Knife sharpening blade guide

A friend has a Tormek-style sharpening system, but doesn’t like the attachments for sharpening knives. He came over tonight and we freehanded a replacement on the mill.

I cut a chunk of scrapyard 3/4" cast aluminum on the bandsaw. Drilled a 1/2" hole through it, put it on end and drilled 5mm and tapped M6 x 1 for his existing thumbscrew, to grip the rod and hold it in place. Chamfered the back on either side of the screw, then set it up at 20° in the mill and used an insert face mill with polished aluminum inserts to put a beveled edge on it as a blade rest for the knife body.

A relatively quick make, and it should be useful!

The 1/2" hole looks asymmetric because it’s intentionally asymmetric; it’s offset to keep the thumbscrew away from the blade rest.


Got a text this morning: it works well! :tada:


Turns out the hole should have been 12mm not 1/2" but I didn’t have the machine to measure. It works anyway, but if I do this again I guess I’ll raid the drill index for a closer match for hole size. :relaxed:

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Beautiful job! The shape takes me back… It was the mid-80’s. I worked at a shop that had an unused Bridgeport sitting in the corner. I needed a pair of tapered aluminum inserts for the side curtains on my Triumph TR2 roadster. Total unobtainium. An afternoon on the Bridgeport with a couple chunks of aluminum saved the day.

Might I inquire what sort of mill you used? At this time, all I have is a Sherline… It’s a nice machine, but very limited WRT size, power and rigidity.


Nothing like having the right tools to hand!

I used a Precision Matthews PM-30MV, their largest DC motor bench mill.

I used a Shars 3-insert face mill with polished inserts for aluminum to face the angled surface, and due to limited work holding used increments of about 1.5mm max.

The rough end faces were sufficiently square off my PM horizontal/vertical bandsaw that I didn’t bother squaring my stock; it was already good enough.