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Do not have high expectations!

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Review by slickSqueegie posted 10-28-2011 02:04 PM 3337 views 0 times favorited 38 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Do not have high expectations! No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I bought it, I guess it works but I am not happy with it. I still would rather “freehand” my blades!

What do I expect for 13 bucks?

Call me picky if ya want. When sharpening, I expect nothing less than perfection! And this little unit is far from it!

-- Come check out more of my projects at http://www.mdwoodart.com




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slickSqueegie

94 posts in 1071 days



38 comments so far

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chrisstef

10785 posts in 1656 days


#1 posted 10-28-2011 02:41 PM

Ive got the same one, and i tend to agree with you. It has a real tough time with my smaller chisels that dont have a bevel on the side, but for my plane irons its worked really well so far. Thanks for the review.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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nobuckle

1120 posts in 1410 days


#2 posted 10-28-2011 03:35 PM

I went to my local Woodcraft store to buy one of these and the salesman there spent some time going over some of the pros and cons of this particular honing guide. He stated that while it might be a good tool to use when sharpening a plane iron it may not work well when sharpening chisels. With this in mind I have decided to hold off until I am able to buy the one that Lee Valley makes. It’s alot more expensive but it’s alot more versatile.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

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Arminius

304 posts in 2453 days


#3 posted 10-28-2011 04:00 PM

I have spent hundreds on tools that I go months without using – at 60 dollars or so for a tool I use almost every work session, the Veritas honing guide is excellent value.

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dbhost

5383 posts in 1881 days


#4 posted 10-28-2011 04:03 PM

I have the same one, and while I don’t hate it as much as the OP obviously does, it is NOT my favorite sharpening tool.. It works fine for plane irons, not so much for chisels. I can make it work, but it’s iffy… The issue is that it doesn’t always clamp down just so on different shape chisel sides… I don’t know if there is one out there that does clamp down on everything you throw at it fine. Like I said, I can make mine work, but setup isn’t fun…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

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derosa

1556 posts in 1485 days


#5 posted 10-28-2011 04:05 PM

I only use mine at this time to sharpen plane irons and find that is works exactly as desired for that purpose. How much perfection are you expecting for 13.00? For flat sided chisels I find it works ok by dropping the chisel down onto the two metal posts since the sides of the guide are flat there and will do the job. When I have more chisels I’ll get something better but doubt I will ever get rid of this as it does what it is supposed to for plane blades and bench chisels.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

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slickSqueegie

94 posts in 1071 days


#6 posted 10-28-2011 04:32 PM

derosa, I get perfection every time by hand, I was simply looking for an easier way to do it.

I guess your right, as I stated, what do I expect for 13 bucks? well, I bought it from woodcraft! This thing belongs in Harbor freight!

I guess its time to break down and order the veritas.

-- Come check out more of my projects at http://www.mdwoodart.com

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PurpLev

8476 posts in 2298 days


#7 posted 10-28-2011 04:36 PM

a bit of a strange review. more of ‘an opinion’ than a review.

I guess it works but I am not happy with it. : what works, and what doesn’t, why aren’t you happy with it, what’s missing?

And this little unit is far from it! : in what way is it far from it? how could it be closer to it?

I do not have this unit, but have seen it in person in use by others, and it seems to be doing exactly what it is designed to do and does it well at a ridiculous low cost. just trying to understand what were you expecting from it and what made you view it so differently than my experience with it

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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slickSqueegie

94 posts in 1071 days


#8 posted 10-28-2011 04:45 PM

what works, and what doesn’t,
The roller in the device rolls smooth, and is brass! ;)

but the whole thing has paint on it!
shouldn’t the surfaces be machined???

Like I said, this thing belongs in harbor freight, not Woodcraft!

I had a hard time getting my blades squared in it because of the paint.
I could scrape the paint and hope for good results.

but I could also save that hour of my time and buy the veritas.

13 dollars or not, this thing doesn’t cut it in my opinion.

If you are looking for perfection (as every woodworkeer should be while sharpening) this is not for you.

:)

-- Come check out more of my projects at http://www.mdwoodart.com

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rodneyh

127 posts in 1314 days


#9 posted 10-28-2011 04:48 PM

I have the same, and it works great for me.

