HG-1 Honing Guide in Action

It is always fun around here when an idea becomes reality. Later this week our new honing guide will be in stock. Although I designed this tool with the specific needs of sharpening our HP6 profiled irons in mind, it will work on just about every tool in your shop. Here’s a peek of the tool in action…

As you can see, the rear roller is flat. We have had several inquiries regarding a roller that is crowned to facilitate relieving the corners of wide plane irons. Although this sounds like a good idea, the math makes no practical sense. For example, if one wants to relieve the corners of a plane iron by .002″-.003″, the crown in the honing guide roller would be around .001″. This is just not a practical idea (in our opinion) when the same results can be achieved with finger pressure applied to each corner during honing. If a more severe crown is required, a barrel shaped roller might make sense, and if you have that need, you can easily remove the stock roller and insert a shop made roller (wood will work) for your needs.

Lastly, it is not clear in this clip but the clamping bridle pivots and will accommodate aggressively tapered tools–the most common of which are Japanese chisels.

Thanks for watching.


Ideas are everywhere when you’re hungry…

Last fall I crossed paths with a sandwich board on my walk to lunch (O.K., I tripped). As I walked around the sign I had one of those moments where I saw something that wasn’t there (typically I imagine IRS agents—they’re everywhere you know…) The offending culprit is pictured below.

Sandwich Board/Honing Guide

Empirically we understand concrete is a painful abrasive (knees never forget) and while regaining my balance I imagined the sidewalk as an endless… abrasive… honing stone… and I was tripping over a… crude honing guide! Sounds weird, but a ray of light leaked into my cranial garden and in that instant, an idea germinated.

I returned from lunch, grabbed a chisel and mocked up the idea using my Razr cell phone. That was all the validation I needed to pursue the development of our HG-1 Honing Guide. And we are thrilled with the results. (In a pinch, a cell phone makes a crappy honing guide, but as you can see, schematically it worked out very well. Don’t be surprised if the “Woodworking Taliban” embraces this ridiculous cell phone alternative …)

Cell phone/Honing Guide

The HG-1 is completely different than previous designs. Most significant is the built-in squaring guide which will keep cutting edges that have to be square to the sides in perfect alignment (shoulder plane irons are one example). The other new development is the infinitely adjustable micro-bevel system controlled by the knob at the back of the plane. This was a crucial development for this tool because of the profiled irons our HP-6 Mini Multi-Plane employs.

We will formally announce this new product (and the reference set-up guide for precise primary bevels) in a couple of weeks, with many more details and pricing. Needless to say, it will work well for chisels, irons and really shines when used on our aluminum profiled stones for HP-6 molding irons. Below are a couple of pics to see how the guide unfolded.

Oh, and I forgot, the yakisoba was delicious.


HG-1 Side View

HG-1 Rear View

HG-1 w/chisel