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My question today involves what people think the proper plane sharpening angle should be.  More specifically I am interested in your opinions about whether to go with a low angle block plane (@ 12 degrees) or to stick with the standard block plane (@ 20 degrees).  I have been given many different opinions on the matter and am interested in a few more.  My take on the whole matter is that it is probably better to go with a low angle block plane because it is easier to get behind the plane to move it along the planning form.  In doing so, however, I believe that we must compensate on the angle of the plane blade, making it steeper.  How much? I am not sure of (would guess @ 40 degrees).  (Robert Cristant)

    There are people on the list more  knowledgeable than me on this.  But, I promised I would post a rod making subject as penance for past sins. I would go with the standard plane.  The angle on the blade should be about 40 degrees. I have used lower angles with good results, but had to sharpen more frequently.  If moving the plane along the form is too hard, the blade is not sharp enough.  (Tom Ausfeld)

    As it just so happens I just made a high angle plane the same dimensions as the 9-1/2. It's a dovetailed steel body with an adjustable throat etc. just like the 9-1/2 but I'm using a HSS iron set at about 55 degrees with a chip breaker.

    I had tennis elbow first in one arm then the other then they swapped again for about 6 months so decided to mess with planes for a while since I couldn't plane.

    I'm right now in the process of getting somebody to make me some sharpened carbide sections so I can braze them to mild steel and see how they go but I must say the HSS cutter blades Ian K famously of NZ gave me are bloody good.  Anyhow the plane works great, no tear outs at all even with lots being hogged off which is what I expected and obviously it works well for fine cuts also BUT and there always is the high angle makes this a two hand planing job even though the plane is small also as expected.

    The higher angle really does increase the resistance but it also planes better.  What I'll do is drill three holes in the butt of the splines and fix a piece of steel with pins that fit the three holes. This I'll crimp to some SS wire I have laying about and firmly attached to my bench. The steel and pins idea can from seeing Jerry Young's Morgan Mill set up if you've ever seen this you'll know exactly what I mean.  The pinned steel attached to the bench basically takes the place of your hand holding the spline, plane a bit and flip it, plane a bit and return it sort of thing.  (Tony Young)

      A bedding angle of 20 degrees with a blade bevel of 35 degrees will give a cutting surface angle of 55 degrees.  (The bevel is mounted UP in a block plane and DOWN in a bench plane).

      The tradeoffs:

      • The lower the blade bevel, the easier it is to get a sharp edge.
      • At higher blade bevels the edge will last longer
      • At lower cutting angles (blade bevel + bedding angle) the plane will be easier to push
      • At higher cutting angles you will get fewer lifts and tearouts and the plane will be harder to push.  (Kurt Clement)

    Reading and experience has led me to 35 degrees.  (Rex Tutor)


On the Veritas sharpening jig, the angles for 25 degree, 30 degree and 35 degree , come with the jig, but what if I want to set the angle at say 40 degree. Does anyone know the geometry involved with computing the length of the blade extending past the jig to cut a specific angle? My high school geometry is rusty.  (Mark Bolan)

    You do realize that you've another two degrees of angle that may be dialed into the fixture, right?  You might also shim underneath the angle guide so as to make the 35° into 40°.  (Martin-Darrell)

    I just picked up a couple of blades from L-N that were ground to 40 degrees. The sharp end of the blade protrudes 1 1/8 " from the jig to make the blade "ride" at the 40 degrees.  (David Van Burgel)

    I rarely use my Veritas jig anymore as I sharpen "off-hand" without a jig.  When I was using it and wanted an angle not on the tool, I made a replacement set piece from 1 3/4" wide x 2 1/2" wide x 1/2" thick aluminum, ends filed to the angles I wanted, and drilled to take a lock screw.  Mark the aluminum with the angles so you don't forget what they are.  (Ted Knott)

    The tangent of an angle is the side opposite the angle divided by the side adjacent to the angle, so if the tan 40 degrees = .8391 you can measure back   10 " (or 10 cms) from the point of contact  of the  blade and  the stone  and then  raise a  vertical 8.391 (8.4)" (or 8.4 cms) and set your blade so it touches the top of that vertical. The cms would probably be more practical, as the blade would probably reach something 8 cms, 4 mms high, whereas 10" back, the blade will no longer exist. You could build a jig that shape ( 10 cm X 8.4 cm legged right triangle, where the hypotenuse need not be measured) and use that, or if you have an adjustable holder, you could set that so the blade it held was parallel to the hypotenuse of the triangle and lock that to that shape.

    I tired to draw the figure but it's more trouble than it's worth. If you draw a right triangle with one side on the stone and the blade touching (forming an angle) at the lower left, the 10 cm goes left-to-right and the 8.4 cm goes up the right hand side. The blade is the diagonal. Anything you can construct to hold the blade at that angle will give you the 40 degrees angle-of-attack.  (Art Port)


I'm trying to figure the best angle to sharpen my plane blades at.  I have the Veritas honing guide and angle setter. 

I've sharpened to 30 degree with a 32 degree 2nd bevel.  This seems to work well, but I have nothing to compare the experience to.  Elser writes about a much steeper 2nd bevel.  Do I want a steeper second bevel?  If so, how can I get it with the Veritas angler setter?  (Joe West)

    I'd say if a 32 degree second bevel works FOR YOU, use it.  "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"  (Neil Savage)

    I had my blades resharpened at a 35 degree angle, and node tear out with this angle is nonexistent.  I use the Veritas jig to set the initial 35 degree sharpening angle, the rotate the knob on the Veritas jig two clicks for a two degree micro bevel.  The Veritas jig will allow you at most a three degree micro bevel.  Anything much more than that, you would probably want to sharpen the blade at a higher bevel to begin with.  The Veritas angle setter has the settings only five degrees apart.  The micro bevel, I believe, is only for expediency in resharpening.  When I resharpen my blades, I'm only resharpening the micro bevel, not the full 35 degree bevel.  I take a few swipes with the blade on 1000 grit, then 2000 grit, then .5 micron paper to resharpen my blades.  As the micro bevel will eventually widen to a point where it's utility for resharpening becomes a bit too much, it's time to resharpen the entire 35 degree bevel flat again.  (Mark Wendt)

      I'm doing the same "scary sharp" as you.  Running out hair on my left wrist - SHARP!   Best way I know to repeat an angle.  I polish both edges (front & back) w/ white compound  on a wheel  in my drill press. It's fast and gives it just a little bit more.  (Brian Smith)

        My last pass is on .5 micron fiber optic polishing pads, both sides of the plane blade too.  I end up with a surface that's so shiny I can count my nose hairs in the reflection on the micro bevel.  (Mark Wendt)

    If you have more than one plane or blade, try sharpening one at 30 degrees and another at 45 degrees. The 30 degree bevel is great for easily taking off a lot of bamboo, but has a tendency to lift nodes. The 45 degree bevel has more of a scraping action - it's easier on the nodes, and works best for thin shavings. So I try to get down to .010-0015" over final taper with the 30 degree plane, then shift to a plane with a 45 degree bevel, and then to a L-N scraper for the last couple of thousandths.

    If I had only one Plane, I'd probably split the difference and sharpen to 35-40 degrees.

    I find that blades without a second bevel hold their sharpness longer. I use a diamond stone to quickly get the bevel flat, and then sharpen with Japanese water stones.  (Tom Bowden)


I have finally got my metal form done (still will need some final tuning I think) but started roughing up some tips yesterday in the butt form side. WOW I have some learning to do. The angles need some work and I have spent as much time sharpening as planing.

Any tips on sharpening frequency? I have been using the Scary sharp method and it takes from 15-30+ minutes to get it sharp. However, I can't plane a whole piece before needing sharpening. I know I nick it on the form from time to time (still learning) but the edge is just going fast. I have a good HOCK blade in an old 9.5 and it cuts well at first. I just don't think I need to spend sooo much time sharpening. Am I doing something wrong? I look at the edge in the light and I can monitor the wear quite well. I can plane 2 thousandths so I know I am getting close to real sharp.  (Barry Janzen)

    Most of us sharpen at 30-35 degrees.  If you are sharpening to 25 degrees your edge won't last as long.  I sharpen at 30 with a 2 degree microbevel.  Either a Hock or my 50 year old Craftsman blade will do a couple of strips between sharpenings.  (I do use a Lie-Nielsen for the final few thousandths.)  (Neil Savage)

