Build a Homemade Knife Sharpener

Maintenance is a must for your fine knives and blades and is made easier when you build a homemade knife sharpener. Includes building diagram and step-by-step instructions.

| July/August 1985

Maintenance is a must for your fine knives and tool blades; make it easy when you build a homemade knife sharpener. (See the knife sharpening diagrams and photos in the image gallery.)

Build a Homemade Knife Sharpener

To a person accustomed to working with cutting tools, a sharp edge is one of life's little pleasures. And few whetstone wielders would deny that the triple-face sharpener shown here is a great new twist on an old grind.

To begin with, the tool is sturdy yet compact, which is a welcome combination in a work area where space is at a premium. In addition, its multiple-stone arbor provides coarse, medium, or fine honing surfaces at the turn of a handle and secures each one in position with a simple horseshoe pin clamp. Furthermore, the arbor rests in an oil- or water-filled pan that continually bathes the two unused stones in their appropriate lubricating medium. If you wish, you can also make a protective cover that doubles as a ramp for use with the roller-type chisel- and plane-blade sharpening guides popular with many woodworkers.

If you think you might like to give this inexpensive multiple-stone hone a try, you'll need to gather up a 32 inch length of 1 by 4, a piece of 3/4 inch plywood or one-by that's at least 4-1/4 inch wide and about 14 inch long, a block of hardwood measuring 2 inch by 2 inch by 3 inch , a 1/2 inch by 12 inch steel shaft, a 3/32 inch by 1-1/2 inch expansion pin, a 1/2 inch -bore, 3 inch -diameter pulley, a 3/16 inch by 13 inch steel rod, a 1/2 inch by 9-1/2 inch rubber hose with a 3/16 inch orifice, a 1/8 inch by 3/4 inch by 20-1/4 inch piece of aluminum flat stock, a 2-1/2 inch -deep, 5-1/4 inch by 9-1/4 inch bread pan, three 3/4 inch by 2 inch by 7 inch sharpening stones in your choice of composition and grade, and the assorted fastening hardware called for in our illustration.

The box is easily made by first ripping the 1 by 4 down to 2-3/4 inch in width, then cutting it into two 5-1/4 inch and two 10-3/4 inch pieces. Drill a 1/2 inch hole, centered and 3/8 inch below one edge of each of the shorter boards, then fasten the box sides to the ends using eight No. 6 by 1-1/4 inch flathead wood screws. (Take the time to countersink the heads and fill the holes, too.)

Next, push the pan firmly into the frame and mark the positions for the holes that will receive the arbor shaft, using the 1/2 inch bores in the ends as guides. Remove the pan to drill the openings, then set it back in place and secure it to the box with four No. 6 by 1 /2 inch wood screws fastened through the rim lip.

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