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Course Dates

26th-27th Oct 2017




2 Days - 08:30-17:30

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Hand Tool Sharpening & Tool Care for Woodworkers and Furniture Makers

Learn the essential skills needed to select, set up and sharpen woodworking hand tools; you’ll learn the importance of sharpness and accuracy for quality furniture making hand tools

This course is suitable for …

Beginners √
Intermediate √
Advanced √

Course Overview

• Why choose this course?

This hand tool sharpening course at Peter Sefton Furniture School is designed by Peter to give you a thorough grounding in the essential skills needed to understand how furniture making hand tools work, as well as the importance of hand tool selection, sharpness, tool care and the setting up and maintaining of quality hand tools, to keep them working in tip-top condition.

The course is aimed at those with limited or no experience as well as woodworking enthusiasts who have been struggling at home with blunt tools and are frustrated by their inaccuracy. Students will learn how to strip, flatten and re-assemble hand planes and how to bring out the best in their existing hand tools (if they have them), both by commissioning (tuning) and sharpening them, and will be shown what sharp quality tools can achieve.

Peter’s practical tuition on the Tormek and Creusen bench grinder as well as demonstrations of common sharpening and honing products available, show students how to achieve razor sharp woodworking tools. Peter Sefton’s in-depth knowledge on selecting and using hand tools is supplemented with hand-outs and independent tool reviews and students get practical experience of all methods. Peter teaches the course himself; small groups ensure plenty of hands-on tuition for every student where you can try out a whole range of sharpening methods.

There’s no need to buy any tools to come on the course; we have a complete, individual quality tool kit for each student to use whilst on our short courses. Impartial advice is available to help with any problems students may have encountered in their own workshop, as well as on tool selection and buying. Students are able to try out, test and buy woodworking tools and equipment from Peter’s tool shop with a 5% discount – try before you buy …

• What will I achieve?

You will gain the knowledge, experience and technical ability to sharpen by hand or using a honing guide. You will be able to produce flat and cambered plane blades, sharpen bevel edge and mortice chisels, select and care for hand saws and fine tune marking tools to work accurately. You’ll produce fine shavings from curved and flat cabinet scrapers in readiness for woodworking and furniture making tasks as well as sharpen your tools to a level you’ve never achieved before.

Course Content

• Induction and Welcome to the School
• Health and Safety in the Workshop
o Storage and safe use of hand tools
• Hand Tool Selection
o Selecting, buying and looking after hand tools
o Which tool steel and why; O1, A2, D2, PMV11 and Chrome Manganese
o Why are some chisels cheaper than others? Why are they different shapes?
o Which planes to choose; traditional or low angle? Block plane or Jack plane?
o What is the difference between a rip hand saw and a cross cut dovetail saw?
o Rust prevention and cure
o Commissioning (tuning) new and old hand tools to perfection
• Hand Tool Care and Sharpening
o Selecting, testing and using marking out and measuring tools for accuracy
o Grinding and honing with dry and wet methods to razor sharpness
o Flattening bench planes to within a tolerance of 0.038mm or 0.0015″
o Stones to include Oil, Diamond, Japanese, manufactured and natural stones including Leather Stropping and Scary Sharpening
o Sharpening tools to include planes, chisels, scrapers and scratch stock and caring for your saw
• Hand Skills and Sharpening Techniques
o Sharpening by hand and using different honing guides
o Accurate marking and measuring to furniture making standards and tolerances
o Plane preparation to produce 0.01 mm shavings
o Sharpening chisel edges to cut and sever fibres, not crunch and break them
o Saws that will cut to follow the line efficiently and with a clean finish
o Marking out tools that will go where you want them to – not just follow the grain
o Tools to test for squareness and flat and twist, whilst checking measurements and accuracy
o Selecting tools for cutting and shaping curved components
o Tools for scraping and dealing with interlocked timbers

• No Tools Required
You do not have to bring any tools with you, as we have a complete, individual quality tool kit for each student to use whilst on our short courses. However, if you do already have them, you will gain much more out of the course if you can improve and take home your own tools, particularly a bench plane.

Where to Stay
Please see the Find Us page of our website and then click on Accommodation

• Booking Info
Duration and Facilities: The course runs over two weekdays, 08:30 to 17:30 with 1 hour for lunch. Students will need to provide their own lunch each day; tea and coffee are provided by the School. It is only a 3 minute drive to the town centre, where you will be able to buy lunch from the bakery or supermarkets on the High Street – there’s also a great fish and chip shop …

How do I apply for any of your Courses? First, please contact us to confirm there is space on the course either by phoning 01684 591014 or emailing Then complete the Course Booking Form and forward it with your 50% deposit to the School. We accept payment by Internet Bank Transfer, Debit and Credit cards.

The balance will be due 6 weeks prior to the start of the course and if booking less than 6 weeks in advance, the total course fee will be due. Don’t forget you will receive a 5% discount code for use at Peter’s tool shop whilst on your course. The School regrets that we are unable to accept applications from anyone under the age of 18 at the start of their course.