Experience with Jeff Gorman's Honing Jig for Plane Irons

I've been using the Veritas Honing Guide and water stones with reasonable success. I've also done some honing by hand with reasonable success. Recently, I acquired an old Stanley No. 8 jointer plane. After grinding to get the blade back into proper shape, it was time to go to the water stones.
I was frustrated to learn that my Veritas Honing Guide would not accept the large jointer plane blade (2 5/8" wide). Ok, so I'll do it by hand. Let me tell you that's a real wangly proposition. This blade is long and wide and not thick like a Hock blade. I could feel the bevel on the stone and set the blade angle. It was not as crisp feeling as some of my other, smaller plane blades. Holding the whole thing steady at a constant angle moving across the stone was a very iffy proposition because the blade is so big and tends to flop around. I got it done and the plane worked very well. However, I was not satisfied with the tedious experience of sharpening the blade.
So I researched honing jigs. I remembered Jeff Gorman's website had a page on building your own. What the heck. It only took a $3 hardwood handled seaming roller (available at Lowe's in the wallpaper department) and a scrap of wood.
Jeff's design is more than just a shop built solution. Its vastly different from the commercial guides available. Virtually all the guides available ride on top of the stone and are about 3 inches big in the largest dimension. Even the slightest adjustment in how the blade is clamped will make a significant change in the blade angle. I consider all of them a bit touchy at best. Jeff's jig uses a roller that rests on the workbench, so you get full use of the stone. His jig is big, with the blade holder being almost 9" long. Adjustments for angle are typically done with 1/4" changes, instead of 1/32" changes. In use, I get a much better feel for how the iron is contacting the stone, than with the Veritas guide. Its like a hybrid between hand honing and honing with a Jig. I re-honed the jointer blade in record time and with a degree of confidence I've never felt before.
So you like that little knob on the Veritas for changing the angle slightly to do a micro bevel? Yes, its well thought out and neat. With Jeff's Jig, its even faster. Just put a 1/4" or 1/2" piece of wood under the roller - Poof! instant micro bevel.
Next trial was to fix the nick in the blade of my Veritas medium shoulder plane. I did not want to hollow grind this because the corners of the blade are so critical to this plane's performance. I used Jeff's Jig with 100 grit sandpaper on a sheet of glass. I safely and accurately got the nick out leaving a flat symetrical bevel.
I didn't even bother to make my version of Jeff's jig fancy with bolts to hold the blade. I just grabbed a couple of spring clamps to hold the blade in place. Its ugly but it works.
The link to the jig is http://tinyurl.com/4zxks .
Bob
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: So I researched honing jigs. I remembered Jeff Gorman's website had a page : on building your own. What the heck. It only took a $3 hardwood handled : seaming roller (available at Lowe's in the wallpaper department) and a scrap : of wood. : Snip : : So you like that little knob on the Veritas for changing the angle slightly : to do a micro bevel? Yes, its well thought out and neat. With Jeff's Jig, : its even faster. Just put a 1/4" or 1/2" piece of wood under the roller - : Poof! instant micro bevel.
I'm glad that Bob has found my jig to be useful.
I use it with a diamond plate for the first run that removes the rounding that makes the edge blunt, and then for a fine edge, on glass with automotive chrome cleaning paste. The glass surface is about 3mm (1/8in to the unshaven) lower than the diamond plate's. This gives an automatic micro bevel : : ....................................................... I used Jeff's Jig with 100 : grit sandpaper on a sheet of glass. I safely and accurately got the nick : out leaving a flat symetrical bevel.
I didn't consider using abrasive paper - Scary Sharpening - when making mine and imagine that rather a long overhang of the blade is needed to get the usual 30deg angle, unless the handle section is shortened of course. : : I didn't even bother to make my version of Jeff's jig fancy with bolts to : hold the blade. I just grabbed a couple of spring clamps to hold the blade : in place. Its ugly but it works.
Why not now progress to the blade holder?
Jeff G
--
Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
Email: username is amgron
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"Jeff Gorman" <seethesig> wrote in message

mine
The first version was a chunk of plywood about 9 1/2" long. I didn't even glue the roller handle in it. It was snug enough friction fit. I put a 25 degree angle on it. I just wanted to see if it worked at all before I got fancy and used real wood and glue.

