Sharpening Guide

To go with my new plane, I decided I needed a better way to sharpen the iron, and I wasn’t going to screw around any more with my “oh, I’ll just hold it like this and that’ll be good enough” method.  No, the WoodRiver is a serious plane and I want to keep it seriously sharp.  That means repeatable, precise angles on the bevel.  That means an angle guide.

At $50-$100 for a decent one, that means a “no” from the finance department.

What does it all mean?  More making of my own tools!

Thanks to Derek Cohen for the design on this angle guide, which is really quite ingeniously simple.  I modified it a bit, because it looks like he used a table saw to cut a kerf for the iron to slide into the wood.  His design is based on an article in Fine Wood Working magazine.  Unfortunately, you have to pay to be a member of their site and view the article.  No thanks.  I’ll figure it out myself.

Here’s what I ended up with*:IMAG2977IMAG2978IMAG2979

I glued up two small pieces of scrap oak, and after having a little fun planing them with the new jack plane to a glass-like smoothness (in one pass!) I drilled 2 holes for bolts in the top of the narrow side.  Then I clamped the top piece on and drilled the holes on through.  I then counter sunk the bottom holes with a Forstner bit and slid carriage bolts through.

Top it off with washers (shiny ones no doubt for a little tool bling) and wingnuts and I can slide the plane iron in and clamp it down, then get repeatable angles on the sandpaper.  The jig will slide on waxed MDF, on one rounded corner of the oak and I should be able to keep my new plane pretty darn sharp with little trouble.

Now to build the MDF paper tray to replace the tile sharpening station I built last summer…

In case you’re wondering, that’s the old Groz iron…the WoodRiver one looks a LOT better.


About Steven M. Vaught

A native son of Delaware, now living in Illinois, Steven is a writer, family historian, amateur astronomer, sometimes-gardener, woodworker, father to three wonderful children, husband to a wonderful wife, and caretaker of one cheeky vizsla.
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