When flattening and polishing the backs of plane blades and chisels, I use successively finer sheets of abrasive paper adhered to plate glass. When I began lapping the small blades for my Stanley No. 45 combination plane, I realized that holding those little buggers in my hand was not the best way to get there. A little old-fashioned Yankee ingenuity prevailed. I cut a shallow recess into a 2-in.-thick piece of scrap pine, deep enough that the back of the blade sits just proud of the heel of the jig. Then I mortised a rare-earth magnet into the sole to hold the blade. With the blade held in the jig, I can lap its back without grinding my fingers on the abrasive paper. I think a larger version of the jig could work for any size plane blades. Drawings by Jim Richey Drawings by Jim Richey
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