sharpening blades for bevel-up planes & the ruler trick

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by Millo posted 09-10-2011 06:14 AM 3334 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Millo's profile


543 posts in 3078 days

09-10-2011 06:14 AM

I have seen the famous Charlesworth DVD’s and found them to be awesome. So, in short, should I use David Charlesowrth’s sharpening methods—specifically, the ruler trick—, to flatten the backs and sharpen bevel-up plane irons? I haven’t looked recently at mine (which is back in the box after a quick try, newbie with little time for wood-chopping) and anyway I trust YOUR judgment better than mine …was wondering if this lessens the bed support area at all, affecting the iron’s stability. Please don’t hate me for being so ignorant. Thanks a million.

9 replies so far

View Millo's profile


543 posts in 3078 days

#1 posted 09-10-2011 06:27 AM

Hey Gary, thanks for your help! Tomorrow or Sunday afternoon I will have a long sharpening session…plane irons, scrapers, maybe a few chisels! Looking forward to it, time to check out my old cd collection!

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3087 days

#2 posted 09-10-2011 06:34 AM

The ruler trick works great on bevel up and bevel down planes. Just don’t but too excessive of a back bevel on there and you should be fine. I’ve been using the ruler trick on my planes for several years and haven’t ever had a problem.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View ksSlim's profile


1276 posts in 2918 days

#3 posted 09-10-2011 06:35 AM

+1 for garypr’s comment. Plane irons yes—chisles NO.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View tirebob's profile


134 posts in 2882 days

#4 posted 09-10-2011 07:04 AM

Ruler trick = WIN!!! I just started using it over the last month or so and it does work…

View Millo's profile


543 posts in 3078 days

#5 posted 09-10-2011 07:14 AM

Thanks guys. Now one more question: since the thicker the ruler, the shorter the polished area and more aggressive the angle, what ruler blade thickness have you found optimum for BU irons, if you have a preference?

View JeremyPringle's profile


321 posts in 2502 days

#6 posted 09-26-2011 02:38 AM

For the ruler.. get the thinnest one you can. I have the little LN 6” ruler, and I use that. I also have a tiltbox 2, and for kicks one day, I set up the stone with the ruler, and I put the tiltbox on the blade, and it registered .25 of a °.

View Joeshop's profile


49 posts in 3145 days

#7 posted 09-26-2011 02:49 AM

Please excuse my ignorance, but what is the ruler trick ??

-- ~You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.~ - Joe

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4126 days

#8 posted 09-26-2011 03:17 AM

You place a ruler on the sharpening the stone when flattening the back. It puts a slight back bevel on the blade, but speeds up the flattening process. It should only be done with plane blades (not chisels).

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Millo's profile


543 posts in 3078 days

#9 posted 09-26-2011 06:21 AM

I went through these aforementioned sharpening sessions, no ruler. Yup it was arduous but it worked fine, got the “business end” polished.

Someone tipped me and said some “shim stock” from Grainger would work. Not sure how the sell it at the actual retail shop but might find out this upcoming weekend. I will get the Lie-Nielsen ruler soon.

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