If you plan to use you transitional, as with any plane, you want the blade (iron or cutter if you prefer) cleaned up and sharpened. There are more opinions on the right approach to sharpening then there are planes, but here’s mine if you’re interested. I wire wheelclip_image001 the blade. I don’t like putting blades in any kind of solution. If left to long (and the time can be subjective) it can pit the hardened steel. It doesn’t matter what kind you use. I have a motor mounted, but a wire wheelclip_image001[1] in the drill press or hand held drill will work as well. BE SURE TO WEAR EYE PROTECTION!!

clip_image002

Next I use a deburring wheelclip_image001[2] to polish them up.

Deburring wheels are pricy, but well worth it if you’re going to do multiple planes. You can use them on metalic plane sides, final polishing on the back of the blades, cap irons and any other metal to be polished.

clip_image003

Next I use a deburring wheelclip_image001[3] to polish them up.

Deburring wheels are pricy, but well worth it if you’re going to do multiple planes. You can use them on metalic plane sides, final polishing on the back of the blades, cap irons and any other metal to be polished.

clip_image004

Then I hollow grind to sharpen. It’s quick, easy and provides an easier free hand base to work from. One of these days I’m going to buy a better rest (like Robert Larson Grinder Tool Restclip_image001[4] ) but for now, my home made works fine.

clip_image005

Note the cheap “ Windexclip_image001[5] ” in the background. That’s what I use with the diamond stones. I only use the Diamond Stonesclip_image001[6] for the blade backs. I still like my antique hard Arkansas oil stone for sharpening.

Also note the piece of wood. It’s just a scrap just a bit narrower than the blade. This allows more force downward and an even pressure across the blade as its being flatten

clip_image006

I also use the hard Arkansas oil stone for final flattening of the iron, although I will often polish on the deburring wheelclip_image001[7].

For those who will ask, my juice of choice for the oil stone is a 50-50 mixture of Howard Products BBB012 Butcher Block and Cutting Board Oil, 12-Ounceclip_image001[8] and diesel fuel. It works well, but expect your wife to turn up her nose when you walk in the house. You’ll smell just like your favorite diesel mechanic. That’s not a bad thing by any means, I’m just sayin!

I always freehand my sharpening. Yes, it takes some practice, but it’s worth the effort. Just hold the blade edge flat on the stone. Rock it back and forth and feel the “click” as it reached bottom. You can also watch the “wave” of juice on the forward rock to show you bottom. Between the two, you can’t miss. Then just push straight forwards and pull straight back. Concentrate on keeping an even parallel stroke.

clip_image007

Many who use Diamond Stonesclip_image001[9] for sharpening also use a strop. I have several strops, but typically only use them to pull the burr. Experiment with what works best for you. I pull the back of the blade over the strop several times, (keep it good and flat. Slightly raising the blade can round the sharp edge) then hit 2 or 3 more strokes on the oil stone.

In my experience, it seems best to never finish on the back of the blade. Again, you mileage may vary.

Don’t forget the chip breaker. That’s Here:

Fix and tune the chip breaker

clip_image008

  <–Previous —- Next–>