tool bench and my hand tool cabinet.  Those two objects deserve a little more love and attention.  The rest only needs to be utilitarian.


Thanks for stopping by.  I hope this has been helpful.

21 comments:

Bobby Hagstrom said...

Nice to finally see the "how to" on your station. Is that glass in the drawer for sandpaper sharpening? The reason I don't currently use waterstones is because of the mess, and this looks like a good solution.

Jamie Bacon said...

Wow! That's a really well done sharpening station! Looks great and it looks like it'll function as well as it looks. Almost makes me wanna trade in my oil stones for water stones. :)

Julio Alonso said...

WOW Vic that station is really wonderful and useful I am jelous and I have to say I am taking notes because I would like to make one very the same. It is a great idea, essential !!

flairwoodworks said...

Vic,

That's a work of art! All that's missing is a water wheel beneath the drain.

Chris

The Village Carpenter said...

Holy mackerel, Vic! Great job on the sharpening station. It's a beauty. :o)

Tom Buhl said...

Raising the bar, one mile at a time. Fun to see the process and hear of the thought process behind it. Happy summer!

Matthew Wall said...

Lovely work there!Maybe I should swap to water stones soon...

Vic Hubbard said...

Bobby, the glass is for tuning up older planes, but today Kari Hultman mentioned she used fine grit sheetrock sanding screen on glass to flatten her stone. I may try that while I wait for my DMT Duo Sharp to arrive.

Jamie, Julio, Chris, Kari, Tom and Matthew, thanks.

TheWoodWhisperer said...

Vic, absolutely awesome! Now when are you stopping by to build one for me? We'll have to install a sink first though. :)

Vic Hubbard said...

Careful what you wish for, Marc. Allegiant has a cheap flight direct to PHX. Lucky for you I'm not a fan of the big winged buses.

Eric said...

That looks awesome Vic. I am going to build a sharpening station soon. I really like the material used.

Vic Hubbard said...

Are you finally back home, Eric? See if you can find a local cabinet shop. I would think you could pick up a scrap of Corian for very little. My buddy who gave me this got it for free from a friend who had it as an off cut.

Kip said...

Vic I'd say you raised the bar more than a mile makes me want to mke something that keeps everything so clean. As always nice wotk Vic

naomi said...

You said it wasn't pretty, but functional. I disagree: it's both and it's absolutely brilliant! Congratulations!

Vic Hubbard said...

Thank you Kip. Naomi, I'm glad you think it's pretty, but it was built for pure functionality. I still plan on a little trim and a few coats of shellac.

Al said...

VERY, very nice, Vic! Now I must rethink my own sharpening arrangement.

Al

Vic Hubbard said...

THANKS, Al!! You're always such a great support. I really appreciate it. Makes me want to keep doing better.

Daniel said...

i like that.
good job.

Jon McGrath said...

Very nice Vic. Having this will inherently help you produce better work as we are all guilty of pushing through sometimes when we should stop dig everything out and touch up tools for both finer detail and Safety. Great solution, and I think your OCD influences you just fine, quite evident in the work you produce.

Alviti said...

That is a great sharpening system. I'm impressed.

Vic Hubbard said...

Thank you Daniel, Jon and Alviti!! I've really enjoyed using it. I'm finding it is everything I'd hoped the design would be; clean and convenient to use.