The JoolTool System & Annie (or is it Ani?)
"Don't jump to conclusions."
"When you ASSUME, you may make an ASS out of you (U) and ME.
Strange way to start a review of a tool right? Well, there's a reason which I will explain with a little tale (or you can just click here for my JoolTool review)
Once Upon A Time - there was a Little Old Hobbyist Woodworker. Twice a year he left his little shop (garage / shed) to make a three day pilgrimage to The Woodworking Show.
Months before making the bi-annual trek to The Show he'd begin his preparation, pouring over old and new TOOL CATALOGUES, combing Internet FORUMS and Usenet NEWS GROUPS looking for other woodworkers' thoughts and opinions of all manner of woodworking tools, equiptment and accessories. He'd "dog ear" catalogue pages, "bookmark" Web Sites, search magazine racks for woodworking magazines for THINGS NO SHOP SHOULD BE WITHOUT. He'd makes lists of THINGS TO CHECK OUT and THINGS TO GET, with the price of each item meticulously written in a neat column - a running total - in pencil, since it was repeatedly revised anticipation building as the date of The Show approached. If he was married, he'd begin to develop his Sales Pitch as to why each an every item on his list was essential to his family's survival - and the well being of the entire planet and all living things that dwell upon it.
On the first day of The Show he'd mount his fastest horse (actually a little white Miata) and head off to The Show. Arriving at the The Show, he'd stable his horse, pay the stableman an exhorbitant fee and join the long line of fellow pilgrims at The Gates To The Show. He'd pay his tribute to The Gate Keeper, have his hand tatooed with The Mark of The Show and only then be allowed entry into The Show.
The noise was deafening, the sights overwhelming. Row after row after row of Booths - filled with all manner of TOOLS and MACHINES and JIGS and FIXTURES - and not one - but several BOOTHS OF CLAMPS! He pinched himself - certain that this was all just some fantastic dream. Then the crowd would push him along down an aisle of Booth after Booth of Wonderous and Amazing STUFF. He'd struggle to deal with the sensory overload, to get his heart and respiration rates under control before slowly working his way towards one side of this torrent of humanity - for it was at the sides of this flood of people that The Booths resided.
And thus he found himself in a small eddy in front of The Jool Tool Booth.
Catching his breath and clearing his head he took stock of his surroundings. A beautiful petite little maiden, surrounded by burly woodworkers, was saying something and weilding some sort of what he naturally assumed was a formidable, sharp, shiny weapon.
He'd heard stories of such sorceresses and sirens from friends who had made pilgrimages to The Auto Show - they lure you to their booth with their beauty and melodious voices. And once their hapless victim is in range - The Rep pounces! - bombarding his victim or victims with his High Pressure Sales Pitch, attempting with every trick in the book, every spell and magic incantation, to part his victims from their hard earned money.
Having been forewarned, with great and heroic effort, he broke from this socreresses's spell, and leaped back into the river of humanity flowing ever onward down The Aisle.
He'd escaped from The Sirens!
(OK - so it was just one Siren. And she wasn't actually a siren/ sorceress at all, but actually a wife, mother of two, jeweler and woodturner who really was very knowledgable about sharp tools and how to put a fine edge on just about any edged tool - pocket or kitchen knife, plane iron, chisel or goug. If it needed sharpening she could make it sharp - very, very, very sharp. AND - she could do it in seconds - all the while explaining how and why - in a way that even The Little Old Woodworker could understand.).
On each of is next three pilgrimages to The Woodworking Show, The Little Old Woodworker would find himself in the vicinity of The Jool Tool Booth and its Jool Tool Siren. But, having trained hard and well to strengthen himself against such sorceresses, he thus avoided her - and the unseen Rep. It got so he didn't even notice The Isle of Jool Tool - at all.
Then one day, a fellow woodworker - a turner to be exact - showed him a perfectly profiled Bowl Gouge.with the legendary, and almost impossible to reproduce - Ellsworth Grind - sharpened to a degree he thought was only a myth.
"Where did you attain such a wonderous tool with such an amazingly sharp edge - and how the hell are you going to keep it that sharp - without screwing up the profile?!" he asked/exclaimed.
"Anie." was the only repsonse he got from the possessor of The Wonderous SHARP Ellsworth Grind Bowl Gouge.
What does that mean?! Who, or what, is "Anie"?
The only answer he was able to drag out of the owner of The Wonderous SHARP Ellsworth Ground Bowl Gouge was that single word - "Anie" - nothing more.
The Little Old Woodworker, upon returning from that pilgrimage, searched high and low, hither and yon, far and wide, querying every woodworker he encountered for the answer to Who or What Is "Anie" question. And when he was ready to give up, throw in the towel, pack it in, kiss it off - someone gave him another piece of the puzzle. "JoolTool".
THAT turned out to be the key to unlocking the mystery. A search of the web brought him to
The clouds parted, the sun shone through - and angels sang. That cute little red and white plastic toy The Sorceress / Siren was pitching at The Woodworking Show was the source of the sharp and finely honed edge of The Wonderous SHARP Ellsworth Ground Bowl Gouge. How this little plastic toy enabled one to achieve such an edge was still a mystery.
He made a sign to hang by the door of his shop (garage/shed) so he wouldn't forget. The sign said "Jool Tool - Anie".
So when the next proclamation arrived, announcing the dates and location of the next Woodworking Show, he put "Jool Tool - Anie" at the top of his Things To Check Out list. Having trained himself to not see or hear "Anie" or see the cute little red and white plastic toy, he now struggled to learn to listen and watch - without actually looking at The Soreceress/Siren called "Anie". He flipped through Car and Motorcyle magazines without looking at the bikini clad eye catchers. When he was able to read The Interview - AND all the articles - in several months of Play Boy - without even noticing The Center Fold, or any of the other photos in the magazine - he knew he was ready for the next show.
Arriving at The Woodworking Show, he sought out the JoolTool booth and, with great effort, watched attentively and listened carefully during Anie's demonstration of The Jool Tool. Then he began a list of the qualities and benefits of the Jool Tool, comparing them to his other sharpening methods (india/arkansas stones, water stones, Scary Sharp and Tormek - The Little Old Woodworker was a Tool Phreak with a special fondness for sharpening)
- very small foot print, significant in an always space constrained shop (garage/shed)
- no assembly required - just two small screws to secure it just about anywhere
- quick, intuitive, easy to use, no manual necessary and no manual to try and find later
- no special tools to keep track of - or lose
- variable speed
- no worrying about "burning" the end of a cutting tool
- no messy cutting oil or water to deal with
- no grinding wheel dust to deal with
And when the opportunity arrived, he purchased this Magic Sharpening System - along with six more "Ninja Wheels" and the 3" diamter Green (1 micron ) Finishing Brush. Some small Baltic Birch plywood, some glue, eight little dowels, some shellac - and he had a place for The JoolTool and it's "stuff" and conveniently located it all off the left end of his lathe bench. Quite handy since turning tools dull faster than any Edged Tool and often have strange grinds.
And The Little Old Hoobyist Woodworker lived happily ever after.