Sharpen plow plane

February 16, 8 Comments. Since sharpening is such an expansive topic in and of itself, I will leave the specific how-to details for other posts. What you need to know in the context of fine tuning, however, is that any plane, new or old, requires initial sharpening and honing. At a minimum, new plane irons need to have their un-beveled side flattened and polished to at least grit and preferably grit. You also need to put a final honing on the bevel edge itself. It may look sharp, but it needs to be honed, again, ideally to grit.

The goal is to get your cutting edge to as close as possible to a zero degree radius.

sharpen plow plane

Sharpening is too often the deal breaker that dissuades woodworkers from trying hand tools. This in unfortunate, for it requires little monetary investment to get started, is not particularly difficult to learn, and can be accomplished rather quickly with surprisingly good results.

Chris Schwarz has also written a number of fantastic articles on planes and sharpening plane irons. But if you want to better understand the reasoning behind the geometry and some of the variations possible, read on.

The frog is screwed to the body of bench planes. Plane irons are held in place against the frog via a clamping device called the lever cap. The frog is attached to the base, or sole, of the plane and provides an immovable seat for the iron. The angle of the frog face is not adjustable, so it must be considered a constant.

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Bevel Up vs. Bevel down planes have irons that are situated with the bevel angle facing down, while the irons on bevel up planes are positioned with the bevel angle facing up. Most bench planes are bevel down while most block planes are bevel up. Specialty planes can go either way, depending on their intended purpose.

Regardless of whether the plane is bevel up or bevel down, the angle of the frog face upon which the iron sits is an important determining factor in determining the desired bevel angle. Changing the bevel angle does, however, change the relief angle, or clearance behind the iron. Because the un-beveled side of the iron is positioned up i. The bevel angle is, however, less critical than it is on bevel up planes. That said, there are still a few tricks you can employ to fine tune your angle of cut, but more on that later.

The standard primary bevel angle for bevel down bench planes is 25 degrees. This offers a good balance of shearing action and durability while providing an adequate relief angle behind the cut.

Low angle bench planes, including the Stanley no. There is an advantage with bevel up irons in that the angle of the bevel can be changed to affect a change in the angle of cut.

While there is more to consider in edge geometry than just the angle of cut i. Durability of such a thin cutting edge would be problematic with most woods. The table below shows the three most common bench and block plane types and the proper angles at which to sharpen the irons. Secondary bevels are a very shallow bevel along the cutting edge of the primary bevel.

It takes considerably less time and effort to final hone a small secondary bevel that it does the entire primary bevel.

They also make honing touch ups a snap. On a bevel down plane, adding a secondary bevel affects no change in the angle of cut. The only thing it changes ever so slightly is the relief angle — the angle between the back side bevel side of the iron and the work surface.Tool lust oozes all over these historic tools.

And rightly so! Hand planes make the most exciting changes to your wooden work piece. In my mind I divide hand planes into three general categories:. Joinery hand planes are specialty planes used for creating or finishing joints.

15 Tips for Sharpening

Before we jump into the hand plane buying guide, make sure you read my two articles on the pitfalls to avoid when buying antique wood planes and antique metal hand planes:. Other woodworkers may have slightly different priorities and terminology plane names can varybut this is from my perspective. I will be focusing mostly on metal Stanley planes, because Stanley planes were manufactured by the millions and are the most common.

Metal hand planes are easier to find, easier to adjust, and are usually in better shape than a typical wooden plane. These Jack planes are the most common planes available, and were manufactured in the millions. If you use a cambered blade inch radius and open the mouth wider, then large chips can move through quickly. See my tutorial on four squaring a board here. If you plan on also buying a dedicated smoothing plane and a dedicated jointer plane the other bench planes and this plane will only be used for rough stock removal like it is for methen there is no need to tune this hand plane up much.

Just sharpen the iron really well. Of course, a short No. I would recommend buying a new Lie-Nielsen No. The additional bonus of this low angle jack plane is that the low angle works great for planing end grain. It also works well with shooting boards. Want to better understand bevel up vs. Read this article by Christopher Schwarz to choose between Bevel up vs.

Bevel down hand planes.

sharpen plow plane

But if you go with the low angle jack plane, I prefer the new Lie-Nielsen No. Save your money for a nicer smoothing plane and jointer plane. This can save you some money. A transitional hand plane is a hybrid between a metal Stanley plane and a wooden body plane.

