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  • #56693

    I have a Stanley 40 scrub plane. The profile on the iron is too round, leaving a deeper, narrow cut. I want to tone it down some. I don’t have a problem with touch-up sharpening, and have seen some videos out there about that… but I was hoping to get some tips on re-profiling the iron. I do not own a grinder.

    Thanks for any help you can offer. 🙂


    I would draw the profile you are hoping for onto the blade starting at the outside edge, you shouldn’t have to remove much material at the outside edges. I would then remove material down just at the center a 1/8th from the line. Then work on the spots in between. If there was a lot of material to remove I would use wet and dry paper as I wouldn’t want to put that much wear on my course diamond stone. After the profile was close I would use a figure of eight and a rocking motion to smooth out the differences.

    It might be worth a shot but what about a mill file, like Paul used in the round bottom plane he made. Obviously your Iron is already hardened but it might be worth a test to see if a file would take a cut.

    I did find it easy to convert a regular no4 to a scrub with just a figure of 8 but I am looking forward to Paul’s video. In your situation I would be tempted to get a grinder.


    Hmm… Rusty, I have a chip breaker file that is pretty fast that might work.

    Ian Stewart

    Jay, I think that the iron may be too hard for a file. Do you have an angle grinder? Lots of videos on YouTube show people running an angle grinder in a vice in lieu of a grinding wheel.
    If you do, keep a large washing up bowl of cold water next to it, and dip the blade in every 2 seconds (no exaggeration) to keep the steel cool. There is always a danger of overheating the edge and removing the hardness.

    I recently shortened a Stanley plane iron by 3/8″, by taking chunks out of it on the corner of a grinding wheel to make saw teeth, then grinding off the saw teeth. This made the work go so much faster than keeping the cut the full width of the wheel. I have a slow water-cooled wheel though, to finish off by re-grinding the bevel.


    I sure don’t have an angle grinder either. Thanks for the tip though, Ian.

    I think I’m going to do it the old fashioned way once I figure out exactly how that would work.

    Greg Merritt

    Outside of taking the temper out. Your looking at a good bit of one-on-one time with your most aggressing sharpening stone. Just keep taking the middle down and then fair out the curve. It will be slow going but shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours to get it to the shape that you want.


    Have you considered getting another iron and saving the original for special jobs that it might be better suited for.


    Michael, I think that is exactly what I am going to do. I think Hock makes a Stanley replacement… I’m not sure if the Lee Valley blades will fit. Maybe somebody has one and can tell me.

    Ian Stewart

    Hmm. You may have to be quick Jay. Following Paul’s posting today of the scrub plane video, many people will be after additional planes, or plane irons to adapt their current plane to a scrub, and we can expect eBay prices to go crazy for a couple of months or so. This might also affect blades for your #40 (if you can find one).

    Mark Armstrong

    If you in UK a New Stanley 2″ iron just over £8 it would be more than adequate for scrub plane quite a bit cheaper than a Hock blade. I’m sure in the USA would find a cheap new Stanley 2″ iron.
    I bought a New 2 3/8″ Stanley iron for my Stanley 4 1/2 works perfectly fine and takes a decent enough edge for use as a smoother.
    If you really want to use a thicker iron probably cheaper than Hock or Ilse try Quangsheng irons from Workshop heaven in UK. I believe May be called Woodriver over the other side of the pond.
    Sometimes the Y lever dose not move iron as it is to short if using a thicker iron Workshop heaven supply longer Y levers.

    Dagenham, Essex, England


    Jay, I don’t own a grinder either, so a while back I bought me one of these grinding wheels

    I’ve constructed a simple cradle as seen in the attached picture to fit my hand drill.
    While this is not perfect and certainly noisy, it does the job well.
    You can also attach the grinding wheel to a drill press, but this might be a bit awkward to work with.
    Hope this helps.

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