MK II Honing Guide Questions

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Forum topic by langski93 posted 01-17-2009 04:55 AM 820 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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111 posts in 3671 days

01-17-2009 04:55 AM

It looks like those that have the MK II are pretty pleased with it. I inspected than bought it yesterday (very well made) brought it home and started practising on a old block plane blade that was really in tough shape. I am not done with it yet, but it is really taking shape. My question to other users is what do you do about the short stroke you get? I was using 11” strips of paper but I estimate I only got to utiilize the first 6” before the jig went off the paper. Does the difference in height of the paper to the solid work surface make a difference in honing when the roller drops off the paper, but the blade is still on the paper? In addition, I was going to buy some waterstones, which are not cheap, but the Nortons are all 8” long and I will get even less surface stroke. Is that worth it? I am just starting on this, so any insight is greatly appreciated.


I used to ski, but I took up woodworking to save money.

—Langski, New Hampshire

-- Langski, New Hampshire

2 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3887 days

#1 posted 01-17-2009 06:39 AM

I try to stay on the paper/stone … means shorter strokes, but then I rotate the stone so that I go evenly on its entire surface… same as the paper…

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

View Gofor's profile


470 posts in 4025 days

#2 posted 01-18-2009 04:40 AM

Yes, the height makes a difference with the roller on or off the paper. As long as you do that particular blade all the same (on or off) you will get a consistent bevel. (the difference of less than 1 degree will not be discernable in use). A block plane blade, with its low angle, will be the longest one you have to deal with. I do these with the roller off the paper. The 25 degrees of a smoother or jack plane iron, and the 30 to 35 degrees for most chisels will result in a much shorter distance between the edge and the roller, so these I do with the roller on the paper.

Realize when using the roller off the paper that as the grit gets finer, the bevel gets a little steeper. This actually works in your favor, as the most abrasion is always occurring at the edge.

I only use a 3 or 4” stroke anyway. I do not use waterstones, but do use some hard arkansas oil stones that are only 6” long. They work for the majority of irons/chisels, but not for the ones with a long bevel (i.e. 17 degrees, etc) Mostly, tho, i use them by hand for just a couple final strokes, as the hard arkansas I have puts a little keener edge than the 2000 g paper. ( I was lucky in getting one that has no anomalies in it,)

I will leave the subject of waterstones to those that have them.

However, your statement: “I only got to utiilize the first 6” before the jig went off the paper.” concerns me. Are you pushing the edge into the paper, or are you dragging it backwards. If the roller comes off the paper first, you are doing it backwards. You want to push the edge into the abrasive for the keenest edge. You pull it backwards only when using a honing compound on a wheel or strop to put a final polish on the very edge, which is the very last step.


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