How to Sharpen a Bench Plane

by Kim Blakesley, Demand Media Google
    Remove the bench plane blade from the bench plane prior to sharpening.

    Remove the bench plane blade from the bench plane prior to sharpening.

    Zedcor Wholly Owned/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images

    Bench plane blades can become dull or nicked after long use. When sharpened properly, the blade can be restored to its original condition. During this process, three separate bevels are made at the end of the bench plane blade. The normal angle of a bench blade is 25 degrees, while additional sharpening bevels are at 30 and 32 degrees. While these angles are difficult to accomplish by hand, a sharpening jig specifically designed for bench plane blades makes the process easy.

    Step 1

    Slide the bench plane blade in the bench plane sharpening jig. Set the degree of angle at 30 degrees. This creates the first beveled edge on the 25 degree blade angle.

    Step 2

    Wet the 1000 grit wetstone with a spray bottle of water. Work the water into the stone with a sponge. Add more water to the surface. Allow the water to sit 60 seconds.

    Step 3

    Place the bench plane sharpening jig on the wet 1000 grit sandstone so the bench blade is touching the surface. Roll the blade back and forth on the stone to sharpen. Check the blade periodically for a uniform grind. Stop grinding when the blade is shiny all the way across and has a sharp edge when touched.

    Step 4

    Wet the 6000 grit wetstone. Work the water into the stone with a sponge. Spray a second coat of water on the surface. Allow the water to set 60 seconds.

    Step 5

    Set the bench plane sharpening bit at 32 degrees. Place the bench plane sharpening jig on the wet 6000 grit sandstone so the bench blade is touching the surface. Roll the blade back and forth on the stone to sharpen. Check the blade periodically for a uniform grind. Stop grinding when the blade is shiny all the way across and has a sharp edge when touched.

    Step 6

    Dry the sharpened blade with a lint free towel. Allow the bench blade to air dry 10 minutes before putting it back in the bench plane.

    Tips & Warnings

    • Add a third bevel to the edge of the bench blade for adding cutting power. Set the bench blade at a two to three degree angle. Mirror polish the blade by rubbing it in circles on the surface of a 6000 grit whetstone. A metal ruler placed along the side of the whetstone is enough elevation to create the two to three degree bevel.

    About the Author

    Kim Blakesley is a home remodeling business owner, former art/business teacher and school principal. She began her writing and photography career in 2008. Blakesley's education, fine arts, remodeling, green living, and arts and crafts articles have appeared on numerous websites, including DeWalt Tools, as well as in "Farm Journal" and "Pro Farmer."

    Photo Credits

    • Zedcor Wholly Owned/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images