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Thread: Close-Up and Personal Look at the NEW Lie-Nielsen Stainless Steel Honing Guide.

  1. #1

    Close-Up and Personal Look at the NEW Lie-Nielsen Stainless Steel Honing Guide.

    I just returned from the Lie Nielsen Hand tool event in Chicago.
    While I was there, I saw the much anticipated Lie Nielsen Stainless honing guide.
    I took some pictures which I have shared below.
    Some of this you've seen, other details perhaps not.

    Noteworthy observations:

    1. It appears that there are two different 'regular' jaws (pictured below). One has a deeper beveled cut. I'm guessing one of these may be optimized to receive bevel-edge chisels, the other set for thinner plane blades. Maybe. I think. On the other hand, looking them over, I can't think of anything the shallower one can do that the deeper one cant. Vise versa for that matter.

    IMG_20150321_132343 (Large).jpgIMG_20150321_132323 (Large).jpgIMG_20150321_132110.jpg

    2. All of the optional jaws I could find are shown here. They include left & right skew jaws, the two 'regular' jaws described above, the 'long jaws' for short blades of shoulder planes, spoke-shaves, plow planes etc., and finally the 'tall' jaws for mortise chisels. I have heard rumors about jaws to hold the round shank of the LN fishtail chisel, but I see nothing to that effect here. Come to think of it, that's why I bought Dave Jeske's Blue Spruce Fishtail Chisel. Fits nicely in a honing guide. Man, I love that Blue Spruce Fishtail chisel.

    IMG_20150321_131953 (Large).jpg

    3. The most anticipated feature of this jig (by me) is the long jaw. This will serve my shoulder plane blades and spoke-shave blades beautifully. EVENTUALLY it may even serve the needs of a LIE NIELSEN PLOW PLANE blade beautifully as well :-), hopefully someday. Currently I use a Veritas jig for shave blades, but I find it is slower to set up and is not as repeatable as other jigs in my personal experience. I have a Richard Kell jig I use for shoulder plane blades, but I suspect I'll use this new LN jig instead because I really don't like cleaning the grit from two large HDPE wheels when moving the kell jig from stone to stone.

    IMG_20150321_131502 (Large).jpgIMG_20150321_131539 (Large).jpgIMG_20150321_131652 (Large).jpg

    4. Finally, the Tall jaw. What's important here is that it's able to receive the tall Ray Iles 'pig sticker' mortise chisel, not just the shallower Lie Nielsen 'sash mortise chisels'. I was concerned that the tall jaw would not be deep enough. You can see that the chisel is projecting way beyond the point of exceeding the angle of the primary bevel. Beyond good enough. Currently I use the richard Kell jig for this purpose, but again, I suspect I'll use the LN jig instead because did I mention that I don't like cleaning the grit from the HDPE wheels when moving from stone to stone? Sorry, I meant to.

    IMG_20150321_131327 (Large).jpg

    5. Swapping jaws is fast and precise, but I suspect that some people will opt to buy multiple jigs (say 2), and spend less time switching jaws. Just a hunch.

    Also, I happen to know exactly when when this will be released.
    Would you like me to say?
    OK.
    It will be released...
    When you pry it from my cold dead hand :-)
    (released by my hand, that is)

    I have no earthly idea when it will be available for sale by LN. The rep wouldn't say, even after enticing him with beer and women. Give that man a raise!
    I think there was a saying "Loose lips; Tom flips!" Something like that. I can't quite remember how it goes.

  2. #2
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    Wow, thanks for the excellent pics. Great review. I am sorry to say I don't like that tiny wheel. If honing a narrow chisel it seems this tool would be difficult to keep from rocking side to side. It does look like it's going to be great for skew registration and for spokeshave blades.

    Did they have the plow plane? Were they as tight-lipped about release dates on it? I hope they know my patience is just about gone.

  3. #3
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    It all looks a bit fiddly to me. This is 2015 and yet they still chose to use slotted head machine screws instead of something better like Hex or Torx or even Phillips. Nothing is worse than trying to line up the slot when your eyesight isn't what it used to be. Everyone has at least a few hex drivers.

    I hate to think what the price will be of course.
    "If you have all your fingers, you can convert to Metric"

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    I hate to think what the price will be of course.
    The cost is my first question.

    Hilton,
    Your tag line might be one reason for the flat drive and why "Torx or even Phillips" may be out. People may have a set of allen wrenches, many don't. The problem is in many parts of the world people may have imperial sets or they have metric sets. Well most of the world has metric. Even some Phillips style screws and drivers are different.

    A flat driver may be the most universal driver available.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  5. #5
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    Perhaps Jim but we're talking about a premium jig here and I seriously doubt anyone who buys the LN range of stuff doesn't have at least a Phillips driver.

    Even so, how difficult is it to ship a hex driver? INCRA does that for their table saw and router table fences.

    I believe most people just do what they did before and what was done before that and not actually sit back and think about what may be a better plan.

    Still holding my breath on the price though.
    "If you have all your fingers, you can convert to Metric"

  6. #6
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    Agreed, When will slotted screws die away? It is well past time for this to occur.

