July 17, 2021

How to Make a Jig for Sharpening Chisels

Making a jig for sharpening chisels is an easy project that can better edge, more comprehensive chisels. In addition to getting a better edge on your chisels, you can also make a jig that will help you sharpen your plane iron, jointer plane iron, and/or power shear.

Making the jig

Design and print out the plan of the jig that you need. The bigger the jig, the wider the projects, and you need to design a jig that suits the type of projects you will be working on. You are allowed to give yourself a range of widths you will be working on. Planning and drawing the jig gives you the chance to make improvements until you have the final tool. 

Cut out the parts that make up the base, and it holds the stone as you start working on your projects. The stone can be of any dimension, but the tool base has to fit multiple stones, and it has to include a fine grit side and a coarse grit side. Install the jig using glue and brads. 

The opening of the stone has to be snug at the end, which stops it from moving around when in use. Flip the base up so that you start using a dual gritstone. The jig is easy to assemble. The 25-degree angle cut on both sides is easy using a miter saw. 

The wedge has to be cut from a scrap of particleboard. Re-setting the jig is allowed to the desired angle you wish to cut. Clamp both sides together as you drill a hole. Use clamps or a vise to keep the parts of the jig from moving. 

The alignment of the hole has to be maintained. The slot in the end part has to be cut. Glue the 14 inches threaded rods into the side parts, and the two pieces have to match. Clamp the sides in the vice using the block plane. The sides have to close and grip the chisel to tighten the wing nut. The jig is now ready to put together. 

Description and Parts List

Top support

The top support should have the same height from the ground as the table.

Clamp

The legs of the frame support the clamp. The clamp supports the jig when being made and the workpiece. Using glue is a disadvantage since you have to adjust the height of the jig. 

Joints

Joints work as a frame base that increases the contact area with the floor. 

Length gauge

The length gauge gives you a quick and accurate cutting to length, which requires less effort from the user. 

Materials 

Thick wood boards

Thick wood boards are for benchtops since they come in different heights. There is no universal height on jigs, and the thickness of the wood board determines the projects you are running.

Fence posts

Fence posts work as legs that support the workbench, and they bring stability to the workbench since you cannot afford to work on a shaking tool. 

Shelf planks

Shelf planks are also known as floorboard planks. These are of use for the bottom shelf. 

Studding timber

Studding timber strengthens the frame. When the frame is strong, it supports a board of multiple thicknesses. 

Screws

Screws have to be of the size that matches the projects being run. Bigger screws and smaller screws do not work on thicker boards.

Wood glue

Wood glue is not a must, but it works when the drilled hole attaches the handle with the chisel tip. 

Screw

Pay attention to the length of the screw before use. 

Tools

  • Chisel
  • Pliers
  • Allen wrench
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Circular saw
  • Drill driver
  • Clamps
  • Adjustable Set Square
  • Pencil for sketching

Draw a circle on a scrap piece of wood

Drawing a circle on a scrap piece of wood is part of the designing process. Take your time to set up a jig if you want to draw a circle on a piece of wood. The same jig you use to drill holes is the one you use to make a circle. 

Consider the radius of your table and wheel. Mark the length from the tip of the jig on the worktable. Drill a hole through the workbench and check beneath the table for any obstructions. The hole has to be through the center of the wood that you wish to drill. The wood should be free to rotate around the tool. If you do not have the cutting g tool, try using a scrap.

Drill a hole at its center

When your jig and the stop collar are set on your board thickness, clamp your wood. Drill the holes at the center. If your boards are wider, drill holes spaced out, matching your application. 

Spacing holes 6inch apart and 2inches from the edge are standard holes. That has to act as your guideline as much as you might have no idea. Drill the hole until the collar contacts the jig. The jig has a dust collection port that gets rid of unwanted particles. There are signs to pay attention to when you want to control the hole. A dimple or hole in the bottom end of the board is a sign of drilling too far. 

Attach the scrap to a workbench

Attach a scrap to your workbench as you customize the bench to your height and the wood you are working on. Measure the height that makes you operate from a comfortable position. 

A scrap is from excess wood or cardboard. The piece of scrap has to be longer than the radius of the circle you need. Poke a hole in one side and measure the radius from the center of the hole. Mark the spot on the other side and poke another hole in the spot you marked. 

How to use the jig

A jig drills holes on wood, which is possible with proper instructions for beginners and advanced woodworkers. Set up the jig and figure out the thickness you will be working on. 

Adjust the jig to match the thickness of the board and if you are not sure, refer to the instructions attached for the specific jig. There are tabs attached to the jig for adjustments, and there are pins at the front that allow you to slide the drill guide up and match up the markings on the sides as you pull out the pins. 

Some jigs are automatic in adjustments to match the thickness of the board. It adjusts the guide as you clamp your piece into it. Knowing the thickness of your wood board determines the performance of your jig. The gauge that comes with the jig helps you set your drill bit collar. 

It works the same way as the Allen wrench to adjust the stop collar on the drill bit that comes with the jig. There is a set screw on the side of the collar and adjusts up and down until the circle hits the thickness desired. The screw has to be in place.

Conclusion

If you’re going to use a chisel, you should use the proper tool for the task. A chisel is a relatively simple tool, but it can ruin your work if you’re not careful. And, if you’re trying to finish a piece of furniture or create a new piece of art, you need to get the chisel sharp enough to do the job. Also, see our post on How to Date Marples Chisels.

David D. Hughes
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