Welcome! Forums General Woodworking Discussions Tools and Tool Maintenance/Restoration How can I get a Router blade parallel to the sole of the router plane.

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    first things first. I apologize for any mistakes, because I am not a native speaker.
    I am from Germany.

    I bought a year ago an old Stanley router plane. It is one of the first ones, because it has no screw holes in die plane body.

    I sharpened the blade bevel, and polished the back.
    Then I recognized the edge was perpendicular to the blade, but it was not parallel to the router sole. So I put some straight pieces of wood next to the sharpening stone, so that the plane is sliding on this wooden rails above the sharpening stone. The blade protruded over the sole and had contact withe the stone. Then I sharpened a back bevel on the blade, in the expectation that the new edge would be parallel to the sole.

    I hope you understand my problem and my solution.

    Is there another way to do that, or is it possibly wrong?

    I hope you can help me.

    I will add some pictures in few hours, when I have excess to my library.


    Harvey Kimsey

    Stellmacher…..I have done the same to get a router plane cutter parallel to the sole of the plane. I have not had a problem and mine cuts very well, however it does change the cutter geometry slightly.


    It’s a common enough problem that you have.

    The Stanley Router plane was in production in various shapes for many years in both the US and Britain – Record also produced an almost identical tool.
    It went through many revisions and it is a fact that there was a variation in quality over the years in production; however, it is a simple tool and there is not much to go wrong. The holes in the base you mentioned are missing allow you to add a wooden sole for work that is wider than the plane, but is not essential.

    First, you have discovered what many have found – the blade bevel when mounted may not align with the plane of the sole. In fact you have gone about halfway to putting it right. If the blade is tilted in relation to the sole plate of the plane it will not give a smooth level cut, showing what we call ‘Tram-lines’ in the work because it is sloped.

    With the blade mounted in the plane, look at the back of the blade and you should see that it is tilted at a slight angle – only one or two degrees. This means that when it is used only the very tip of the blade (which must be very sharp) is in contact with the wood. If there is a back-bevel here that exceeds the tilted angle of the blade back, it will cease to cut. It is this reason that you don’t want a back bevel.

    Up to now, you have flattened the back, and put on a slight bevel that is in parallel with the sole of the plane. You don’t want this bevel to remain but it has allowed you to make a line that is parallel with the sole plate of the plane. Now that you have this line for reference, go back to the top bevel and carefully grind or file a bevel here at about 25 degrees taking away excess metal so that the finishing bevel is exactly lined with the back bevel, then keep honing the metal until the back bevel is gone. You will have an angle with a meeting point that is in line with the base of the router plane. Now, polish off the back as fine as you can and keep the top bevel sharpened down to this line which will now line up with the work for its full width.

    The best tools for this work are Diamond files.

    Good luck.


    @STELLMACHER have a look at Mike Holden’s messages at the following link and have a look at the attached photos. In the photos, the blade has been extended exactly the amount required so that the back of the plane sole and the bottom of the blade all touch the board. The back of the plane is serving as a reference for grinding the bottom of the blade parallel to the sole. Of course, in reality, you must involve a sharpening stone, but this gets the idea across.


    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Ed.

    To be clear, this is not a normal sharpening method. This is a corrective action that you only use if, for some reason, things get out of parallel. I’ve only ever had to use it once. For regular sharpening, you just remove the blade, flip the blade upside down, work the bevel, then get the burr off, etc., etc.

    Philip Adams

    There is a guide on our Common Woodworking site which also goes over this process: https://commonwoodworking.com/sharpening-a-router-plane/

    I work alongside Paul to plan and produce the videos for Woodworking Masterclasses

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