I ordered a side-clamping honing guide I found online for $15 that I will use when I sharpen the Irwin Marples chisels I bought. I got it in the mail this week, but I don’t have all the sandpaper I need yet to use the scary sharp method. I bought the honing guide, granite stones, spray-on adhesive, and 2000 grit sandpaper this month and reached my limit, so I’ll have to wait on the rest of the sandpaper for a little while.
The honing guide is apparently a copy of a older guide called the Eclipse. While I was researching the Eclipse I found an article (read here) posted by another LJ called Mafe where he made a jig for his Eclipse that would set the angles up easily for his blades. I thought it was a great idea so I made a similar one.
I used a small piece of leftover 1×6 from my worktable, measured everything, then cut and glued it together.
One side is 30mm for 30 degrees and the other side is 40mm for 25 degrees. All I have to do is put the chisel on whichever side I need and clamp the honing guide down. No need to measure everytime.
Even with something this simple I ended up cutting the wrong sized piece 3 times even though I measured 5 times and thought I had it right all 5 times. I finally got it right at the last moment when I ran out of wood big enough to safely cut on the miter saw. I had to modify the base piece a little because the divider is a lot smaller than I planned, but it all worked out.
I visually checked the accuracy of my measurements on the granite stone.
I set it at 25 degrees first.
Looks pretty good to me. The main bevel looks perfectly flat against the granite stone. I then set it at 30 degrees.
From what I can tell, it should put a secondary bevel in about the right spot. I’ve never sharpened chisels before so I’m not too knowledgeable about the necessity of a secondary bevel. One of the videos I watched only showed how to flatten the back and grind/hone the 25 degree main bevel. It didn’t go any farther. Other videos I’ve watched only show the secondary bevel being honed, giving the impression that the main bevel only needs to be ground and honed every once in a while. I’ve obviously decided to go with the secondary bevel, which is why I made the jig to include 30 degrees.
I can store the jig and guide the same way Mafe stores his, by clamping the guide to the jig:
Mafe did make his two-sided so that he can set his plane blades on the other side (the honing guide has a wider clamp for plane blades which is above the narrow clamp for chisels, thus needing different measurements for the angles), but I didn’t think about it until later. Also, I don’t have any planes. I want to get some one day so I’ll just make another jig when that day comes.
When I do make my first attempt at sharpening (which, as you can tell, I’ve decided to go with scary sharp since diamond stones are so expensive), I will log my experience here. Should be interesting.