I will do something like that, but will ponder it a while. The range of blades I tried (#8 jointer and 3/4" wide shoulder) had radically different holding requirements. A screw and nut won't work for the shoulder plane blade. I also have several wood planes that have solid blades (no slot). The ugly spring clamps worked for all cases.
Bob Davis Houston, Texas
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Bob wrote:

snip

Slick! Leave it to Jeff to come up with a better AND simpler way to do things. One question I had about his jig - the setting of the angle of the bevel, seen from the side, can be adjusted by either moving the the iron fore or aft or raising or lowering the plane the roller rolls on. But how is the side to side angle adjusted? Without that adjustment, the bevel width could be wider on one end than the other and create a skew iron.
charlie b
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I don't have the picture in front of me, but the skew angle would be fixed by the angle of the "bed" relative to the axis of the roller, wouldn't it? I believe the picture shows an "optional" aluminum angle that could be attached/adjusted/set to provide a reference line/plane square to the roller axis.
In fact, if the angle were made adjustable over a wide enough range, it might be just the ticket for planes such as the Stanley #46, #140, etc.
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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Well, I don't know how Jeff does it but probably similar to the way I did. You have to hold your mouth right. Actually, I started with a blade that was ground square on a hand grinder, so it was easy to feel when it was sitting properly on the stone. Then I held it against Jeff's jig with my hand and put a spring clamp on it. I made a few passes on the stone to see what it was doing. As I recall, I may have made one tiny tweak by ooching the blade a few degrees to the left while it was still clamped to the jig. Then I made 3-4 passes and checked again. Once I was confident it was set right, I did a sprint to the finish with rapid long strokes on the stone. Its nice to have the full stone available! I also was able to slightly angle the corners of the iron with a little extra pressure on each side. By the way, Jeff does mention an optional aluminum angle to use as a guide for the iron.
Its really hard to describe using it. You have to experience it. That is why I said it was like a combination of honing by hand and with a Jig. People whose karma aligns with adjusting a wooden plane will have no trouble adapting to the Jig. I like Jeff's comments "I made this after 40-odd years of freehand honing and am now a convert." He says it won't work with Chisels but I can see how it could easily be adapted by adding a block of wood under the chisel blade so the handle would clear the jig.
Bob
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So the skewing can be removed by either the optional aluminum (aluminium for the Brits) "angle iron" or by quick trial and error. Rather than being a slick jig make that "a really slick jig!".
charlie b
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My copy of the jig is so homely and simple, it has to be seen to be believed. I'll make a picture of the jury rigged setup to hone the #8 blade and post it in APBW.
Bob
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Pictures posted in alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking.
Bob
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: ...................................... One question : I had about his jig - the setting of the angle of : the bevel, seen from the side, can be adjusted : by either moving the the iron fore or aft or : raising or lowering the plane the roller rolls : on.
Just so, but it is intended to roll on the bench top and work on an elevated surface, ie a stone or plate mounted in/on a box.
To set the angle, I offer the end of the jig to the edge of the bench and slide the edge forwards until it aligns with a mark gauged on the bench top.
: ........... But how is the side to side angle adjusted? : Without that adjustment, the bevel width could : be wider on one end than the other and create : a skew iron.
There is no means of adjusting the angle of the blade's axis to the direction of movement since I have never experienced a need for this, indeed I've incorporated a guide to make it easier to keep it square.
To cover the entire width of a blade, one just allows some overlap at the sides, so helping to form the essential slightly cambered edge (essential for all but shooting board planes).
My gadget is simply an enhancement to the old Stanley pattern and is similar to the General design except that it uses a quick and convenient method of clamping the blade (and costs less). I find this useful since I usually sharpen a batch of standard Record irons ten at a time.
I'm glad to know that some people have found this useful. I think that the principle is far superior to the roller-on-stone designs.
Jeff G
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Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
Email: username is amgron
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