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Thread: Honing Guide Questions

  1. #1
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    Question Honing Guide Questions

    Just getting back into woodworking and need a way to sharpen a few planes and chisels I have. I've read every thread I could find on the forum and on others and wondered if in 2022 any opinions have changed on these. I'm looking for a basic honing guide to handle plane irons from a variety of planes from different brands/manufacturers including Type 11 Stanley, Veritas, Lie Nielsen, etc. Also looking for it to handle various chisels including Two Cherries bevel edge chisels. Will be using with a set of Shapton Kuromaku Ceramic Whetstones in 1000, 5000 and 8000.Right now I'm trying to decide between these:

    Lie Nielsen - I previously had one that never got used as I got out of woodworking before really getting into hand tools. It was machined beautifully. But it looks like this would be nearly $200 to buy the basic honing guide and then the chisel jaws but I'm not sure they will work with the Two Cherries brand chisels based on sporadic comments I've found on web.

    Veritas Side Clamping - Looks similar to the Lie Nielsen but without the ability to change jaws. However, it appears to have 3 different mounting jaw profiles on it. anyone used one and how would it compare for the variety of plane blades and chisels I might buy over time? Cheapest option at $46. I'm kind of leaning towards this one for the flexibility but don't know if that's a choice I will regret.

    Veritas MK II - Lots of attachments and appears to be the no brainer option until I continued to find comments about skewed edges due to it not holding chisels square. I haven't really pinned down why but it scares me a little regardless. Otherwise appears to be a nice guide with lots of positive feedback. Mid range option at $140 for deluxe set including all jaws.

    Any others? Any clear winners as all of the posts I've been finding are from 2020 or way older. Thank you.
    Last edited by Greg Parrish; 09-19-2022 at 6:14 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Parrish View Post
    ... Any others? Any clear winners as all of the posts I've been finding are from 2020 or way older. Thank you.
    I think you've identified (most of?) the deluxe versions.

    If you want to just test the waters, Woodcraft has their WoodRiver side-clamping honing guide on sale this month for $9.49. (See their September sale flyer.) It's their implementation of the classic Eclipse honing guide. It won't be as well made and I don't think is as versatile as the premium versions, but with care it should handle most cases. I expect most chisels and irons with parallel sides to work in any of the side-clamping guides. (With non-parallel sides you would need L-N auxiliary jaws or Veritas top-clamping guide. Some of the Veritas plane irons are the usual suspects for non-parallel sides, but there are probably others.)...
    Last edited by David Bassett; 09-19-2022 at 4:29 PM. Reason: typo

  3. #3
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    I have a couple of the original Eclipses, and a number of others.

    I bought this one just to see if there was such a thing as a decent cheap one, and it really is.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  4. #4
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    I had the veritas MKII, and its very nice. You will strip the skin off your finger tips tightening and loosening the knurled brass screws, and i never had a square edge off the jig, but it works.I sold it and the majority of my glass stones for a used tormek. I think with some practice and a little bit of time, you can sharpen most things by hand. Will they be ultra scary sharp? Probably not without years of consistent practice, but I bet you surprise yourself freehand. However, i am very interested in the cheap guides. The MKII was nice, but i also never needed the flexibility of angles the MKII offered. Frankly, i am not that much of a handtool woodworker that i care much. I just want my tools to be between 20-30į with a consistent bevel and a flat back. Tom's recommendation looks like it will serve you well. For $200+ for the above guides/jigs, id rather have a Dia flat or better stones. That is just me. Heck, i think i spent $300 on my used tormek with a bunch of jigs, which is maybe something to consider if the opportunity presents itself locally. I found that Tormek will get you to 7/10 level of sharpness in a minute or less. After i strop, i really dont find a need to reach 10/10 25,000 grit level of sharpness.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the feedback. Pretty much along the various reviews and threads/posts I've been reading.

    As much as I'd like to have the Lie Nielson just because I love their tools, for the money saved I decided to give the Veritas Side-Clamping version a try. It was only $10 difference from the one Tom linked at Amazon. Heck, for the cost of the LN version, I was pretty much able to get the one from Veritas guides and a Veritas low angle block plane with PM-V11 iron. I'll give the Veritas guide a whirl and if it doesn't live up to its name, I can always get a LN one later if needed. https://www.leevalley.com/en-us/shop...e?item=05M0940

    Besides, I needed a block plane and have always been interested in the Veritas planes and PM-V11 irons. My prior planes before selling my prior shop were all LN, but this go round I've got two James Spangler special Stanley Type 11 planes and now a Veritas block plane on order. Whoop!

