Sharpening curved irons can be one’s nemesis in the shop. However, Christopher Schwarz demystifies this critical skill for us – simply create a letter X on your sharpening stone, and you will do well! This was a terrific session, and a suitable follow-up to the session on grinding your tools. What could be better than first learning to grind a straight or curved iron or chisel, and then properly honing it? A key point to remember: It is proper honing that will give the edge durability.
I hope that the video, edited to just over 9 minutes, will show you the way to get that super-sharp and durable edge in your plane irons, whether straight of curved. Just do it! I included sharpening of an iron for the foreplane – that is, something like a #5, set to take a 1/16th-inch thick shaving in one pass; however, use the same technique to sharpen irons for all your planes. Edit to add (with thanks to Bob Easton for pointing it out): The two other blades that Schwarz mentions in the video, but which I did not include, are for the smoother (flattest), and for a jointer.
If you believe the technique shown by The Schwarz will help you get nice, sharp tools, please let me know in the Comments section. If you have been doing this all your life, I want to know, too. Do you use sandpaper to sharpen? Do you use water stones? How do you sharpen and hone your tools?
— Al Navas
Right-click to download the low-resolution video (95 MB)
Duration: 9:04 minutes