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Thread: New LV honing guide reveals my tools/my inadequacies

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    Baton Rouge, LA
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    New LV honing guide reveals my tools/my inadequacies

    I bought the new LV honing guide. It is a very nicely made and engineered tool. I am able to get very square, accurate sharpening. Problem is my Marples blue handled chisels have a couple of issues that I was previously unaware of and need to compensate for when I use the guide.

    The chisel lands/side bevels are uneven and/or the chisels tend to vary in width slightly, and some chisels will stop as I try to slide them forward to the depth setting. Then I have to loosen a bit more to slide it forward more.

    One Sargent plane blade bowed when i snugged the guide using the hex key after it had slipped when just finger tight. This was revealed when I could take a shaving on the edges of the blade for a light shaving, but not in the middle. Inverse camber I guess 🙂. Sharpened again with less snugness and all is well. Blade is pretty thin, but I didnít think I had tightened so much as to cause it to deflect.

    My last issue is if I try to orient the honing guide for depth setting as shown in the manual - chisel back on layout board/guide upside down - one side of the guide tends to slightly fall down and chisel locks in lower on one side than the other. This can be solved by two methods perhaps. One way is by turning the guide over and having chisel back on top so the guide rests on the back of the chisel by gravity, but this requires a stop block to be used to push the chisel against since the end of the chisel is raised above the depth line, complicating the depth stop guide. I may be able to learn to hold the guide and chisel in the manner shown in the manual, but with great attention to making sure I keep the guide pressed on the back of the chisel. This is not a natural move at this point and feels awkward.

    To date it is not faster than when I use the Mark II guide, but maybe with some more practice it will be.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    Fairbanks AK
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    755
    I agree it can be a little fussy to get an iron in there with the bevel angle to come out just so. I have noticed my LN chisels fit the LN guide like a glove, so full credit to LN on that one. I did overtighten once and got a not square secondary bevel on a plane iron, once.

    With other tools I mount the iron in the guide and set the whole hootenany on a piece of plate glass so I can measure the angle between the float glass and the iron back. I was fiddling with some of the same annoyance you posted about and just tried the other way. As you tighten the screw the iron is forced upwards away from the wheel into the deeper part of the cutouts in the guideblocks. The One thing I should do is cut a fixed guide block out of some MDF for 30 degree primary bevel and 32 degree secondary. Then I can set the iron in the guide on the float glass, bring the MDF chunk over for whichever setting I want and make the iron back line up with the bevel cut on the corner of the MDF.

    I think I paid $5 for a piece of float glass 6x10" with sanded edges from my local glass place. I told them I wasn't in a hurry, they could wait until they had a scrap, I think I said minimum 4x6, 8x10 better and not bigger than 8x12 inches. They came up with the 6x10 inch piece in a about a week.

    Never tried to sharpen a Marples, can't help with that one.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    5,696
    These things really do work well. You just put the cutter under the angle arm, with any guide loosely on it, slide the guide down until it's a tight fit, and tighten the guide. Takes seconds, and results are exactly repeatable, over, and over, every time.

    I made them one morning, five or six years ago, for an easy way for my helpers to get repeatable results. The little arms were cut on a power miter saw.

    They're just stuck together with Super Glue. I figured if they worked, I'd make some better ones out of Corian scraps, but these work so well, we've never needed anything better. They've been used hundreds of times, and still work fine.

    We don't use microbevels, and cutters never see a grinder unless there is a damaged edge. They always easily maintain the exact angle.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Baton Rouge, LA
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    88
    Tom,

    I seen your angle setters before and considered making them. Now Iím actually going to do it and see how I like them. The LV honing guide does potentially have some pieces above the chisel that might interfere, but I should be able to size some to work.

    Out of curiosity, are you able to repeatedly get the blades square in the Mark II using just your angle setters and not the attachment Lee Valley provides?

    Thank,
    Gary

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    We don't even try for square with the Mark II. The cambered roller stays in it all the time. My big, strong, thick fingered helpers, who can almost read a tape measure if they work together, are hopeless with the fumbly thing to add onto the front of it. The Eclipse keeps things square enough for us. Almost none of my plane blades use a square edge.

    That guide really only gets used if we are somewhere without running water, and use the oil stones. The guys use the Mark II then, because of the built in second position for a micro-bevel. That's the only time we use micro-bevels on anything. The Sigma waterstones cut so fast, that there is no long term time benefit in using a micro-bevel, since the tool would have to visit a grinder much more frequently.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    Baton Rouge, LA
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    I played around with the guide some more and made an angle setting jig.

