For years I have been securing my honing stones in a metalworking bench vise, protecting the stone from the metal jaws with a towel. This required careful adjustment of the vise--too much clamping pressure would crush the stone, too little would allow it to fall to the floor. I was never happy with the arrangement. Today, I hit upon this better solution.

To make the holder, start with a scrap block of wood as long as the stone. Cut a dado in the top of the block just wide enough to accept the stone. Also, cut rabbets on the bottom, so the block can be clamped in the vise.

Improved Sharpening-Stone Holder

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Now, from opposite ends, cut two sawkerfs, each about two-thirds the length of the block. Just make sure the kerfs have enough width so that you get an adequate amount of squeeze when the block is tightened in the vise. The fixture is easy on the stone yet holds it securely.

Drawings by Jim Richey.

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May 30, 2007