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An Ax to Grind: A Practical Ax Manual, 9923-2823-MTDC, Getting the Hang of It (continued)

Sharpening "Putting your nose to the grindstone" implies tedious, repetitious, and unending work. You will find that sharpening a dull or abused ax is indeed tedious and repetitious, but to do it right you have to do it slowly (Figure 62). Along the way, you'll learn the value of patience, and appreciate the differences in steel tempering and ax quality as you sharpen different axes. Best of all, you will appreciate the usefulness of a razor-sharp ax, and the importance of doing everything you can to keep it sharp. Figure 62-The right way and wrong way to use a grinding wheel (drawings by Frederic H. Never use an electric high-speed dry bench grinder to sharpen your ax. If you don't have a pedal grindstone, your options are limited to a file and whetstone. Fit your file with a guard to protect your hands (Figure 64). Figure 64--File guards help keep your fingers away from the sharpened ax blade. Clamp the ax to the bench at a comfortable height (Figure 65).

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