Reply by Loren

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Posted on Sharpening Question

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11158 posts in 4708 days

#1 posted 06-30-2012 06:22 PM

The only part that needs to be flat is near the edge. Depending
on the individual chisel or plane iron, it’s sometime not worth
the effort (to me) to flatten more than the 3/4” or so at the
edge. In a spectacularly swaybacked chisel the lack of a flatter
back may impede usefullness in some cuts, but such deformed
chisels are usually not much good anyway from a metallurgical

All you need to do is get the back flat enough that it can be
polished at the edge to the same grit you hone the bevel
to. Depending on your skill at honing the bevel, you may or
may not be able to get a consistent “shaving sharp” edge,
but that has at least as much to do with your technique
as a fine polish on the back.

If flustered, do the best you can on the back near the
edge and buff the back with jeweler’s rouge.

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