Simple Sharpening Hack to Ensure Success (Quick Tip)

Simple Sharpening Hack to Ensure Success (Quick Tip)

Top 9 Jointer Tips for Safe and Accurate Jointing Reading Simple Sharpening Hack to Ensure Success (Quick Tip) 2 minutes Next A Holiday Message from Jonathan Katz-Moses

As I’ve said before, the ONLY thing that really matters while sharpening is creating a burr.

But before you can make that burr, you need to know your chisel or plane iron is at the correct angle in the honing guide…

And that it is at least close to square.

With this sharpening hack, you can test the accuracy of your sharpening jig setup with just a couple strokes.

All you need is a Sharpie. Here’s how it works.


1. SET UP YOUR TOOL IN THE HONING GUIDE

setting up chisel in honing guide

Using a setup block or digital angle finder, lock your chisel or hand plane blade in the honing guide.

A 30° sharpening angle is typically what you want to aim for.


2. DRAW SHARPIE ON THE BEVEL

chisel in sharpening guide

Take your Sharpie and “black out” the tip of your tool. Make sure you mark the beveled edge.

You don’t need to draw over the entire bevel. But make sure you mark over the edge and at least a couple millimeters back.


3. TAKE 3 TEST STROKES

chisel in honing guide

Make three passes on your sharpening stone, then check the Sharpie.

  • If the Sharpie has been removed evenly from the tip, you know your setup is spot on and you're on your way to creating a burr.

  • If the Sharpie at the tip hasn’t been removed, you need to pull the tool back in the sharpening jig to slightly increase the angle.

  • And if it’s coming off unevenly, you need to adjust the squareness of the tool to the jig.

A little bit of Sharpie can tell you all that in seconds — saving you from wasted effort and inaccurately sharpened tools.

It’s like the prophecy-reading crystal ball of sharpening.


Want a deeper look at sharpening technique? Read this.



Got any other tricks for checking your sharpening setup? Let us know in the comments below!

Follow us on Instagram @katzmosestools, on TikTok @katzmoseswoodworking, and check out my YouTube channel for more great woodworking content...

And as always, STAY SAFE IN THE SHOP!

2 comments

Pat Martin

Pat Martin

My tip is Practice,Practice
Thank you so much for your tips and your relaxed way of approaching woodworking.
It is a hobby not brain surgery. If you can correct it then it is not a mistake. Just don’t keep repeating it.
Thank You
Happy Holidays
Pat

My tip is Practice,Practice
Thank you so much for your tips and your relaxed way of approaching woodworking.
It is a hobby not brain surgery. If you can correct it then it is not a mistake. Just don’t keep repeating it.
Thank You
Happy Holidays
Pat

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A table runner isn’t just utilitarian; it’s a style curator for dining ambiance. Beyond shielding tables, it introduces an array of textures and designs. This versatile piece masterfully blends function with visual charm, turning each meal into a captivating experience of tasteful aesthetics. https://www.etsy.com/listing/1643059523/macrame-circle-crochet-table-runner

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