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Sharpening Planer Knives

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Forum topic by Don Broussard posted 07-15-2014 10:49 PM 1135 views 0 times favorited 51 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Don Broussard

2031 posts in 939 days


07-15-2014 10:49 PM

Topic tags/keywords: planer sharpening question

I am working on putting a Parks Planer back in service, and my question relates to sharpening the planer knives. Are the edges flat ground only, or can they be hollow ground? Is there a standard bevel angle for the edge? This is all new to me so pardon the stupid questions.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!


51 replies so far

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Loren

7732 posts in 2335 days


#1 posted 07-15-2014 11:00 PM

Generally flat ground. 30 degrees I think.

I sharpen my own on a Makita waterstone grinder. It works
well for prepping chisels and plane irons, sharpening
knives too. I use a 1000 grit wheel only most of the
time, though I have a coarser wheel. The 1000 grit
wheel is good enough to make an edge that will
shave hair off your arm. I use a nagura stone to
remove glazing and lots of water.

There are other ways of course to sharpen planer
blades. If you have access too a mill I think it could be
done with some basic fixturing. Make sure the
blade is held flat while grinding as when they
are loose they tend to be a bit curved and if not
clamped flat this will result in an uneven edge.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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7Footer

1216 posts in 636 days


#2 posted 07-15-2014 11:03 PM

I remember that I favorited these two projects, they both had pretty good write ups.

SASmiths Jointer/planer Sharpening Jig

woodshaver's planer sharpening jig

Let us know how it goes, it’s something I need to do to mine, or at least put the new spare set I have in, I’m just a bit nervous at getting them set…..

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." -

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bigblockyeti

1662 posts in 408 days


#3 posted 07-15-2014 11:43 PM

They are typically only flat ground, the only ones I’ve seen that are hollow ground are those done on a machine with a self sharpening grinder. These are normally only seen on larger machines and seem to be more prevalent on older machines too.

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Don Broussard

2031 posts in 939 days


#4 posted 07-15-2014 11:43 PM

Loren—Thanks for the comments. Sounds like you have a good setup for repeatable results. Unfortunately, I don’t have sharpening equipment so it looks like I’ll be using sandpaper on a slab of granite to sharpen the planer blades.

7—Thanks for the links to the sharpening jigs. I’m thinking the first one (Scott Smith’s jig) will work for me. Like you, I’m a bit skeered to remove the knives and reset ‘em, but I’ll have to learn eventually, right? I might have to pick up a dial to check the setup when the sharpening is done. I’ll look on LJs for a planer knife setting jig too.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

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Don Broussard

2031 posts in 939 days


#5 posted 07-15-2014 11:55 PM

Yeti—We must have been typing a response at the same time. My Parks planer is 1960’s vintage—not sure if that suggests hollow ground? I did check and the knife set that is mounted now are flat ground. I’m going with flat.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

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gfadvm

11234 posts in 1377 days


#6 posted 07-16-2014 12:16 AM

Don, I take mine to the sharpening shop. Both the Ridgid and the big older WoodMaster are flat ground.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

484 posts in 1448 days


#7 posted 07-16-2014 12:17 AM

Planer blades can be “touched up” with a stone, but grinding in the home shop presents a problem. The problem is as follows. When professional grinding is done the same amount is ground off all matching blades and the edge is kept flat and square. This allows the blades to be removed from the planer (or jointer), ground, and reinstalled with no concern that the blades have different heights as long as the planer’s blade height adjustments haven’t been altered. If you hand grind the blades there is no way you can be sure the blades match, therefore you will have to spend a lot of time fiddling with the height adjustments and a dial test indicator trying to get everything in alignment. For this reason I prefer to send my blades out to be sharpened and/or buy new blades. Mailing blades to a good sharpening service isn’t much of a problem as long as you keep a spare set sharp and ready to install while the other set is out.

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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gfadvm

11234 posts in 1377 days


#8 posted 07-16-2014 12:21 AM

Planeman, That’s what I was trying to say!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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TheFridge

900 posts in 173 days


#9 posted 07-16-2014 12:34 AM

I use a sharpening service. It’s a pain but it was only 27$ for 2-10” and 3-6” knives.

-- "We build our workshops. Then we enjoy the fruits of our labor by laboring for more fruits." - Me

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Don Broussard

2031 posts in 939 days


#10 posted 07-16-2014 01:22 AM

Thanks for the good advice, fellas. I was leaning towards home sharpening in a jig, but y’all have me thinking about an outside sharpening service. I like the idea of having all three knives the same height to avoid having to adjust the height of each knife. I have two sets of knives (one’s brand new), so I’m thinking about sending both out to get sharpened and then start a rotation with the two sets.

TheFridge—Since I’m only an hour from you (near Lafayette), can you recommend a service that you’ve had good experiences with?

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

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diverlloyd

299 posts in 545 days


#11 posted 07-16-2014 01:33 AM

I read in one of the wood mags in the tips and tricks that the gentlemen used his table saw and fence. He made a jig that fit onto the fence with a 30 degree slot for the blades to fit in. Then put the sand paper under the fence to hold it down. Now after the setup he just slid the jig up and down the fence. I don’t have a planer but read it and thought that was a good idea, kind of a ahh moment I guess.

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gfadvm

11234 posts in 1377 days


#12 posted 07-16-2014 01:33 AM

Don, Your new ones need sharpened? What’s up with that?

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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Don Broussard

2031 posts in 939 days


#13 posted 07-16-2014 01:35 AM

Andy—They’re actually wrapped up and I haven’t even opened them yet. I just ASSUMED they needed to be sharpened before putting them to work. I guess I should check them . . .

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

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diverlloyd

299 posts in 545 days


#14 posted 07-16-2014 01:38 AM

I won’t be home till the weekend if you want I can look through my mags and try to find the article.

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

1662 posts in 408 days


#15 posted 07-16-2014 01:43 AM

I haven’t seen any planer only 12” wide with an on board grinder, the smallest I’ve seen was an 18” Powermatic 180. Not sure if they were available for the 160 or not, but machines of that heft are the kind most likely to have one. Just because it has one doesn’t mean that they couldn’t be flat ground, it would just be a PITA the first time they needed to be hollow ground sharpened as the profile would have contoured in such a way that would require significant metal removal.

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