Jump to content

Sharpening Plane Blades


~john~
 Share

Recommended Posts

I *THINK* 25-30 degrees is the norm? That is just the bevel angle though, your edge should be another 5 degrees or so, and then a micro bevel of a few more. I *THINK* that's it. Anyone else?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some of my planes are getting pretty blunt so i got this stone thing for sharpening, but im not really sure what im doing.

What angle should the blade be at to get the best result and so on...

:D

I got myself a japanese combination waterstone and a honing guide, you place the plane blade or chisel in the guide with a certain amount of blade sticking out (the guide has marks on coresponding to certain degrees that are most common) so pick the one corresponding or nearsest the angle of your plane blade and just basically roll away down your stone. You end up with nice uniform sharp blades easy peasy takes no time at all. B)

I get alot of my tools from this place in the UK www.axminster.co.uk :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Common bevel angles are 15 20 25 30 degrees. The bevel needed varies from plane to plane (like a low angle smoother or high angle scraper) and the hardness of the stock you are working. I have better luck working very hard woods with larger bevel angles. 25 degrees would probably be a good place to start, then follow that with the 5 degree cutting edge and micro bevel as MATT said. I have different planes set up with different bevels - a few don't even have the 5 degree cutting edge. The micro bevel is a must, though, that alone will make a huge difference in how effective the plane is.

The stones used to sharpen the blade is personal choice, some like the jap stones, some like the diamond embedded ones, or good old arkansaw stones - doesn't matter as long as the stone is flat. You can sharpen without a honing guide but they're about $15(and up) and do make the job go easier, otherwise ya about have to set your knuckles to the stone to maintain your bevel and that starts to suck pretty quick.

This link may help some.

One way to tune and sharpen a handplane

Hope it works out for you,

Nate Robinson :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Japanese waterstones and a honing guide are the way to go.

I personally use a single bevel on my planes and chisels, but it's all sorta personal preference.

Remeber that flatting and polishing the back of the blade is just as important as working on the bevel (lapping)

I cut the bevel on a 800 grit stone

Move onto a 1200 to remove scratches

Then to a 7000 for polishing

Then to a tormek wheel (leather thing) with 15,000 grit paste on to get them up to a mirror shine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I seem to be getting good results from holding the blade at about a 20 digree angle, its by no means perfect yet.

I'll look into making some sort of devise to hold the blades at the right angle tommorow seen as i have littel else to do.

and a word of advice, don't test how sharp you've got the blade by running it across your finger tip, it just gets blood everywhere :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The standard test of sharpness is to shave the back of your forearm. A properly sharpened blade will leave you smooth as a babies arse. Another common test is to rest the blade on your thumb, with the sharpened dge against your thumbnail. Very gently push the blade - if it skates over the nail, it's blunt - if it 'bites' immediately it's sharp - stop pushing now, a properly sharpened blade won't blink before it takes a chunk out of you nail, and quote likely the monkey-meat behind it too :D

Also, remember that sharpeing is not a one off event - sharpen, use, sharpen again. Many times I've cursed a bad plane, or stubborn piece of wood, when the problem is actually sharpness. Just because you sharpened the blade yesterday, doesn't mean it's still sharp, a dense hardwood like maple can knock the edge down pretty quickly, and touchig it up doesn't take a second. The initial sharpening, setting bevel angle, and removing nicks or burrs from the edge can take a long time, but once it's done you should be able to keep it razor sharp with just a few strokes on the finsest stone/paper/whatever.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, remember that  sharpeing is not a one off event - sharpen, use, sharpen again.  Many times I've cursed a bad plane, or stubborn piece of wood, when the problem is actually sharpness.  Just because you sharpened the blade yesterday, doesn't mean it's still sharp, a dense hardwood like maple can knock the edge down pretty quickly, and touchig it up doesn't take a second.  The initial sharpening, setting bevel angle, and removing nicks or burrs from the edge can take a long time, but once it's done you should be able to keep it razor sharp with just a few strokes on the finsest stone/paper/whatever.

+1

If you've got the space, keep a strop (rough leather loaded with abrasive compound of some sort) on ever corner of every table in your shop. Alternately, just a couple of bits of wetordry stuck to a flat bit of MDF somewhere (a strip of 600, one of 800, one of 1200 should be more than enough). Touch plane blades and chisels AS SOON as they feel the slightest bit blunt. At that point, a few strokes will bring 'em right back. Keep going with the blunter blade, and you're looking at the potential for more serios reshaping.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...