Sharpening router plane blades can be no fun.
For years now, I’ve made things easier for myself by honing the flat back of the iron through the grits and then removing the “burr” from the bevel with a polishing stone. This is way faster than trying to hone and polish the bevel while it is balanced on the edge of a stone.
Several months ago I started using a steel ruler from David Charlesworth’s “ruler trick” fame to hone the iron.
What’s different about this approach is that I use the ruler through the entire sharpening process. With the ruler on the stone, I hone a small bevel on the back with a 1,000- and then 5,000-grit stone. Then I remove the burr from the bevel on my 5,000-grit stone.
This upside-down thinking makes it easy to get a keen edge on a sometimes-tricky tool.
If you can’t visualize this idea, check out the video below.
I’ve done this about seven times on my large router plane, and the process doesn’t cause any problems with the tool in use. It doesn’t violate clearance angles, cause sunspots or interfere with finishing.
Give it a try if you like.
— Christopher Schwarz
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