Sharpening Veritas Router Plane Blades by Hand?

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #554467
    MRader
    Participant

    I see Paul likes the Veritas router plane blade design because it is easy to sharpen, but I see nothing on his method for doing so. Do we know if he mounts it to the aluminum sharpening jig that comes with the plane and sharpens his iron the same as a chisel? This would be my preferred method if so. Does anyone have any thoughts on why that would be a bad idea?

    I am sure this seems like a silly question but I am rather new to sharpening and just purchased this amazing tool and don’t want to ruin the blade right away. Unfortunately, it did not come with much of an edge out of the box, so I need to sharpen it before I can make full use out of it.

    Thanks for reading.

    • This topic was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by MRader.
Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #554469
    Jim Thornton
    Participant

    @flyboyjim

    I just got one myself. I’m going to sharpen it according to what it says in the manual that came with it.

    Also here’s a post of the review of the Veritas Router Plane on Paul’s blog that touches briefly on sharpening: https://paulsellers.com/2012/10/tool-review-veritas-router-plane/

    Jim

    If you can't afford to do big things...........do small things in a big way!

    #554473
    Edmund
    Participant

    @etmo

    You’ll have no choice with the smaller size irons — they’re all a single piece of metal, so must be sharpened by hand. The 1/2″ irons that have the screw keeping the blade attached are obviously another matter.

    One video I thought was excellent for all the irons was Derek Cohen’s suggestion of using a drill press to hollow grind the router plane irons. Makes them a breeze to sharpen, as with any nicely hollow-ground edge.
    https://www.finewoodworking.com/2017/12/15/sharpening-router-plane-vic-tesolin

    It obviously won’t work for the spear-point

    #554474
    Jim Thornton
    Participant

    @flyboyjim

    Thanks for the link.

    I also have a Veritas Medium Router Plane with the 1/4″ fixed blade. I have a couple of V-blocks for my Sherline Mill, one of which is going to work great for this procedure.

    If you can't afford to do big things...........do small things in a big way!

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by Jim Thornton. Reason: correction
    #554476
    Tim Ridolfi
    Participant

    @obscurious

    All of my router plane blades are old Stanleys and can’t be disassembled. I first struggled with sharpening them, but I figured it out. I use the little diamond plates on plastic paddles on the top surface. The paddles are very handy, inexpensive compared to full size diamond stones, and are a worthwhile investment. After getting the tops of the router plane blades polished, I don’t touch the tops very often any more. I sharpen on the bottom side. It is like a plane iron or chisel–once you have the back flattened and polished, you can do most of your sharpening on the bevel side. Works for me.

    #554479
    sanford
    Participant

    @sanford

    On his Common Woodworking site, Paul has a piece on sharpening router blades. https://commonwoodworking.com/sharpening-a-router-plane/. He uses diamond paddles with the blade set up on a block at a height to give the proper angle. He has shown us that approach for a number of other blades as well, e.g., kitchen knives and his Stanley knife he uses for marking. He does not show what he does with the veritas with its two part blade, but the same approach will work and does not require taking apart the blade. Of course, taking the veritas blade apart and using the veritas small blade jig works as well, and somewhere Paul shows a shop made small blade jig. On the other hand, I have also done okay just holding these blades with out any jig and sharpening them on a diamond stone. I do not take the veritas blade apart and just flip it upside down and rub the bevel against a diamond stone. The hard part there is that it is a bit hard on the fingers. For this approach, here is a link to a Popular Woodworking article by Chris Schwarz on sharpening router blades which includes a good video on youtube. I have found this technique works pretty well and is not at all mysterious.

    #554480
    MRader
    Participant

    @mrader

    Thank you all for the links and input. I think for now I will flip it upside down and run the bevel along a diamond plate. Perhaps one day I will get brave and sharpen it as I do a chisel and put a micro camber on there. Thankfully, replacement blades are reasonably priced so mistakes aren’t a catastrophe.

