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Thread: Woodpeckers honing system

  1. #1
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    Woodpeckers honing system

    I am not big on promoting products.
    I know on this site, WP has some detractors, some fanboys, etc.
    I am happy with some of their products, others seemed half baked, others a bit high priced, etc. But for me, each product stands on its own merits and value.
    I have been though a LOT of honing guides and systems including power systems. I don't sharpen freehand.
    The WP honing system IMO, the best one ever made... very well designed, blades stay square, nice feature with adjustable wheels as seen in their video. Feels good in my hand, easy to square the blade in the angle fixture. However, the angle fixture has fixed settings as stated on their web site, with micro hone positions as well.

    Since this ONE TIME TOOL is on its second run, and time is running out to order, have a look if you are considering a new honing system. I have ordered WP products before, when not happy, they have always stood behind their 30 day Money Back guarantee.
    I just ordered a second honing guide without the angle fixture as only one of those is required. I ordered the original kit on the first run. I consider this product fairly priced considering the quality and design.

    sharpening-system_01_6.jpg
    Last edited by Will Blick; 08-29-2020 at 9:08 PM. Reason: added a few comments

  2. #2
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    The wide wheel makes this a chisel-only honing guide. It does not look suitable for cambering plane blades.

    Expensive. I would rather have the LN.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  3. #3
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    Did u watch the video?
    I use it primarily for plane blades...
    the tiny camber I desire, is achieved by adding slight pressure to the sides...
    but valid point, they do not offer camber roller like Veritas offers...

  4. #4
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    Their literature did not get me past the thought that their honing guide is a $250 Eclipse guide. It does not do skews which the LN and LV guides do, the LV does cambers and blades whise sides are not parallel which the WP does not (or it was not alluded to in the literature. For me, they failed to make their point.

  5. #5
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    Beautifully made like all Woodpecker products. A little too highly focused for the price point IMHO. When you are competing at the price of a Veritas MKII with all the trimmings that will do much more plus having enough left over for still other items you need to really like red. Don't get me wrong. I have an item or two . . . maybe three . . . that I have gone premium on because I liked the look or feel or a certain feature. Nothing wrong with that or the WP jig. It is good to have choices.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 08-29-2020 at 10:53 PM.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
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  6. #6
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    $250 is a lot of incentive to learn freehand sharpening if you ask me.

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

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    $250 is a lot of incentive to learn freehand sharpening if you ask me.

    jtk
    Jim,

    LOL, I was waiting for someone to break the ice. I looked at the thread a couple of times last night, even started typing a reply before discarding it. Whatever, your reply is perfect but then it is not just the money it is about a better system. I've yet to find a guide that wasn't limiting and didn't cause more problems than it fixed. Just a small example, from looking at the photographs of the Woodpecker it will limit the area of the stone you can work to pretty much the center. Which will mean rapid wear of the stone center and even more time time keeping it flat enough to use. At least with an Eclipse type guide you can use most of the stone and BTW, that is not an endorsement of an Eclipse type guide they still meet the more problems than they fix statement.

    ken

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Blick View Post
    Did u watch the video?
    I use it primarily for plane blades...
    the tiny camber I desire, is achieved by adding slight pressure to the sides...
    but valid point, they do not offer camber roller like Veritas offers...
    Hi Will

    I apologise if I going to come over as critical, but I would never recommend this guide in a month of Sundays. It looks beautifully made, and the angle setting fixture looks interesting. However the guide is very expensive and aimed at total beginners who will look at the package and not understand why this is a poor honing guide. It is limited to honing square and I really doubt that you could add a camber to a plane blade without extra gyrations while standing on one leg. Fortunately for Woodpeckers, beginners rarely camber plane blades.

    Here is a photo from the video where you can see the narrow wheel of the Eclipse (excellent for cambering). The wheels of the WP guide are set outboard for chisels.



    Here they are set for a plane blade ...



    Still far too wide apart to apply pressure on one side of the blade. I should point out that I have not used this guide, so this is armchair speculation, but I would be willing to take any bet.

    The other point of possible interest is that the guide is closer to the Kell than the Eclipse in concept. A Kell with an angle setter. I think that the Kell is poorly designed as well - now there is a guide that is designed to make cambering an impossible task!



    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  9. #9
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    I mostly agree with what has been said but I do think the user could add a very slight camber, maybe enough for a smoothing plane. I do agree that the design would make it extremely difficult as the wheels end up spaced apart the same width as the plane iron when placed on the inboard side of the guide.

