Sharpening Router Plane Irons

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by lilwatt posted 01-19-2008 02:17 AM 2033 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View lilwatt's profile


6 posts in 2790 days

01-19-2008 02:17 AM


Does anyone have advice on how to sharpen a router plane iron? Currently I am using both waterstones and the ‘scary sharp’ method for my other plane irons and chisels but the “L” shape of these irons are causing some sleepless nights.

I have tried to ‘free-hand’ sharpen both a 1/4” and 1/2” iron on my waterstones with semi-reasonable but inconsistent results. I fear that I have been so obsessed with finding a ‘magic jig’ that I may be overlooking the obvious. Any advice?

Thanks in advance,


-- p.

7 replies so far

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 2816 days

#1 posted 01-19-2008 03:30 AM

I would imagine that using the waterstones on the edge of your bench might be close to the best solution…sounds like that’s what you’ve been doing though…

Will you clarify what your “semi-reasonable but inconsistent” results are? I would think that if you find and feel the bevel on whatever medium you’re sharpening on and raise the iron a degree or so you could get a nice edge.

What grits have you been using?

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4440 posts in 2781 days

#2 posted 01-19-2008 04:18 AM

use a stone. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to work.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View waylan's profile


5 posts in 2602 days

#3 posted 01-19-2008 07:08 AM

Hmm, I was just reading about this earlier today. The article isn’t specifically about how to sharpen router plan irons, but a few comments were made that you may find helpful.

I polished the flat face of the tool on my waterstones … Then I trued up the bevel on a diamond stone and honed a micro-bevel on the waterstones. You can’t use honing guides to sharpen the L-shaped iron, but it’s easy work by hand.

Hope that helps.

-- Waylan Limberg, Warren PA

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 2693 days

#4 posted 01-19-2008 12:27 PM

Good luck. This is not something I have tried.

View lilwatt's profile


6 posts in 2790 days

#5 posted 01-19-2008 08:51 PM

Thank you all for the help!

All I meant by “semi-reasonable but inconsistent” results is that I have had some success sharpening the irons, but haven’t been able to get them to the same level as my other plane irons or chisels… and, each time I go to it (maybe once every other month or so) the result ends up being different. Maybe I just need more practice.

Thanks for the link. I honestly think Christopher Schwarz was the one who piqued my interest in hand tools early on as a woodworker. Maybe I am putting too much emphasis on getting the blades to that “next Level” when I should be more concerned if they do the job or not.

Again, thanks for help!


-- p.

View lilwatt's profile


6 posts in 2790 days

#6 posted 01-22-2008 12:47 AM

Man sometimes the answer is right there in front of you!
... I feel like a bit of an idiot.

For the last year or so I have been using the Veritas Mk II honing guide and its accessories which in turn has left my old clamp-style honing guide to collect dust in the bottom of a box. Last night while I was polishing a final edge on a new Hock blade for my No. 3 it hit me like a rock – All I had to do was clamp these L-shaped blades in the clamp, make a few adjustments using my protractor and “VIOLA” I had a ‘Jig’ to sharpen router plane blades with the same accuracy as my standard irons.

It’s hard to explain (especially at work) so I will photograph the process here in the next few days and post them for you all to take a look at.

Thanks again for all of the great suggestions and help!


-- p.

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 2816 days

#7 posted 01-22-2008 05:23 AM

Looking forward to the pics…I can’t quite envision it yet…

I love that AHA kind of moment! Glad it hit you!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase