Question: Honing a camber on a smoothing plane iron

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Forum topic by DHS posted 02-14-2014 04:38 PM 1632 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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130 posts in 3246 days

02-14-2014 04:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question plane sharpening

I recently puchased a metal-bodied smoothing plane (Bedrock 604) that I fitted with a Veritas A2 steel iron. The blade is nice and sharp, the frog is set for taking fine shavings, and it cuts beautifully – even on figured hardwood. But, the edges of the iron leave tracks on the workpiece. I’d like to create a tiny camber in the iron – just enough to eliminate those edge tracks. But I don’t know the best way to do it. My sharpening tools include a wet grinder and an array of water stones (800, 1000, 4000, 8000). Can I just apply a little extra pressure to the edges of the iron when honing? If so, do I do this with the 800 stone, or the 8000? Do I need to start by grinding a slight camber onto the edges of the iron?

I’ve tried the extra-pressure-on-the-edge method that I mentioned above but the iron still leaves tracks. Thanks in advance for recommendations.

- David

-- Dave S., Bellingham, WA

6 replies so far

View lysdexic's profile


5255 posts in 2645 days

#1 posted 02-14-2014 07:49 PM


On the grinder or course sand paper you can “relieve” the corners. Just give them a little 1/16 radius.

Then, as you suggest, you can HONE a slight camber. Schwarz demonstrates this technique in his sharpening DVD and uses a football field analogy.. I would go back to your 1000 stone and apply pressure just to one edge, the end zone, for 12 strokes. Then 12 strokes for the other corner, the other end zone. Then 6 strokes at the 25 yard lines and then finish with 3 strokes at the 50 yard line.

The number of strokes is not that important. It’s the differential that gives the very slight camber. Check it with a straight edge. If the first set doesn’t get it just repeat. Once you have the camber that you want then proceed up the grits and POLISH using the same method.

Personally I think trying to achieve this on a grinder is risky and not necessary.

Hope this helps.


-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - out_of_focus1.618

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15366 posts in 2640 days

#2 posted 02-14-2014 07:51 PM

^ What Scott says.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Don W's profile

Don W

18754 posts in 2590 days

#3 posted 02-14-2014 08:07 PM

I always just use the finest stone, so it depends on how much camber you really want. I’d start fine and work my way back. I don’t want more than I need on my finish smoothers.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View lysdexic's profile


5255 posts in 2645 days

#4 posted 02-14-2014 08:24 PM

I found the link…


-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - out_of_focus1.618

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 1957 days

#5 posted 02-14-2014 08:25 PM

DHS, I’ve had the same problem as well. Glad you brought it up. I will try these methods as well

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View DHS's profile


130 posts in 3246 days

#6 posted 02-18-2014 05:56 AM

Thanks everybody for the great recommendations. That is exactly the answer I was looking for. I knew it was out there somewhere. Off to the sharpening station….

-- Dave S., Bellingham, WA

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