Tips for straightening plane iron?

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    Hi everyone

    I’ve known for a while that my plane irons were not straight on the cutting edge, they have small dips and curves. I’m not talking about the corners they’re of course supposed to be curved away but the rest of the iron isn’t straight either.

    Any tips on how to straighten them? I thought about using a honing guide and low grit sandpaper to grind past but then I thought wouldn’t that keep the same shape to the edge but just grind it back a bit?



    Sometime you just have to start over. That means take it to the grinder. First scribe a line perpendicular to the side on the back of the blade. The grind to it. Then go back to your stones for final sharpening and honing.

    Located in Honeoye Falls NY USA. The Finger Lakes region of Western NY.

    "If you give me 6 hours to fell a tree, I will take the first 4 to sharpen my axe" Abe Lincoln


    Is your stone at least as wide, or wider than the blade? If so, a honing guide will take care of it and is what I would do if there is a lot to take off, unless there is so much that I go with a grinder. Any idea why the edge is wavy? By wavy, you mean that, if you hold the edge up to a block, there are gaps right, rather than meaning that if you lay the blade down flat on its back there are gaps?


    Yes thats what I mean. I hold a straight edge up to the cutting edge on the blade and one blade is a bit wavy and the other has a bump just to the side of the middle. Not really sure how they ended up like that.

    I’ll see how far the honing guide grinding can get me as I don’t have a bench grinder. Thanks all.

    Marilyn Moreno

    Hi, I straightened the ends on 2 of my iron blades using P Sellers’ method from his recent video on tuning up the bench plane.
    In the past, I think I was really cheap with the sandpaper. When I watched his video I noticed he changed the paper on a regular basis.
    So, I bought a pack of 120 grit paper. I used about 8 sheets on a flat 12″ x 12″ granite tile and a honing guide. I set it to hone at 25 degrees and slowly noticed the 1/8″ difference from one edge to another shrink. The curvy edges get smaller and smaller..
    Flatten the back first, then work on the edge… Any pitting or scratches on the edge of the back translate to curves and undulations on the bevel edge, so you have to get the back as smooth as possible.
    Follow with the stones.

    P.S. This is not a 15 minute job if they’re pitted too badly. As Brett stated above if you have a grinder, use it.
    The time invested in doing this, will greatly reduce frustration when working wood…

    Hope this helps…


    Marilyn - Lehigh Valley, Eastern Pennsylvania - USA

    Aamar Ghouri

    Im using a honing guide aswell and I keep getting a skweed edge, do you think its my technique ? and would it matter ? i can just use the lateral adjustment to correct it.

    Marilyn Moreno

    I was also getting skewed results using a honing guide. I decided to use the opposite end, and that made corrected the problem for me. I don’t know if it was the way it was sitting on the guide. But I noticed a little gap underneath between the iron and the guide. I had no gap on the other end. So for me that resolved it.

    Marilyn - Lehigh Valley, Eastern Pennsylvania - USA


    I tried to straighten one of my plane irons today. Didnt go too badly at all though it still isnt 100% straight. Much better than before though.

    I used the 400 grit side of a double sided diamond stone. Surprisingly quick for 400 grit, the speed was equivalent to around 240 grit sandpaper.

    I flattened the back and it was actually quite a bit out of flat, with the high spot corresponding to the part of the edge which stuck out past the rest. Then reground the bevel at 25 degrees and after that honed by hand on the 400 and 1000 grit. After that was my new strop with new Veritas honing compound. That stuff is much better than the eBay chromium oxide I was using before. The finish isn’t as good, but this is the first time I’ve got a razor sharp edge.

    Thanks for the help guys!

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by raze599.
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