Get a Grip

I FOUND SHARPENING PLANES AND CHISELS  somewhat intimidating and tedious, until I started using a honing guide (mine grips the sides of the blade), and the setting-up jig shown in the figure. The jig helps me to clamp the blade in the guide in a repeatable manner so that the cutting edge projects always the same distance from, and at right angle to, the edge of the guide.  As a result it takes just a few seconds to set up the guide, the bevel is maintained at exactly the same angle every time I sharpen the tool, and thus the least amount of metal needs to be removed to bring the edge to perfection.

     The jig is made from three pieces of hardboard. First C is glued to A at right angle to the edge of A. The blade projection  for 30 degree and 25 degree bevels is, on my guide, given on the side of the device.  If in your case you do not have this information, or if you prefer non-standard bevel angles, first clamp the  blade in the guide and adjust it as if you were to sharpen the blade at the required angle, than hold the blade flat against piece A with the guide’s edge butting the edge of A, and glue B to A so that its edge touches the cutting edge.  Of course, separate jigs have to be made for each bevel angle.

     To use the jig, hold the plane blade in the jig against the “L” formed by B and C and clamp the guide to the blade so that it touches the edge of A.      
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