Sharpening Hones Box

As part of the ongoing battle against entropy in my shop, I built a small box to hold my coarse and fine sharpening hones, and my sharp skate, though I have the older model with wheels, which is perfect for me, since I prefer the side-sharpening method with most blades. The friable homes are my go-to sharpening system, as I don’t need to fuss with water or oil, and can just sharpen whatever’s dull quickly and get back to work.

The box is simple dovetailed pine, with a scrap plywood bottom and a nice piece of quarter-sawn sycamore, resawed down to ¼ inch thick as the lid. I chamfered the edges of the box at a 30 degree angle to give it a little different look, cut out a curved shape to give it some feet, and used the table saw to cut dados ⅜ inch deep (i.e. halfway through the board) on the inside and out in order to make a lid that would piston fit. The top and bottom float in ¼ inch deep dados on the inside of the box.

Once it was all together, I gave the pine a few coats of Real Milk Paint Terra Cotta and then hit everything with a coat of tung oil. On the inside of the box, I glued a couple thin pieces of poplar to hold the stones securely in place so they wouldn’t slide front to back as I’m sharpening. I’ll contact-cement some non-skid to the box feet if it slides around on the bench, but I suspect I won’t need to do that.

Next time I feel the need for a quick project, I’ll probably make a similar box for my set of 3 Japanese water stones, but I’m thinking that will have an epoxy finish inside so I can use it as a pond for the stones, too.

May you have the day you deserve!


Looks like a good fit Dave, you always use dovetails in your boxes, I bet you can do them in your sleep.

Main Street to the Mountains

Nice build and super good idea for quick sharpening. I like the dry sharpening, no need to clean up water or oil.
Yeah, Eric. It’s the quickest way I know to build a nice solid box. Not as pretty as mothers and splines maybe, but for shop furniture, plenty good.

Thanks, Tom! I’m really a fan of these hones now. About the biggest cleanup is blowing or vacuuming the dust and swarf off every now and again. They do wear a bit, but not noticeably faster than my Japanese water stones.

May you have the day you deserve!

Nice work Dave good storage box.

-- Soli Deo gloria! ( To God alone be the Glory)

Thanks, Oldrivers!

May you have the day you deserve!

Looks good Dave. What do you think  of the skate honing guide. I was thinking of getting one of the new ones with the bar. Not sure how long the bar would last though. I'd love a couple of the nano hone ceramic stones too.

Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

OMG   out with the dictionary at the first line... entropy ... still confused anyway.
Very well done write up!
Glad to see your sharp as ever and living on the edge!

Regards Rob

"A pond for the stones, too"  Lol.

No Bees. No Honey. Bees Lives Matter

Andy, I like the skate pretty well, but I don’t see the point of the bar, since that makes it just like most of the other guides. The whole reason I bought the NanoHone skate was to do the side-sharpening thing, and while the bar still allows that, it seems to be aimed at people who don’t want that. Oh well, I never claimed to understand the ways of marketing. I’m just going to be cranky when I wear out my wheels and can’t get a replacement.

Thanks, Rob! One of my theoretical careers while at university (my first through third or fourth sophomore years, if I remember correctly) was physicist.

Thanks, Brian. When I lived in Minnesota, in the summer, I could wet down the water stones and they would stay wet for a day or two. Here in the desert, they’re dry minutes later and therefore I never use them, so yeah, I’m pondering a pond. I thought about the Veritas pond but why I would want more plastic in my wood shop escapes me. More marketing misunderstanding, I guess.

May you have the day you deserve!

Nice! Epoxy finish for whetstone storage sounds nice but be careful! my first stone got mold when I kept it in a plastic container in dry summer in CA so I made a wooden storage... 

No name noobie here

Thanks, YRTi! Mold could indeed be an issue around here. My humidifier (needed almost year-round) in the bedroom needs pretty frequent cleaning because it’s always got standing water. Seems like there are a lot of mold spores around, just waiting for a chance to be wet.

May you have the day you deserve!