HONING GUIDES:

Discussion in 'Tools and Materials' started by RONCHAM, 13 Jun 2021.

  1. RONCHAM

    RONCHAM

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    I’ve been looking at videos on chisel sharpening using wet and dry sandpaper.
    I am wondering why it’s so difficult to manufacture a simple chisel clamping device with rollers - top-end guides can cost £150? And even the classic honing guides often need to be reworked to hold chisels securely and true. I then realised that the wet and dry paper was also disfiguring the wheel/roller of the honing guide and presumably affecting the accuracy of the sharpening operation. I had imagined it would be a harder material than the actual chisels. Or better still, why not use some hard plastic roller that glides over the paper? It didn’t help that I initially used a fairly coarse paper on chisels that needed a lot of work – a bench grinder would have been preferable.

    Has anyone else experienced these problems?
     
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  3. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    You could always learn how to do a figure 8 grind on diamond stones... Problem is, that takes time and plenty of practice. In reality being a degree or two out rarely makes much of a difference. I've shown people "scary sharp" in the past (it can be a cheap way to start), but always emphasised the need for a cheap bench grinder or a coarse stone to grind nicks out

    And as for £150 on a (Lie-Nielsen?) honing jig, plus say £150.on a couple of DMT stones, you could almost buy a Sorby ProEdge for that sort of dosh

    It is often not understood today that tradesme8n have always had to break in or fettle almost every hand tool they own. For example plasterers' floats are too thick and inflexible and gave sharp corners as bought, stopping knives ditto, plane irons are invariably poorly sharpened and have sharp corners (only any use on rebate plane TBH), and cat's paw pry bars always seem to need sharpening (as do Burke bars for stripping shuttering), etc
     
    Last edited: 13 Jun 2021
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  4. RONCHAM

    RONCHAM

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    Thanks for that, you obviously know the expensive honing guide I'm referring to. I don't especially need scary sharp but sharp sharp would do - which I think I've achieved with a couple of chisels. I'm only an occasional DIYer and chisel user but a sharp chisel and plane were a joy to use compared to their former state. I can't justify the expense of a good diamond stone and I'm quite happy with wet and dry on a plate of glass.

    Forgive my ignorance, I've only recently dug out and used my classic honing guide - is the central wheel/roller meant to turn?? If so, mine is stuck!

    Regards.
    PS Nice bike!
     
  5. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    If you can't sharpen by hand, roller guides are as little as £10. Don't believe the hype about those expensive contraptions, although the Trend system is good.
     
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  6. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    The wheel should indeed turn. Do you use oil or water as your honing fluid and was the wheel cleaned and oiled before putting the guide away (ideally in a sealed plastic bag)? It might still free up if liberally doused with Plus Gas or WD40.

    If you only sharpen occasionally then a decent size Norton combination stone will suffice, but you need to keep an eye on stones to ensure that they don't wear hollow with use from time to time (a good reason not to buy second hand stones IMHO). A cheapish alternative is one of those low cost 4-sided diamond homes that Faithfull, etc sell. They can't wear hollow. Or there's a sheet of glass and some wet and sry/silicon carbide papers - or "scary sharp" if you ho the whole hog and work up to 600 or 1000 grit. Either way always use a honing oil, sewing machine oil, 3-in-1 oil, paraffin (smelly!) or even WD40 as a lubricant - but not water - the idea is to prevent your abrasive surface from clogging

    Low cost honing guides are under a tenner, and aren't as good as an original Eclipse #36, and at that price you will probably need to take a triangular file to the thing so that it will hold your chisels and irons properly, but they are pretty cheap. I've given one if those tons few apprentices over the years as "training wheels" to get them started
     
    Last edited: 14 Jun 2021
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  7. RONCHAM

    RONCHAM

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    Thanks again for all your tips and advice. I have since discovered (5 minutes ago!) that the roller is indeed meant to roll (what a surprise!) and I'm now feeling very stupid! After a few minutes with WD40 and some persuasion, it freed up - I hadn't used this guide for years, if at all. A shame as it's an Eclipse #36 and I've caused some damage to the roller. I've found, even with this classic guide, chisels have to be mounted carefully in the shallow V-notches. Makes you wonder if the people who design these tools ever try using them?

    I've been using wet and dry and spraying with water (which I thought also encouraged debris to flow off). Are any of the other fluids you mention suitable with this paper?? I doubt I'll use anything finer than 600 grit nor leather strops and honing paste. I've never seen 10,000 grit but it must be similar to plain paper?!

    I've made a couple of simple guides that seem as good as any. One uses a wooden dowel roller (that's NOT meant to roll) which of course gets damaged if in contact with the paper. The other uses 2 mini plastic casters which roll without any damage although the chisel projection is quite large. Something similar with mini metal casters is available to buy for £3-4 (from China) but will only handle up to 1/2" chisels as that's not its main purpose. If wider it would probably be very good.

    Thanks again.
     
    Last edited: 14 Jun 2021
  8. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    I have an old Eclipse #36, it is adequate for my skill with chisels.
     
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  9. RONCHAM

    RONCHAM

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    Yes, me too! I'm likely to use chisels only once or twice a year on soft woods and not for really intricate work. But as an exercise I wanted to get a couple of chisels very sharp (not scary sharp!) at low cost. I also sharpened a couple of plane blades which was a great improvement.
     
