Here's how I made a jig to hold my sharpening stones. For years I have sharpened my knives on a bench stone (with the stone resting on a table or "work bench"), and most of the time, I'd hold the stone in my hand.
I didn't like having the stone flat on the table, so most of the time, I'd hand hold the stone. After cutting my fingers on more than one occasion, I decided I should figure out a safer way to do this.
If you are sharpening free hand, many of you already know it's very difficult to get the right angle while sharpening your stone. So not only is this jig a safer way to sharpen your knife, it also helps you get the right angle every time.
Step 1: Supplies and tools
Here are the supplies and tools you'll need:
1. Some scrap wood. Note: Your main structure of wood should be slightly LESS in width than your stone. For example, my sharpening stones are exactly 2 inches in width. My wood is 1 and 15/16 inches in width.
2. A chop saw (aka a miter saw). In order to get the right angle, you really need to use a chop saw.
3. A drill and a couple drywall screws. Or some epoxy and clamp.
4. A jigsaw, scroll saw or similar hand held saw to cut the side supports.
5. Sharpening stones. These are the ones I use (See attached): A Norton's Combination IB8 Coarse/Fine India Stone. If you're looking for a good all purpose stone, I'd recommend this or something similar. I paid $16 for it. I also use a Spyderco Ceramic Whet Stone Fine Grit. This is probably unnecessary for day to day use, but by finishing up with this stone, I can get my knife razor sharp - sharp enough to shave the hair from my arm.
6. A good knife. It's hard to get a good edge with a knife made of poor quality metal. My favorite knife, the one I carry almost every day, is a Benchmade Griptilian Mini. (See attached)