New Sharpening Jig

It was time to make another depth stop jig for use with an off the shelf Eclipse/Record-style sharpening guide.  My current version of the jig, made of 2×3 offcuts, is way too bulky for carrying around in my traveling tool tote.  I don’t freehand sharpen my plane irons, so this is an essential piece of shop equipment for getting consistent edges across multiple sharpening sessions. I did not make one for chisels, though, because I freehand (or machine, if available) sharpen my chisels.

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The sharpening guide in question shown in the middle.

I had considered making this a “Basic Project”, but it’s been done so many times I don’t want to take credit for the plans.  This new version is just a variation of Christopher Schwarz’ design.  Please note that if you don’t use the Eclipse/Record-style of sharpening guide, the depths listed below won’t work for you (but the numbers can be adjusted to fit whatever sharpening guide you use).

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Instructions for the full-size, benchtop style seen top left.

There is no real joinery in this project, which I love. Each stop block is CA glued in place and tacked with brads once the glue is set.  What makes this project a little tricky, however, is the need for perfectly square edges. Once you have a straight reference edge (planed or factory, if using sheet goods), the shooting board really gets a workout squaring the ends of the stop blocks and the base board.

I could not find a link to the instructions pictured above, but the depths are as follows:

  • 25° = 54mm
  • 30° = 40mm
  • 35° = 29.5mm
  • 40° = 21mm
  • 45° = 15mm

One thing I didn’t realize before this build was how quickly CA glue sets on white pine (spoiler alert: VERY quickly).  Even so, CA glue does not have great shear strength, so pre-drilling the brads was important.  Two brads per block seems to be more than enough.

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I put the depths I use the least on the underside of the jig.

I eschewed the 1mm shim on a string for creating 1° microbevels (seen in the full-size instructions pictured above).  Mainly because using the same metal ruler I use for the David Charlesworth Ruler Trick works just fine.

It may only be quartersawn white pine, but this thing should last forever.  And if the CA glue gives way, I’ll just scrape it off and use hide glue (the nails will guide the block into place again).  Or I could preemptively drive a third, larger nail into each block and be done with it.

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4 comments

  1. Somehow I missed that Pop Wood article. This is really cool for me because I have that same sharpening jig and I’m always struggling to get the correct setting. Thanks!

    Like

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