Wicker Park Garden Club Tool Sharpening Workshop a success


Wearing safety glasses, Richard Tilley has sparks flying as he sharpens a shovel.

Response to the recent Wicker Park Garden Club's annual tool sharpening workshop was so great that it had to be divided into two classes. My basement workshop could not cope with many more than ten at a time.

Assemble Tool

Reassembly is the focus of Susan Fontana (left) and student.

Students brought various hand tools to be sharpened.  They included pruners, shears, loppers, spades and shovels. No power tools were allowed.

Julia Brunn cleans the blade of one of her tools.

At the start of the classes safety was stressed. For example, when using the grinder, safety glasses must be worn to protect the eyes from flying sparks.  Aside from myself, the other primary instructors were Jim Angrabright, Denise Browning and Larry Clary.

Clary Uses File

Larry Clary shows student how to use a file as a sharpener.

The students were instructed on how to dismantle the tool, which edge of the blades to hone and also, very importantly, how to reassemble the devices. All sharpening tools were provided along with safety goggles.

Sharpening with Stone

Jim Angrabright (right) uses an oiled stone for sharpening.

The spades and shovels had their edges sharpened using the grinder (as illustrated) while the other tools like the pruners and shears were sharpened with the sharpening stone or file.


Denise Browning demonstrates use of dry stone for sharpening.

All students went back home with freshly sharpened tools ready for the new gardening season.

Wood and Ulrich

Doug Wood, Wicker Park Garden Club, and Carolyn Ulrich, Editor of Chicagoland Gardening Magazine take a few minutes to talk.



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