How to round the corners of a smoothing plane blade

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Forum topic by bbasiaga posted 07-06-2016 02:46 AM 432 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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731 posts in 1417 days

07-06-2016 02:46 AM


Been looking at Youtube, but not finding what I’m after. I have a #4 smoothing plane that is leaving some tracks. I am trying to figure out how to round the corners off, while leaving the blade mainly straight. I.E. not a camber, but the ‘hybrid’ (as I have heard it referred to) method where the blade is straight but the ends are rounded.

Anyone got a method that works without gouging the stone?


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

6 replies so far

View Marn64's profile


171 posts in 208 days

#1 posted 07-06-2016 03:46 PM

When I am sharpening my plane irons I hold it at a 30 degree angle to my body. When it comes to rounding edges, I tilt the blade onto its edge and slowly drop my way back down to the edge. I have no idea what stone you have, so I don’t know how good my input is on this matter, but my oilstones don’t really gouge to my knowledge. Perhaps they do and I’ve never noticed, as they do need to be flattened from time to time. But back to my point, if you have gouging, keep the blade on that tilt, and pull it towards you until the edge is slightly rounded a bit and then you can go back and forth on the stone without gouging.
this video is basically my method
good luck,

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

View DrDirt's profile


4141 posts in 3164 days

#2 posted 07-06-2016 03:52 PM

If I wanted to round them off – I would just use a diamond stone – - the rounded part needn’t be sharpened, because it shouldn’t touch the surface.

Just curious, why not camber it? just by using extra pressure on the outboard edges while honing. That solves the ridge problem

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


13571 posts in 2040 days

#3 posted 07-06-2016 04:45 PM

Lay the iron flat on the bench, bevel down. Take a flat file and set it longways, on edge, on the bench and push it in sweeping radius / curved motion against each pointy corner, one at a time of course. It only takes three or four swipes to ‘ease the corners’ of a cutter, and is a safe operation.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View screwikea's profile


19 posts in 1362 days

#4 posted 07-06-2016 05:17 PM

How are you sharpening right now? If you just want the corners eased off, you don’t even need much of the corner rounded up. Your blade is barely sticking out, so just about anything is going to take care of the tiny little tracks you’d be leaving.

In my case I just do exactly what I’m already doing with the rest of sharpening and throw some pressure into the corners.

If you’re wanting a really visible curve on the corners, I think the main reason people do that is because it takes care of the corners for the foreseeable future when they sharpen. If that’s a case, you need to grind them off. The easiest thing is obviously a grinder, but you can do it with a file as well without a whole lot of hassle.

View bbasiaga's profile


731 posts in 1417 days

#5 posted 07-07-2016 12:28 PM

Thanks guys. I currently sharpen with the Veritas guide. The wide roller does not allow for a camber. I was trying to do it by hand just on the corners, but I must have been tipping too much and it was cutting in to my waterstone. And I must not have gone far enough as I was still getting plane tracks.

I wanted to jeep the iron as straight as possible to get a wider shaving. I did just grab a cheapo honing guide with a narrow wheel to use with a chisel that doesn’t fit my Veritas, so maybe I can try that.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View rwe2156's profile


2122 posts in 903 days

#6 posted 07-07-2016 02:45 PM

You really should do it on a diamond or arkansas stone.
I really like the Diasharp (or any non mesh) stone for this.

Rotate the blade up quite steeply while pulling back will round the corner off.
It will be much easier, of course, without a honing guide, but you can still do it.

To establish it, use a coarser stone, then hone it all the way up.

I think you need to keep it sharp.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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