Sharpening with Rob Cosman…

So yesterday I was able to take a class/seminar/sales pitch from Rob Cosman at my local Woodcraft store (other wise known as the place where Badger can spend money very easily).  The class was interesting, but I have some minor complaints about.  Don’t get me wrong I did learn a lot, and it was interesting, I just kind of expected a little more from it.

We did cover quite a bit, but unfortunately the emphasis was on the expensive, high quality systems that are out of reach for the average wood worker (like most of us in the class).  So I learned some really good things about sharpening from Rob, but I also learned a few thing in spite of Rob if that makes any sense.

For now I am going to continue trying the “Scary Sharp” system that I’ve gotten improved results out of already, with my meager setup.  But I did learn a lot about bevels and micro bevels that I want to put into practice.  I’m also sold on the idea of doing it by hand, with no jigs, that much I agree with him.  “Teach a man to fish” and all that.

There was a really nice older gentleman there in the class that I thought was very cool.  He’s a few months from retiring, and he’s going to get into making surf boards and move to the coast and surf and make surf boards.  How cool is that, he was really interesting and I hope when I hit retirement age I can be that cool. 🙂

The best part of the class though, was afterward, when I asked for a couple quick tips on dovetails.  He sort of grudgingly gave me a few pointers, and they were really helpful!  He does have is own line of saw, and that makes a difference.  “70/20/10” as he called it, 70% Tools, 20% Skill and 10% Practice which makes sense if your livelihood is to sell tools.   Heh.  I don’t begrudge him that though, and his dovetail saw is fantastic and worthy of a fair amount of tool lust.  However, they were very modern with plastic/resin type handles and progressive pitch.  Comfortable and effective, but for my tastes, too “new”.  I’m not sure why, but I am more attracted to “old” tools and methods.   I’m willing to work a little harder with the older tools I guess.  But the tips gave me made a lot sense, and I’m going to try them out this weekend along with some sharpening.

I did spend a little money though, and got a cheap Crown Tools “Gent’s Saw”, a quart of Tried and True brand boiled linseed oil recommended by Dan over at his blog, and $2 stick of some kind of Rosewood out of the bulk wood scrap bin out front.  I’m curious to try the Oil finish on my pegged box I made during the holidays.

I hope to get into the shop this weekend to try out the new toys, and to begin planning out my other purchase which arrived last night in the mail.

Not the bow/frame saw itself, but the blades.  I got the two thick 24″ blades pictured, not the turning blade, and I’m intending to build at least one frame for the cross cut, and maybe a rip style frame for the other one.  I have some oak lath that I’m going to use for this that I fished out of a bin a while ago.  This will be my first mortise and tenon joint (for the cross bar) so that should be a fun learning experience.

— Badger

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