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Forget water/oil stones. Do a search on google for "scarey sharp" and check out that method. Much MUCH sharper (and more easily achieved), which equals easier to use, and less chances of hurting yourself while using the tool/chisel/plane.

disregard what it says about glass or marble plates, its irrelevant, just use any good flat surface. I use a piece of untextured melamine board.

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You need to do some basic research on sharpening. Go over to the Lie-neilson site and look around. They also sell a couple of cheap books on the subject.

There in no easy simple quick foolproof way to sharpen tools. It's a basic cabinet maker's skill that everyone seems to want to get around doing. It isn't rocket science. There are ways that take less money up front, like "scary sharp", but they all require patience and a good eye.

Laping the back refers to getting the back of a plane or chisel blade dead flat. I do this by coating the back with a blue magic marker made for this and working it on a stone until it's all gone. Then I do it again and if it's right it rubs off with a couple of strokes.

I still use a combination of diamond water stones, oil stones and a leather strop. I get a mirror finish and a razor edge. I use 600 sandpaer on a plate to touch up and then strop while I'm working.

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