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I've got an idea for a homemade sharpening jig...

Nov 5, 2001
I've been doing some thinking... I think I've got a decent idea for a homemade sharpening jig, and I like to hear all y'all's opinion on whether it is feasible.
I plan on using the basic design of the spyderco sharpmaker. I will measure the angles there, and possibly use a second set of angles that is more acute. I will have a base, probably out of hardwood, and have two slots milled into it at the proper angle. Then, I will see if I can get some pieces of either thick glass or some kind of tile to fit into the slots. I hope to attach sheets of wet-dry paper to the glass/tile and use that as my sharpening medium. As the sheet wears out, I'd like to be able to easily replace it. I was thinking of wrapping the paper around one end of the glass/tile slab and then fitting that into the milled slot. At the top end, I will need some kind of device to fasten the paper tightly. I am thinking either some kind of a piece of dowel with a slot milled into it, or even something as simple as one of those black spring clips that you use to bundle together stacks of paper. They come in different sizes, can find them at Staples etc. I do have a friend that has the necessary equipment to mill in a slot at a predetermined angle

So, what do you think? Will something like this work? Anybody else make a homemade jig? Got any pics?
I think you're on to a good idea here. Shouldn't be any problem to cut the slots at the angles you want with a table saw or radial arm saw.

You might consider using wooden blocks, or even putting a wood backing on the glass or tile. You could then use strips of wood, metal or even plastic screwed into the sides of the wood to hold the abrasive sheet in place.

BTW here's a picture of an adjustable jig I made that uses the Sharpmaker/CrockSticks method of sharpening, though I have to move from side-to-side of the jig to work both sides of a blade ... maybe some idea here you can borrow or adapt, maybe not:


This jig holds a 2" wide benchstone, including 2" wide diamond stones, so is pretty versatile. I made it adjustable, and just use some cardboard gauges I made using a protractor to align the angle. One thing that works great with an oil stone like the one shown is that the face of the stone "projects" out past the wood of the jig so I can use the whole surface of the stone (also oil drips on the floor where it's easier to wipe up. :)) I can also just C-clamp it down to a table if I want to use it someplace other than the workshop and don't have a vise.
Why don;t you just use spray adhesive to attach your sheets of sandpaper to the glass? That's how I sharpen woodworking chisels. I don;t use a full sheet. Depending on the grit (stage I'm working at), I cut them into thirds. You can have several strips of glass, one side for say 200, 300 on the other, the next piece of glass might have 400, on the back 600, etc. When you need to change grits, peel them off, use WD-40 to clean, followed by Windex, then a new sheet gets spray-glued on. Spray the 3M onto the sheet, then stick it to the glass.

Maybe try that. Good luck.
Mongo, the black spring clips should work for holding sandpaper to the surface. There's a pic around here somewhere of them being used that way on the Sharpmaker rods.

Dog Of War & Thom, thanks for the idea & link for making an adjustable stone holding jig. Below is an idea for a fixed-angle jig I've posted here a few times in the past. So will trot it out one more time... :)


Here is a cheap alternative to an Edge-Pro or Spydie Sharpmaker that uses whatever sharpening stones you already own. If you do woodworking, it is fairly trivial to make from scrap wood. If you don't do woodwork, have a sawdust-making buddy or local woodshop do it for you.

The stone is not attached to the jig. It just rests against the angled support brace. The jig is just used to hold the stone at a fixed angle. That way you can simply replace the stone with finer grit stones as the edge sharpening progresses.

Getting the angle super-exact will take some doing, but isn't hyper-critical. (the jig shown is 15-degrees off-vertical = 30-degree included angle) Get the angle close to what you want, sharpen your blade, then go beat hell out of your knife knowing you have a simple way to re-establish the edge if it gets totally blown out. ;)

However, to approximate the adjustability of the E-P you would have to have a number of these made up with different angles or fabricate an adjuster mechanism (could be as simple as a screw tilting the stone) into the unit. But the material cost to make them is really low, so making multiples is not expensive.
You will have a hard time using a waterstone or oil stone with that arrangement. I also use mineral oil on my DMT diamond hones and on sandpaper.

The horizontal ofset by 15-20 degrees and using a level on the knife blade has been discussed not long ago by ken123.