I finally got to the prep of the hefty plane iron on my brand new Lie-Nielsen No. 4-1/2. Out of the box, the back of the iron was lapped quite well across the width of the blade — no ridges to feel running on the long axis. I did feel ridges running along the width so I only need to take those out in the back lapping: a couple dozen short strokes on 1000, 4000, and 8000 grit Norton stones and it was done.
The blade came ground to a 25 degree bevel, with obvious grinding marks. I followed David Charlesworth’s method to hone and polish, and then to put on the camber. So fast, so sharp. I do expect that I’ll be returning to the stones frequently, because I’ve polished only the tiniest sliver of the edge. Looks like I’ll want to set up a dedicated sharpening space, and experiment with how much to hone and polish each time.
But what a tool. My fifth stroke over a hunk of figured maple that’s been around for a few years gave me a continuous 0.001″ slice off the edge and left a furniture-ready surface. My goodness. I’ve been relying on sandpaper until now.
Just wanted to crow.
Oh, I do have a question if you’ve lasted this far! My plane’s sole is corrugated, and it seems to my hand that there may be the slightest ridge (wire edge?) at the tops of some of the corrugation “valleys”. I’m inclined to run the plane lightly over 400 or 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper on my float glass. Any comments from the gallery before I do it? Charlesworth starts his DVD talking about sole flatness but then says nothing about how to achieve (or maintain) it.