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Thread: Veritas side clamping honing guide issues

  1. #1
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    Veritas side clamping honing guide issues

    I received one of these (05M09.40) as a Christmas gift to hopefully replace my inexpensive eclipse style honing guide. No matter what I did it did not seem to want to clamp the blade squarely in the guide and the result was skewed sharpenings. Frustratingly I put a brand new chisel in that was definitely square to start and started putting it over my thousand grit diamond Stone and it very quickly started to sharpen askew.

    I called Lee valley to see what I might be doing wrong or what I was missing and they explained they were having issues with some of these guides and we're happy to send me a replacement. The replacement arrived today and was supposedly tested before it was shipped out to me but I'm having the exact same issue. I'm more than willing to admit its user error but I'd like to know what I'm doing wrong if that's the case.

    If it's just a matter of getting it set right I guess that's fine but if that's the case then it must be so finicky as to require 15 minutes of setup, and double and triple checking every time you put a blade in which makes it not super useful.

    I'm just wondering if anyone else has had any issues with these? Is there some trick or tip that I'm missing? Or maybe these just aren't very good guides? I am operating under the assumption that veritas makes quality items although I don't own anything else from them...

    I have tried multiple different blades different styles of chisels different brands of chisels I even put the thin leg of an engineer square clamped into the guide knowing that it is flat and square and ran it over the stone and it sharpened crooked. If I agonize over getting the blade in, seated properly and a square as I can, when I sight down to compare the edge of the blade with the brass wheel it looks like they are not parallel.

    Any thoughts? I'll be calling Lee valley back but I don't know what else they're going to tell me...

  2. #2
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    I got one shortly after they came out and have used it a few times. I've had no issues with it. There's some degree of manipulation you have to keep in mind while using it. If you press too hard with one of your hands, you'll develop a skew. Check your progress and if you see a skew developing, shift the pressure to the other side. Also, being a bit out of square to the sides of an edge tool is not a huge deal and pursuing it sort of a waste of time, that's why, for example, most hand planes have a lateral adjustment for.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rafael Herrera View Post
    I got one shortly after they came out and have used it a few times. I've had no issues with it. There's some degree of manipulation you have to keep in mind while using it. If you press too hard with one of your hands, you'll develop a skew. Check your progress and if you see a skew developing, shift the pressure to the other side. Also, being a bit out of square to the sides of an edge tool is not a huge deal and pursuing it sort of a waste of time, that's why, for example, most hand planes have a lateral adjustment for.
    Thanks for the reply that all makes sense. I do think maybe I'm over relying on the honing guide to Auto square itself. I think maybe I need to pay a little bit more attention when I'm tightening down the side clamps. I am trying not to agonize over it being absolutely dead square but it's far enough out that I feel like it's not acceptable. I'm going to fiddle around with it a little bit!

  4. #4
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    Seems like you should be able to at least track down a point of issue using a square and strait edge. Maybe don't extend to the required distance and take some measurements with the cutting edge flush with the guide.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Lewis View Post
    Thanks for the reply that all makes sense. I do think maybe I'm over relying on the honing guide to Auto square itself. I think maybe I need to pay a little bit more attention when I'm tightening down the side clamps. I am trying not to agonize over it being absolutely dead square but it's far enough out that I feel like it's not acceptable. I'm going to fiddle around with it a little bit!
    Glenn, it is a common assumption by many that all one need do with a honing guide is insert the blade, clamp it down, and all will be good.

    But the guide does not do the work ... you do. All the guide does it hold the blade at the angle you want. It is still up to you to keep it steady on the stone. It is easy to skew the hone with too much (unintentional) pressure to one side. Use one hand to keep the blade flat to the stone/media.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  6. #6
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    I got one shortly after they were released as well. I used it to refresh the primary bevel on a few chisels and had the same frustrating issue with skewing, especially on the narrower chisels.

