Decided to take some of your advice and buy a jig to hold my plane blades to sharpen them. WOW. Got the Veritas honing guide. Used it and within about 10 minutes (7 or 8 of which was reading the instructions) I had a very sharp cutter. I was able to use my block plane on end grain with no problem and face grain like butter. For giggles I took the rounded edge of my board and made it flat! Took no time at all. And while it’s an early success I can see more shavings in my future.
A sharp cutter sure is a thing of beauty!
-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine