I’ve been using my new sharpening station for about a month now. It’s an enormous improvement over my previous process. I hesitate to call the sharpening station “done,” however, because I suspect that it will evolve quite a bit over time.
The left-hand side of the station holds my grinder and sharpening stones. I have two waterstones: a 1000/4000 combination stone and an 8000 polishing stone. I keep both soaking in water in their own dedicated plastic containers so they can be ready for use at a moments notice. My flattening stone lives right next to the waterstones. The two blue trays in the front are where I do my honing. They do a good job at containing the bulk of the mess, and they have grippy rubber feet which keeps them from sliding around on the laminate surface. Unfortunately, I don’t have a sink in my basement, so I just keep a one gallon jug of water nearby.
The center section is dedicated to storage. The deep tool tray holds my honing jigs, oil, a spray bottle, and a few rags. The shallow tray is for smaller items such as my angle gauges, a ruler, etc. I also drilled a hole in the shallow tray to hold my burnisher. I’d still like to get a few dedicated screwdrivers for disassembling my hand planes. I’m shopping around for those; I left some space to drill a few additional holes in the shallow tray to hold them.
The right-hand side of the station is reserved for metal working. Anything that could produce metal shavings or dust is done here; I don’t want small pieces of metal sprinkled on my primary workbench where they could damage my tools or a workpiece. I mounted a machinist’s vise to the table, which has already proven it’s worth several times.
Some of you probably think that dedicating this much real estate to sharpening is a luxury or even a waste of space. I disagree. Having a convenient and efficient sharpening system improved my woodworking. In fact, I can’t think of any other use for this cabinet that could rival the positive impact of a sharpening station. If you don’t already have a dedicated sharpening station, I highly recommend carving out some space.