    I mostly use the LN guide when using a honing guide and just don't think there is much to improve upon. I also don't love the idea of using a metal, even if it is aluminum, stop at the edge of the blade. I assume it's aluminum as I believe most of their tools are made of anodized aluminum. Driving the blade into a wood stop just seems much more practical to me when dealing with such a fine edge. Having said that you're going to be sharpening 99% of the time after driving the blade into the stop but I just don't love the idea. I do like the design of the angle settings of the stop and how it negates having to have multiple setup blocks taking up space.

  10. #10
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    I thought twice about starting this thread. I guess I lost my better judgement for a moment... lesson learned.

    First, I should have mentioned, I use this guide for 75% plane blades 25% chisels, mostly wide chisels. It is NOT a cure-all for every sharpening task. WP does not make that claim. But then, I never found any jig which is a cure-all for all sharpening scenarios. When I want to sharpen my skew chisels, I use the MKII with skew attachment. When I need to put a heavy camber on my plane blades, I use the camber wheel on the MKII. These are well designed specialty jigs that do one task well.

    However, for me, and prob. lots of other ww out there, we spend most of our sharpening time on straight plane blades with just a tiny camber, and for that, the WP works better than any jig I tried. I thought some members might benefit from my experience with the product. If you primarily sharpen thin chisels or skews, obviously, this is NOT an ideal jig for you.

    > However the guide is very expensive and aimed at total beginners who will look at the package and not understand why this is a poor honing guide. It is limited to honing square.

    I think this is a fair assessment. WP does not advertise this as a heavy camber jig, so in that respect, sure, its limiting, its primary intent was for standard plane blades and chisels.


    > However the guide is very expensive and aimed at total beginners who will look at the package and not understand why this is a poor honing guide.

    Derek, few are at your level...but after 25 years of ww, and a mountain of products I have experimented with, I guess my level of ww would be classified as a beginner by your assessment. Fair enough.

    Derek, I am curious... I know you get free, or advanced product from some makers so you can share your expertise with them. You are very transparent about that. Has WP ever sent you anything to test? I will just guess, they have not? And just to be transparent on my end, I have never received anything from WP or any maker that I did NOT pay full retail price for.


    > Jim wrote... $250 is a lot of incentive to learn freehand sharpening if you ask me.

    > Kens response...LOL, I was waiting for someone to break the ice. Your reply is perfect,...

    Ken, glad Jim broke the ice for you. I can freehand hone as well, but the results for me are inferior to a well designed honing guide. Therefore, I have elected to sharpen with a honing guide. Possibly you and Jim have much superior freehand honing skills than I do. Kudos to you both. With such high level freehand honing, surely you would have no need for a product like this.

    But maybe other members who are quite at your superior level, might need the benefits of a honing guide? Maybe some day I will achieve freehand honing results on par with using a honing guide, i.e. get to your level of expertise. Then I can sell all my honing guides. Till then, I will stay with what has proven to work best for me after years of experimenting. I have seen fine ww with 30 yrs of experience still use honing guides.


    > Ken wrote.... Just a small example, from looking at the photographs of the Woodpecker it will limit the area of the stone you can work to pretty much the center. Which will mean rapid wear of the stone center and even more time time keeping it flat enough to use.

    Ken, the picture Derek posted shows the wheels inward on a plane blade. How is it possible you can not use the entire stone area when viewing the pix?? The plane blade is wider than the wheels, right?? It is obvious, the width of the plane blade can be used over the entire stone area. I am baffled how you can state this?? Sure, with thin chisels, it can be more of an issue.

    As I stated early on, I too have yet to find a single sharpening system that is a cure-all for every sharpening scenario. Like many fields, there is a wide selection of tools one must select from for a given task within a generalized field. Sharpening is a VERY generalized field. This WP jig is ONE of many tools available, and IMO, it does the best job for a few specific tasks. I own the MKII with every available accessory, but after wasting countless hours trying to keep blades straight in the jig, I continued to look for other options. There is a LOT of threads on this issue... its not just my experience.

    In the future, I will surely refrain from starting these threads.

