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Tool Sharpening Information

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Whilst I mostly make wood blocks, this page also includes information about sharpening, when I do it.

How it Works

You post tools to me, I sharpen them, and post them back to you. I do this mainly on printmaking tools.

How sharp will they be?

I have many years sharpening various tools working many types of wood and, so long as the metal & tool profile allows it, can sharpen to a razor sharp edge (but see comments below). I will check a sample of tools on appropriate material when sharpening, and ensure no burrs exist.

Some tools are hard to sharpen
Please note that it is hard to reprofile some tools back to their factory profile. For example some carving tools have complex profiles (e.g. straight sides & U at base) that need equal sharpening on all edges, at the right angle. Without a CNC machine this is quite a challenge to perform perfectly, especially if they are small - in these cases don't expect a factory reset.

Which tools can be sharpened?

Any decent reusable tool will allow this - e.g. standard wood engraving tools, Pfeil woodcut/lino / gouges etc. and other many makes. Tools that can't be sharpened tend to be cheap and/or replaceable blades.

If at all unsure, please ask before sending - it usually easier to email me a clear photo of the item in the first instance.

Safety Information

For most printmaking techniques, if used correctly a sharp tool will create a better line, and be safer (but never put yourself in danger).

However, there are things to bear in mind. A sharp tool needs a different technique than a blunt one, so it is vital you test carefully your skills on scrap material once they have been sharpened - particular if they hadn't be sharpened for sometime. This is especially true for your safety - sharp tools can cause you and others serious injury so use them very carefully, never expose yourself or others to danger whilst working - tools can still slip, and store / move them around carefully. A light scratch with a sharp tool can result in a nasty cut (believe me, I've done it).

I can't make a sharp tool safe for you to use - this comes through your competent storage & use, and cautiously testing them when sharpened.

How to proceed

Currently, to do this, please contact me. I don't have a shop as my working hours are limited (Coronavirus), and I offer a bespoke service. I can also let you know about timescales; if you have a particular timescale need let me know when you contact me.

Keeping you informed

If you buy a service (e.g. tool sharpening) from me, I will keep you informed by email of it's progress. For example, with tool sharpening, I will email you when I have received your tools, with an approx. indication of when I intend to sharpen them. I will also email you when I am working on them & when I post them back to you.

When the item is posted back to you, I will email you the tracking reference & website to track on.


See also Purchasing | Postage Charges | Tool Sharpening Information | Coronavirus Information

Copyright & Disclaimer All information & photos are subject to copyright and disclaimer, outlined at bottom of page.

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