So I got a wild hair up my nose and decided to again try and sharpen/shorten my plane blade (think it is called the iron). I have already tried many times but this time I grabbed a piece of mdf, some spray glue and some sandpaper and got to work. Used a marker on the flat side and started there first. Holy crow that was not flat, took ages to get it right, but finally had it mostly mirror like (this is a cheap groz plane, my first plane besides my old buck brothers block plane which is awesome).
I am digging this mdf idea, so I continue with the bevel side now. I sand out the nicks in the blade (found a staple on a prior project, first time I used it, many hours of attempts at sharpening have been wasted thus far). I sand it down, knock off the burr, sand it down, until I finally have a straight edge. I move up to 400 grit and start to see a nice reflection, and then finish on 2000 grit. I take a pass across my arm and have a clean bald spot now, awesome. I can brush my teeth in that reflection!!! Time to test it. Being I am pretty dang inexperienced with planes, I must have put that chip breaker on too loose because when I went to adjust the depth, it came over the blade. Uh oh. I readjust, and try again in some really dry old pine I had laying around. I got some beautiful curls!!!, but on closer inspection, the wood is not flat. I look closely at the blade (admiring my teeth) and notice, I have nicks in the blade again…
Time to shorten my blade some more, but now that I know the mdf thing works I may try to make it easier than placing a 2 ft by 3 ft hunk of mdf on my coffee table in the living room. I am not getting a quality plane until I get the hang of this planing and sharpening thing.
-- Henryk, South Carolina