      I have been using a wooden blade holder that I thought was 30 degrees. I was talking to Harry earlier and we were brainstorming (using his brain ;-)) and realized I am honing at 25 degrees. I have ordered a Veritas holder and jig and will see if that helps. It has been taking me 30+ minutes to sharpen and Harry says I should be done in 5 minutes or less. I will get this figured out with your great help.  (Barry Janzen)

        It shouldn't even take that long if you once have the knack.  I don't think I spend more than 2 minutes on my diamond hones -- which are not at all expensive -- and a final wipe or so on a piece of leather with jeweler's rouge on it.  (Neil Savage)

          Of course, now that I've said that, I must add that there's nothing like 50 or so years of practice to develop the knack.    (Neil Savage)

        I don't know if anyone mentioned this to you, but if you mark the edge of the plane iron with a black or blue "Sharpie" you can see exactly where you are sharpening.  If you are not doing the very edge, it's going to take a LONG time to get it sharp.  (Neil Savage)

    I have a stack of eight Stanley blades, of all sorts of pedigrees and ages.  The oldies are goodies.

    I get maybe two strips from each blade-three on a good day.

    The very first time I work on a brand new blade, It can take 40 minutes to establish the main 30 degree bevel, then 10 minutes each time to 'sharpen' at 35 degrees for a Stanley 9.5.

    I can't tell you how many hours I spent polishing the flat face before I got them surface ground and polished professionally. It really makes a difference.  (David Kennedy)

      From what I can tell, many of you are spending way too much time at the grindstone. I mostly use a L-N, though I do have a Stanley I will occasionally use to hog some off if I didn't cut close enough on the machine, and I get really bummed if I have to sharpen the L-N more than once per rod, the Stanley has a Hock blade in it and it sees more duty knocking the pith side down than anything, I don't think I've sharpened it in 4 or 5 rods. One thing both planes have in common is a grooved sole, I learned long ago that the forms will dull your blades faster than bamboo will, and no, I don't have any lifting or chipping problems, the only nodes I chip, I chip for the same reasons everybody else does, it wasn't straight when I tried to plane it.  (John Channer)

        If you use a 2 degree microbevel there is no need to sharpen at 30 degree very often, just touch up the 32 degree and away you go.  (Neil Savage)

          I was just wondering the same thing. Sharpening frequency (and time-taken) is HUGELY reduced if the edge has the double bevel you mention. Occasional honing of the microbevel (the portion that makes initial contact with the cane) is usually all that's needed. You can probably do this half a dozen times before the whole edge needs to be addressed. Also, having two irons ready is a big help in reducing the annoyance factor.  (Bill Harms)

        I've got to agree with John here. I've got my old Stanley's and I pretty much can plane a rod completely using two planes. If I don't straighten the strips properly,  I too will have problems with the nodes. Ask to see my last butt section, I'd be hard pressed to show it.

        Usually I take all the strips down to within .010 of the forms, then from one to six, just using the weight of the plane, and sometimes not even that, I finish them off taking the last .001 or so of with a scraper.

        One thing that helps me keep the plane from touch the forms,  I think, is I try to have my ring finger, ever so slightly, touch and ride the side of the form and keep my wrist fairly stiff on each pass. Hope this helps...  (Ren Monllor)

          "then from one to six, just using the weight of the plane, and sometimes not even that, I finish them"

          Now there is the key.  I have a heck of a time remembering this one. All you new rodmakers out there, when you get close (well all the time really) to final dimensions, let the weight of the plane do the work.  It makes the job of planing a whole lot easier.  It helps keep the plane level, since you can concentrate on that instead of pushing the plane down on the cane.  (Todd Talsma)

            You need to add, it also does not chew up the form anywhere near as  badly.  (Gordon Koppin)

              One thing that helps me keep the plane from touch the forms, I think, is I try to have my ring finger, ever so slightly, touch and ride the side of the form and keep my wrist fairly stiff on each pass. Hope this helps...

