Tips #2: Sharp Enough

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Blog entry by drknoxy posted 01-14-2009 07:54 PM 1149 reads 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Sharpening Part 2 of Tips series no next part

So 1/2” thick glass is like 30$, and the 1/8” glass they sell at home depot and lowes cracks real easily (personal experience), but MDF with laminate on all sides is 6$.

I gave it a quick test run for lapping the soles of my #5, #4 stanley planes last night and it worked wonders. I think I have to pick up a different kind of spray adhesive though, the one I’m using leaves me sticky but not the paper… it is just normal sandpaper, the wet or dry is expensive and only comes in higher grits (400+) around me. Plus I hit up a garage sale and got a box of sand paper and a fire extinguisher for 7$ (The extinguisher is for practice… or fun)

I read the #77, and #80 are good choices so I’ll swing by staples or office max on the way home.

I placed the long half strips on the mdf with a 1/2” gap (I read it somewhere) and it worked real well. The best advice I read was that the roughest sandpaper you use will be the only one that removes blemishes, after that the finer sand papers remove the blemish lines that you have created.

For me this meant sticking with 60grit until the sole shined.

Because I plan on using them both for shooting (the #5 has more weight, but the #4 is my favorite) I want to lap the sides too. My thought on how to do this and keep the beast level is to setup another piece of mdf perpendicular to the first. The exact angle doesn’t matter really so long as the sand paper is pushed up against the perpendicular piece.

Last quick note just in case this is the only resource you use before lapping/restoring: when you lap, keep the blade in the plane (in tension) just retract it. It will not only add weight to your plane, but it adds it where it should be!


-- Knoxy for short

4 comments so far

View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 3629 days

#1 posted 01-14-2009 09:16 PM

Hi Knoxy,
Good idea with the laminate. Another that I use that is cheap is I went through the flooring tiles and picked up a 12×12 smooth glazed one. I just wet it and put the wet/dry paper on it. Stays just fine for lapping and honing.

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View PurpLev's profile


8540 posts in 3790 days

#2 posted 01-14-2009 09:21 PM

1. a “scrap” “leftover” piece of thick glass, or Granite from a shop that deals with those materials and throws away cutoffs = $0 and it’ll be and stay true flat more than laminated MDF, you really want this surface to be true – this is not for visual look of a piece, but to ensure that your blades/planes are being lapped properly flat.

2. wet/dry paper allows you to use lubricant (water/wd40/mineral oil) that will help clear the metal dust that comes off the tools away, and will help unclog the sand paper = faster/easier work for you.

just my $0.02

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Chardt's profile


169 posts in 3743 days

#3 posted 01-14-2009 09:51 PM

I got a cast off 12×12 granite floor tile from a Job site…it works great. If there is any construction going on in your area, ask one of the workers. There are always scraps after a job.

-- When my wife ask's what I have to show for my wood working hobby, I just show her the splinters.

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4269 days

#4 posted 01-14-2009 11:24 PM

I get glass scraps from a local glass shop.
And, they get a hand-crafted item as a thank you.

-- 温故知新

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