    #554481
    Keith Walton
    Participant

    @keithmw

    Not sure About the camber, I use them on chisels and planes but haven’t been on routers or plough plane irons. What’s others thoughts?

    #554482
    Tim Ridolfi
    Participant

    @obscurious

    As I posted earlier, I sharpen router plane blades mainly from the bottom with occasional minor touch up of the top, but I think my method still applies if you do sharpen mainly from the top.

    There is enough of a clearance angle on most square edged router plane blades to put a micro bevel or small camber on the bottom. You could even hollow grind the bottom. I don’t do any of those things. The surfaces of router plane blades are small, and they sharpen up quickly without the extra fiddling.

    #554897
    Alan
    Participant

    @alan141

    I have a method for accurately sharpening older Stanley/Record/Marples cutters on the 71, 071, and 271 routers without risk of getting them out-of-square, or creating a curved edge with a dome on top.

    The Router itself is the sharpening jig.
    It clamps the Cutter firmly, and square to the base, during sharpening.

    Remove the Depth Adjuster Nut.
    Fit the Cutter upside-down, facing rearwards.
    Turn Clamp 180° to keep the Thumb-nut out of the way.
    Position the Router against a straight edge, at the side of your sharpening plate.
    Tip the Router backwards so that the top of the Cutter (now on the underside) meets the top of your sharpening plate.
    Extend/retract cutter, or raise/lower sharpening plate, to infinitely adjust.
    Run the Router back and forth, tracking against your straight edge.
    You’ll maintain a square, perfect cutting-edge at the correct angle, every time.

    If you choose to create a secondary bevel, just extend the Cutter slightly and inch the sharpening plate further away, then continue sharpening.

    For the underside:
    A thin strip of wood screwed to the sole of the router, will tilt the router backwards slightly so that the sole of the cutter is horizontal and parallel with the sharpening plate.
    Operate the router in the regular way, over your sharpening plate, to perfect the underside face.
    Most people seem to manage this part freehand, but if you’re correcting a wonky grinding for e.g., freehand could be tricky.

    #554900
    Keith Walton
    Participant

    @keithmw

    aint that the truth, my stanley router looked to be unused, at least unsharpened, and it was 100 times easier to manage than my preston router that came out of square with multiple thin bevels and a big hump in the middle of the primary.it still doesnt cut perfectly but its getting closer with each sharpening. maintaining is so much easier freehand, i may try your jig setup.

    #554901
    Alan
    Participant

    @alan141

    Hi Keith,
    Hopefully my explanation was easy to follow without pictures. Please do let me know how you get on if you try this. It doesn’t have to negate freehand sharpening, but it will help establish a position to work from. Like using a honing-guide for poor chisels, then maintaining them by hand.

    Old Stanley/Record routers sometimes have their cast pillars out-of-square to their sole, i.e. the channel that holds the iron may not be precisely vertical.
    This needs to be corrected first (with a fine file and a square), otherwise you’ll exaggerate any inaccuracy once you’ve sharpened your Cutter and flipped it back, right way up.

    Worth noting that some Cutters also needed their corners eased so that all four faces engage the channel walls & collar. Otherwise they’ll distort slightly as the collar bites. It all depends on the level of refinement you’re seeking.

    At least your Cutters can now be sharp, and square, with easily repeatable accuracy.

    #554924
    Sven-Olof Jansson
    Participant

    @sojansson

    Hej,
    A link to a 2-set DVD (or streaming) by David Charlesworth on mortice and tenon joints, including a good section on methods for sharpening router plane blades. At $45, probably a tad expensive to buy for that single piece. The remaining 2.5 hours I found quite valuable, though.

    /Sven-Olof

    https://www.lie-nielsen.com/product/education/the-mortise-tenon-joint?node=4069

    Sven-Olof Jansson
    London, UK; Cambridge, MA

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