              That's a really good idea, Ren.  Just be sure you don't have any little hooks/sharp edges on your form!  (Neil Savage)

        sole, I learned long ago that the forms will dull your blades faster than bamboo will, >>>>

        I go back and forth on that in my head. I haven't tried a groove yet. Will need to get a second plane I think incase I don't like it. I have put masking tape on the sides of mine and liked the way I could plane it done to the form without hearing metal to metal. Some people say the the forms won't dull a blade and the forms are softer than the blade. Guess everyone has to find their own way. I'm still searching and learning.  (Barry Janzen)

          There are a couple of other alternatives. You can glue thin shim stock to the bottom of the plane, or use thin tape, but something a bit more durable than masking tape. There are couple of tapes that McMaster-Carr sells that fit the bill, falling in the .0025 - .004 range. One of them is either  Teflon or UHMW, so it reduces friction too. The other is a Kapton tape, a bit more fragile, but more durable than masking tape. If you find you like the planes that way, go ahead and groove or order a plane at that point. You can remove the tape or shim stock and return the plane to a non-grooved configuration.  (Larry Blan)

      then surface ground and polished professionally. It really makes a difference ->>>>>

      This hit me last night during a conversation with Harry. I was forgetting half of the edge during the polishing process. I spent 2+ hours sanding and polishing on the face of my Hock blade. I put in a micro bevel at 32 degrees and finished up last night about 1 AM. WOW what a difference.  Will try it later and see how long it holds now. I hope it helps with tear outs as well.  (Barry Janzen)

    Try wet planing, I sharpen before I start rod. I don't have to sharpen again till I start another rod. I am using a 60 year old Craftsman plane with the original blade.  (Tony Spezio)


How do you all sharpen your 212 blades?  Not the actual method, but how do you achieve the proper angle?  My Veritas angle guide doesn't go that steep. (Louis DeVos)

    With same system I sharpen my 212 blade @ 32 degrees.  However, I don't think it really matters since it's  scraping rather that shearing (planing) the material.  Once it's sharpened you can get a bit more aggressive edge if you lightly burnish the edge to turn the burr (hook) in the direction you are working.  See articles on card (cabinet) scrapers.  God bless George Barnes and the humble 'Cod Scrapa' (say that with a Maine accent, works good on wood too!)  (Darrol Groth)

    Until I got a "Torment" sharpener, I used the cheap "General" off the stone honing guide. It would allow you to close the guide enough to get the right angle although you could only use about half the stone. No big deal, just flip the stone.

    I think Unca Darrol's right though. You push the unbeveled side of the iron across your work. L-N recommends a 45 degree bevel but it never actually slices or cuts, it scrapes. The angle simply seems to provide a bit of 'shoulder' to push against.

    I think if you set your honing guide to the steepest angle you can get, you'll figure out how to make it work for you. You may need to adjust the angle the iron is set in the body to compensate. I never used the proverbial 'burr.' I always removed it (the burr) as it seemed to disappear quickly in use and would require either resharpening (re-burring), running the rod across the edge (re-burring), or resetting the iron. None of which is any big deal. All of which require you to stop what you're doing and deal with it.  (Mike Shay)

      On some of the Lea Valley jigs, you can put the iron in backwards... with the pointy end sticking out the wrong side, and get a steeper angle.  Might give it a try.  (Harry Boyd)

        You can do what Harry suggests, put it in backwards, and by doing so get a slightly steeper angle.

        Or you can get a genuine "Eclipse" honing guide, make a jig to standardise your results, and solve all your problems at once.

        In my opinion, compared with the Eclipse, the whole concept of the Veritas guide is clunky and inconvenient..  The only reason I keep mine s for sharpening irregular items like chisels.

        However, don't buy the el cheapo copies of the Eclipse, as they seem to be made out of something like casehardened junket, and don't last any time at all.

        How steep do you actually want the scraper blade to be?  (Peter McKean)

          The genuine Eclipse honing guide is not available over here any more.  I had disastrous results with the original Veritas honing guide and used an Eclipse knock off for a while until the Veritas Mark II guide came out.  It works very well.  (Hal Manas)

            Well, there you are!  Shows the untrammeled power of sheer ignorance, doesn't it?

