How do y'all sharpen your A2 steel blades?

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Forum topic by kanihoncho posted 06-07-2011 08:45 PM 4008 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View kanihoncho's profile


56 posts in 3096 days

06-07-2011 08:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: spokeshave a2 steel sharpening

I did the glass-and-sandpaper-on-a-board setup but It seems to take a long time to sharpen these blades (20 degrees with 25 micro) I have a Lee Valley low angle spokeshave and it seems like I have to sharpen it frequently. My latest project involves alaskan yellow cedar and meranti. Maybe they’re a bit tough on the blade?

Should I stay with my sandpaper setup or move to a grinder (Grizzly 10” wet sharpener) or flat stone setup? It seems that sandpaper needs to be replaced frequently. I like to be efficient and not spend a lot of time sharpening, which I am doing now but I do believe in hitting the edge before each session to maximize sharpness.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

4 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3097 days

#1 posted 06-07-2011 09:49 PM

This is a personal preference type of decision. I use a grinder (with a wolverine jig) for my lathe tools because it is quick and easy and sharp is good but super-sharp is not necessary I use sandpaper on glass and a wet stone for my chisels and irons. I use sandpaper on glass up to 2000 grit and then finish it with a wet stone at 8000 grit.

I add a micro edge on the wet stone and refresh is regularly until it is time to do the whole process again.

I’m not saying that what I do is good or right. It’s just what I do. Others will have other approaches and opinions.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3671 days

#2 posted 06-07-2011 09:53 PM

I agree with Rich, it’s a personal choice.

that said – even sand paper on glass shouldn’t take much time and effort to touch up the blades. the only time it takes a while is if you need to reset your edge (broken edge or change of cutting angle). especially if you do a short touch up (honing) before each session.

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

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2716 days

#3 posted 06-07-2011 10:03 PM

I do them like regular carbon and yes, it can take a while. I go this way after mirroring the back:
1) Establish hollow primary on wetginder
2) Knock hollow flat on scary sharp (180 to 2000)
3) Powered strop

It’s the 2nd step that the hard steels resist. Hollowing it first seems to help, at least to me.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2903 days

#4 posted 06-07-2011 10:55 PM

I have a few A2 Steel plane irons and I sharpen them with 3M Micro paper on glass. It really only takes me a few extra strokes to get the very edge sharp.

However I also use sandpaper on glass to grind my primary bevels and when doing this with the A2 steel blades it takes me what seems like hours.

Just honing the very edge shouldn’t take you all that long though.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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