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Some wide chisels and narrow plane irons don’t work well with the cheap-o side-clamp honing guide. They are too narrow to fit between the walls on the top of the guide. And they are too wide or thick to fit between the dovetailed ways in the guide. And setting the tool on the guide bars sometimes won’t work either.

What do you do?

Well I thought everyone knew this trick, but for the five people who don’t, this video is for you.

— Christopher Schwarz

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Showing 11 comments
  • Gue

    Made my own:

    Two metal strips, small wheels and screws. Glued 2 small Wood strips near the borders (front and rear) to get a good grip on the blade.

    In combination with an also shopmade adjustable honing board (or how you call it) it worked well the first few years of my woodworking career … now I’m using the Veritas MKII … didn’t need it any more, but don’t throw it away … one never know 😉

    Greets, Gue

  • Dennis

    Honestly, I’m not sure why you bother. I was taught to sharpen without a jig and it’s really not hard at all. My blades are as sharp as ones Deneb does in LN’s showroom demos. It is a skill worth learning.

  • John Balletto

    Slightly different question, when using the guide for chisels do you set the chisel at the top of the lower portion of the guide or the triangular shaped area?

  • JJ Gray

    Just seeing that iron makes me want to go re-polish the backs of every iron I own.

  • adrian

    Michael, what about the Kell side clamping jig?

  • Bruce Jackson

    I don’t have one of those sidewinding honing guides, but my hands have trouble with the odd-sized iron and chisels. Think the shim trick will help?


    I must be one of the five. Who else?

  • Mike

    I’m another one of the five althought I have to say I’ve never ran into this problem. The problem I have is with my mortising chisels. I never thought of using a shim but now I’ll have to come up with something similar to this to fix my little issue…. unless you already have a trick for that too?

  • Dean

    The non-obviousness of the obvious.

  • Michael Brady

    Why is there not a decent side-clamping jig made today? I can’t believe that the standard of the industry is an $11. knock-off of what a good jig should be. Particularly needed is one that works with chisels. I have see prototypes from the quality plane makers, but yet to see them offer one to sell.

  • James Watriss

    Because I’ve spent too much time reading tips and tricks pages, I’m kinda surprised that you didn’t make a combination shim/ blade projection jig, to make sure you’re also honing at the proper angle.

    But because I also work in a regular shop, I’m actually more surprised the shim isn’t actually something like a pencil, or a pocket clip that was broken off of the nearest disposable ball point pen cap.


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