I recently strated using the Mk II to sharpen my chisels and plane
blades. Previously I used the original Veritas guide and angle jig
with no problem. But with the MK II, my plane blades and chisels
always sharpen at an angle. When looking at the bevel side, the edge
slopes downward to the right. The wider the blade, the greater the
slope. This occurs with the primary bevel and the micro-bevel. Using
the registration jig (and double-checking it with a square after the
jig is removed), the blade is at a perfect 90 degree angle to the
While I can compensate for the plane blades by adjusting the blade
laterally within the handplane, there isn't much I can do when
chopping dovetails with the chisels except hold them tilted to the
side until the edge rests squarely on the line.
I have been a woodworker and woodcarver for over 20 years and have
never had this problem before with any of the various methods I've
used for sharpening over the years. I also am a technician in the
production-print/laser field for over 30 years and daily work with
tolerances that require adjustments in the .001" to .005" range.
After analyzing this problem I've come to the conclusion that the
roller is riding lower on one side than the other causing the guide to
ride out of parallel to the stone. While using the guide I've tried
biasing the downward pressure on the side of the blade that seems to
have the higher point than the other, but even that can't compensate
for the mismatch. My waterstones are completely flat. Today I even
tried honing a micro-bevel using my brand-new, never-before-used 8000
waterstone from Veritas, and the micro-bevel was still skewed.
Any one else had this problem? Do I have a defective guide?
This morning I checked the guide by inserting a plane blade with the
bevel side up and the back side down. This side had been lapped
flat. I lowered the blade edge onto a piece of plate glass: one end
touched the glass while at the other end there was a 1/32" gap.
I'm going to call Lee Valley Monday and see if they will replace it.
In the meantime, I guess if I want to fix my chisels and blades I'd
have to shim them in the guide and start over.
I agree that that's a good idea - I've only had good experiences with
their customer service. In the meantime, could you mount the blade at
just a tiny bit of an angle to compensate? That sounds easier than
shimming the roller.
My MkII guide has what might be a similar problem - the primary bevel
comes out fine (or really close to square) but when I adjust the
roller for a microbevel, it doesn't come out parallel to the primary
bevel, so I get a long skinny triangle for a microbevel. I've been
meaning to play with it more and then call up LV, but haven't gotten
around to it yet.
Mine works exactly like Andy's (primary bevel is perfect, microbevel is
off a little). I've tried altering the amount of pressure I use,
flattening the stone, cleaning the roller, all without much success. I
also haven't gotten around to calling LV yet.
Both my primary and secondary bevels come out "triangle" shaped every
time. The only way to correct this condition is to place a shim
between the blade (underneath it) and the area it rests on the guide
bed on the side that the triangle is the widest until both ends of the
blade contact the stone equally. I'm confident Lee Valley will
somehow take care of my problem. My concern is that this may be a
problem with many of their Mk II guides.
Imho, the way the roller pivots when you adjust the secondary angle
causes the tilt of the secondary bevel.
You want to use the thing gently. It's easy to knock your blade out of
alignment when you are chasing the wire edge. I have to be careful when
I turn the blade over to work on the back, on the fine stone. The jig
likes to bump into the side of the stone.
Make sure you're putting equal pressure on with the clamp nuts. On mine,
the bottom of the clamp assembly has a slight bow. The clamping pressure
is only on the edges of the blade.
Use both hands. The ergonomics are awesome. Your fingers and thumbs just
naturally fall into position to keep things straight. This jig has the
best ergonomic design I've seen since the case of the Mac IISi.
Remember, this thing is a guide, not a machinist's vise.
They were very responsive and helpful when I called their customer
service. They are sending me a new one. The problem isn't improper
technique or the blade not being square to the guide. The problem is
that as you lower the blade to the stone, the left-hand edge of the
blade contacts the stone before the right-hand edge does. This
sharpens the blade at an angle. If you apply enough pressure on the
right-hand side in order to compensate and make the blade contact the
stone fully along the blades width, the entire guide tilts making it
impossible for the roller to ride squarely against the stone. This
happens with both the primary and secondary bevels. I've used
Veritas's early version of this guide for years and never had this
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