The ins and outs of cambering an iron(for a smoother)....any thoughts?

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Forum topic by gljacobs posted 04-19-2011 05:29 AM 1091 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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76 posts in 2714 days

04-19-2011 05:29 AM

I have been getting pretty familiar with my Lie Neilsen replacement blade and chipbreaker
combo(VERY good product for those who haven’t tried it out) for my #6 Stanley.

After having the blade perfectly flat for a bit I wanted to see how cambering the would help those annoying ridges that appear at the edge of every pass.
So I went ahead and went through the procedure for the first time and WOW what a learning curve on time and on technique.

I started by aligning my iron to 30 degrees(which was a secondary bevel to speed up the honing) and then checked it for square by trying to slip a .0015 feeler gauge under the tip.

All was square so with the camber attachment I just secure the blade tight in the jig and then with my mallet I tapped the blade to one side until I felt the slightest movement, then I checked with the feeler gauge again.

This time the gauge fit only to about a 1/4 of the way down the blade so I hone on my 1000 grit and repeated the process for the reverse side while checking with my square to insure symmetry. Then after producing an adequate camber(.0015 to the center). I continued to hone up the grits until I could see my self in the glint of the tip. I removed the burr on the back and off I planed.

5 minutes one side, 5 minutes the reverse, 10 minutes setting up jig and testing cambering position,
10 minutes for the two other grits, over all time to hone a camber 30 minutes,
satisfaction planing gossamer shaving off a piece of maple….priceless

Well from here I haven’t had any problems though I figured, save the cambering attachment, that there’s got to be a faster way to achieve a perfect .001 to .002 camber in less time. So that is my question how do you guy camber for a smoother and what sort of tricks do you use? and how much camber do you put on it?

Also as a side question I was wondering if any of you guy use the method I do in planing a board flat overall with a planer and then flattening it further with a hand plane and then smooth it with the same plane with a lighter setting.
This was the reason for the camber in the first place. So I could use the same plane to smooth as well as flatten.

3 replies so far

View Sgt374's profile


36 posts in 2621 days

#1 posted 04-19-2011 06:41 PM

Check lie Nielsen website under sharpening. It tells you how to sharpen a camber very quickly. It is the technique I use and it works great.

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2907 days

#2 posted 04-19-2011 08:00 PM

I don’t camber any of my plane blades. I am usually never using them to remove a lot of material so I have never had any problems. To get rid of the marks from the blade corners I just finish my honing with a bit of pressure on each corner so that I knock the corners off a little.

I have done what you do and used the same plane for flattening and smoothing. I am thinking of cambering a blade for my jack plane for removing a lot of material.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View gljacobs's profile


76 posts in 2714 days

#3 posted 04-21-2011 01:47 AM

Thanks guys for the responses I appreciate your advice and I’ll try to put it to use next time I’m sharpening.

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