Q: Many woodworkers talk about using a secondary bevel on their chisel and plane blades. Why would I want to do this? It seems like more work than using a single bevel. Brad Perry, Valdosta, GA A: Actually, using a secondary bevel takes less time because you are honing a much smaller area. For a blade to be sharp, both surfaces that form the cutting edge must be polished and free of defects, even the slightest nicks. On a single bevel you must hone the entire surface area of the bevel, a job that takes much time and effort. However, if you raise the blade a few degrees to form a secondary bevel, the area that must be honed is greatly reduced, so you get that flawless cutting edge much more quickly and easily. click to enlarge Keep it narrow. That’s all you need for a sharp cutting edge and it will save time when you re-hone. click to enlarge Hone just the secondary bevel. What remains of the primary bevel isn’t involved in the cutting and so doesn’t need to be smooth and polished.
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