    Thanks again for the feedback/comments.

  6. #6
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    I have that Veritas side clamping jig too, and it works fine. I think that one from Amazon was cheaper than 40 bucks when I bought it, but I don't remember.

  7. #7
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    I have (in order of procurement) an eclipse copy, the LV Mk ii, and the LN. Not sure if Iíd go the LN route without a lot of LN tools to use in it as others are guaranteed to work and it is a pricey tool. I am not a fan of the Mk ii as it takes time and patience to get the edge straight and thereís still a chance it wind be. I keep it for angles now mostly. The narrow blade add on makes it work a lot better but it wonít handle plane blades. There really wasnít anything wrong with my eclipse copy and I could still be using it if not for wanderlust. The big problem Iíve heard with eclipse clones is that sometimes they require a lot of work to get straight and ready - I got lucky I guess. I donít have experience with the LV side clamp but if I was starting now Iíd take a long look at it.

  8. #8
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    Why don't you make one out a piece of oak or other hard wood.

    A simple triangular block can do it, oak or other hard wood.

  9. #9
    Veritas MK II
    If you don't tighten the thumb screws evenly, the tool can move or pivot. In my experience, if you pay attention to what you're doing, this is a rare occurrence. I've been using one for close to 20 years and for me, it's the only one.
    I prefer that it references off the back of the tool, so I can rely on the angle being correct and repeatable.
    JMO

  10. #10
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    Looks like Blue Spruce offers one also. Anyone ever tried theirs? https://bluesprucetoolworks.com/prod...e-honing-guide

  11. #11
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    The Lie-Nielsen honing guide is fantastic....for Lie Nielsen tools. It works well on other brands of plane blades, but non-L-N chisels may not be secure enough in the LN guide. You can file a knock-off Eclipse guide to hold the chisels that don't fit into the L-N guide. This combination of guides has met my needs for a long time.

  12. #12
    I have the Veritas one, and it is okay. The drawback is that for plane blades, you need to be able to put a very slight arc in the blade so there are no 'corner' marks. The LIe Neilson one provides this. Veritas does have a 2 piece set up where one has a brass roller that is tapered, and I have one on order. Apparently if you want just the tapered roller it is an 'upgrade' and not available as a separate unit. Depending on how many planes you have, you may need the angled blades. Not sure if one is made for the Japanese style marking knives.

    For sharpening stones, I opted for the DMT lapping plates. They have 1200, 4000, and 8000 grit now. You will never have to soak them, or level them. I also went with the DMT diamond honing/stropping pastes. Trying to figure out if I want leather or just on some wood or MDF.

    robo hippy

  13. #13
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    I've got a few... the older Veritas one (MkI ?), an Eclipse clone from the hardware store, and the Veritas Mk II.

    I need to make a protrusion guide for the Eclipse, and go through it and tune it up some as shown online. Might be more useful then.

    The Mk II... man, I must have gotten lucky on mine. Never had an issue with skewed edges. The Veritas jig/rest for my bench grinder, yes. Better off free-handing than what that jig gives me. But the MkII... never had an issue with skew, as long as I tighten down the bar evenly, and never had to go more than finger tight either. It is kind of a pain going between thicker irons and thinner, but that's about it.

    Regarding the cambered roller... in my experience, it doesn't give as much of a smooth even radius along the edge of the blade, as dub the corners. The end result is that it reduces plane tracks, which is why I got it, but the way it ends up isn't quite what I was expecting. Which is the main reason I'm still tinkering with the Eclipse style guide. Part of me lusts after the LN guide, rather than have to tinker and fuss with modifying the Eclipse - I much prefer to *use*

  14. #14
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    I bought the MkII before the LN guide was released. Since most of my planes and some of my spokeshaves and chisels are LN, I probably would have purchased it despite the huge difference in price. While the MkII has a few annoying issues, Iíve learned to live with and work around them because of its versatility and price. The LN guide with all the attachments I would need would cost me $400 ($300 back then). As my waterstones have worn down Iíve been replacing them with DMT Diasharp stones. With a honing on a leather strop, they get my blades very sharp. But Iím not anal to the point of examining the scratch patterns under a microscope. 😉

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the continued feedback everyone.

    In lieu of starting a new thread, since it's a related topic and I'm sure you all have similar feedback, what lapping plate does everyone prefer for their waterstones? I was thinking about the DMT one from Lie Nielsen but didn't know if there were other options. Like everything I research, the reviews are all over the place, especially on Amazon.

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