I also really love the feeling and light weight of an all-wooden jack plane or a transitional plane. Just look closely before you buy a wooden plane, because some of the older wooden planes are in poor condition, with splits, cracks, and missing parts.

The body is much shorter than a jack plane and jointer plane, which allows the body to move with any hills or valleys in the wood. In my opinion, the most superior bench planes are the Infill hand planes i.

If you are interested in learning more about antique infill planes, just know that the two most common makers were Norris and Spiers, and that the more sought after infill planes were made before World War 2. The Lie-Nielsen No. The newer Lie-Nielsen plane also has a thicker iron blade and chip breaker than the old Stanley Bed Rock handplanes and Stanley Bailey handplanes.

As I mentioned above, this video will help you to get a super-tuned handplane. If you have small to medium hands, then the No. But to be honest, I have larger hands, and have no problem using a No. If you have normal to larger size hands then the No. If you like a heavier smoothing plane to give more power, then go with the No.Dan Barrett is a year veteran of the trades and has been teaching woodworking and making handplanes for a long time.

Video: Sharpen a Router Plane Blade

His sons, Kyle and Jeremy, are both involved in the business. Kyle has been building planes while Jeremy has been doing some machining. I first stumbled on this family business while judging the toolmaking contest run by WoodCentral and sponsored by Lee Valley Tools.

5 Minute Hand Plane Sharpening - Woodworking Tool Tip

Kyle, who was 18 at the time, built a Mathieson bridle plow plane to enter in the contest. In my opinion, the plane stole the show. Not only was it stunning to look at, it worked extraordinarily well.

Some tools have a break-in period where the user and the tool circle each other like sharks. The results are inconsistent. The adjustments are difficult. The tool feels out of place in your hands. Not so with this plane. When I picked it up during the contest, it was like I had owned it my entire life. With two taps of a mallet I set the iron and began making a beautiful groove in a maple board in the Lee Valley boardroom where we were judging the contest. After the contest I was stunned to learn that the maker was just 18 years old.

I sent him an e-mail and asked him to make me a bridle plow. A couple weeks ago the Barrett family dropped the finished plane off at my office while they were on their way down to Florida for a vacation.

The plane they delivered — my plane — is somehow even better than the one in the contest. Perfectly tapered. The faces are all flat. The fence is also beech with a piece of boxwood attached via a sliding dovetail.

The fence slides on two ebony stems and locks down with the metal bridle. This bridle mechanism is, in my opinion, superior to a screw-arm plow. This week I finally got an opportunity to sharpen up the irons and start using the plane. My highest compliments to the Barretts.

Like Like.I have a couple of Stanley 71 router planes. The cutters are difficult to sharpen because the bevel is blocked by the shaft that connects the foot with the plane. Last weekend, at a Midwest Tool Collectors show, I acquired a Stanley which is similar to the 71 but only about a third of the size. The small cutter in the is even more difficult to sharpen that a 71 blade and this one had significant rust pitting to grind out. The foot business end bottom side of these cutters is flat and ground at an angle to the plane base to provide a relief area behind the cutting edge.

Flat surfaces can be ground and polished on stones in the conventional manner, I have a coarse diamond plate and with sufficient elbow grease was able to flatten and remove all rust pitting on the bottom of the cutter. That little guy is hard steel!

How I Use a Plow Plane

But the bevel did not yield as easily. An internet search showed people holding the cutters upside down with the bevel on the edge of a stone.

I could not hold the small cutter at a consistent angle and I was rounding over the bevel, a no-no on a plane blade. So I did what any red blooded woodworker would do. I took a nap. When I woke up I had an idea. I have a saw sharpening jig that combines a saw vise with a flat reference plate which stabilizes the triangular file.

If I could create a similar reference plate parallel to the router plane blade bevel, I could use that to guide a diamond file. And this method would work just as well on a Stanley 71 cutter. In the junk pile I found a bit of aluminum bent at a 90 degree angle. It probably was a rack spacer in a previous life. This would do as a reference. Aluminum angle to be used as reference plate. Sandwiching the cutter between the machinists vise jaw and the reference surface was easy.

I propped up the back end of the reference plate with wood blocks. Cutter clamped in vise against the reference surface.We may receive a commission when you use our affiliate links. However, this does not impact our recommendations. Slow is beautiful, after all.

