Spokeshave honing clamp

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Project by stanley_clifton posted 1937 days ago 3038 views 11 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Those of us who are spokeshave fans will know that the irons are just a bit tricky to hone. This clamp is designed to help with that by giving more grip and getting the hands away from the whetstone’s surface. I have been meaning to build a clamp like this for a while and was prompted by buying a little spokeshave from a car boot sale last weekend, which turns out to be a ‘sweetheart’ Stanley no 64.

The handle is oak and I have rasped out some thumb and finger grips to enable a really good hold. Ash is used for the fixed plate, while another slice of oak provides the moving plate. The clamping bolts are really for roofing and are provided with additional washer and wing nuts to give rapid adjustment and final tightening. The little wedge is of oak and is the only thing glued (with Titebond 3). This is because the wedge would not screw on dry, so I fixed one end and then glued and clamped it in the correct position.

This wedge is cut at 28 degrees. Thus, if the clamp is placed on the whetstone with the wedge down, the iron is fixed in the clamp square and just short of the whetstone surface. Then when the iron’s edge is tipped forward onto the whetstone, a honing angle of approximately 30 degrees will be achieved and the wedge will be lifted clear. This should ensure that the iron can only wobble out in one direction. That’s the theory.

Everything in this clamp is from the scrap bag apart from the metal fittings and glue.

I hope that this is useful to everyone.

-- Stanley generally struggling

8 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


112016 posts in 2210 days

#1 posted 1937 days ago

Thats one great Idea stan well done clamp

-- Custom furniture

View johnpoolesc's profile


246 posts in 1994 days

#2 posted 1937 days ago

looks like that one will work great. great job

-- It's not a sickness, i can stop buying tools anytime.

View USCJeff's profile


1044 posts in 2702 days

#3 posted 1936 days ago

I think this the first spokeshave guide I’ve seen posted here. Well done. I’ve tried several things that get great results. As simple as this jig is, gotta give it a shot as I’ve got nothing that makes the task easy.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 2192 days

#4 posted 1936 days ago

Great jig. I gotta go for this too.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View stefang's profile


12947 posts in 1968 days

#5 posted 1936 days ago

Thank you Stanley. This is just what I need to relieve my arthritic fingers.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View stanley_clifton's profile


187 posts in 2337 days

#6 posted 1936 days ago

Thanks for the nice comments chaps.

Just to say that the wedge set for 30 degrees will only really be suitable for bevel down shaves such as the Record in the picture. If you have a bevel up shave then you’d need a 23 degree wedge to achieve a 25 degree hone on a 20 degree grind. Sorry if anyone finds this childishly obvious; it hadn’t occurred to me until I was browsing through my ‘The Handplane Book’ last night.

I have a little wooden shave which is bevel up and find this better for end grain work than the two bevel down Records that I have. The cutting angle is clearly superior, even though I do have difficulty getting its tanged iron sharp.

All the best.

-- Stanley generally struggling

View bigike's profile


4031 posts in 1922 days

#7 posted 1213 days ago

neat idea

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View Doug McPherson's profile

Doug McPherson

114 posts in 1789 days

#8 posted 1046 days ago

This is great! Has anyone tried anything similar to this concept for a shop-made plane blade sharpening jig?

-- DullChiselDoug,

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