Veritas Mk. II Honing Gauge Issues

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Forum topic by Thrakintosh posted 12-24-2013 01:36 AM 2751 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Thrakintosh's profile


52 posts in 4215 days

12-24-2013 01:36 AM

Topic tags/keywords: sharpening veritas lee valley honing jig


I have one of these… have for a year plus and though it seems like it should be close to perfect in repeatability I haven’t found it to be. However, I really want to love it. Maybe I need some advice/help. Here are my issues…

  1. My biggest issues is that I find that no matter how tight I make the knurled brass screws the blades (specifically chisels) wiggle out of alignment. Maybe I should scuff the beds with some sandpaper? Also, those knurled nuts are great at grazing the skin off the sides of my index fingers as I try to wrestle them loose after a sharpening session. Am I over tightening?
  2. I tried sharpening a mortise chisel in it but the placement at the required angle wouldn’t allow it to work as the wheel would rub against the blade holding mechanism. Unfortunately, the same is true with my Eclipse jig.
  3. Small blades are a problem. I’ve tried the Veritas Small-Blade Holder with the Mk II and the Eclipse with less than great results. The magnets and stop block dont do a very good job at holding small blades such as the Lie-Nielsen Violin Maker’s Plane or the straight edged Veritas Spokeshave blade.

All in all I’ve found that the Eclipse is quicker to setup and (almost) more versatile (minus the small blade problems). I use a Wixey angle guide to set up the honing angles. Not perfect but… Should I just move on?

Any tips to share?


-- Adam - Red Hook, NY

6 replies so far

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

597 posts in 3765 days

#1 posted 12-24-2013 02:02 AM

fullcity, I don’t have any tips for you. I’ve never had the problems you describe. The only suggestion I can offer for your problem #1 is to be sure you aren’t putting too much pressure on the whole contraption while sharpening, and hold the chisel and MKII firmly as a single unit with both hands while sharpening.

Well, maybe one tip: Be sure the retaining bar (that clamps the chisel to the bed) is perfectly parallel to the bed. If it’s at any angle, the bar will be making contact with the chisel just on the edge of the chisel, and the chisel might shift no matter how tightly you tighten the nuts.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View Goodsh's profile


89 posts in 2368 days

#2 posted 12-24-2013 04:14 AM

I agree with Mark. I had the same issue as you for the blade moving out of alignment. I figured out that I was putting too much downward pressure on the blade when I sharpen and now I just use light pressure and it doesn’t happen anymore. I’ve learned that there’s really no need to put a lot of pressure on the blade when honing (I use waterstones). I just use very gentle pressure now and the blades hold firm and it sharpens fine. I’ve never had the problem you mention with the mortise chisel. Checked my instructions and it says you can do up to 15/32 thickness. Is your mortising chisel thicker than that? I haven’t used the small blade jig so can’t say much about it. Maybe too much pressure on the blade there as well? With light pressure I’d think the rare earth magnets would hold. If not I have no idea. I’d email Lee Valley customer service – I always get great responses from them.

View Arminius's profile


304 posts in 4251 days

#3 posted 12-24-2013 05:21 AM

It does sound like you are working too hard, too much pressure on the holding mechanism.

I really like the Veritas jig, but found it fiddly with chisels in general. I notice a fading chisel edge more quickly than with a plane, I want to sharpen them more often and the Veritas jig takes some time to set up. I wanted a very quick ‘touch-up’ sort of approach. But I hated the Eclipse. I ended up trying a Kell jig which is now what I use for most of my chisels. For small blades, between the two I have yet to run across any problems.

If you use the Eclipse or Kell or similar, the Wixey will just slow you down and introduce another source of variation. Use it once, spend an hour or two and build one of the Lie-Nielsen style angle jigs. You can get the chisel in the jig and put a new edge on in under a minute.

View Robert Brown's profile

Robert Brown

151 posts in 3139 days

#4 posted 12-24-2013 10:35 AM

My problem was that I tighten down one side first and then tighten the other side. That put the chisel or the cutter out of alignment. Now I tighten one brass screw until light contact is reached. Then go to the other screw and tighten it. I go back and forth a couple or three times. After I did this to evenly tighten both screws, my problem went away.

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 4009 days

#5 posted 12-24-2013 10:42 AM

+1 on what Robert says

-- Joe

View Thrakintosh's profile


52 posts in 4215 days

#6 posted 12-25-2013 01:25 AM

Thanks, all! A few good ideas. I’ll give’er another shot over the long holiday week.

-- Adam - Red Hook, NY

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