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Thread: Improved Side Clamping Honing Guide?

  1. #1

    Improved Side Clamping Honing Guide?

    I've been spending far too much time lately in the sharpening/ honing guide rabbit hole. It seems that the Lie-Nielsen honing guide is great for LN products, but doesn't always accept the geometry found with other manufacturers. The Veritas MK II system seems more versatile, but some people seem to have consistency problems. The $15 generic side clamping honing guides seem like they can be made to work well with some file work.

    I have an assortment of Barr chisels and LN and Veritas planes. That rules out the LN honing guide, but I like the idea of a side clamping system.

    I seem to remember a thread where someone wished for a universal side clamping guide with better machining than the generic version. Another user responded by saying Lee Valley was expected to release something along those lines 'early next year'. I've done quite a bit of searching and can't find that thread again, so I was wondering if this sounded familiar to anyone. Does anyone happen to know if Lee Valley is working on a new side clamping honing guide?

  2. #2
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    There is a variety of this format out there. All side clamping guides that I have or have seen work best on cutters that have parallel sides that are perpendicular to the cutting edge. Cutters that taper fro front to back are better served with another form of holding (Veritas). I have a few but, the Veritas Mk.II gets the lion's share of the work with the Kell (Large and small) covering the balance.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 01-07-2021 at 11:14 AM.
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  3. #3
    I think this is what you're looking for:
    https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....78#post3050978

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Boring View Post
    ... Another user responded by saying Lee Valley ....
    Another user? Check the user name, seems like this might be more than a rumor!

    ETA: I was thinking Winston was linking to this thread: https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....26#post3065226
    Last edited by David Bassett; 01-07-2021 at 12:00 PM. Reason: Add link to another possible thread.

  5. #5
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    An Eclipse style honing guide was recently sent to me. It is difficult to get used to a guide after years of freehand sharpening. The distance to the edge of the blade from the mouth was cast into the side of the guide. That is a nice reference. The problem is it only refers to the blades held in the top jaws. This guide also has two other parts of the casting to hold either mortise chisels or heavier firmer chisels.

    One thing that always makes me question the makers of honing guides is a specification like this:

    It will accommodate blades up to 2 1/2” in width
    My Stanley #8 uses a blade 2-5/8" wide. My question is always, what keeps a honing guide from being just a little bit wider?

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

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ETA: I was thinking Winston was linking to this thread: [URL
    https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?286731-LN-Sharpening-Jig&p=3065226#post3065226[/URL]
    Ah yes, that's the thread I saw. For some reason I just couldn't find it again. Thanks for digging it up. I guess I have another item to add to my wish list!

  7. #7
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    FYI, There is an Eclipse 36 honing guide on ebay at the moment. I found one after watching ebay for a couple months, and it's great. Much better than the 2 imitations I have. Current bid is 25 bucks. I bought mine for 30.
    You know, the worst ain't so bad when it finally happens.
    Not half as bad as you figure it'll be before it's happened.
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  8. #8
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    One alternative to the LN, is an Eclipse copy, machined in brass, made by Henry Eckert (named for the son of the owner, David Eckert. David used to be the agent for LN in Australia) ...

    https://www.thetoolworks.com.au/prod...e-setting-jig/

    Note that prices are in AUD, which are significantly less in USD.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  9. #9
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    I seem to remember David Charlesworth writing an article a decade or two ago, on how to improve the Eclipse guide. Might want to search out his article.

    As an aside, from my tool accumulating shopping, through the years, I have picked up several genuine (English made) Eclipse guides. Funny thing is, they were cheaper than the copies, which were always shiny and new.
    If the thunder don't get you, the lightning will.

  10. #10
    I found a video on FWW yesterday where Bob Van Dyke went through the steps of tuning up a generic eclipse. So between tuning up a cheap one, finding a vintage eclipse, the nicely machined Australian one, and waiting for the new LV model, there are lots of good options. This rabbit hole is tough to escape...
    Thanks to everyone for your suggestions!
    Last edited by Steve Boring; 01-08-2021 at 11:34 AM.

  11. #11
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    I made a functioning copy of JSK Koubou's swing arm honing guide. A similar clamping scheme could be adapted to hold the prominent "V" profile of even Barr chisels.

    I started with a similar guide only to find freehand honing easier. The guides tended to yield a skewed bevel. This version of sideways honing is predictable.

    https://youtu.be/_Gl4Y--5C88

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    One alternative to the LN, is an Eclipse copy, machined in brass, made by Henry Eckert (named for the son of the owner, David Eckert. David used to be the agent for LN in Australia) ...
    Derek...

    I have one of the old original eclipse guides, and didn't know that there was an alternative to the LN version until I saw your post... if you have used both of them, and had to pick between the two, would you have a preference...? the Eckert looks like it is very good, and even though I do the majority of my sharpening (both western and japanese blades and chisels...) freehand, I do like the eclipse-style for heavier work or resetting the bevel...

    I would be interested in hearing your comments... both with the extra jaws are basically the same price, so price isn't a factor...

    Thanks,

    JH

  13. #13
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    One alternative to the LN, is an Eclipse copy, machined in brass, made by Henry Eckert (named for the son of the owner, David Eckert. David used to be the agent for LN in Australia) ...

    https://www.thetoolworks.com.au/prod...e-setting-jig/
    This is something in the specifications that has my approval:


    Maximum blade width on the top jaws is 80mm
    That is a little over 3" for those who need a conversion.

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

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey Hood View Post
    Derek...

    I have one of the old original eclipse guides, and didn't know that there was an alternative to the LN version until I saw your post... if you have used both of them, and had to pick between the two, would you have a preference...? the Eckert looks like it is very good, and even though I do the majority of my sharpening (both western and japanese blades and chisels...) freehand, I do like the eclipse-style for heavier work or resetting the bevel...

    I would be interested in hearing your comments... both with the extra jaws are basically the same price, so price isn't a factor...

    Thanks,

    JH
    JH, I do not own one of David’s guides, but have used them at wood shows. They are made in Australia by a machinist, rather than cast or stamped. While still pricy, compared with an Eclipse copy, they are much less than the LN. I am not tempted to own one simply because I have several guides, including the LN and Veritas. I use a guide when preparing BU plane blades, and also if I need to correct the full bevel on Japanese chisels.

    Rob Lee posted a Eclipse-style guide here some months ago. If you are not in a rush to make a purchase, you could wait for it to come into production. Then you will have yet another option.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  15. #15
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    My Eclipse 36 opens past 2-3/8. Get that and be done with it. Good luck!

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