A dandy little machine, the WS3000 quickly sharpens and hones chisels and plane irons no more than 2″ wide. The compact device spins a 6″-diameter, 150mm thick tempered-glass disk to which you stick adhesive-backed abrasive paper. A different grit goes on each side. The design gives you access to both sides of the disk.
What makes the system so appealing is the ramp-like, abrasive-covered “sharpening port.” You set the ramp’s angle to 20°, 25°, 30° or 45°; the rest locks positively at these four angles.
Set the tool, bevel up, on the ramp, and slide it against the underside of the disk. A few seconds of grinding is all it takes. As you withdraw the tool, the abrasive on the ramp removes the wire edge.
Start your routine with a grit appropriate to the tool’s condition. When the bevel is evenly ground at that grit, jump to the next grit, either by turning over the disk or switching to a new one. Final honing is done with a Micro-Mesh 3600 paper or on an optional leather honing wheel.
The shortcoming of this system is the 2″ port width. Wider plane irons must be sharpened up top, more or less freehand. The tool rest is short, fixed too low and badly placed. No tool clamp is supplied, so I clamped a wooden guide to a plane iron. It worked well enough that, if I were to invest in a Work Sharp, I’d make some sort of tool holder (see the Lap Sharp tool clamp as a model).
For sharpening curved-edge tools, the Work Sharp has a slotted plastic disk with slotted abrasives. Aligning the abrasive on this slotted disk is tricky, but when done right, it enables you to see through the spinning disk. The idea is that you can see the bevel as it contacts the abrasive so you can maneuver the tool to properly shape and sharpen it. It’s a whole lot easier said than done! In less time than it takes to read this, I completely botched the bevel on my #3 gouge. Not good.