Squaring the end of a hand plane iron on a grinder

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Forum topic by camps764 posted 11-01-2013 11:37 AM 4339 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View camps764's profile


867 posts in 2597 days

11-01-2013 11:37 AM

Hey folks,

The iron for my #7 is pretty out of square on the cutting end. To the point that it is getting difficult to consistently sharpen.

I have a 6” grinder that I was planning to use to grind the new bevel and square up the end.

I know I need to be aware of how hot it gets, use a light touch…so I don’t ruin the temper.

The part I am struggling with is figuring out how to keep the blade square on the tool rest.

Does anyone have suggestions on jigs/approaches to achieve this?

I know there are sliding jigs you can buy that help achieve this. I would prefer not to buy an aftermarket attachment if at all possible (I’ve spent way too much on WW’ing lately). Unless you know of something relatively inexpensive <$20 or so.

I’ve considered using my honing guide as a stop against the grinder rest, but am not sure how great this will work.

I know I could also order a new blade, but this one is still good, just needs fixed.

Any help or ideas are appreciated!

-- Steve

10 replies so far

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 3189 days

#1 posted 11-01-2013 12:02 PM

Steve, no need to make a device to hold the plane blade square on the tool rest. You can square off the blade easily and quickly without that stuff. What I do is this: take a magic marker and blacken an area on the back where I want to grind. I then take my little combination square, line it up just below the area I want to grind off and scratch the blade with something small and relatively sharp. That will leave a small, square line for you to follow when grinding the the blade. Go slow and work your way to that mark and you will be left with a squared off blade. That’s exactly how I grind my blades and it is very easy. Good luck!

-- Mike

View mahdee's profile


4042 posts in 2005 days

#2 posted 11-01-2013 12:05 PM

I do the same as paratrooper34 has described above.


View lwllms's profile


555 posts in 3519 days

#3 posted 11-01-2013 12:32 PM

To straighten the iron, just use a square to mark a pencil line to grind to and grind to this line at 90° to the face of the iron. After you have a square location for the new cutting edge grind the bevel. Use a coarse grinding wheel of about 36 grit and keep the wheel dressed to reduce the heat generated. Don’t grind the bevel all the way to the edge, leave a very small flat from your squaring grind and finish up on the stones. It’s actually easy if you take your time.

View hydro's profile


208 posts in 1989 days

#4 posted 11-01-2013 12:32 PM

Good suggestion on the marker. I use layout dye to accomplish the same thing and it is something I will always have on hand in my shop. I’ve used the marker trick as well and that works. The marker also works well for re-grinding the bevel. Mark the bevel, set the rest to the angle, give it a spin and touch off the tool. The wheel should mark the center of the bevel when the angle is the same as previously ground.

Another trick is to hold the tool so that your index finger is on the bottom side and drags along the front edge of the tool rest. This effectively holds the tool perpendicular to the wheel, and also controls the depth of cut. Try it and see how easy it is to grind a nice edge.

Oh yea, keep a can of water alongside the grinder and cool the tool after each pass or two to control heat buildup.

-- Minnesota Woodworkers Guild, Past President, Lifetime member.

View camps764's profile


867 posts in 2597 days

#5 posted 11-01-2013 12:36 PM

ya’ll are awesome, thank you very much :)

-- Steve

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2607 days

#6 posted 11-01-2013 12:47 PM

Good luck! I re-ground my first iron a couple days ago using the advice you were given, and it came out pretty well, and any inconsistencies were taken care of afterwards when I worked the iron on sandpaper. Doesn’t have to be 100% perfect right off the grinder.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

608 posts in 2439 days

#7 posted 11-01-2013 10:08 PM

Bring it Lincoln! No kidding, I have a WorkSharp. I had the worst pile of blades. Now they’re scary.
I am in the phone book.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

View camps764's profile


867 posts in 2597 days

#8 posted 11-02-2013 11:35 AM

I’ll have to stop out and take you up on that offer DJ sometime. I’d like to meet ya anyway.

Ed – thanks for the encouragement man!

-- Steve

View 12strings's profile


434 posts in 2622 days

#9 posted 11-03-2013 03:20 AM

A honing guide and 60 grit sandpaper on a flat surface goes plenty fast for me…and no danger of overheating. The honing guide will keep you at 90*. I haven’t used my grinder in years.

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View AnthonyNOLA's profile


8 posts in 2058 days

#10 posted 11-04-2013 06:11 AM

I used a square to attach a scrap piece of bar stock to the blade with a bolt washer and wing nut. the bar stock acted like a depth stop. I tried to do the whole marker thing, but I found it hard to tell if i was looking at a marker line or a metal burr when i was getting close to the end.

-- "I do not want the government to take away my human dignity and insure me anything more than a normal security. I don't want handouts." John Wayne

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