Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sharpening board progress

I had to really struggled with myself to keep it small and compact. It is after all going to be portable and I want to take it on the road. Another incentive for me to finish it is the fact that I have an upcoming sharpening lecture/demo coming up at the Wood shop on the base. This will be its first public debut :-)

Took me a while, but I finally realized that it does not have to be big enough to hold everything I want to use, it only have to be big enough to hold what I'm currently using.

Keeping all of this in considerations, I used a 1/2 plywood and my final size with the maple trim is about 17 in deep X 21 in wide. Compact enough for transport and setting up anywhere, but plenty of room for everything I need at once regardless of the system I use, be it Oil stones, Water stones, Scary sharp system or whatever.

Since sharpening can be very messy and I want to contain that mess, I covered it with a high pressure laminate (the kind put on counter top),

Trimmed to size on the tablesaw, it did not chip the laminate.
Yes, I was of a bit off when I eye balled the laminate location during the glue up. 
Workmanship of risk :-)

I then put in a hardwood border around to protect it from chipping or catching the edges. Why Maple? Because that's what I have on hand...
I could have used Oak, but it tend to splinter more than Maple, so I went with Maple.

Clamping three pieces around by myself was a bit of a juggling act, 
hence why I did not bothered with the fourth one yet. 

A quick an easy way to get clamping in localized spot when edge gluing.
A regular C Clamp (G cramp for my British friends :-) and a wedge

In an effort to contain the inevitable mess that will be produced in use, I put in a small 1/4 inch lip on three sides of the board. At the last minutes, I decided to keep the front end flush. It would be easier to clean and I could still use the front edge to register my jig settings.

To reinforce the miter corners, I put in a spline of contrasting wood. In this case, Walnut.

The corners were given a slight round over

After the four pieces were on, planed and sanded, I will give the wood components a sealing coat of poly-urinated (that's Polyurethane for those not familiar with the proper term :-)

The bench hook (under mounted lip) is simply screw in, no glue. I decided against mounting blocks of wood on the top, I did not wanted to damaged the laminate and potentially water ingress damages down the road. I thought of gluing them with something like hot glue, but I was worried about them falling off at the worst moment. So in the end, my whole top surface remains clear.

Front piece attached, flush with front
Front bottom cleat drilled with my favorite hand drill over a holdfast hole

Similarly the holes for the cleat which is going to secure the gripper mat was done
 then all the holes were reamed for the screws to mount flush

So what about the angle setting jig for the Side clamping honing guide? Not to worry, it is virtually a "must" for this type of guide, makes it quick, easy and most importantly repeatable settings every time.  In the end I decided to use a separate hand jig, so it is not confined to the sharpening board.
The longer pieces (3) will be set for 25, 30 and 35 degrees for the plane irons, and on the flip side of the board, the 3 smaller one will repeat the same 3 angles for chisels. The plane iron pieces are 3 in long, the chisel pieces are 2-1/4 in long. That should accommodate my widest blades.
Why repeat the settings for the plane irons and chisels? Because they are not sitting in the same place in the jig, hence for the same angle, the blade projections are different.

I got all my pieces for the honing guide stick ready for assembly, 
including my thin spacer to add a micro bevel

I also incorporated the 1/8 thin shim idea from Deneb design, it is a quick way to kick up the angle by roughly 2 degrees in order to add a micro bevel. I do not always used one, but depending on how my edge behave in the wood, I would if my edge seems to crumble.

One last touch, is the use of a rubber gripping material (my old router mat) that I can flip under to secure the board on whatever surface, or flip it on top to secure various stones and etc.

So by tomorrow morning, I should be done and I will be catching up with some chisels sharpening. Between glue scraping on the guitar body and chopping lots of dovetails lately, they were overdue, Mea Culpa.

Bob, now switching his attention to the upcoming tool chest bottom cabinet. And oh yah, still got the plane till No 2 and saw till on the go.


  1. Bob are you still going to build a dedicated sharpening station in your shop?

  2. Oh Yes, this is just to get going now and help me figured out how much space it will required. The sharpening station would be a dedicated spot in the shop, this board ( a part of it) I can take with me on the road.