  11. #11
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    Tony, the stop is not alum. I am not positive, but I think its stainless steel.
    Of course, it makes sense to push the edge softly against the steel stop. But as you correctly mention, you sharpen after its set, so a non issue from my experience. The benefit is....steel and heavy alum. will stay square, and IMO, that is the trademark of this WP jig, a system to easily and quickly set blades square in the jig and the guides precision to then sharpen square. The angle fixture is a ONE TIME product for setting the blades that will remain true. It also has proven well for repeatability of re sharpening micro bevels, something that other jigs have failed me at.

    And yes, a slight camber can be had by just adding pressure to the sides, this is true of most jigs, as we are talking maybe a thou or two...just enough to keep the corners above the center. I am one who prefers very minimal cambers as I use hand planes for edge planing often. I like to keep all my BU LV blades interchangeable so I sharpen less often.
    Last edited by Will Blick; 08-30-2020 at 11:57 AM. Reason: added camber comment

  12. #12
    "...Ken wrote.... Just a small example, from looking at the photographs of the Woodpecker it will limit the area of the stone you can work to pretty much the center. Which will mean rapid wear of the stone center and even more time time keeping it flat enough to use.

    Ken, the picture Derek posted shows the wheels inward on a plane blade. How is it possible you can not use the entire stone area when viewing the pix?? The plane blade is wider than the wheels, right?? It is obvious, the width of the plane blade can be used over the entire stone area. I am baffled how you can state this?? Sure, with thin chisels, it can be more of an issue..."

    Will,

    I apologize if I hurt your feeling but from the photo you posted of, I would guess a 25mm chisel, the wheels were near the edge of a 3" stone. Even if you look at the photo Derek posted with a plane blade and the wheels set inside the track of the wheels will be close to 2" or more. Not a lot of room on a 3" stone to work but I can see some ability to being able to work the edges with plane blades.

    I make no claim to being a sharping god, but I have tried most guides over the years and found most if not all more trouble than they are worth. You say you know how to sharpen freehand if so then you know it is not that hard to learn and frankly if you know how and know how to judge your cutter's edge by feel and vision the results are better than any guide can give.

    My two pennies and worth less. As always with anything wood YMMV.

    BTW, one of the reasons I was hesitant to post was you seem very happy with the guide.

    ken

  13. #13
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    In the future, I will surely refrain from starting these threads.
    Will, I suspect that my response, and those of others, was not what you expected, and frankly disheartening. I don’t think of the thread this way. I ... you ... another ... will post some information/observation/review, and then open a discussion. Some will agree, some disagree, information is added, techniques are added, explained, and critiqued. That makes for a fantastic thread.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  14. #14
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    For blades of any camber, I like the old, red Record with a ball as the roller. It makes no difference at all if the cutter is squarely placed in it, or not. You can watch what the edge is doing on the stones, without worrying about how much pressure you put where. It will do anything from a sub thou camber on a smoothing plane, to a scrub plane. I would never use it for the narrow chisel in the picture-just showing that it will work with anything.

    If Woodpecker would offer a ball for a roller, in addition, then they would have something worth getting. Some enjoy having spent a high price. I like cheap. I'm sure I paid less than 20 bucks for the Record.

    Not trying to interject my setting jigs here, but this was the only picture of the Record that I could remember. Some suggested that it was better to buy a setting guide that you had to fumble with. Sharpening is to each their own.
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    Last edited by Tom M King; 08-30-2020 at 12:49 PM.

  15. #15
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    > I would guess a 25mm chisel, the wheels were near the edge of a 3" stone. Even if you look at the photo Derek posted with a plane blade and the wheels set inside the track of the wheels will be close to 2" or more. Not a lot of room on a 3" stone to work but I can see some ability to being able to work the edges with plane blades.

    I addressed this in my response above "Sure, with thin chisels, it can be more of an issue.". What constitutes thin...dunno, but hopefully you get the drift. As u, and many of us have concluded, NO ONE sharpening tool solves every sharpening task perfectly, they all seem to have issues. And what more can we expect...these are not $5K NASA quality products, they are consumer priced products.

    As for freehand honing.... Again, either your skill-set is far above mine, or maybe you are not as particular about your cutting edge. I can freehand hone and make a usable blade for my planes. But IMO, maintaining that perfect angle through the grits is what gives you a better edge. If you can feel the micro bevel against a stone, whereas you will not alter the angle 1/2 deg., its quite the gift you have.

    As for taking offense... I dont think I am overly sensitive.... you felt the need to make a dig, which I felt was uncalled for, I was only sharing my experience with a new product. So be it... apology accepted, we move on.

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