Raspberryfisher's Blog

notes on fishing & travel

Honing Guides

with one comment

There are many good books out there on sharpening and many tools out there, but when building a bamboo rod, a sharp plane blade that can shave the hair off your arm is necessary, for a good rod.

So over this (and the next blogs?), I am going to post some notes on sharpening based on lesson that I have learnt.

Lets start with jigs and honing guides. I have used several amd here are my thoughts.

  • The standard vise honing guide as illustrated above is my goto guide.
    • Pro: Keeps iron square and with a simple homemade block, I am able to quickly able to get a repeatable. Also in-expensive.
    • Con: Roller wheel (under) is narrow and subject to rocking. I have considered (in my sleep) about finding a larger roller and adapting the tool for the wider blades that I use. 
  • All guides need care in handling and with application of power.
  • The Richard Kell Honing Guide, a beautiful tool and very stable, but best for low angles or short blades.
    • Pro: Solid tool that will provide you a nice square edge.
    • Con: The stability comes with the use of 2 low mounted guides to the sides of the blade. In doing so, there are a couple of inherit cons > 1) With the mount so low, putting in a steep angle the assembly becomes very top heavy and increases the complexity of holding. 2) Ensure your stones are wide or sharpened on glass-paper given the increase width of the assembly.
  • The Lee Valley Sharpening System (see picture below), no longer used (not recommended)
    • Pro: Can do a nice micro-bevel.
    • Con: Roller wears too easy (replaced 2), setting and maintaining a square blade is difficult with no guides and a screw down clamp; though the angle jig has presets in-place it is not simple to use and ensure a repeatable angle (replace with home jig).
    • The update guide from Lee Valley, the MK II , which I have not used,  includes a jig attachment for angles and what appears to be a bar to secure the blade. Appears to be real improvements over the previous noted guide, but I have not used it.


Written by raspberryfisher

2012/01/04 at 19:05

Posted in Bamboo, Tools

One Response

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  1. […] continuation on my previous post about my Honing Guides (1) and (2) for Block Panes – supporting tools – for Bamboo Rod Making, I make the […]

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