honing guide and stones

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Forum topic by daddywoofdawg posted 12-26-2014 10:23 PM 941 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1006 posts in 995 days

12-26-2014 10:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sharpening chisel plane

I’m looking at the MK II Honing Guide,is there a better easier to use one for a beginner?
What stone/s should I get? I don’t really need to get down to the 5 digit stone grits.
price is a object and doing sharping by hand isn’t a option,I make them duller.
I’m sharpening standard planes and bench chisels

8 replies so far

View todd4390's profile


130 posts in 888 days

#1 posted 12-26-2014 11:01 PM

I’m a beginner at sharpening and got the MK II several weeks ago. It’s very easy to use and you shouldn’t have any trouble with it.

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 757 days

#2 posted 12-26-2014 11:13 PM

Very easy to use. I learned to sharpen by hand but this guide got me through the fear of sharpening. I still use it for plane irons. Chisels I do by hand.

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

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Gerald Thompson

804 posts in 1655 days

#3 posted 12-26-2014 11:24 PM

I have used it and now it sits idle. I will use it to hone a plane iron to a different degree bevel though. It is such an advantage to learn to free hand sharpen. It is faster and one does not tend to let things get too dull dreading pulling out the guide.
The MkII is an accurate and well build device.

-- Jerry

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1006 posts in 995 days

#4 posted 12-27-2014 12:11 AM

which stones should I buy?

View OSU55's profile


1039 posts in 1410 days

#5 posted 12-27-2014 12:36 AM

I was never able to get anywhere near as good an edge by hand that I can with simple jigs. If you use your planes for fine smoothing, you will get improved performance by going to 5 digit mesh ratings. I prefer um sizes, and you want to get to 1 um grit to polish the edge. Helps for sharpness and edge durability. I prefer diamond stones (I use DMT Duosharp), I believe they are the best value long term. I use 3M lapping film to finish hone. My honing process is described here and I use essentially the same process for the primary bevel on diamond stones.

The thing I don’t like about most of the purchased jigs is the wheel(s) run on the abrasive, causing the wheel(s) to wear and will drag larger grit to successive stones unless cleaned well. The jigs I use ride on the surface in front of the abrasive. Other than that, the MKII is a fine system. I don’t find jig set up adds much time to the process, and in my tests the jig edges out lasted the hand edges by enough time that using jigs actually saves me time overall.

View waho6o9's profile (online now)


7119 posts in 1997 days

#6 posted 12-27-2014 01:18 AM

View Pezking7p's profile


3097 posts in 1072 days

#7 posted 12-27-2014 01:21 AM

DMT stones if you’re going the stone route. I don’t like water stones personally. Get a fine or an ultra fine stone to start, and if money is an issue use sand paper for the lower grits until you can save up for all the stones. I use my fine and ultra fine most often.

-- -Dan

View PtboJim's profile


9 posts in 1519 days

#8 posted 12-28-2014 12:03 AM

IMHO if price is an object I would buy a vise type honing guide ($10 -$15), a combination oil stone ($50) and some honing compound ($12-15) for use on a shopmade leather strop. With a little practice you will be able to hone your edge tools to a level that would be sufficient for 95% of woodworking tasks. If you are just starting out, stay away from water stones – the honing guides will ruin them and diamond stones are not very budget friendly ($60-$100 per – and you’ll need three).

That said, what grade of steel are the majority of your tools made from? In my experience with the newer A2, O1 and chrome vanadium steels there is a benefit to the higher quality (read expensive) water and/or diamond stones when it comes to the time it takes to sharpen/hone. On the other hand, my old pre-WW2 high carbon steel tools sharpen/hone up just as fast with my oil stones.

Learning to how to sharpen/hone edge tools can be rather frustrating at first and just like golfing it comes down to practice, skill & technique. There are a multitude of methods but in the end it is all about lapping the back side flat, grinding the correct bevel and the final honing for the tool to do it’s job.

-- "Everything should be made as simple as possible...but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein

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