When you have a dull wood chisel that you want to sharpen, the easiest way to do it is with a honing guide. This type of tool consists of 2 basic parts. There is the block where the rougher is used and a slide where the chisel is placed for running through the guide. Many woodworkers will have a honing guide, or two, laying around their shop that they have bought. But, many like to build their own wood chisel honing guide with a few scraps of wood and some specialty items. Here is a step by step plan to build your own wood chisel honing guide.
Step 1 - Create Blocks for Honing Guide
The honing guide consists of two pieces of wood. You should have one pieces of 2 by 8 scrap wood as well as a 2 by 4 piece. The dimensions are not all that important as long as they are going to be large enough to handle the slide and the chisel. However, a good rule is for a 20 inch long bottom piece (the 2 by 8) and a 10 inch top piece (the 2 by 4). Cut them to size with a table saw.
Step 2 - Sand Down Wood
Once the wood is cut to size you will need to sand it so that the surface is smooth. You can use either a piece of sandpaper on a block of wood, or a small orbital sander. Make sure to keep the sander level and do not gouge the wood.
Step 3 - Paint Wood Blocks
With the sanding done you can then paint the blocks to whatever color you desire. There is also the option to stain the wood with a dark color for a more elegant look.
Step 4: Adhere Carbide Stone
To give the wood chisel honing guide a surface for sharpening the wood chisel you will need to use a piece of flat carbide stone. It should be a 3 by 20 piece. You can have a little smaller length to it, but it should be at least 3 inches wide. This will allow you to use the honing guide on wood chisels with up to 3 inch blades. Use some construction adhesive on the back of the carbide stone and position it in the center of the 2 by 8 block.
Step 5 - Set Railings on Wood
On the outside of the carbide strip you should place the honing guide railings. They are found at most wood working supply stores. Simply screw them into place with small wood screws.
Step 6 - Place T Slides on 2 by 4
Once the railings are in place on the 2 by 8 wood, you can then install the T Slides on the bottom edge of the 2 by 4. They should fit right into the rails for ease of sliding the wood along the carbide stone.
Step 7 - Hone Your Wood Chisel
Using this wood chisel honing guide is as easy as placing the chisel on the top wood and then running it through the carbide stone. You can move the wood through the railings in both directions to give your wood chisel a very sharp edge for working through the toughest woods.