Hand Tools

Re: Kato and Kawai on "wedge angle"

David Weaver
You're thinking of time to the grinder as primary bevel equals final angle.

I have a primary bevel that's probably about 25-28 degrees. If I hone at 30, I will return to the grinder soon because the final bevel approaches the grind faster. I don't hone on the hollow, so the difference between primary and secondary bevels has some correlation to decreasing the frequency of grinding.

I have purchased several older wooden planes that haven't been in use for quite some time that I expect were used for site work, but I can't confirm that. They had long very shallow primary bevels, perhaps between 15 and 20 degrees, and then a secondary bevel more like 30-35 honed on them. Someone was extending the time between grinder trips. That's not where I learned that trick, but it was interesting to see that someone else did it.

I wouldn't grind a 35 degree primary on a plane iron and then hone on the primary. Maybe it's just my imagination, but I imagine that having only a very small bevel at the final angle is probably better for clearance, and it's certainly insurance against the bevel creeping above 35.

The strength of this final bevel may be what just punished me testing endgrain, though. It was brutal and my shoulder is sore.

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