|Forum topic by Dan||posted 09-30-2011 07:34 PM||8522 views||6 times favorited||5 replies|
09-30-2011 07:34 PM
For about the past two years I have been using the good old eclipse honing jig for my plane irons and chisels. Its not a perfect jig but it had always worked out just fine for me.
It was not until recently I started having some issues with the eclipse jig. The issues were rather minor but when trying to get a perfect edge even minor issues become a big problem. I use the scary sharp method to both grind and hone my tools. The biggest issue I was having with the eclipse jig was the roller ball was picking up debris/grit and transferring it to my finer grit papers. Even after wiping the roller off it still seemed to transfer debris. That is a problem when honing a micro bevel on the very fine abrasive because you don’t want the edge hitting that debris. It was also ripping and scratching my fine abrasives. Another issue I had with the eclipse jig was it not clamping the plane irons square. I restore a lot of old irons and often those irons are not square on the sides which makes a side clamping jig hard to use if trying to get the iron square.
So I decided to try a new jig and rather then buying one I went the shop made route and I made my own using Brent Beach’s jig design. http://www3.telus.net/BrentBeach/Sharpen/sharpen.html
A lot of you are probably aware of Brent’s site but if you aren’t I strongly suggest checking it out. I have learned a ton about sharpening and honing from reading the information on his site. His site covers pretty much everything you need to know about sharpening and I still read through it from time to to refresh my brain.
He has a very simple, cheap and easy jig that he uses and recommends. He has plans and directions of use on his site that are very easy to follow. So I went a head and followed his plan and made my own. It took me maybe 20 or 30 min to make it and only a couple dollars in hardware.
I finished the jig and after using it on one iron I tossed it aside and went right back to my eclipse jig. I was just so used to the feel of the eclipse jig that when I used the new one it felt so awkward and I didn’t like it at all.. I continued with the eclipse jig for another several months and just dealt with the minor issues.
Last week I decided to give the Brent Beach style jig another try. It still felt very awkward and different but I stuck with it and after a little while I started to adapt and get used to the feeling. I sharpened a few irons and now I have a whole new opinion of the jig. It works great! It clamps from the top so its very easy to get a blade square, no wheel so the only thing touching the paper or stone is the iron and its as accurate if not more accurate then my eclipse. The jig takes a bit of getting used to but once you get the hang of it its a great help and a fine jig. I recommend it to anyone who was like me and having problems with other jigs or those who do not yet have a honing jig…
-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"