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derosa

1556 posts in 1485 days


#10 posted 10-28-2011 04:53 PM

Although I don’t agree on functionality, I could also see this thing selling for 5.00 at harbor freight as well, probably just not enough demand for them to bother with.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

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ShaneA

5294 posts in 1248 days


#11 posted 10-28-2011 05:07 PM

I have it as well, I cant get some chisels, usually smaller ones to sit in a way I am happy with. I havent tried it on irons yet. I figured maybe my issue was user error. Now I see others struggle with same issue.

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dbhost

5383 posts in 1881 days


#12 posted 10-28-2011 05:11 PM

I think I can explain, but not sure if I can make it understood, so let’s see if this makes sense…

The sides of the jig are stepped, such that a flat piece such as a plane iron can get solidly locked in to the clamping mechanism. However chisels, that tend to have bevels on the side that would face down in the jig, would tend to be “squeezed out” as the slides clamp down unless the operator is VERY careful to insure that the sides of the clamp are pressing only on the flat side parts of the chisels.

Once locked down properly however, it works fine, it’s just a nuisance to set up.

And in all honesty, I am not sure how they could have designed it to work any better…

The jig does appear to be reasonably well made, and the advancement / retraction of the clamping sides is smooth and steady. And it does exactly what it is supposed to, it holds your iron, or chisel at the angle you set it at, so that the honing is consistent.

To be completely honest, I think the issue is more a nature of the beast thing. Even Lee Valley sells the same exact item (for less money at that)... These “Clamp Type” jigs are just slip prone on chisels. The Veritas Mark II Honing Guide that clamps from above I would think would be a better design compensating as it does for the bevel by applying pressure evenly downward. But it comes at a price…

Both prices shown are present Lee Valley Prices…

Vise Type Honing Guide $10.90
Veritas Mark II Honing Guide $64.50

With experience you learn what doesn’t work with the cheapie, and honestly, I know I get far better results with the guide than I ever could freehand. I have never had it come undone in use, just some fusses during setup, and then only once or twice as I got used to using it. Not a big deal at all… Others have mentioned smaller chisels, and that is where I had the issue (my 1/4” chisel caused me migraines at first) but with some experience, it gets easy…

I don’t disagree with the OP that this isn’t a perfect item, but I feel the 2 star rating is undeserved as this one is, well… average, which should give it 3 stars… It’s not great, it’s not terrible, it just is what it is…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

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tenontim

2131 posts in 2394 days


#13 posted 10-28-2011 05:18 PM

I have this guide and for the price it’s a good starting point. And like most lower end planes and other hand tools, it needs a little tuning up. As is, it works good for plane blades, but the paint does need to be filed off of the inner clamping surface to get it to hold a chisel well. I’ve filed the clamping surfaces on both the chisel clamp and the plane blade clamp and this jig works fine for me. I guess it’s a matter of what you think your time is worth, and if it’s not worth the time to fine tuning it, then maybe you should quit spending money on cheap tools. You get what you pay for.

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slickSqueegie

94 posts in 1071 days


#14 posted 10-28-2011 05:33 PM

dbhost, nicely put.
I guess I was a little harsh, and maybe it does deserve a little more props, but not from me.

I guess I gave it a 2 star rating because my standards are higher. I bought it with moderately low expectations as it was, and it really didn’t disappoint too much. I bought it to see if it would save a little time. but it did not. I spent more time setting it up than it takes to freehand and be done.
I use chisels and planes A LOT and re sharpen just as often.

Arminius-
“I *have spent hundreds on tools that I go months without using – at 60 dollars or so for a tool I use almost every work session, the Veritas honing guide is excellent value.”

Thank you, I’m ordering it soon!

-- Come check out more of my projects at http://www.mdwoodart.com

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slickSqueegie

94 posts in 1071 days


#15 posted 10-28-2011 05:43 PM

tenontim

If the package said “Honing guide, works well after spending time tweaking it” I would have known that this isn’t what I’m looking for.
But this thing is in “Woodcraft”

harbor freight is where it belongs.

hence the review.

-- Come check out more of my projects at http://www.mdwoodart.com

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