Honing Guide Help

Robert166

robert166
User
Attempted to sharpen a couple of blades on my hand planes. Watched a few You-Tube vids and figured I would give it a try freehand. They came out "okay" but not where I wanted them. I can't keep my wrists locked in the correct angle. So maybe a honing guide is the next step for me. So I priced them, wow! From 20 bucks to 150 bucks. I dont know which one to choose. I have only a few hand planes, do I need a 150 dollar guide? I don't think I do, but do buy a cheaper one and not get the results I want? These are the questions I have. Maybe somebody could let me test drive one of thiers and provide some free advise? I will buy you lunch!
 

marinosr

Richard
Senior User
You will get better with practice. If you are having trouble keeping your wrists locked at the proper angle, brace your elbows against your side an move your entire upper body side-to-side.

The $20 one is fine but not great. You might need to file a slant in it so that the walls that hold the iron in place apply constant downward pressure on the iron. It's a common tweak that you can read more about on the internet. I have the Veritas guide (with the camber roller attachment) and it works superbly. I never use it. I just eventually learned to freehand and it's so much faster that I don't bother with the guide anymore. I'll sell you the Veritas and the camber guide for $60 + shipping from canada, probably $10.

I'd recommend just keeping at doing it freehand... eventually you'll get it right. You're correct that maintaining a consistent angle is key to avoid having the blade be dubbed over. But I also would be happy to sell my guide.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
They came out "okay" but not where I wanted them.
Some good clear close up photos would help. But what did you expect that you could not achieve?

Maybe you just need to go to a finer stone to refine the edge?

Or is it taking too long to get sharp? Not coarse enough stone or may need grinder?

A perfectly flat bevel is not absolutely necessary. It can even be quite convex as long as the total curve fits within the 25 to 30 degree angle.

Or you may not be wearing away the wire edge at a fine enough grit and the edge breaks leaving a ragged edge. I see this a lot, you have it almost sharp then you do a little more and it seems duller than before. The wire edge has broken off. It's very clear what happened under a microscope.
 

blackhawk

Brad
Corporate Member
I've researched the Veritas MKII. It would be my choice. It is $60 from Klingspor. The only downside is that it can't handle blades less than 1/2"' wide. But, they do sell another head for $45 that will handle the narrow blades.
 

Robert166

robert166
User
Mike and Richard,

Thanks for the replies, very good advice from both of you. Richard thanks for the offer but that is still more than I want to spend.
My concern is that I have a habit of attempting to improve the tool and end up making it worse. LOL

Hand planes were always a decoration in the shop, because I never learned how to properly use or sharpen them.

Was having a problem getting my box ends squared and decided to make a shooting board. Then realized how dull my blades were and tried to sharpen them.

Using wet stones started with the 1000, then 4000 and finally 8000. And it was an improvement, but I think the results could have been better. I understand it takes practice, but don't want to ruin a blade "practicing."

I can take some photos, but would really like some hands on training. Maybe a sharpening class will open up soon close to me. .

So the el cheapo guide will work with a little modification? I did see those vids showing that. May get one and try it.
 
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Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
"They came out "okay" but not where I wanted them."

Where did you want them or expect to be?

I started out trying to free-hand sharpen chisels and plane irons on my DMT Diamond stones. I quickly realized that that method wasn't working for me so I did a bit more researching and decided to get the Veritas MKII honing guide. The consistency using the honing guide was a big improvement for me.

 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
Mike and Richard,

Thanks for the replies, very good advice form both of you. Richard thanks for the offer but that is still more than I want to spend.
My concern is that I have a habit of attempting to improve the tool and end up making it worse. LOL

Hand planes were always a decoration in the shop, because I never learned how to properly use or sharpen them.

Was having a problem getting my box ends squared and decided to make a shooting board. Then realized how dull my blades were and tried to sharpen them.

Using wet stones started with the 1000, then 4000 and finally 8000. And it was an improvement, but I think the results could have been better. I understand it takes practice, but don't want to ruin a blade "practicing."

I can take some photos, but would really like some hands on training. Maybe a sharpening class will open up soon close to me. .

So the el cheapo guide will work with a little modification? I did see those vids showing that. May get one and try it.
I use that one sometimes.

Starting with 1000, I wonder if you ever got fresh metal all the way to the edge? You should feel a burr or wire on the opposite side from where you are abrading.


I do have a class scheduled for April 4. Not sure at this point if it will be cancelled or not.


Could possibly work something out for private lesson.
 

Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
I have the Veritas Mk II and love it for plane blades. If you want a well designed tool that will give you repeatedly top results, it fits the bill. Eventually you may want to re-establish your primary bevels as well as secondary, and it will give you consistently the same bevel every time. I do hand sharpen and hone as needed while working a project, but when the secondary bevel gets too large, or I get a chip, etc from a hard knot, the Veritas makes it quick work to get the iron back into action. It has a step adjustment for putting that final bevel on the tip edge when using the finest grade stone. It does not do well for tapered blades (bi-steel irons like found on old wooden planes) due to the parallel clamping jaws. As I have different irons sharpened to different profiles due to steel content, use, etc, I write the Mark II settings used on the blade with a felt marker so I know right where to set it up for re-sharpening/honing. I have purchased the camber roller for mine, but have not used it enough to really comment on it at this time.

I also have the cheaper $50 Veritas honing guide and do not recommend it. Due to the top contact washer under the knob, the iron has a tendency to rotate out of square. That was a case where I initially went cheaper to save some bucks and was disappointed in the result.

For chisels and narrow blades, i have found the Trend Honing guide ( Trend® Diamond Stone Honing Guide | Klingspor's Woodworking Shop) from Klingspors to be the best one, providing a more stable base and not needing the user modifications like the Eclipse guide. IMHO, the Eclipse guide was a waste of my money.
 
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Roy G

Roy
Senior User
It is easier to sharpen your plane blades if you have run them over a grinder to get a hollow grind. This also squares up your edge and gets any nicks out.

Roy G
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
Ok, the back is not flat, go back to your 1000 grit stone. Keep the blade perfectly flat on the stone and concentrate on the 1/2 inch or so right up to the edge. Don’t worry about anything more than a half inch from the edge. Get that flat all the way out so no light reflects off the edge. When that is a single plane as in a geometric plane then work your way up through your stones to the finest. At that point you should have a tiny mirror that shows a reflection all the way and no line at the edge.
Get that done and we can go to the next step.
 

Melinapex

Mark
User
Attempted to sharpen a couple of blades on my hand planes. Watched a few You-Tube vids and figured I would give it a try freehand. They came out "okay" but not where I wanted them. I can't keep my wrists locked in the correct angle. So maybe a honing guide is the next step for me. So I priced them, wow! From 20 bucks to 150 bucks. I dont know which one to choose. I have only a few hand planes, do I need a 150 dollar guide? I don't think I do, but do buy a cheaper one and not get the results I want? These are the questions I have. Maybe somebody could let me test drive one of thiers and provide some free advise? I will buy you lunch!
If you ever get near Apex I would be happy to show you what i do. I don't claim any expertise but I get stuff sharp enough to draw blood! I do have a cheap guide and also a Tormek to fix any mistakes!
 

Robert166

robert166
User
Mark,
Didn’t I purchase those norton wet stones from you? I remember you had a bunch of hand planes in your shop. You refurbish them right?
 

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