A lesson from Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People is Sharpen The Saw. Good practice for software developers. More significant in woodcarving is "sharpen the gouge". I've got a selection of oilstones, but it's important to get gouges razor sharp - literally. Doing this manually means a lot of time on a strop (I've got a block of wood with a piece of leather glued to it). Tedious. Good gouge steel is on the soft side of tool steel, so you have to strop every few minutes of carving. Tedious enough to be quite off-putting. But I found the solution a few years ago: a felt wheel on a bench grinder, but I got rid of the one I had in the uk before we moved. Caro just got me one for my birthday, this got me back in the basement again.
You can't really see in this picture, but cuts from a properly-sharpened gouge are so clean they look polished shiny (many woodcarvers consider sandpaper evil). They're also a lot more controllable, and much less effort (nice when software's like that too).
For anyone interested (this isn't Java is it...) I found it best to mod the grinder a little so the wheels turn the opposite way (up at the front, rather than down). I did this with the last one by opening it up and turning the motor around in the case. I don't have the kind of socket wrench need to get inside the new grinder so I've just swapped the guards from end to end. It does mean the power switch is on the back, but I'm using an extension lead with a switch so I don't have to reach around. I dress the felt wheel with a little "crocus powder", a very fine abrasive which comes in a solid wax-bound block. This gets the edges as required and also buffs flat areas to a mirror shine, which is rather nice.
Some more photos (for tool fetishists) over at Flickr.