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Angle Guide for honing rod

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Aerosmith101, May 14, 2019.

  1. Aerosmith101


    Oct 28, 2018
    Does anyone know how to make an angle guide for a honing rod? I've already tried these and they don't fit my honing rod

    Last edited: May 14, 2019
    bucketstove likes this.
  2. bucketstove


    Sep 23, 2014
  3. bucketstove


    Sep 23, 2014
  4. l1ranger

    l1ranger Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 27, 2017
    you'd be better off drilling some angled holes in a block to fit the honing rod and using it sharpmaker style
  5. bucketstove


    Sep 23, 2014
    Metal shop guys ... saw drill weld sand ... metal...
    Wood shop guys ... saw route drill glue clamp sand varnish ...
    Its not fun unless every tool gets used :)

    Sharpmaker style doesn't need actual holes
    Paper folds easy


  6. I really believe one would be better off focusing on the feel of flush contact in using a honing rod, or a stone for that matter. With a light but controlled touch, one can feel and even hear when the angle is getting a little too high or too low. And when the apex does just begin to 'bite' into the rod, both the feel and the sound will change.

    The downside of relying on a fixed angle guide is that even it won't likely be perfectly set for flush contact. One will still need to pay attention to what's really going on, by frequently checking results and then gauging what they're feeling and hearing in correlation to the results they're getting. If the fixed angle guide isn't dead-perfectly on target, one can grind forever on the honing rod and not really improve the results they're getting. And even then, if it is on-target, results may still not get any better if the pressure used is too heavy.

    On a honing rod, the factor making the most difference will be keeping the held angle biased somewhat low at the start of the honing pass, and then very gradually raising the spine until you can feel & hear a change in contact with the apex. The 'feel' will be somewhat slippery when the angle is lower and the contact is only with the upper portions of the bevels. As the spine is raised, that 'slippery' feeling on the shoulders will change to a more biting or 'grinding' feel, and the sound will change accordingly. This is where it's important to keep the touch light, so the fingertips can feel those subtle changes in contact.

    Practice on an already-sharp knife with a shallow (acute) edge angle, and hopefully some fairly wide bevels. It'll be easier to feel the difference that way, between upper-bevel-only contact (slippery) and the 'biting' contact felt when the apex itself begins to rotate into the rod. See how the cutting changes in relation to how it did before you began. If you notice the previously-sharp edge beginning to degrade in how it cuts, try lowering the held angle slightly. If the angle is too high and/or the pressure is too heavy while the angle is a little high, you'll likely notice some new edge-rolling or heavy burring. If the angle's too low, you'll not see any improvement or change at all, with all the grinding being on the upper shoulders. The 'sweet spot' will be when you see ease of cutting improve with just a pass or two on the rod, meaning the apex is getting thinner and the 'touch' is light enough to minimize or prevent rolling or burring.

    Once you get a feel for flush contact, THEN it can sometimes be useful to use something VERY SIMPLE to ballpark the held angle to something close, for the start of the honing pass. Could be as simple as using the tip of your thumb on the hand holding the handle of the rod, to lay against the rod and then set the spine of the blade in position against your thumb tip. If you have to rely on any sort of angle guide at all, at this point, that's a very easy way to do it. Anything much more complicated will probably be more a distraction or an obstacle than a help. But the important point being, once you get the feel for flush contact, you'll likely not need much of a 'guide' anyway, going forward.

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