Spokeshave honing clamp

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Project by stanley_clifton posted 05-10-2009 11:36 PM 4219 views 11 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Those of us who are spokeshave fans will know that the irons are just a bit tricky to hone. This clamp is designed to help with that by giving more grip and getting the hands away from the whetstone’s surface. I have been meaning to build a clamp like this for a while and was prompted by buying a little spokeshave from a car boot sale last weekend, which turns out to be a ‘sweetheart’ Stanley no 64.

The handle is oak and I have rasped out some thumb and finger grips to enable a really good hold. Ash is used for the fixed plate, while another slice of oak provides the moving plate. The clamping bolts are really for roofing and are provided with additional washer and wing nuts to give rapid adjustment and final tightening. The little wedge is of oak and is the only thing glued (with Titebond 3). This is because the wedge would not screw on dry, so I fixed one end and then glued and clamped it in the correct position.

This wedge is cut at 28 degrees. Thus, if the clamp is placed on the whetstone with the wedge down, the iron is fixed in the clamp square and just short of the whetstone surface. Then when the iron’s edge is tipped forward onto the whetstone, a honing angle of approximately 30 degrees will be achieved and the wedge will be lifted clear. This should ensure that the iron can only wobble out in one direction. That’s the theory.

Everything in this clamp is from the scrap bag apart from the metal fittings and glue.

I hope that this is useful to everyone.

-- Stanley generally struggling

8 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118144 posts in 4491 days

#1 posted 05-10-2009 11:44 PM

Thats one great Idea stan well done clamp


View johnpoolesc's profile


246 posts in 4274 days

#2 posted 05-10-2009 11:58 PM

looks like that one will work great. great job

-- It's not a sickness, i can stop buying tools anytime.

View USCJeff's profile


1065 posts in 4982 days

#3 posted 05-11-2009 02:22 AM

I think this the first spokeshave guide I’ve seen posted here. Well done. I’ve tried several things that get great results. As simple as this jig is, gotta give it a shot as I’ve got nothing that makes the task easy.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View cabinetmaster's profile


10873 posts in 4472 days

#4 posted 05-11-2009 02:26 AM

Great jig. I gotta go for this too.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4248 days

#5 posted 05-11-2009 09:48 AM

Thank you Stanley. This is just what I need to relieve my arthritic fingers.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View stanley_clifton's profile


196 posts in 4617 days

#6 posted 05-11-2009 11:39 PM

Thanks for the nice comments chaps.

Just to say that the wedge set for 30 degrees will only really be suitable for bevel down shaves such as the Record in the picture. If you have a bevel up shave then you’d need a 23 degree wedge to achieve a 25 degree hone on a 20 degree grind. Sorry if anyone finds this childishly obvious; it hadn’t occurred to me until I was browsing through my ‘The Handplane Book’ last night.

I have a little wooden shave which is bevel up and find this better for end grain work than the two bevel down Records that I have. The cutting angle is clearly superior, even though I do have difficulty getting its tanged iron sharp.

All the best.

-- Stanley generally struggling

View bigike's profile


4057 posts in 4202 days

#7 posted 05-04-2011 01:52 AM

neat idea

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View Doug McPherson's profile

Doug McPherson

114 posts in 4069 days

#8 posted 10-18-2011 08:05 PM

This is great! Has anyone tried anything similar to this concept for a shop-made plane blade sharpening jig?

-- DullChiselDoug,

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