    David
    David

  7. #7
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    It looks like a precision version of an eclipse guide. Same basis design but better engineered and manufactured. The thing I like about the eclipse style guides is the cost. I sharpen almost entirely by hand now, so the LN guide won't be on my birthday list in any case.
    -- Dan Rode

    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

  8. I think it is time for roller wars!

    Narrow wheels are good. They allow a straight edge to sit perfectly on the stone. (This is controlled by even finger pressure).

    Narrow wheels allow for significant camber.

    Wide rollers are a menace, they dictate to the tool. Square edges are only possible with perfect jig registration.

    We already have screwdrivers for our planes so why create a need for more? (even if technically superior).
    best wishes,
    David Charlesworth

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Hilton Ralphs View Post
    I hate to think what the price will be of course.
    Especially with all the optional jaws. But it's LN, so it's likely to be worth it.

    Karl, thanks for posting this review. I think you'll see a lot of interest from those of us who don't free-hand it. (I have the Veritas Mk-Ii with every attachment they make. This LN jig seems to do a few things my trusty Mk-II doesn't do as well as I'd like.)

    Fred

  10. #10
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    This is why the eclipse guide and all it's copies were so popular. Also, I'm not convinced slotted screws are inferior. I can find much fault with phillips and square drive heads as well. Can't work those with a butter knife, can you?
    Quote Originally Posted by david charlesworth View Post
    I think it is time for roller wars!

    Narrow wheels are good. They allow a straight edge to sit perfectly on the stone. (This is controlled by even finger pressure).

    Narrow wheels allow for significant camber.

    Wide rollers are a menace, they dictate to the tool. Square edges are only possible with perfect jig registration.

    We already have screwdrivers for our planes so why create a need for more? (even if technically superior).
    best wishes,
    David Charlesworth
    -- Dan Rode

    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

  11. #11
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    Uhh?

    Explain the pig sticker chisel in the photos. LN doesn't have one on their web site.

  12. #12
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    The Eclipse is a great little guide. The decision of LN to build on its design is a good one. The LV is also an excellent guide, but not as easy to set up for a straight blade. The LV does have advantages over other jigs, such as a wide range of blades it will hone, and the ability to set specific angles. (I wonder if the LN will have an angle setter?). The weak area of the Eclipse is the narrow straight wheel for honing narrow blades (in the 1/8" range). I am interested if the LN will manage this area better. That would be my area of use.

    The more options that are added in to a jig, the more compromises will end up being made. The beauty of the Eclipse is that it is simple and does just one thing, but does it well. I think that LN know this, and the reason for taking so much time in its development is that they realise that there is much to get right if they plan (as they do) to offer a range of blade options.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Last edited by Derek Cohen; 03-22-2015 at 11:10 AM.

  13. #13
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    I'm in the camp with David and Daniel. The slotted screws are fine and the narrow wheel allows the user to ease the corners or completely radius a plane's cutting edge.

    I too got to handle the honing guide in Chicago and more importantly better understand why it has taken so bloody long to develop. This involved purchasing and installing a new CNC machine and developing jigs, etc., to make each of those jaws with capture screws fit into the base precisely. That done, all that needs to be done is make that happen repeatedly hundreds of times for a first production run. Is it just a fancy Eclipse copy? Yes....from across the room on a cloudy day. What it turns out to actually be is a way to repeatably put a precision edge on almost any Lie-Nielsen bench tool regardless of the blades 's thickness, using a simple projection measurement. An Eclipse guide can't do that because it registers on the bevel side of the cutting blade.

  14. #14
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    Maybe it's being informally shown to generate some feedback….

    The prospect of a premium (with cost to match) honing guide isn't necessarily going to be music to all ears, but to my mind it's great to see somebody set out to supply one and cover the various sharpening bases. We pay out a lot for, and invest enormous amounts of time in precision edge tools and their sharpening, so why not build honing guides to the same standard?

    Looks like they have focused on delivering an upgraded version of the guide many of their customers are used to - as used in the sharpening/honing approach (presumably originating with David C's writings?) these days made popular by their videos.

    I'm not familar enough with the type to know, but will it cover all of the bases? Stuff like spokeshaves, scrapers and the like? Probably a big ask, but there's a variety of profiled edge tools about that seem to require ad hoc arrangements and a lot of time digging for shaped stones, testing methods and the like to get sharpened. A one stop sharpening shop offering the kit (stones as well as guides etc) to sharpen all the tools in at least the catalogue using optimised methods would be very nifty...

    Hopefully this will make it possible for Lee Valley to follow. Purely a view based on personal experience - they have a really nice guide, but with some shortcomings requiring set-up by the user which seem to be mostly a result of budget casting and machining. Their bevel angle setting device (one or two very minor limitations apart) is dead useful, and it's a really comfortable guide to use - all they need to do is to sort out the lack of precision, make some changes to the tool holding arrangements/provide accessories to grip a few difficult tools better, and replace the existing camber (-ish) roller with a narrow and ideally convex one. I'd argue that there is a definite use for an accurately set up cylindrical roller for narrow chisels and the like.
    Last edited by ian maybury; 03-22-2015 at 11:40 AM.

  15. #15
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    Lee Valley has something new in the sharpening-guide realm coming out, according to a post I read from Robin Lee, "elsewhere". He also referred to an eclipse variation that they ultimately abandoned. There was even a photo of the prototype. The reason he cited for giving up on it was centered around the cost of making it to the precision required.

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