If you don’t have a bench grinder, you can sharpen chisels and other tools almost as well with a belt sander with a ﬁne-grit belt. Tighten the belt sander (the kind with parallel sides) in a Black & Decker Workmate or similar device, and clamp a shop-made stand alongside it to hold cutting tools for sharpening. This works—as long as you’re careful about two things. First, clamp the sander lightly but ﬁrmly so its housing doesn’t press against the internal parts. Second, remove the sander’s dust bag so sparks don’t mix with wood dust and start a ﬁre.
Make the stand from two pieces of scrap wood. Cut a bottom piece (yellow in the photo) to clamp to the table. Cut a top piece (green) with a bevel cut to keep the tool at the angle you need, and screw it to the bottom piece. Cut other top pieces with cutting angles for different tools.
Clamp the stand so the belt will move toward it. Press the tool on the angle guide—you’re sharpening a metal tool, not sanding wood, but you won’t dull the belt too quickly if you hold the tool with light pressure and lift it off every few seconds to check the edge.