If you, like many of us, have previously been using one of the inexpensive guides with a honing board, you will need to make another board. The dimensions of the Lie-Nielsen Honing Guide are different enough that each 5-degree incremental angle stop on previous boards will not work (but feel free to measure what you have, to confirm for yourself).
For my new honing board, I used an 11” x 13” piece of Baltic Birch Plywood, which lasted nicely on my previous honing board. For the stops, I raided my scrap-bin and found some Maple that was between 1/2”-3/4” thick (which wasn’t critical). Packed in with the new honing guide is a basic information sheet from Lie-Nielsen providing the distance for each of the stops, from 20-degrees up to 50-degrees, in 5-degree increments. I cut the maple into lengths around 2” and pre-drilled holes at each end with holes large enough so that the threads on the screws I used wouldn’t engage in the stop. This prevents the stop being held up off of the base, which can occur if the screw is engaging both the stop and the base.
I made a line where the front edge of each stop belonged. Next, I clamped a straight piece up against the line, which really helps prevent the stop from accidentally shifting any direction but sideways, which won’t effect the projection of the tool or the angle.
I used two longer pieces of the same Maple to house the area where the stone will be used. I pre-drilled again and inserted two end screws to make sure the stop stayed aligned, and then put in the rest of the screws. Since I use a couple of different types of stones, I left about ¼” extra beyond the length of my longest stone, which I made some cross-wedges to keep from moving. With two styles of stones, I also made a ¼” Baltic Birch Plywood removable plate that fits between the stone stops. My Shapton Glass Stones are quite short in comparison to most other stones so they need the boost.
After all of the stops on the top surface were completed, I installed another scrap-bin piece on the underside at the edge closest to the user. I made sure the screws wouldn’t go all the way through the plywood and located them so they also wouldn’t run into any screws used for the stops on the top surface.
I hope you enjoyed the article, and thank you for checking it out. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.
CLICK HERE to read Lee’s blog entry on how he used the board.
Lee Laird has enjoyed woodworking for over 25 years. He is retired from the U.S.P.S. and worked for Lie-Nielsen Toolworks as a show staff member, demonstrating tools and training customers. You can email him at LeeLairdWoodworking@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/LeeLairdWW