            I was so disappointed in the original Veritas tool that I have never bothered to look again, and consequently I did not know that there was an improved model, but will certainly have a look today on their web site.

            Duuuh!  (Peter McKean)


I finally broke down & bought me a Hock plane blade (hey I am part Scottish).  Does anyone (boy that is a stupid question, of course you do) know what the angle the blade is beveled on when it arrives & also does anyone (I know you do) put a 30 degree angle on the blade?  (Bret Reiter)

    I use a 35 degree angle because Ron said to. (Gordon Koppin)

    My Hock A2 Cryo arrived with a 25° bevel, but I have since resharpened  it to 30°.  Why?  Simply because I have two Record blades ground to 30° & I wanted to keep them the same.

    Incidentally, the Hock does keep an edge longer than the Record.  But I have never understood the makers that say they get a couple rods out of a blade before they have to resharpen.  I'm lucky to get two strips out of a blade before I sharpen them.  (Ron Larsen)

      Thanks, that is the bevel I was going to put on it but wasn't sure if others did the same.  By the way, did you flatten the back of the blade as well?  I always flatten the back of the blade on my irons for my planes.  If you don't & try it you will see most blades are cupped slightly.  (Bret Reiter)

        Bret is quite right.  The best cutting edge in a plane is formed where 2 flat surfaces intersect with as little radius as possible.

        If you sharpen your irons until the bevel on the front is polished like glas, you should try for the same with the back of the iron.  In practice, that is gard to achieve, as your grinding effort ios spread over a much greater area; but you can come close.

        And yes, it DOES make a difference.  (Peter McKean)

          The best thing to do with a plane iron is to sharpen it on as large a diameter wheel as possible then finish it on a stone/s. Continue using only stones until the radius caused by the wheel is gone then use the wheel again. The reason you use a large diameter wheel is to get a large radius curve in the face of the bevel. This means you don't have to hone as much metal every time you sharpen it because some of it isn't there. After you've sharpened the edge several times or more the radius is gone and you have steel from leading edge to trailing edge and the honing gets harder and takes longer and the edge wont be as good anyhow. Just take the wheel easy as she goes else you'll draw the temper from the iron and you don't want that at all.  (Tony Young)

            And there, I guess, is the eternal difference between the  "hollow grinders" and the "flat honers".

            I am an unabashed and unconvertible flat honer  - and no, that is not in any way related to the "flat earthers".  They are different.  Not very different, perhaps, but a bit different. A LITTLE bit different.

            Certainly my relaxed protocol using my multiple waterstones (800 to 20000 in 6 grades) is not terribly fast, but considering that I don't have to tit about with any machinery, it's not all that slow either.  My stones are always dead flat. The edges on my blades are fantastic.  My hands are always clean and free of metal dust residue.

            And using those clean hands I am better able to applaud myself when I find that once again I have managed not to "chip" (meaning to ruin a strip by rasping away at a node with (a) no clear plan and (b) a poorly sharpened blade) any nodes.

            And boy, with all this skiting I am doing, I am bound to come a gutser here pretty soon, I reckon!  In Australia, we refer to it as "putting the mockers on yourself".

            But seriously, any method is fine if it suits your style, and if you carry out the appropriate operations with care.  It is the casually, sloppily sharpened blade that yields the crappy strips with the glue lines and the ripples and bumps.  That and the thing about having a clear plan in your head about where you are gioing and what you are trying to achieve with pretty near every stroke of the plane.  The more rods I make, the more I think that is perhaps the most critical thing of all - once you pull .001 or .005 off a strip, that piece of bamboo is gone and you cannot put it back ; so you really ought to have a pretty clear idea about why you took it off in the first place.  (Peter McKean)

              Apart from the advantages I described with hollow grinding there is one more and it's that you don't need a grinding tool if you feel you may need one because as long as you only keep the leading and trailing edges of the iron bright you know you're holding it at the right angle.

              One other thing is it takes a lot longer to make the bevel become convex.