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  11. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    If you look on amazon, there are many 7x3 diamond stones of different grades for between £5 and £10, and sets of three for £15-20. They may be cheaper still on ebay.

    For infrequent use, these may be better than a traditional stone. I've had some for a couple of years and they have lasted well - I'm somewhere in between infrequent and frequent use for these.

    Oh and dont' forget a strip of leather for the polish
     
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  12. opps

    opps

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    My Bakuma cats claw is now about 12 years old.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shark-21-2225-10-Inch-Prybar-Puller/dp/B0000224TY

    http://www.bakuma.co.jp/diy/doc/バール.pdf?v=210114

    The above seems to be an American rebrand, I paid about £18 (from Axminster) and not the £54 they are charging on amazon. Unfortunately, neither Axminster nor Rutlands seem to be selling the Bakuma ones any more.

    They have the thinnest ends/blades I have ever come across. I have previously used mine to dig holes for socket back boxes in brick work. the corners at the ends have rounded over the years and there is a very minor dink in the middle of the blade from when I once accidentally went through a live cable.

    If I ever manage to secure more of them at a reasonable price, I will probably post one out to you (as thanks for your advice over the years).
     
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  13. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    To the OP: Any of the fluids I suggested will do because, as you rightly say, you just need something to wash the swarf off and keep the abrasive cutting. Out on site I generally resort to either 3-in1 or WD40 because I have either one or the other in my tool tote. At home I use sewing machine oil (sometimes pinched the missus) - but never water! And you now know the reason why :censored:
     
    Last edited: 14 Jun 2021
  14. RONCHAM

    RONCHAM

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    I may have missed the point on not using water? - I think I've seen a few guys on YouTube using plain water or soapy water on wet&dry and diamond stones. Unless you mean my honing guide roller seizing up? - but, in fairness, it had laid unused for 30+ years! Initially I did try to free the roller but it didn't free up and I came to the (stupid) conclusion it was fixed. It was only when I used more suitable tools that it actually freed quite easily - but by then the damage was done and a small portion of the roller had been damaged. Anyway I've got plenty of WD40 if that's a better option.
    I respect your great knowledge and experience which you pass on so freely and it's much appreciated.

    Thanks again to yourself and the guys above - this is one of the few sites where I totally trust feedback.
     
  15. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    I believe the water thing originally came from the use of Japanese waterstones (the first "wonder sharpening method" which preceded diamond stones), which of course require water, and which are easily hollowed if misused (and so require regular flattening if used much). They are very different beasts to conventional abrasive stones - for starters they need to either be permanently immersed in water between uses, or be immersed for 20 to 30 minutes before use depending on the stone type.

    Modern Western-style sharpening has generally depended on the use of either an oil or another petrochemical such as paraffin. I think the purpose of this is two fold - to wash away any metal swarf and thereby prevent the abrasive from clogging, and to lubricate both the tool and the honing jig (if any). Oil has the additional advantage of preventing rust - both of the tool and the honing jig.

    AFAIK diamond sharpening originated in the industrial engineering sphere where they very rarely seem to use water (because it promotes rust?) and instead often use a refined paraffin honing fluid. If you think about it, constantly soaking a steel plate, even a nickel plated one (which is used to hold the diamonds in position) can eventually result in rust formation beneath the nickel plating (because even nickel plating is porous to an extent)

    So on balance I prefer to remain cautious and use an oil or paraffin honing fluid - that way if I do forget to clean and oil stuff before putting them away at the end of a traditional sharpening session, there's less likelihood of things going rusty. And I detest having to remove rust from anything
     
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  16. RONCHAM

    RONCHAM

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    Thanks for your (comprehensive) reply. I'm cautious but not as thorough as you (unsurprisingly!). But I've been using wet and dry (sprayed with water) which dries out eventually even after rinsing and the "tool" I used was a DIY guide - a simple clamp arrangement with mini plastic rollers. If I start using better equipment hopefully I'll be more thorough.

    Thanks again.
     
  17. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    I should have maybe pointed out that where I started we had a massive powered wet sandstone grinder in the yard, I think the name on the side was Woodham or Wouldham (?? not sure), and it had about a 30in diameter x 4in wide natural stone wheel on it which ran in a steelmtriugj holding at least a couple of gallons of water (and about half a gallon of rusty sludge at the bottom every time but was cleaned out). This beast had once been hand cranked, had then been converted to wide belt drive and finally to its' own electric motor which drove it at a stately 60 rpm or so. On cold days it was horrible to use as the water was icy and ran up your arm. The water was treated with anti freeze to prevent it freezing in winter (which would crack the wheel) and in summer it would get a dash of bleach or Jeyes fluid every few weeks to prevent it smelling (and kill the mossies)... After sharpening on that you invariably gave tools a rub down with an oily rag soaked in sewing machine oil (although there was one guy who swore by Johnson's baby oil - but he had five or six kids, so maybe supply wasn't an issue!)

    These days I use an expensive dry belt grinder, which, like double ended bench grinders, can heat the tools you are sharpening up. To avoid overheating them and losing the temper all my tools are dipped in a pot of water by the grinder from time to time, to cool them. But at the end of a session the oily rag still comes out! At work I still hand sharpen, though
     
    Last edited: 14 Jun 2021
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