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Small drill honing jig

Small jig for honing drills below 1mm

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Mike Waldron01/06/2021 20:14:03
40 forum posts

I have recently read of a small honing jig which possibly has its beginnings with the author(s) Duplex, and seen a photo of one, along with a attribution to a certain Derek Brown.

Can anyone furnish me with details of this device?

There apparently was an article a while ago in either MEW or ME (not sure which) illustrating a device for sharpening these tiny drills - which might possibly have this device, or possibly an update of famed the wishbone jig (not the printed plastic one called Wishbon2!)



Neil A01/06/2021 21:50:28
102 forum posts

The last time I think this device was described was in MEW No251.

The article, by Jacques Maurel, had detailed drawings of his version of the sharpener.


Mike Waldron01/06/2021 22:05:59
40 forum posts

Thanks Neil.

Unfortunately I don’t have that issue, as I’m not a regular purchaser, so missed it.

Can anyone help?


noel shelley01/06/2021 23:05:08
861 forum posts
19 photos

Derek Brown is the man, I saw him demonstrate his device some years ago. Noel.

Adrian Nicolson01/06/2021 23:32:48
8 forum posts

Hi There,

I know of two options:

MEW No:9 Feb/Mar 1992 Article Start Page 14 by D J Unwin on A Small Drill Sharpening Jig (which is, an over implication...but simply put, two small bits of Square Bar, with a diagonal vee Groove to hold the small drill)


MEW No:97 April 2004 Article Start Page 22 by Trevor Marlow on "Musing About The Wishbone" (where the writer makes a sheet steel/homemade version of the original Wishbone Sharpener.

Hope these help



John Ockleshaw 102/06/2021 02:44:54
49 forum posts
7 photos

Hello Mike In the Model Engineer 2785 ,of the 7th October 1954, Len Brown described a "Small Drill Sharpening Device". depending how big you make it it will accommodate Number 80 drills, For these small drills you wiill probably need a magnifier to help you position the drill.

They are simple to make and I have three to cover the range 5/332" to less than No.80 diameter.. They work very well.

If you send me a PM with your email address I will send you a copy of his article.;

Regards John

Kiwi Bloke02/06/2021 06:25:49
614 forum posts
1 photos

D A G Brown wrote it up in ME Nos. 3690 & 3692.

It's also described and discussed here

I've seen Derek using his original - it works well! IIRC, he got a diamond-impregnated plate specially made for him. That would have been in the mid- to late '90s: it's easier to source such things now.

Speedy Builder502/06/2021 06:44:30
2447 forum posts
195 photos

Is it a tool like this ?

watch tool 4.jpg

Mike Waldron02/06/2021 06:49:17
40 forum posts

Thanks all for the suggestions.

The little gadget shown is intriguing, Speedy builder! The first time I’ve seen that one.
Did you build it? If so, did you make it to drawings?


Edited By Mike Waldron on 02/06/2021 06:50:02

Phil P02/06/2021 08:46:51
790 forum posts
194 photos
Posted by Speedy Builder5 on 02/06/2021 06:44:30:

Is it a tool like this ?

watch tool 4.jpg

That little tool looks like it is for sharpening a watchmakers graver.

The drill version allows the tool to be tipped sideways to add clearance, so its wheels are fore and aft as opposed to being side to side like the one in the photo. A graver just needs a simple flat producing on the end.


Gary Wooding02/06/2021 16:04:44
909 forum posts
233 photos

A few years ago I decided to combine D.A.G.Brown's designs of the 2 jigs he created for sharpening very small drills. There were two jigs, 1 for drills up to #42 (3/32" and one for drills up to 1/4". This is the result of my combination. Is this what you were looking for?

4facet jig.jpg

Dave Wootton02/06/2021 16:44:49
208 forum posts
51 photos

Full details and drawings for his drill sharpening jig are included in D.A.G.Browns excellent book on making injectors, easily available.



The little credit card sized diamond pad detailed in the drawings is available from ARC.

Edited By Dave Wootton on 02/06/2021 16:46:07

duncan webster02/06/2021 16:53:23
3589 forum posts
66 photos

With the DAG jig as you sharpen the primary clearance the alignment of the cutting edge goes off. I asked him about this once and he advised to set it a tad wrong to start with so that as you sharpen it comes right. How big the 'tad' is depends on how blunt the drill is.

I must admit that making the collets is what is putting me off this device, but trying to hold little drills in a vee block is a non starter, been there failed to do that

Speedy Builder502/06/2021 19:42:17
2447 forum posts
195 photos

Another shot of the tool. The knurled knob tightened a rod which passed through the main body. That rod had a 1.5mm diameter hole through it perpendicular to its axis. The bottom of the body has a small "V" groove in it along its underside such that a small rod (Drill ??) could be held to project forward of the body at the "pointy" end. A bit small for holding a graver though. Unfortunately, I have sold it !

watch tool 3.jpg

duncan webster02/06/2021 22:30:54
3589 forum posts
66 photos

I have a scan of the Jaques Maurel article, if anyone wants a copy send me a pm including your email address

bernard towers02/06/2021 22:52:08
337 forum posts
89 photos

Is this the one?. Works well once you are used to it, I fitted side cheeks to mine which are not on the very first drawings and a stop collar to set the depth.f07b9664-1333-4781-8b8c-11069dd79d7c.jpeg

Howard Lewis03/06/2021 02:15:18
5545 forum posts
13 photos

As Gary Wooding says, Derek Brown made two versions of his sharpening jig, to cater for various sizes of drills. It is intended, I think, to produce four facets.

When he brought his Quorn to exhibit on our stand at Shows, he demonstrated four facet drill grinding.

I( I remember rightly, the Jacques Maurel tool is a development of the "Bommerang" jig.

Eclipse, used to sell a plastic jig, for larger drills, which incorporated eccentric rollers, and intended to be run to and fro over either a flat sheet of emery, or a large oilstone.


Mike Waldron03/06/2021 08:22:54
40 forum posts

Many thanks everybody for all your info., scans, downloads and advice!

Certainly much food for thought!!


Mike Waldron06/06/2021 16:22:24
40 forum posts

A further question re Derek Brown’s 2 articles (thanks for them, Gents!)

Having read the 1994 initial articles about his device to sharpen small drills, it all seemed very simple - though I have to say a bit terrifying to drill 1.24” into 9/64” silver steel to make the collets with nos.55 & 68 drills!!

I then read the later 1996 revision …. and notice an upward extension of the sizes …. But he now talks of a larger capacity - up to 1/4” / 6mm, and larger block.

Fine … but am I missing something? Do both systems work together? Does version 2 now have the tiny scary collets as well as the 1/4”, 3/16” & 1/8” multi size ones?? I’m confused!!

Can anyone clarify please?

Gary Wooding - your version seems to avoid the confusion…. If I’m not further confused!!


Clive Brown 106/06/2021 17:32:55
723 forum posts
34 photos

In his book, DAGB describes the jig as handling drills from 3/32" to no. 80 dia. He also refers to his larger jig which will handle drills of 1/8" dia. so he appears to have two separate jigs.

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