If you are like most woodworkers, or at least like me your plane blades and chisels are probably not in the best shape, probably not that sharp and as a consequence, not used as much as they should be because they are dull and hard to use.
Right out of the box I liked the size. I don't have a big shop so smaller tools are more welcome. I decided I better read the manual as this might give some sort of an idea what I will be in for. The manual itself was short and concise and gave me good instruction on how the media (grinding or sanding disks) are applied to the wheels so as to avoid getting grit between the back of the disks and the wheel.
Unfortunately for our readers, I selected my worst chisel to try out the Work Sharp 2000 on, and never gave any thought to taking a "before" picture. I just wanted to try something out to get the feel of how it works. I couldn't believe how quickly my chisel was transformed from a beat up old scraper back to a precision wood chisel.
The instruction manual says if your chisels are in really bad shape to start off with the 80 grit sanding disks, which is what I did. If you have a number of blades that need work, I recommend picking up some extra 80 grid disks. This will make your chore of getting these blades back into shape much quicker.
One trick I learned to see how much you are taking off with each grind is to mark the edge with a felt pen. This is a great way to measure your progress and to make sure the entire surface is getting ground and sharpened.
Here is the plane blade from much much cherished wooden plane getting sharpened.
Thats the kind of results I like to see !!! Unfortunately Internet posted pictures do not show the true sharpness that this Work Sharp WS2000 can deliver. I then tried some of my smaller plane blades and in no time they were back in excellent shape. The Work Sharp uses a sharpening port at the front of the tool as a guide to slide the blades upward to touch them against rotating underside of the wheel. I found these were good for touching up my cold chisels and punch chisels.
I like the idea that I was working well over top of the work being sharpened. Quite an innovative idea that also helps to control flying debris. The tool only has one fifth horsepower motor, which I discovered is actually good. The purpose of the slotted wheels and slotted grinding media is because when you are sharpening from below you can actually see through the spinning slots and watch the metal being ground down ... a very cool concept.
Most of us have the old "shop standard" the half, three quarter or even one horsepower grinder and are used to grinding the living daylights out of everything because there is lots of horsepower there. These big grinders are OK for some jobs but for fine work they can very easily take off too much material, at the wrong angle, not to mention heating the tips up too quickly and changing the composition of blade metal.
When using the Work Sharp 2000 tool it is suggested to "plunge" the chisel against the grinding disk a for only a half second at a time. This is sufficient to grind material off but not enough to get the blades heated up and change the tempering. A very important consideration and it works amazingly well thanks in part to the technology of the composite grinding disks.
After using the Work Sharp 2000 for a while, I found myself looking for more things I could sharpen. I just couldn't believe it was so simple and so effective to sharpen tools. If you are one of the fortunate few who know how to sharpen chisels and blades and maybe you even have Tormek grinding system then you are in good shape. If on the other hand you simply want sharp tools again and don't have the time, energy or need to understand all there is to know about sharpening ... then the Work Sharp 2000 is for you. If you want to take a little step higher and get an even better Work Sharp 2000 tool with even more features we highly recommend the Work Sharp 3000. It is still very reasonably priced but even more versatile.
Copyright Colin Knecht