This morning, I rearranged some utility shelving so I’d have storage in my bench room. My shooting plane, carving tools, hardware and other less-often-needed items are now in easy reach of my workbench and tool chest.
But sharpening is still a challenge. In my old house, I had a vintage concrete utility sink with a wide drainboard at the back; it was perfect for sharpening…except that my shop was on the second floor. So I usually used the bathroom sink.
Oh to have that utility sink in this place.
In this house, the basement is nice and dry, gets a fair amount of natural light and has high enough ceilings to accommodate even my tallest friends. But the cheap, thin, plastic utility sink is absolute crap. There’s no drainboard, and it’s far too deep to place stones in the bottom for sharpening.
But after looking for a vintage utility sink (with a drainboard to the side) for the last few weeks, I gave up – all the decent ones I can find are insanely expensive (a built-in drainboard is apparently rare). Instead, I bought a Naniwa sink bridge for $65. It adjusts to fit sinks 15-3/4″ to 21-5/8″, and securely holds stones up to 3-7/8″ wide x 9-7/8″ long. It’ll do.
But I’m now on the hunt for a vintage double-bowl concrete sink and metal stand, sans drainboard. From someone who will haul it to me and help me get it into the basement. (Once in a while, it sucks to be single – though the lack of a truck is far more vexing.)
But for the future – far in the future – I’ve a different plan: a dedicated sharpening station. Opposite the newly placed shelving (and about 6 strides from my bench) is an old enameled sink of the perfect depth, but it currently has no water running to it. I figure it would be fairly easy to drop down lines from the shutoff valves almost directly above…but with my luck, tapping into that waste line will cause no end of problems.
I have enough troubles to be getting on with for now.