Reply by HokieKen

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Posted on Dull plane

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10862 posts in 1643 days

#1 posted 04-04-2016 05:45 PM

Hey Teddy, all of the above is good advice. There is a whole lot of other good advice out there too. There is also a lot of bad advice out there and sometimes it can be hard to distinguish! There are many methods that all have their pros and cons.

I get the impression that you don’t regularly sharpen any tools and are just starting to decide whether you are a hand plane user or not. So, I’d recommend starting with the “Scary Sharp” method. All you need to invest in is a granite tile or piece of glass and a few grades of wet/dry paper. It may not be the best long term solution, but it’s definitely the most economic way to get started. Pick an angle between 25 and 35 degrees and you’ll be fine. 25 will take a sharper edge and 35 is a more durable edge. It’s just a matter of finding a balance that suits the material your working. FWIW, I haven’t seen a significant difference so I hone all my irons at 25 degrees. You can free-hand sharpen, but if you’ve never sharpened before or you’re reshaping the edge you’ll save a lot of pain using a guide. You can buy one or make one. Whether or not you use camber varies from plane-to-plane, user-to-user, and job-to-job. You didn’t say what size your plane is so it’s hard to make a recommendation in that respect.

If you decide you aren’t sure it’s worth the investment without knowing if you’ll even like using the handplane, I’ll be glad to sharpen your iron for you. Just send it to me with a SASE. Just PM me if you’re interested.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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