Here is the best joke I wrote last week. Just wait…it will probably turn up on Comedy Central in a few months in an act that was filmed in 2005. So even though I think this is an original Skiver…odds are someone else wrote this joke first:
Is a deaf mute with Parkinson’s disease considered to be a stutterer?
Well, with that lead in, I want to present a really cool sharpening trick I learned recently from Chris Gochnour. Putting a chisel or plane blade into a honing guide requires one to accurately set the blade at the desired angle, and there are many techniques for this. Some people put the blade in the honing jig while sighting against a protractor in the background. Others make jigs that register a given blade projection for each desired angle they want to use with their honing guide…ya know…extend the blade X.XXX inches for 25 degrees and Y.YYYY inches for 30 degrees, etc. That kind of jig is excellent for getting repeatable angles with a given honing jig. However, it still suffers from the question of how the angles were measured the first time the jig was created and assembled.
Mr. Gochnour put me onto using the Wixey or Beall digital protractors for setting the honing angle. THIS IS BRILLIANT!!!! I don’t know why I only considered using my $40 digital reader for my jointer fence and table saw blade tilt, but Chris’ idea is the most accurate method I have seen to mount a blade in a honing guide at a desired angle.
Chris Gochnour is a very savvy woodworker. He finds (or invents) amazing ways to accurately perform woodworking tasks that are too often looked upon as requiring gifted dexterity. I mean…you can put a four year old on a two wheel bike and let him struggle to learn to ride it, or you can bolt some training wheels onto his bike for a while as he develops a feel for balance. Chris seems to come up with all kinds of helpful ideas (training wheels).
I don’t know if Chris invented this idea of using the digital protractor box for setting a honing guide. Perhaps this has already appeared as a workshop tip in 5 different magazines. I just know that I learned this from Chris, so for now he gets the credit…
Now back to important considerations…like shaky sign language…