Q: What’s the best way to sharpen a molding plane blade? Bob O’Leary, Lincoln, MT A: Assuming that your blades have no nicks and they match the profile on the sole of the plane, the best way to sharpen them is with slip stones. You might need several stones of various shapes and radii. You also can use sandpaper wrapped around dowels. With slip stones, start with 2,000 grit and finish with 4,000 grit. With sandpaper, start with 400 grit and polish with 2,000 grit. Hold the blade in one hand, and use the other to pass the slip stone over the bevel. Sharpen the entire cutting edge, then work on the flat side of the blade. Rounded blades need rounded stones. Hold the blade firmly, bracing your hand against a benchtop, and carefully hone the bevel with a slipstone. Polish the back. Use a flat sharpening stone to polish the flat side of the blade to a mirror finish. Photos: Staff
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