This story is for folks who already know a bit about sharpening, and are ready to move on to the next level. In The Perfect Edge Digital Collection, the mystery of the elusive sharp edge is solved by long-time sharpening expert and tool maker Ron Hock. You can chew up a lot of sandpaper flattening a plane iron, a large chisel or the bottom of a plane.

It makes sense to use paper that lasts a long time—like a sanding belt. To overcome this problem, I devised a jig that stretches a belt very tight. I only use it with coarse grits—60, 80, and —for tools that need a lot of flattening. After gluing, flatten the faces by rubbing the blank on sheets of sandpaper taped to the top of a table saw.

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Cut off the short end and make opposing wedges to pull the belt tight. Conventional wisdom holds that you must lap the back of a plane iron in order to get a keen edge. There is an alternative: skip the lapping and substitute a back bevel. The process is quite simple. Rest the blade on this shim when you remove the wire edge. The shim elevates the blade just enough to form a back bevel of only a few degrees. This helps reduce tearout, but it also makes the plane a little harder to push.

Credit for popularizing this technique properly goes to David Charlesworth, a well-known English cabinetmaker.

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Consider this as an insurance policy. The steel turns blue—a definite sign of trouble. The blued portion is softened, and will no longer hold an edge. You have to continue grinding past the blued area to get to good steel again. Blunting the edge is just a different way to shape a new bevel. A blade with a double bevel is ground at a lower angle and honed at a higher angle.

A hollow ground bevel is made on a grinding wheel, which creates a concave shape. A microbevel is a very short bevel that is one or two degrees steeper than the honing bevel.

The blade may have a single bevel or a double bevel.

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When I first learned how to sharpen, I bought a very simple and inexpensive honing jig made in England by Eclipse. The jig has two positions for clamping tools: an upper ledge for plane irons and a lower pair of V-shaped grooves for chisels. To set the honing angle, you measure the distance from the tip of the blade to the body of the jig. Flatten its face.We noticed you are accessing from Canada. Change to Lee Valley Canada website to see content specific to that region and the best shipping options.

Close Caption Locking collets for fence adjustment. Product cannot be added at this time. Choose an option to add an item to your cart.

Check availability at all stores. This is our redesigned small plow plane. While it still excels at cutting grooves, rabbets and tongues, it now has the ability to cut decorative beading. The asymmetric fence grip is sculpted to comfortably fit the natural curvatures of the hand.

Double guide rods and a special collet locking system prevent the fence from racking. We offer the plane alone or in combination with blade sets. The complete Imperial set includes all Imperial standard, wide and tongue-cutting blades, beading blades plus a conversion kit.

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Likewise, the complete metric set includes all metric standard, wide and tongue-cutting blades, a conversion kit plus three Imperial beading blades only available in Imperial. Made in Canada. An excellent and quieter alternative for work often performed with a router.

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Handplanes

Please check your spelling and try again. Please enter the username associated with your Lee Valley account and we will send you an email to reset your password. Sorry, your email is incorrect.We may receive a commission when you use our affiliate links. However, this does not impact our recommendations.

Plow planes are some of the easiest joinery planes to useonce you know a few tricks to getting good results. The other pushes the tool forward. Before that point, both of my hands were engaged in job sharing. My hand on the fence was also pushing forward.

sharpen plow plane

My hand on the tote was twisting the tool to keep the fence tight on the work. The hand that holds the tote or the stock should be directly lined up with the cut and should swing free.

Sometimes this means getting your body over the work a low bench is helpful here. For my fence hand, I wrap the web between my thumb and index finger around the stems sometimes called posts of the tool.

I reach my fingers around the fence and touch the work and the front edge of the bench if possible. My thumb is pressing down. Workholding: Keep it Simple There are lots of ways to hold your work for plowing. If your end vise and dogs are positioned near the front edge of the bench, you can usually pinch things directly between dogs.

You also can use a sticking board, which is a little shelf that holds your work. Or you can do what I do: Clamp a batten to the benchtop to brace the edge of your workpiece. And plow into the tip of a holdfast. Begin at the End You can use a plow plane like a bench plane and make full strokes that run from the near end to the far end. But I have found this to be sometimes troublesome. The results are ugly. Instead, I start at the far end of the board and make short cuts.

Each succeeding cut gets a little longer until I am making full-length cuts. The advantage to this is that if your plane wanders, it will only be for a short distance and the next cut will correct the error. These shavings are. I could probably go a little thicker in pine. That removes the fur. Looking for More Woodworking Information? Click HERE.


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