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It’s here! Sharp has at last been printed and we have a lot of full boxes, so: if you would like to own a copy, click here. 

Sharp has hundreds of images in the form of photographs, plans, and diagrams and it instructs how to best sharpen edge-tools. We hope that Sharp will encourage, inform, educate and inspire and all edge tool users to improve your tools – whatever tools you might use. If a tool that you use has been omitted from the book, then the knowledge gained from reading other chapters will enable you to sharpen it effectively.

Some of you have already ordered and received your copies. The response so far has been fabulous, with excellent feedback about the quality of the book and the breadth of knowledge and detail in its pages. 

It is published by Crafty Little Press; a small, independent publishing company founded in 2017, and which I co-own with my wife, Lucy Lepchani. 

I also run my own wood craft business and have done so for over thirty years, as well as researching and writing. Sharp, and other books, are primarily sold from and from and are also on sale through a select range of outlets: small and family-owned businesses, independent bookshops, crafts education centres, and others. We do not sell through Amazon for many reasons; and for the time being we do not work with distributors – although we are likely to do so in future. In the UK, independent bookshops can order directly from us or through Nielson. 

Please contact us by email if you are interested in a wholesale order.

A word of warning: Sharp is heavy. At 1.5kg, sharpening skills do not come lightly! Seriously, though; the weight bestowed aches and pains as I carried each box from my van and into my workshop and then wrapped each box to protect it from the damp… but the main point I want to make here, is to do with postage. Postage within the UK is reasonable, and to Europe it is a little more expensive, but sending Sharp to the USA or Australia means you will pay more in shipping than for the cost of the book itself. This works both ways. I often buy books or tools from the USA and the postage is eyewatering. We are currently researching ways of reducing this cost, but due to the pandemic and fewer planes flying, shipping costs are high at this time.

However, we are sure that the information contained in Sharp is worth its weight in gold… or whatever other metal might be better sharpened through the skills and knowledge that Sharp has to offer.

Sharp, by Sean Hellman, published by Crafty Little Press. ISBN:978-09931861-7-2 is available from for £25 (or equivalent in Euros, US/Aus/Can. dollars and other currencies).

Alternatively, Sharp is on sale through Chris Pothof at for Australian customers, and at North House Folk School in the USA,

Sharp, sharpening book
Sharp, sharpening for green woodworker, woodworker, builders, craft, chefs, smallholders, bush crafters
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Some of you may know that I have been writing a book about sharpening. This book has been in progress for near to 15 years. I became distracted from drafting this project and wrote a book about shaving horses, a few years back, and which is still selling well. The company that I run with my wife, Crafty Little Press, orders books by the pallet load and Shaving Horses, Lap Shaves and other Woodland Vices is now on its third pallet load.

Anyway back to the point: Sharp is very nearly ready. We hope to send it to the printer in late February. It’s a big book with over 300 pages and nearly 1000 photos and illustrations. It was originally written to explain which abrasives to use and how to sharpen green woodworking tools, but as with the last book, it grew and grew. Tool sharpening is a task that most of us might struggle with at some point, or perceive as some dark and mysterious art; but which is essential to our craft. Ultimately, it is simple: get a stone and rub your tool on it until the tool is sharp. If only!

Sharp is a book that will guide the reader through the principles and practice of sharpening; from definitions and requirements in the chapter What is Sharp? and through chapters explaining edge geometry, how to observe the edge to determine correct sharpening procedures required, all about abrasives (including hand-tools, as well as human-powered and machine tools) and with detailed, step-by-step instructions for as many types of edge tool as we could fit into the book; and with an entire chapter given to plans and instructions for time-saving, effective jigs and guides.

Sharp is aimed at all kinds of edge-tool users. My speciality is green wood work, but I also run an electric workshop so all the cutting tools used in machine workshops, are included. Bushcrafters and others will appreciate the sections on knives and axes, as will smallholders who use sickles and scythes. Not to forget the chapter on saws – with details on how to sharpen them, from fine 22TPI dovetail saws, to two-person cross cut saws, and even how to get extra life from those disposable hard point saws that are usually thrown away with abandon.

I had to include information for cooks and gardeners; and if you use a push mower to cut the lawn then how about maintaining the cylinder or reel on that mower yourself? Shears of all kinds, from hairdresser scissors to hedge shears, are also covered in a whole chapter.

One part that I really did enjoy, was boring. Boring tools are great fun, and with such variety. Twist drill bits can be expensive, and for years I had growing piles of blunt ones; but since understanding the angles these need to be held at to grind them sharp, and how to make simple jigs to keep these angles consistent, then I only have to buy new ones if they break or wear beyond use.

…….and lots more.

There is no pre order and the book will only be available through this website, and the Crafty Little Press website, and a few woodworking shops in the UK. You should also be able to order copies of Sharp in the UK, through your local, independent book store. We hope to find US and European sellers at some point – please contact me if you are interested.

Stay Sharp !


Sharp Recycle logo
by Sean Hellman, 2020