    It worked great on my plane irons for my low angle planes. Easy to set, easy to use.

    It will not hold my blue 1/2Ē Marples chisel square and Iím convinced it is the poorly ground lands seating unevenly on the side of the guide with two pressure points. The Mark II with the narrow blade holder does work very well on this particular chisel and give me very square results.

    The more I use the Mark II, the easier it gets so while I initially bought the side clamping guide thinking it would replace the Mark II for many tasks, I think I will use the side-clamping guide more selectively - for plane irons that I want ground square. I will use the Mark II with the narrow blade holder for chisels.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    SoCal
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    812
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Focht View Post
    I think I will use the side-clamping guide more selectively - for plane irons that I want ground square. I will use the Mark II with the narrow blade holder for chisels.
    Ayup
    .

  8. #8
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    Feb 2014
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    My blue handled Marples chisels, our daily users, get sharpened easily with the Eclipse guide. I still haven't had the chance to try the new LV ones yet.

  9. #9
    Gary, I have the exact same problem with the LV side clamping guide, and coincidentally Iím sharpening the same Blue Handle Marples chisels. This guide probably works great for some chisels, but I think the side bevels of the Marples are too squared off to sit tightly in the notches of the guide to produce a consistently flat angle.

    I almost returned mine, but decided to keep it because Iíll be ordering a full set of Lee Valley PM-V11 chisels once they are back in stock. Meanwhile, Iím giving free hand sharpening of my secondary bevels a shot.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Baton Rouge, LA
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    88
    Tim,

    Somewhat comforting to know it is not only me. I am keeping it also for certain plane blades and perhaps other chisels I may acquire.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    West Simsbury, CT
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    320
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Focht View Post
    Tim,

    Somewhat comforting to know it is not only me. I am keeping it also for certain plane blades and perhaps other chisels I may acquire.
    Iíve had the same challenge with my Stanley 48 blades using the low position. I have found the LN with barrow jaws works better here.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Focht View Post
    I bought the new LV honing guide. It is a very nicely made and engineered tool. I am able to get very square, accurate sharpening. Problem is my Marples blue handled chisels have a couple of issues that I was previously unaware of and need to compensate for when I use the guide.

    The chisel lands/side bevels are uneven and/or the chisels tend to vary in width slightly, and some chisels will stop as I try to slide them forward to the depth setting. Then I have to loosen a bit more to slide it forward more.

    One Sargent plane blade bowed when i snugged the guide using the hex key after it had slipped when just finger tight. This was revealed when I could take a shaving on the edges of the blade for a light shaving, but not in the middle. Inverse camber I guess . Sharpened again with less snugness and all is well. Blade is pretty thin, but I didnít think I had tightened so much as to cause it to deflect.

    My last issue is if I try to orient the honing guide for depth setting as shown in the manual - chisel back on layout board/guide upside down - one side of the guide tends to slightly fall down and chisel locks in lower on one side than the other. This can be solved by two methods perhaps. One way is by turning the guide over and having chisel back on top so the guide rests on the back of the chisel by gravity, but this requires a stop block to be used to push the chisel against since the end of the chisel is raised above the depth line, complicating the depth stop guide. I may be able to learn to hold the guide and chisel in the manner shown in the manual, but with great attention to making sure I keep the guide pressed on the back of the chisel. This is not a natural move at this point and feels awkward.

    To date it is not faster than when I use the Mark II guide, but maybe with some more practice it will be.
    As the principal tester for this new guide, I have spent a lot of time testing it on every variation of chisel and plane blade I could find. And the taper on the sides of the Marples are by far the fiddliest (is that a word?) Gary you are correct, this is much easier to set with the back of the blade facing up, gravity works to keep the guide's jaws against the back of the blade. I have built several styles of protrusion guides to find out what works best. I personally like the single setting handheld version. By far the easiest to make and it hold the blade tight against the jaws while you sneak up on the protrusion you need. My version has the micro-bevel setting on the other side. The measurements for this are taken directly from the instruction sheet.

    The taper on the Marples are slight enough the jaws will flex enough to hold securely. Blades that have a greater side taper such as some small plane blades wont work however. It is very easy to over-tighten, one of the reasons the hex key is only 1/8" in size.

    Hope this helps.




    Protrusion Jig examples.jpg
    Setting protrusion_resize.jpgRDW Protrusion Guide.jpg

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Posts
    88
    Thanks for your input Richard.

    I will make and try a handheld guide and play a bit more with it. It certainly seems to be a good guide for non-cambered plane blades, so it will have a place in my sharpening arsenal.

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