Best honing guide for chisels?


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...which is why the doors ought to be locked.  Damage containment :D  - Rob

 

If it were in person, the fight would never start, as we could see the success and move along!   B)

 

I think it turns into a rabbit hole online for several reasons:

- DETAILS!  Many techniques include one or two silly details that we all forget to mention.  In person, we would probably see them.  For example, a lot of the guides get exponentially faster with a setting device.

- Once you see 99 methods work, all you can do is suggest the one that works for you

- I think people tend to over complicate things in general, in online woodworking forums.   There's an awful lot of things that are just fine "good enough", and may slightly improve with experience, but the sheer amount of information tends to get newer people second guessing themselves.  

- Personal situation, experience and methods.  This relates to anything that involves muscle memory.  For example, if you've been taught in-person to freehand sharpen, and you use it enough to keep it accurate, guides seem like a waste of time.  If you've tried to teach yourself, you may have given up and can't imagine what freehanders think is sharp...  Even if you learned well, failing to practice it causes the skill to leave, as the muscle memory declines, so you resort back to a guide so you can get sharp and get back to work.

 

I don't mind reading sharpening debates over other types, like table saw choices, simply because I think hand tool skills have so much to offer, it's all good!

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Darren, I wish I could help but I have no experience of your system. Hopefully someone here does. Did you see pghmyn's recent post ? Not an expensive option to try out. To echo Rob, everything will work, the trick is finding the knack and the system that's right for you. That wasn't very helpful was it :)

Graham, thanks. I'm pretty sure the tools are sharp, perhaps not as sharp as some but I think sharp enough that any problems are more likely down to my hand tool techniques. Attached is photo of end grain shaving from scrap of white oak...and back on topic I vote for eclipse style guide its cheap and seems to work ok. And I've tried one of those oilstones but it wasn't wide enough for a 5 1/2 blade in a guide...

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The Eclipse jig is of course quickest to use, if for no other reason that it has one screw to tighten.   

 

I think one problem people have with the MKII, is the little screws to tighten the bar.  Before I ordered mine, I watched several youtube videos.  One guy said it hurt his fingers to tighten the knobs.  I was concerned about this the first time I used it, but have never had any pain, nor have my helpers.  I guess it makes a difference if you have a working man's hands.  I think the small knobs may cause a problem for someone with not so strong fingers to be able to tighten the bar enough to hold a chisel without it slipping.  I tried a 1/4" chisel today, and didn't have any problem.  I did find an 1/8" mortising chisel that I don't think I've ever used, but I wouldn't even try putting that in the MKII.  It did fit in the Eclipse fine.  I expect they designed the brass knobs so small on the MKII so no one could bend the bar or strip the threads.  I think it's the size of the knobs that cause some people problems.

 

I like the MKII a lot for several reasons.  The biggest reason is the repeatable, easy, two step indents for micro-bevels.  I do whet by hand myself, in between sharpenings with a jig, while I'm working on something, but I don't care who you are, you're not going to get anything as sharp by hand, as you can with a good jig.

 

I've used the 3M film, and diamond lapping film.  You can get something so sharp with the diamond lapping film that you have to only back up, because even the smallest lifting of the jig, like happens sometimes right as the grit has finished its step, will cause the edge to slice right through the film.

 

Some will argue that even an 8,000 grit waterstone gets something sharp enough, but if you have your plane tuned to be able to take less than a thousandth, the extra sharpness not only helps, but lets the edge last longer to be useable like you want it to, until it gets back to the same sharpness it would have started with on the 8,000 grit.

 

I'll always take the extra few passes on the different films to get something as sharp as I can get it. 

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I got the cheaper version of the MK2 at Woodcraft about two months before they started selling the Mk2 again.  I've referred to it before, so I won't repeat it.  I had not, however, considered 'fixing' the tool.  (I've always been of the opinion that the condition I got the tool in should be sufficient to make the tool/gadge/gizmo/thingy/doohickamabob work - 'fixing' it should not be necessary!)

 

I have seen a couple of different versions of set up gauges out there, ranging from the nickle depth gauge to angle iron on a dimpled track.  I've ruined a wood based one, so I see the appeal of the metal 'depth stops' on the set ups.

 

As for shimming... Aluminum foil?  Is there anybody's preferred shim stock other than foil?  I've considered leather (I know where to get some thinner stuff, as it's another hobby), but I realize it might be thicker than most people would get.  is there a point at which the shim is too thick?

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Graham, thanks. I'm pretty sure the tools are sharp, perhaps not as sharp as some but I think sharp enough that any problems are more likely down to my hand tool techniques. Attached is photo of end grain shaving from scrap of white oak...and back on topic I vote for eclipse style guide its cheap and seems to work ok. And I've tried one of those oilstones but it wasn't wide enough for a 5 1/2 blade in a guide...

Looks good to me Darren, look no further into sharpening, you seem to be doing rather well at it. 

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You want shim stock to be as thin as possible, and for the average person aluminum foil is about as thin as you can get at 0.0009" to 0.0011" My preferred shim stock is stainless, but metalworking is another hobby of mine, and I paid more for a few sheets of shim stock than the Mk2 costs.

 

 

As for shimming... Aluminum foil?  Is there anybody's preferred shim stock other than foil?  I've considered leather (I know where to get some thinner stuff, as it's another hobby), but I realize it might be thicker than most people would get.  is there a point at which the shim is too thick?

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I love my MKII jig, but as CS said, it isn't really imporatant which system you use, but that you learn one system and learn it well and stick with it. Jumping around means you don't end up learning one system well enough to get consistent results.

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