It's healthy to take time off during the dark months of the year. Time to reflect, and recover. I've dug into my journals and been reading back into my mindset from ten and more years back! Wow. I am getting reacquainted with myself.
Yesterday I drove to Philadelphia to take a sharpening class at the Philadelphia Furniture Workshop. I learned how to sharpen my chisels, plane irons, and my new cabinet scraper (a tool I'd never heard of until this fall).
I don't have a grinding wheel at home so it was good to get familiar with one. I learned that the grinding stone can get clogged with metal debris and needs to be "dressed" with another tool that freshens the surface of the stone.
I learned how to hollow grind, even though my timber framing friends say not to do it (they grind their chisels flat). But then again, they're often working on oak and really hard antique timbers. If I'm working on green wood, and especially softer woods like pine and poplar, like I have been, I may be ok with hollow grinding my chisels.
I watched how carving tools are sharpened, and decided that carving a spoon would be fun!
Two of my chisels are very low quality (they were hand me downs). Of course my timber framing chisel is the best I could find. It and all my planes are now sharp. Between other obligations, I'll spend time this week working on my table.
Then I can get to making the toy box/bench that friends want me to make for their daughter.
Happy New Year, friends!