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Back when I was selling carvings on a regular bases I was able to invest on a Tormek sharpening system. It is hard to beat for sharpening. I keep thing in shape with stones and strop but when it is time to Tune up the tools,fix a ding or regrind the Tormek comes out.
 

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I Have gotten in the habit of stropping my tool as I go. it really extends the time between having to use the stone and it helps with consistency in the quality of the tools cuts. If I am doing heavy waist removal I try to touch up the tools I have used at the end of the day or before I use it again. I do not do as much heavy work these days. But the hard steel in the carving tools can get micro dings in the cutting edge. They show up in the work with unwanted lines or scratches that are easy to miss but will really stand out in the finish. I have had to go back and clean them up and refinish. One of the main reasons i got in the habit of stropping and checking the cutting edge most every time I am using the tool. It is a good habit to get in to with carving knives as well.
 
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