Sharpen Your Plane Irons Freehand
Learn how to sharpen plane irons without the aid of a honing guide
Honing guides offer precise repeatability when it comes to sharpening plane irons and chisels, but for professional furniture makers who might refine various blades multiple times a week, freehand honing is a more common method.
This skill requires a great deal of muscle memory. If you’re not careful, you could end up inadvertently rounding over the crisp cutting edge you’ve worked so hard to produce. That said, if you can maintain the iron’s bevel perfectly flat atop the stone, freehand sharpening is a super-fast, no-nonsense approach that becomes easier over time. In this short video, furniture maker Garrett Hack offers his tips and techniques for sharpening plane irons freehand, without the aid of a guide.