Re Honing-guide sharpening
A common fallacy I often come across is that the honing guide gives you the edge you cannot get freehand and that most freehand sharpeners are professional furniture makers. Most professional furniture makers are minimalist hand tool users and I worry that writers might falsely impress people that “hobbyists” cannot very quickly and readily establish the hand skills of sharpening. If it had not been for this category of woodworker, we would most likely have lost many more such very basic skills.
In the article I read, Asa C said that,”…if you rock the edge on the stone, even a little bit, you might not be sharpening the very tip.” If that were true then it would be simply and quickly corrected by raising the angle of presentation slightly and establishing a burr in two or three rubs. Very simple for anyone and essential to establishing skill rather than substituting for it.
The article gives the impression, all be it quite briefly, that simply honing the bevel is a trickier task than flattening and honing the larger flat face. With a good diamond sharpening plate or any hard, flat surface and wet and dry abrasive, both flat face and bevel can be polished to produce a perfect cutting edge in minutes. Please remember that to establish real skill in any field takes training, practice and self-discipline. When you do this you develop competence and skill. When you don’t, skill becomes lost.
In the side bar with the pictures and drawings, the blurbs beneath state that with the guide the angle is always right. What it should say is that it’s always the same. What it did not say is that guides are generally quite fiddly and awkward and that it takes much more valuable time to set up. Asa then goes on to say that “without the guide it’s very easy to change the angle subtly as you move the blade, which rounds the bevel and keeps you from honing the very tip, where it matters. This is repeated three times in the same section, so there is a point being made. The problem is that it’s simply untrue.