Jig for Setting Honing Guide Angle

Topics Covered

  1. Honing Guide Used
  2. Building the Honing Guide Jig
  3. Honing Guide Tune Up

Honing Guide Used
The jig described & built below is based on an inexpensive Blade Honing Guide. There’s no company name shown on the packaging, for this honing guide made in Taiwan. Pictured below is the Honing Guide.

Building the Honing Guide Jig
The jig built is shown in the following two Photos.

Comments Regarding the Following Photo:

  1. The dimensions of the plywood base shown are 12-1/2″ x 8-3/4″ x 11/16″. A scrap piece of plywood was used.
  2. The labeled (TC = 25, etc) strips of plywood are approx. 3″ x 1-1/2″ x 5/8″, for each one.
  3. The four plywood strips were fastened, to the plywood base, with 1-3/16″ length brad nails. Five brad nails were used, for each plywood strip.
  4. The four plywood strips were located from the front of the plywood base, dimensionally speaking, as shown in the Photo below.

The following Photo shows how I used a combination square, as a temporary fence, for positioning the strip of plywood. The plywood strip is butted up against the blade, of the combination square. I used this method, for all strips of plywood shown in the above Photo.

Instructions on Back of Honing Guide Package
The spacing of the four plywood strips shown in the Photo above, from the front of the plywood base, is spelled out in the instructions on the back of the honing guide package. The instructions along with verbiage I added is shown in the Photo below. The verbiage I added is all uppercase.

The honing guide & honing guide jig in use, are shown in the Photo below. Slide the chisel blade up against the plywood strip marked “BC = 25″, and tighten the honing guide with the screwdriver shown below. Your now ready to hone a 25 deg angled bevel, on the chisel blade.

A Cleat Would be Nice
To keep the honing guide jig from moving, I decided to add a cleat to the underside of the plywood base. The following four Photos cover cutting the cleat & fastening of the cleat, to the bottom of the plywood base.

I cut the cleat from the jig plywood base, as shown in the Photo below. This way, the cleat length will match the jig plywood base length, exactly. Dimensions of the cleat are 12-1/2″ x 7/8″ x 11/16″.

Pictured below is the cleat being clamped to the plywood base bottom side. Cleat was clamped in place, with my miniature welding clamps. I love these clamps.

In the Photo below, I used 1-3/16″ brad nails, to fasten the cleat to the jig’s plywood base. I angled my brad nailer as shown, to keep (hopefully) the brads from blowing out thru the front of the plywood base.

The Photo below is a good shot of the cleat, fastened to the jig’s plywood base. If you look closely, the five brad nails fastening the cleat to the plywood base can be seen.

Honing Guide Tune Up
I have no issues with the top clamp, which is for plane iron honing.

However, the bottom clamp for honing chisels was a totally different story. Now if the only chisels you hone with this honing guide have thin blades. And with low angled bevel edges, then you are good to go. If this is not the case, then you are going to be a tormented soul.

Comments regarding the honing guide shown above:

  1. The two 1/16″ dimensions shown are the two ledges your chisel sits on, while clamped between the two jaws shown above. These two narrow ledges are marginal at best, in terms of holding the chisel securely.
  2. The way the jaw face angles down to the 1/16″ ledge below can be problematic, for use with firmer type chisels. Translation, chisels with thick blades. The chisel can end up not being able to sit solidly on the two jaw ledges, due to the thickness of the chisel blade.

To remedy the two issues raised above, I used files and a 1″ belt sander, on the two jaw faces. The two jaw faces, to be reshaped, are marked with diagonal lines in the following Photo.

The following two Photos show the honing guide, before and after being worked on. The first Photo below shows the honing guide before being tuned up.

The Photo below shows the honing guide after the two lower jaw faces were reshaped. I started by filing on the two faces, boy was that a slow process. So, I then decided to speed the process up, by using my 1″ belt sander. That speeded the process up, but it did leave a surface that was not perfectly flat. So, I went back to using files, to find tune the reshaping of the jaw faces. All things considered, I think using both the files and the belt sander worked reasonably well.

Final Thoughts
The honing blade guide along with the honing guide jig works great. This setup quickly sets my blade up for a 25 or 30 degree sharpening angle. And, I especially like the cleat, on the bottom side of the honing guide jig. The cleat keeps the jig from moving around. Anything that I am working with that starts moving around on me, I find annoying (very annoying).


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Until Next Time, Take Care