Jim Davey - Woodworking Hand Tools
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March 2017: SWS Sharpening Day

On Saturday the 18th March, 10 members and 4 non - members attended a flat Chisel and  Plane blade sharpening workshop at Jim Davey’s shed at Falls Creek.

What a fabulous informative day we all had.   Jim started the day by describing the different quality and grades of  steel available and their varying attributes, then went on to show us the differences in the honing stones and explained when, where and how to use them, more importantly, how to keep them in good shape and what not to do with your stones.

The next faze we  moved to the other work shop where Jim demonstrated how to use a bench grinder safely and efficiently, showing us the  set up procedure with a jig for both chisels and planes, to use with the bench grinder, after this process the tools were ready for the final honing.

We all got to practice with the stones, bench grinders and jigs, ending up with tools that were beautifully sharpened, we did have much larger upper arm muscles after the honing process..

During the day Suzy Jim’s wife provided us with tea coffee and biscuits and a delicious lunch, which we were able to enjoy outside, yes the rain stayed off long enough for us to have lunch then bucketed down again, Thank You Suzy.  We all enjoyed the day, everyone helped each other.

I came away with my brain on overload, but thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  Thank you Jim.

Marcia, SWS Member.

Jan 2013: WoodRiver #92 Shoulder Plane

The WoodRiver #92 Shoulder Plane arrived today. Boy is it sharp!  I've never got anything this sharp straight out of the box. 

Much appreciated.

Steve T - NSW

Sept 2012: IBC Block Plane Blades

Hi Jim,

The block plane blades arrived today, just 24 hours after we spoke.

I got them both going in about 40 minutes, including taking one to a 30° bevel. They certainly are flat. Hardly any time working through the grits to get the backs polished. This supports all that others have said.

I took your advice and rounded the shoulders a touch.

I mentioned that I have been using my #19 at a  bevel angle of 30°, plus a micro bevel. This has made it one of my favourite planes for tackling difficult grains. (I favour the knuckle joint cap for comfort).  I tested the new blade,  reground to 30°, on my testing lump of seriously old jarrah, and the results are stunning, with and against the grain. I am surprised that many others have not made this transition of a venerable and relatively inexpensive tool.

Thank you for your responsiveness.


June 2012: IBC Blades

"As a greenwood chairmaker for the last 22 years I never really under stood what a Really Sharp Blade was. Working greenwood is like cutting cheese/soap/ butter- you get the idea-

But when it came to planing the underside of a  cranky grain seat slab of English Elm or dressing some wild grain American Oak or Ash my planes just weren't up to the job. After a very short chat with Jim at  last years Sydney Working with Wood Show I purchased an IBC blade for my old #6 & after fitting it found out what 'frighteningly sharp' is all about- it was sensational.

Later that year at the Canberra show I purchased IBC blades for my corrugated sole #4 & my beaut little #65 knuckle plane -same result, I had discovered the Holy Grail of Sharp.

Thanks Jim, you & IBC have changed my planing life!

Howard   Archbold



Moonan Brook NSW.

July 2011:  WoodRiver #4
I've bought a few small bits & pieces from Jim lately and been very happy with the service. However recently I decided to upgrade to a top of the line #4 size smoother plane, to replace a old & broken Stanley Bedrock. After looking at a number of choices, I chose a Woodriver V3 #4, both for quality and value for money. After placing my order on Jim's website, it was only a couple of days when it arrived on my doorstep, and I couldn't wait to put it into action. There was a note in the box saying that the plane had been given a few tweaks, making it ready to use, right out of the box, and the blade has been honed on a 10,000* superfine water stone. If anyone tells you a plane can't be used straight out of the box, just refer them to Jim Davey. All I had to do was wind the blade out a touch, (it was retracted to protect the razor fine edge,) and I was taking shavings off hard English oak, so fine, they almost floated away. With over 90 planes in my collection, the Woodriver #4 is one of the best planes I have ever used, and a firm favorite. I also had the pleasure of meeting Jim at the 2011 Melbourne wood show and found him not only to be an expert in his craft, but a extremely pleasant fellow as well. The next time I need any tools, I know where I will be getting them from again.
Brent Smith. Plane addict. Gippsland, Victoria.

June 2011: overheard at the TWWW Show in Sydney
WoodRiver Spokeshave demo, right out of the box without being honed - "WOW - I'll take one of those"
IBC Plane Blade - "Jim, I took the IBC Blade out of the packet last night - it is as good as you say they are"

March 2011

"I recall it as a typical chilly July Saturday morning the day I travelled down to Jim Davey’s shed in 2006. The mission was to purchase these sharpening aids called “diamond plates” which I read about in the woodworking magazines. I came away that day with a diamond plate and a “Jim Davey” fully fettled 1920’s Stanley #18 block plane which was frighteningly sharp and (still) a pleasure to use.  Five years later and I still have my diamond plate, a set of Jim’s sharpening stones, attended over 7 of Jim's sharpening days, joined the Shoalhaven Woodcraft Society and now own over 40  perfectly tuned hand planes and chisels that I fettled myself under Jim's careful guidance and tuition.Jim changed my entire philosophy on woodwork; skill levels are built around working with hand tools - not machines and the ultimate satisfaction comes from using frighteningly sharp hand tools you maintain yourself.Jim is pragmatic and one of the most knowledgeable people on hand tools and sharpening you will ever meet and always happy to share his knowledge to others.

Many Thanks Jim - you taught me the meaning of a new word …………“PSHHHT”."

Robert Jolliffe, Corrimal NSW, Member Shoalhaven Woodcraft Society.

May 2010
"At the recent Tool Sale in Sydney, organised by the NSW tool club TTTG I met up with Jim Davey.  Over the years Jim has turned into what I consider Australia's best Plane Doctor.  I receive a lot of queries on the subject, in order of frequency: replacement handles and knobs, how to sharpen cutters or where to get better cutters, welding broken bodies and so on ...  I'm happy to pass all these questions to Jim."
Hans Brunner, Brisbane Qld  

April 2010
Over the years, Jim Davey has fettled about 15 Stanley and Stanley Bedrock planes for me, and probably twice that number for my students. He does a wonderful job, and like a true woodworker, he undercharges for it. Getting Jim to fettle your plane, or buying one he has performed his magic on is, without doubt, the most economical way to get a metal plane with top shelf performance. And if you have never had the opportunity to use a fully fettled plane, then you are REALLY in for a treat: there is no other woodworking experience like it."
Robert Howard, Brisbane QLD

March 2010
"Jim sharpened, fettled and polished up my Dad's old Stanley Bailey No. 4, which probably hadn't seen a piece of wood in anger for over 30 years.  Not only did it open up a new world of "frighteningly sharp" planing to me, it gives me a warm sentimental glow every time I use it.  And now he's done my grandfather's No.4 with the corrugated sole (made some time between 1898 and 1902) and it's so beautiful that so far I have only managed to put it on the mantelpiece and admire it."
D.W., Leura NSW

May 2009, fully fettled Planes:
Just a quick email to say thank you for the new planes and to tell you how
happy I am with them.
They arrived late Monday but I didn't get to use them until last night -
and they are fantastic, just beautiful to use.
Thank you so much, I will be in contact soon I'm sure to order more."

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