Cambering a smoother plane's blade

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Forum topic by kabamaru posted 09-15-2015 08:52 AM 800 views 1 time favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View kabamaru's profile


4 posts in 1581 days

09-15-2015 08:52 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question plane blade sharpening

Hi everybody,

I’m a bit new to hand planes. I have the Veritas #4 smoothing plane, and I’ve already sharpened the blade using japanese waterstones and Veritas’ honing guide. It produces perfect shavings but the problem is that it leaves small ridges on the wood and I read that you have to “camber” the blade to get rid of them. I got the camber roller that replaces the straight one on my honing guide, but I have a couple of questions about adding a camber.

1. Since my blade is freshly sharpened, do I camber the primary bevel or just the microbevel?

2. 1000 grit or straight to polishing stone?

3. How much camber?

4 replies so far

View JayT's profile


5668 posts in 2233 days

#1 posted 09-15-2015 11:08 AM

Don’t need a camber on the iron of a smoothing plane, though some do it. All I do is ease the corners a bit. As part of your regular sharpening, after honing on the finest stone and with the regular roller still in place, do five passes while just putting pressure on one corner. Repeat for the other corner. That should take off just enough to eliminate tracks. Remember that smoothers should be taking off just a couple thousandths, so the corners do not need eased very much.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View kabamaru's profile


4 posts in 1581 days

#2 posted 09-15-2015 06:15 PM

Thanks JayT :) I’ll try that.

View Aj2's profile


1420 posts in 1820 days

#3 posted 09-15-2015 06:56 PM

I agree with Jay, If you can get by with relieving the corners,cambering the whole blade takes some practice.One thing to check is your stone make sure there is no hump in the middle where your iron rides,A hollow is okay and may help.Flat is good a hollow across the width is better.Hope this helps.

-- Aj

View Derek Cohen's profile

Derek Cohen

380 posts in 3990 days

#4 posted 09-19-2015 02:20 PM

I don’t agree with easing the corners of a blade.

The problem is that the blade has to be perfectly parallel with the surface of the wood, or it will leave evidence of this skewed cut. This may be less noticeable on fine shavings, but we need also to take deeper shavings at times … and then it will show up strongly in raking light.

By contrast, a cambered blade is less sensitive to the angle it presents to the wood surface, and deeper shavings are less risky. The camber in a smoother blade is very slight – one shaving at each end of the blade – enough that tracks are not likely to show.

Hone the camber on the first stone, which is about 1000 in my set up, and then polish it as you do the remainder of the bevel.

Regards from Perth


-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at

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