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Thread: Sharpening Jig and Station

  1. #1

    Sharpening Jig and Station

    I built a new sharpening jig to use for chisels and plane irons after long being unhappy with the manufactured one I have been using. The shop built one seems much nicer to use IMO. It is based loosely on one from the ibuildit.ca guy.

    I have never really figured out a sharpening station that suits my needs though. I have mdf bench tops that I want to keep dry and not a lot of room for a dedicated sharpening bench. I find working with Japanese water stones to be a wet sloppy mess without some kind of setup that contains the mess. I have worked over a bucket or a dishpan, but the setup was really inadequate. I have considered something that folded up and stowed away when not in use and maybe drained into a bucket that the stones could soak in.

    I have a piece of marble that is bigger than needed that could be the work surface or I could make something just big enough out of scrap countertop material.

    Whatever I do I want it to be quick and easy to deploy and to put away and want it to stow out of the way without taking up too much space.

    I'd be curious what others have done to solve this problem in their shop.

    Attached are a few pictures of the jig. It isn't anything fancy, but it seems to work very well, much better than the little metal one I have used in the past. I actually intended it to be a quick prototype to just test out the concept, but after using it I figured that good enough is good enough. So the nicer one I planned to build probably won't be built.

    The height of the HDPE is set using a piece of 1/4" ply as a spacer on top of the stone. My stones are currently all the same height so I do not have to mess with that at each use. If they were at different thicknesses I think I'd make shims for them rather than mess with changing the jig when switching stones. Next the chisel or plane blade is set to stick out the appropriate amount for the angle using the little block in the picture (so far I have only made the 25 degree one, I'll probably make at least a 30 degree one).

    Pardon me for not sharpening the chisel before taking the pictures

    I find it easier to clamp the chisels or blades properly into my jig than the manufactured one. I am not sure how well they show up in the picture, but there are pencil lines to line up the blades squarely.
    Jig1.jpg
    Jig2.jpg
    Jig3.jpg
    Last edited by Pete Staehling; 04-03-2020 at 8:27 AM.

  2. #2
    Okay, maybe I can get an answer. Something seems to be wrong with my account permissions. Sometimes I can view .jpg, sometimes I can't . The popup tells me to signon, but I am signed-on, that's why I can write this. I also will not be able to edit this. And if I PM an administrator it doesn't happen, no message gets sent, although I also get no error message. I've looked at my settings, they look normal so far as I can tell. Are others having problems seeing his photos?

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    I can see them just fine.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  4. #4
    Okay, so I PMed an admin and turned off my adblocker. Anyway, now things work

  5. #5
    Interestingly enough after using the jig a bit I found that the stones while the same thickness on one end, one was tapered in thickness enough to cause problems. So... I am making a cradle/holder that allows me to quickly set the height of the stones and level them. It is a bit of a nuisance to have to redo the leveling when flipping the stones to change grits, but I am trying to make it a very quick and easy operation.
    Last edited by Pete Staehling; 04-04-2020 at 9:29 AM.

  6. #6
    Ha! I FOUND IT! It was my browser. I normally use Firefox but switched to DuckDuckGo, and ALL my access problems went away. I've had minor success turning off adblockers in Firefox, but switching browers fixed everything.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Staehling View Post
    Interestingly enough after using the jig a bit I found that the stones while the same thickness on one end, one was tapered in thickness enough to cause problems. So... I am making a cradle/holder that allows me to quickly set the height of the stones and level them. It is a bit of a nuisance to have to redo the leveling when flipping the stones to change grits, but I am trying to make it a very quick and easy operation.
    You’ve found this preferable to a $12 Eclipse-type jig?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Jones 5443 View Post
    You’ve found this preferable to a $12 Eclipse-type jig?
    Yeah, I never liked the one I have. Maybe mine is just junk and others may be better. I found it didn't want to hold the chisels firmly without a lot of fiddling. It was awkward to get the chisel clamped in oriented straight and in place with the right amount sticking out. The dovetails seem to be designed and made poorly.

    After fiddling with mine a little more I do find that it has the disadvantage of registering on a different surface than the stone. That makes for the need to take great care in keeping things at the same height and parallel when switching grits. I do like the longer axis and ease of orienting and clamping the chisel or plane iron.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Jones 5443 View Post
    You’ve found this preferable to a $12 Eclipse-type jig?
    I've found a file preferable to a $12 eclipse type jig. My first (Shop Fox as I recall, from Rockler) was absolute trash. The thread fit was terrible and the jaws didn't match. As a result it wouldn't hold a plane iron or chisel properly and wouldn't stay clamped. I literally threw it away. Interestingly enough, after a journey through the Veritas MKII system (nice kit, but complicated) I've landed on the Lie-Nielsen honing guide. An eclipse type guide that costs more than $12 but is of amazing quality, holds all manner of chisels, irons , and cutters, and is very simple to use and achieve repeatable results.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Luter View Post
    I've found a file preferable to a $12 eclipse type jig. My first (Shop Fox as I recall, from Rockler) was absolute trash. The thread fit was terrible and the jaws didn't match. As a result it wouldn't hold a plane iron or chisel properly and wouldn't stay clamped. I literally threw it away. Interestingly enough, after a journey through the Veritas MKII system (nice kit, but complicated) I've landed on the Lie-Nielsen honing guide. An eclipse type guide that costs more than $12 but is of amazing quality, holds all manner of chisels, irons , and cutters, and is very simple to use and achieve repeatable results.
    The one I have was bad enough that I didn't try another. I am not sure, but it may have been a Shop Fox from Rockler. In any case it was pretty awful.

    BTW, I think I may have arrived at a lazy and easy solution for my home brew jig to deal with the issue I had with inconsistencies of different stones. Rather than deal with the issues of different stones being different heights and my coarser one being kind of tapered I decided that there was an easy solution. I need only the two finest grits on the two sides of the finest stone most of the time. On the relatively infrequent occasions when I need coarser grits i can just use sheet abrasives laid on the stone with the jig. I tested it out and it seems to work fine. I use the coarser grits seldom enough that I am not worried about the cost of consuming sheet abrasives. I am pretty sure I won't live long enough for their cost to add up to the cost of a Lie-Nielsen honing guide.

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