Sharpen Short Blades with Ease

Not long ago i was given an old Stanley metal spokeshave by a friend. For a time it worked beautifully (he had sharpened the blade), until the blade became dull. At first I experimented with freehand honing, but because the blade is so short I achieved only mediocre results. Next I set my mind to the task of making a jig that could hold the blade securely in my honing guide. The following is what I came up with.

     The body of the jig is a piece of hardwood, 3/16 " thick, as wide as your spokeshave blade
1/8" for me), and about 6" long. At the front a 1" rabbet about half the thickness of the body is cut to hold the blade. Make sure one edge is square, and glue on the square piece of hardwood 3/16 " by 3/16 " and the length of the body, making sure that it is square to the rabbet. Once the glue has dried, clean up the excess glue and drill a hole in the middle of the rabbet. Insert a bolt head down through the hole with a nut and washer. The bolt should be 1/4" in diameter or slightly larger.

     To use, put the blade on the step with the bolt through the slot in the blade and square it to the fence. Put the jig in your honing guide or use it freehand. Either way, you’ll receive a square, sharp edge. 

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