Jigs made to sharpen joiner blades

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Project by Bureaucrat posted 05-29-2010 06:39 AM 7781 views 24 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had some nicks in my joiner blades and was having some difficulty getting them as sharp as I thought they ought to be. After getting some advice from some fellow jocks I started this project today. It’s a scary sharp approach mixed with a sharpening jig based on one made by Lumber Jock Garagewoodworks.
The scary sharp platform is a 3/4” (actually slightly less) thick mirror that had been used in the printing industry and is surrounded by 3/4” plywood. This is all attached to a 1/2 in ply base. To hold the paper down, I attached two pieces of red oak with bolts and wing nuts. To keep the paper from slipping I added 1/4” thick weather stripping to the bottom of the oak side pieces.
The sharpening jig is not as versatile as the jig that inspired it but is designed around my joiner knives. Materials used: about 10” of hickory flooring, a 3/4” x 3/4” piece of red oak, 2 bearings and some nuts and bolts.
The largest piece of the jig is the part that holds the joiner knife. Differently than the original, I made a rabbet for the knife to fit into and drilled holes to attach the knife with bolts (original used steel bars under tension).
The support post is the red oak that has the 2 bearings on the bottom to make it glide smoothly. (I added the 2nd bearing to make it more stable). The main body moves up and down to change the cutting angle of the jig. It locks into place with a thumb bolt.
I finished one knife and like the result.
To see how the jig is made visit garagewoods and view his instructional video.

-- Gary D.

19 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8648 posts in 4661 days

#1 posted 05-29-2010 06:56 AM

looks great. glad to see you took that route. even if you do have replacement blades – the 2nd set should be sharp.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3610 posts in 4725 days

#2 posted 05-29-2010 07:11 AM


Thanks for sharing this. I hadn’t seen Brian’s post (well, actually, I just ignore video posts since I can’t take the time to view them with dial-up if they are more than about 15 seconds). Your photos and description have piqued my curiosity and I’ll have to go to the library to check this out. My planer knives are in need of sharpening!

-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4590 days

#3 posted 05-29-2010 07:12 AM

Good thinking Gary neat jig


View mafe's profile


12928 posts in 4102 days

#4 posted 05-29-2010 12:37 PM

Thats really cool, live jigs like that.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4128 days

#5 posted 05-29-2010 02:14 PM

I like your platform looks good
so does the jiig
thank´s for sharing Gary


View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4701 days

#6 posted 05-29-2010 02:53 PM

A very timely post. I want to make one for my jointer knives because the local sharpening service does an “o’k” job , but not a great job at resharpening them. Great project and nice pictures , Gary : ) Thank you very much.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View SteveKorz's profile


2140 posts in 4727 days

#7 posted 05-29-2010 03:08 PM

I like this a lot!

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Ken90712's profile


17973 posts in 4202 days

#8 posted 05-29-2010 03:53 PM

Great idea. Ill send mine over! LOL

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4701 days

#9 posted 05-30-2010 04:21 AM

I’m wondering if 3 or 4 Rare Earth magnets epoxied into the rabbeted knife holding area would be enough to hold the knife in place? After using your jig, Gary , what do you think about it ? Is there too much stress applied to be held with the magnets ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Bureaucrat's profile


18340 posts in 4665 days

#10 posted 05-30-2010 06:12 AM

Dusty56: I don’t know, haven’t used rare earth magnets. I don’t exert a lot of pressure on the blade, it just eats up sand paper when I did. I think that a quicker change system to hold the knife would be better. Brian used bent strips of metal to put pressure on the blade, I used bolts. After changing out 4 blades for several grits of paper, I was wishing for a quick change system.

-- Gary D.

View Bricofleur's profile


1480 posts in 4206 days

#11 posted 05-30-2010 07:25 PM

Nice job Gary. I’ve bookmarked your jig as well as GarageWorks’ model for future use. Sooner or later this jig will be a must in my shop.

Dusty56 – According to my experience with rare-earth magnets, using three or four 1/2'' rare-earth magnets (I would use cups instead of epoxy though) sold by Lee Valley would be more than enough. I can even predict you would have a hard time to take the knives away from the magnets. You would have to slide it out. Another option would be these small screws I found recently at my local hardware store. They are #6 and 5/8’’ long and are meant for metal drawer slides so the heads won’t catch. Their head is deadly flat and parallel from one face to the other. They would be great to hold the knives, even throu the holes I believe.



-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4701 days

#12 posted 05-30-2010 11:06 PM

Serge ,Thanks for the feedback on the magnets. My Rockwell-Delta jointer knives don’t have holes in them , but I may be able to use the screws any way. I’ll have to check the hardware stores around here…Thanks again : )

Tell me something, Serge. Are U.S. standard nuts and bolts as expensive up there as Metric N&B are down here ? I couldn’t believe it yesterday when I needed an 8mm x 1.25 pitch nut ($.59), washer($.36) and lock washer($.42) each x 2. If I could have used the SAE items , it would have cost me about $.50 total !!
Does it really cost more for the companies to turn Metric threads versus SAE threads , or is this just another scam we have to endure ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4701 days

#13 posted 05-31-2010 12:11 AM

Gary , sorry to ask a non-related question of Serge on your post. I didn’t mean to hijack your project post in any way .Serge answered me in a PM , which I should have done in the first place : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

549 posts in 4529 days

#14 posted 05-31-2010 12:23 AM

I saw a jig years ago that made a jig similar to this: \—/ The angled lines represent the blades. The wood was cut at 45 angle and each blade leaned in the opposite direction. A block of wood in between them (cut at the same angle) had two screws to hold the blades tightly. To use it, you had your stone crossing them both as you worked to sharpen the blades. The reason for this was so that same amount of metal is removed from both blades. I built it and it worked great.

-- jstegall

View Bureaucrat's profile


18340 posts in 4665 days

#15 posted 05-31-2010 01:40 AM

That would save some time too. I would also imagine that having the opposing blades as portrayed would make them pretty stable as they go across the stone. Thanks for the idea.

Dusty56: No problem.

-- Gary D.

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