I sharpen my hand tools with sandpaper, but instead of using an expensive plate glass base, I’ve found a thriftier substitute: ground and polished marble or granite floor tile. You can buy it at any home center. Glue the tile to an oversized piece of Masonite, plywood or MDF. This backer stiffens the tile and protects the edges. I drilled a hole in mine for hanging it up when I finish my sharpening sessions.
-John L. Cusimano