Hand Tools Archive

Re: Ruler Trick with Spokeshave Blade

Derek Cohen (in Perth, Australia)
Do any of you have ideas for using the ruler trick (aka 'The Charlesworth'!) with the short blades of the Boggs L-N spokeshaves? They are a bit tricky to handle and of course the angle of the polished bit on the back is steeper (since nearer to the ruler) than with a standard plane blade, unless one could find a way of artificially lengthening the blade while doing the polishing.

Hi James

Wiley gave excellent advice. I do essentially the same as he - the 1/2" behind the bevel flat on the finishing stone (only) and wiped side-to-side to remove any wear bevel. I repeat on green compound-on-hardwood.

The bevel is hollow ground. This is the trickier bit since the blade is narrow. Still, the hollow is the key to sharpening. The better you do this, the easier is the honing. "Better" in my case is a hollow that is as close to the edge of the bevel, and as straight, as possible. This leaves the least amount of steel to abrade.

Once done, the hollow acts as a guide for freehand sharpening. Again, I do this in a side-to-side direction (this offers up the most registration and stability), with some 45 degree moves as well. Ideally, I want to raise a wire edge with a 1000 grit in 2 strokes. This will be followed by 6000 and 13000 (I use Sigma).

Regards from Perth


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