Among the array of woodworking tools, a plane blade is generally a part of any woodworker's toolbox. A plane blade or a planer is used to create a flat surface and is typically measured out with precision. To cut a flat surface properly, the plane blade must be sharp. You can sharpen by hand, of course, but you may not get as good results as with a plane blade jig. The jig guides the blade onto the sharpening device at the same angle every time. You can make your own jig to fit your plane blade.
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Things you need
- 3-inch-dimensioned lumber
- 1 1/2-inch flathead machine screws
Select a 3-inch-dimensioned hardwood lumber or a dimension corresponding to your specific plane blade. Three-inch-dimensioned wood typically works with most average-sized irons. Ensure that the lumber is an inch longer than the width of your plane blade. Short plane blades may need a shorter block, less than 2 inches tall, to achieve the appropriate bevel.
Joint the rounded corners, making the wood block straight along all edges, using a saw. Make a 1/8-inch jaw, using a planer to fit on top of the wood block. The thin jaw is essentially a small flat piece of wood with the same dimensions as the top of your wood block. It is used to clamp the blade onto the wood block.
Set the 1/8-inch jaw on top of the wood block. Tape it in place.
Mark pilot holes 3/8 inch from each end on top of the block. Drill pilot holes, using a bit slightly smaller than the diameter of your screws.
Countersink for the screw heads. Screw in the 1 1/2-inch machine screws into the pilot holes. Slide the plane blade in between the thin jaw and the block, then tighten the screws in the jig. This will allow you to hold the plane blade at an exact angle for consistent sharpening.
Tips and warnings
- Ensure that the grain for the thin jaw runs horizontal if the grain on the block runs vertical, and vice versa.
- Experiment with different dimensions of wood to make jigs to suit all of your plane blades.
- Use caution when using planer tools and while sharpening.
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