Squaring Irons w/out a grinder

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Forum topic by MagicalMichael posted 04-12-2017 10:50 PM 751 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MagicalMichael's profile


160 posts in 1125 days

04-12-2017 10:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plane irons sharpening squaring irons

I have a smoothing plane iron, 1 7/8” that was sharp but about 1 mm out of square. I have been trying to square it on a Washita stone with the Veritas jig. After more than an hour I have reduced the error to maybe .5 mm. I don’t own a grinder so that is not an option. Am I doing something wrong? What other options do I have?


-- michael

12 replies so far

View Andre's profile


3017 posts in 2415 days

#1 posted 04-12-2017 11:15 PM

Sandpaper on a flat surface? I use self adhesive 180 grit to flatten plane bottoms on a chunk of granite! Cast tablesaw top works also.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19440 posts in 3177 days

#2 posted 04-13-2017 12:56 AM

if the lat adjustment is enough to make it work, I’d just sharpen it back a little at a time.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View JayT's profile


6362 posts in 2820 days

#3 posted 04-13-2017 01:00 AM

File the edge square and then sharpen. That way you are taking off the bulk of the metal with the file instead of the stone.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View cicerojoe's profile


64 posts in 4055 days

#4 posted 04-13-2017 02:47 AM

I agree course sand paper is your best bet. As course as what will work. I don’t think a file is harder than tool steel, but I could be wrong. I have tried files and they didn’t work for me. I would get it square then redo the bevel, then finish on your stone.

-- John from the Cherry Valley Studio in NY

View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2604 days

#5 posted 04-13-2017 02:52 AM

I’d think that .5mm is well within the lateral adjustment of most planes. Are you having an issue actually using the blade?


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View BurlyBob's profile


6918 posts in 2875 days

#6 posted 04-13-2017 03:05 AM

I had to do that very thing today on 2 plane irons. I used the exact method Andre suggested. It was time consuming but it worked just fine.

View Aj2's profile


2651 posts in 2407 days

#7 posted 04-13-2017 03:09 AM

Michael your gonna have to change your name if you don’t figure this out.
It doesn’t sound like a problem

-- Aj

View HokieKen's profile


12010 posts in 1748 days

#8 posted 04-13-2017 12:04 PM

First, what DonW said. If that doesn’t work, then what Andre said :-)

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

View Robert's profile


3602 posts in 2090 days

#9 posted 04-13-2017 01:14 PM

Use of a jig and distributed pressure will bring .5mm back very easily.

I wouldn’t worry about it it will adjust out on the plane.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View MagicalMichael's profile


160 posts in 1125 days

#10 posted 04-13-2017 01:31 PM

Yes, .5 mm is within the adjustment of my Primus plane. Maybe I’m just being obsessive about this. The original error – 1.0mm was not. Once I got started on it I wanted to get to perfection; this may not be a realistic goal for woodworking.


-- michael

View HokieKen's profile


12010 posts in 1748 days

#11 posted 04-13-2017 01:49 PM

Oh, it’s realistic to get it square. There’s a lot of unrealistic goals for wood but metal’s much more reliable ;-P It’s just a matter of whether or not the added work to get it square even though you really don’t have to is worth the effort to you.

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

View MagicalMichael's profile


160 posts in 1125 days

#12 posted 04-13-2017 03:34 PM

On second thought, I am currently working on a new office, for myself and am down to 20 Birdseye Maple drawer fronts, so wanting my smoothing plane “perfect” wasn’t entirely irrational. In the end I accepted the 0.5 deviation and the plane is working very nicely. Thanks for all the suggestions, I do appreciate them.

BTW, I got my nick name while leading non-violence training in a maximum security prison.

-- michael

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