              I have no problem with flat earthers BTW I just prefer my middle earth way of life :-)   (Tony Young)

      I seem to remember that my regular Hock blade came with a 30 degree bevel, which I keep, but put a second bevel of 35 degrees on the edge. I do get 2 or 3 rods out of a sharpened blade, but I have a grooved plane and never hit my forms, it does make a difference.  (John Channer)

        I'm doing something wrong, John.  I like to have my blades razor sharp: so sharp you can easily shave the hair on your arm.  I plane down to about .050" thicker than the largest dimension with no taper & then heat treat.  After two strips even the Hock blade has a bright shiny curve on the back & no longer shaves.  I also have a groove in my plane.

        Do you soak your strips?  (Ron Larsen)

          Sorry, I forgot to mention that I use a milling machine to rough bevel and taper my strips, so I'm only taking the last .03-04" off with the hand plane and I take a pretty fine shaving. Even when I roughed by hand I would generally only sharpen when I started and then just touch up quickly before doing the final planing. I'm still trying to decide if the blade in my Lie-Nielsen is any better than the Hock I have in my old Stanley, some days I think it is, others I don't.  (John Channer)

            I bought LN blades because they were cheaper. I figure if they are good enough for LN they are good enough for me. I imagine they are made nearly the same. Mine do hold an edge much longer than even my old Stanley blades, but I also don't let them get dull and I polish them a couple of times between sharpening. I have not had any problems with the factory 25 degree bevel, but one blade I changed to 40 degree for final finishing. I hated it at first because of the increased resistance, but set with a very fine cut I can take shavings that don't register on my digital calipers that measure down to .0005.  (Scott Bearden)

              Hock steel is good. You shouldn't have any trouble getting one rod out with a single sharpening. The old Stanley steel is even better in my very humble opinion. I have irons sharpened at 25° and 30°. Personally, I like the lower angle better. But that's just me! All this is assuming you got your iron sharp to start with!

              I used to soak strips before roughing by hand, but I use a beveler these days for roughing. So no wear and tear on the iron for that chore. Still the roughed strips are way oversize before final. So, there's still a lot of bamboo to remove. I don't use a grooved sole. Tried it...hated it...sold it.  (Mike Shay)

                The question that I have about blades is what is the best and easiest way to change the bevel on a blade.  I am currently using a leather strop on a 2 inch wood circle attached to a 1750 RPM motor and the green compound from Woodcraft and it seems to be taking a long time to change the bevel.  (Tom Peters)

                  I use one of these..

                  It makes short work of minor tasks like that. One of these days, I want to move it to where I have 360° access and try a leather wheel on the side with the coarse stone.  (Larry Blan)

                  I have one of the WorkSharp WS3000 sharpeners now and I found out that either I wasn't sharpening at the correct angle by hand (even with the Veritas jig) or I didn't know what the heck I was doing.  I ended up grinding all of my irons to 30 degrees with the WorkSharp system (didn't take very long at all) and haven't looked back!  (Todd Talsma)

                  With the strop you are more or less polishing the blade and it will take forever to change the bevel. Perhaps a cheap investment of a honing guide and some 220-400 grit sand paper (ala scary sharp) would make quick work of changing the bevel. Then return to the strop to polish. Harbor Freight also sells inexpensive diamond hones up to 600 grit.  (Scott Bearden)

                    I think that those diamond stones are great.  They cut rapidly, but not aggressively.  One caveat, you get what you pay for.  and while as great as these are, they have a relatively short effective life.  I am now on my second set.  (Ralph Moon)

                      I agree Ralph, the diamond stones are great.  I ordered and received three a few months ago.  The stones I ordered were from Highland Hardware, and include a 400 grit, 1200 grit, and 8000 grit diamond stones.  No more lapping of waterstones.  (Harry Boyd)

                        I still use an 8000 grit waterstone, because Nirvana starts at 8000 grit. Nothing like a diamond hone for keeping waterstones flat, if you choose to use a combination of both.  (Larry Blan)

                          Just to add a little something extra because that's what we do here there is another good way of putting that finish on an edge. Get some diamond paste and smear a very little on a clean piece of MDF and make little circles in it with the edge of the plane iron. Makes an extremely sharp edge very quickly.  (Tony Young)


                      For those of you who use a Tormek or the like...

