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Hi Gregory,

You’re perfectly right when it boils down to preferring to hone and adjust edges yourself when setting up newly aquired tools. 🙂  Those who expect tools to be sharp from the box often tend to come un-stuck when it boils down to the first sharpening and I think quite a few tend to forget good sharpening practice is vital and runs hand in hand with sound hand crafting skills.

I tend not to get carried away with lapping blades, as most work darned well from the box after an initial whetting and removal of the residual burr, which in turn tends to  lap the first inch or so of the steel.  The main focus should be to get tools up and running, whilst the resulting lapped area naturally tends to increase with each sharpening.

I honestly think a few well known writers have become a tad too absorbed by the current tool lapping phenomena whilst forgetting it’s not the end of the world if a chisel blade or plane iron face (Flat) is not within a half micron of true flat.