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Thread: Sharpening a convex finger plane

  1. #1
    Andrew C. Jerman
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    I am wondering how you go about sharpening a convex finger plane. I have read up on the scary sharp system, as well as some others, but I've only found info on flat planes. I did find an article on gouges, but wondered if they required a different typ of edge. Just wasn't sure if you had to do anything different. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated?

    Andrew

  2. #2
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    I've only heard, not read, of the "scary sharp" system.

    I sharpen the curved plane irons the same way I do any of my plane irons, except I roll them from one edge to the other as I push them along the surface of my stone. (First a water stone, then a hard Arkansas for the final edge.)

    In fact, the only plane iron that I don't sharpen with a slight crown on the edge is the one in my jointer plane. Corners tend to dig into the surface of the work with a true flat edge on the plane iron.

  3. #3
    Registered User ShaneJ's Avatar
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    I've had good luck sharpening my curved blades using sandpaper/granite slab (scary sharp deal). For the finger plane blade, I just held it between my thumb and forefinger. Hold it like you're going to gouge the sandpaper. Hold tight and be careful to keep your hand & fingers in the same position as you move back and forth. Rotate right and left just enough to get the blade to contact the sandpaper (or stone) all across the radiused surface. Repeat on finer grits and leather strop until you can see yourself in the bevel. Test the blade by licking up and down the edge. If you now have a forked tongue, it's sharp!

    Seriously, leave out the test lick and all should be well.

  4. #4
    Registered User PaulD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by
    Test the blade by licking up and down the edge.




    "... beauty is not found in the excessive but what is lean and spare and subtle" - Terry Tempest Williams

  5. #5
    Registered User tree's Avatar
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    I highly recommend Leonard Lee's book on Sharpening, it is an excellent reference.

    I wonder if you could sharpen this convex plane iron with the same technique he recommends for gouges, by carefully cutting a long groove in a piece of scrap wood. #That creates a mold that perfectly fits the sweep of the tool. Load the groove with honing compound and pull the iron through with a trailing stroke. #If you need something for more serious edge shaping (as opposed to merely honing), maybe you could hold a piece of sandpaper in the groove and pull the plane iron through. #

    I've never used a fingerplane, but I imagine the iron to be small and difficult to hold onto - could you grip it with vise grips or pliers?
    Clark Beavans

  6. #6
    Andrew C. Jerman
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    Thanks everyone. I think I'll just give it a shot and see what happens. I just don't want to mess up a plane is all.

  7. #7
    Registered User PaulD's Avatar
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    If the bevel looks good (no serious nicks in the edge) you may be able to get by honing/polishing the flat side. This works well with profiled plane irons so that you don't lose the profile. Just work it down on the stone (flat against the stone) as you would to flatten the back of a plane iron or chisel. You may also consider tracing the current profile before you start honing so that you can check it for consistency when you're done.

    pd
    "... beauty is not found in the excessive but what is lean and spare and subtle" - Terry Tempest Williams

  8. #8
    Andrew C. Jerman
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    Paul, glad you mentioned that because I had been giving some thought to that. I had a router bit done that way once.

  9. #9
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    Thistle,

    I keep all my tools in shape with leather and compound. I have made several concave and convex blocks that I have lined with leather. Add to this a little honing compound and you have a scary sharp tool in no time. For more aggressive sharpening I use diamond files. I used to use heavy plate glass and 2000-4000 grit wet dry paper, but I found that the diamond file are faster and easier.

    Ragman

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