                      Yesterday I got a little present from myself in the mail. A 4000 grit Japanese waterstone from Japan Woodworker. I've had my Tormek for a year or so and never have been really happy with how it performed. It's a pricey stone but to me, worth every penny! With the old stone, I was always left with scrapes and gouges in the sharpened bevel. Even after working with the grading stone and stropping on the leather with the compound I wasn't real happy. The new stone brings out the best in this machine and makes me happy I bought it. It's just so damn easy to sharpen an iron now. I don't even have to stand there with it! Just set it up, go do something and turn off the machine! I know it's more money on top of an already pricy machine, but just thought I'd share this with you all.  (Mike Shay)

                      PS...haven't tried it on my lathe gouges yet. Just thought I would share my over abundance of enthusiasm!

                        Wow!  You got the 4000 grit wheel huh?  That must really shine up those blades nicely.

                        I've been using the 800 grit Japanese water stone wheel as a replacement for the original wheel (from Woodcraft) or a couple years now and I'm very happy with it.  Like you said, you can sharpen a blade without even being in the same room!

                        I true and rough the stone with my old DMT honing stones.  Works much better than the Tormek 'truing' device and stone.  (Chris Carlin)

                      Grizzly #H2927 has coarse, medium and extra fine diamond hones @ $14.25 plus shipping.  The extra fine puts a pretty good edge on a plane iron.  I finish on a leather strop charged with rouge & get a mirror finish.  (Neil Savage)

          Do you soak your strips?

          I have from time to time, but not on any kind of regular basis. I have this mental block about it, after all the years of believing that cane should be as dry as possible it's hard to pour that water in the tube without thinking I'm gonna mess up the final product.  (John Channer)


I have several pretty good Stanley 60 1/2 and Miller Falls low angle planes.  What is the right angle to grind the cutters so they behave like a 9 1/2?  (Richard Perry)

    They won't ever act like a 9 1/2.  They have a lower angle bed, 12 degrees Vs. 20 degrees.  Also, the low angle planes are generally sharpened to a lower bevel, like 20 degrees, Vs 30 to 35 on the 9 1/2 To make that up on the bevel of the 60, you'd have to sharpen your blade at 40 to 45 degree bevel.  I don't think you'd like how it planed, although it probably wouldn't give you much tear out.  (Paul Gruver)


I recently saw a question and comments about back bevels.

Here is a great link on sharpening block plane blades and creating a back bevel.

It also showed me that I've been sharpening incorrectly using a forward stroke.  This video clearly shows sharpening on a pull stroke, which saves gouging and re-flattening of your 8000 grit stone.

Additionally, you can lust and salivate over the Lie-Nielsen tools after viewing this informative YouTube video.  (Jim Maurer)


I have three vintage Stanley 9 1/2s, and all blades are sharpened at 25 degrees.  It seems that most sharpen between 30-35 degrees, but have read others indicate that the existing 20 degree bed angle plus a sharpened iron at 35 degrees results in a cutting angle of 55 degrees which is comparable to a scraper thus not good for planing.  I am a confused beginner as to what angles to use.  I have a Veritas MK2 so setting an accurate and repeatable angle isn't a problem.  What would be good angles to sharpen for rough and final planing tasks? What angles would you sharpen the 3 planes at?  What would be the respective settings for material removal for rough and final planing?  Also, thinking about puting a groove in them to avoid knicking the form. My planing form from Bellinger is on the way so trying to find out as much as possible to eliminate trial and error.  (Ron Delesky)

    A scraper blade is tilted away from you in the direction you are pushing it so it looks like it is being drug over the wood. The iron on a conventional plane is tilted toward you, away from the direction of travel, and the blade is pushed into the wood. I sharpen my plane blades around 35 degrees or more. I think most of use are in the 30 degrees somewhere. 25 degrees seems a little shallow. The thought at one time was that this was part of what causes dugouts in the cane.  (Timothy Troester)

    I’d keep the 25 degree bevel and then create a secondary bevel of 40 or 45 degrees. I’m using 45 degrees and all is working fine for me.

    Also I use a quality masking tape that is about .005 thick on the sole of my Stanley planes instead of putting in a groove. I tried this just to see how a grooved sole worked and never have needed to do anything else.

    Good choice on the Bellinger forms. And if you do find out a way to eliminate trail and error please let me know.  (Frank Drummond)


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