    Maybe the jig is finicky, or maybe in my case the user needs to pay closer attention. I'm going to work with it some more, and I'm going to compare with the results I get from an Eclipse-style jig, before I decide how much of the problem might be from the fingertips back.
    Last edited by Charles Taylor; 01-26-2022 at 11:21 AM.
    Chuck Taylor

  7. #7
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    I just tried squaring it to a registration line instead of using a registration block spaced the correct distance from a reference face on a jig. This seems to have worked better. I squared the edge of the chisel to the line by eye and then tightened down the clamp with the front of the guide registered against the face of a block of plywood onto which the registration lines are drawn. I'm wondering if maybe trying to use a three dimensional stop to set the depth is misleading because the relatively sharp edge of the chisel is actually cutting in to the block and not necessarily lining up square? I have used a scrap of wood with wood blocks attached to it at different distances to set the projection for a while with no issues. But I think visually being able to see that it's square to a line is working better with this particular jig. I'm going to give that a shot and go from there.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Lewis View Post
    Thanks for the reply that all makes sense. I do think maybe I'm over relying on the honing guide to Auto square itself. I think maybe I need to pay a little bit more attention when I'm tightening down the side clamps. I am trying not to agonize over it being absolutely dead square but it's far enough out that I feel like it's not acceptable. I'm going to fiddle around with it a little bit!
    The honing guide won't auto square as you imagine to produce a square edge to the sides, it rides on the brass wheel and there is enough width to the guide to bias the pressure on one side and develop a skew. Not all plane irons or chisels have precisely machined sides parallel to each other or to the long axis of the tool, tapered plane irons are an example (incidentally, the reason I bought the guide).

  9. #9
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    Glenn, I had similar issues and what I decided upon close inspection was that my Marples chisels had unevenly ground lands. One side was narrower than the other and would sit in the guide differently than the other side - the guide relies on a bit of wedging action to force the tool up to the reference surface and uneven thickness in the lands resulted in a skewed chisel. The unfortunate thing is all my chisels seem to be slightly unevenly ground.

    The guide is probably good for plane blades with parallel sides or some expertly ground chisels sold by Lee Valley - ones I donít own.

  10. #10
    The original, made in England , Eclipse guide has never to my knowledge been copied. What we see on the duplicates is two square sides that hold the plane iron /chisel. That is NOT how the Eclipse works..... This is true for the cheap Chinese copies, the L-N Copy and the Veritas copy.
    The Eclipse had one square edge to reference the iron into the right orientation. The opposing side, was CONVEX. It had one point of contact with the blade, focing th other side to dominate the squareness. The Chinese copies are sometimes badly made.. I have one that has the assembly backwards and it can not hold a blade at all. I have others that have abit of crud in the area where theblade is being gripped, causing it too to be useless. ALl tghe Eclipse thta I have are made beautifully. The L-N is also well made. I have not had problems with these.
    To me the fault in all of this type of guide is that the wheel is too narrow. I would have preferred a much wider wheel.
    Having said all of that, it works quite well. YOU must be sure that the blade is correctly inserted and against the correct reference side. ( Flat against the jig). When you work the chisel across your stone paper. whatever you call your sharpening medium. it is important to put pressure form both hands equally on the jig. I put my thumbs under the back of the blade, and use my third finger of each hand on the top of the blade and draw towards me.

  11. #11
    I use the Lie Nielsen Honing guide and the MKII. even on the MKII with the uncambered wheel, if I'm not careful I tend to favor my right. I suggest you place a long quality parallel blade into the guide (even a thick ruler would do) and use a square you trust to check that the seating for squareness. if it does - congratulations you are in the same boat as I am (user error)! just be aware of your bodies biases, check your work frequently and adjust accordingly.

  12. #12
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    I've had the MKII with the flat and the cambered roller and both sets of jaws. I use the LN guide now. As Derek notes above, all of these guides are susceptible to uneven side to side pressure. Work at it a bit and you'll get it dialed in.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Filippone View Post
    The original, made in England , Eclipse guide has never to my knowledge been copied. What we see on the duplicates is two square sides that hold the plane iron /chisel. That is NOT how the Eclipse works..... This is true for the cheap Chinese copies, the L-N Copy and the Veritas copy.
    Unless we are referring to different Veritas side clamping guides, the one in question does not have 2 square sides. It has 2 points of contact on one side and a single point of contact on the other, improving upon the contact system of the eclipse. It works quite well.

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