But it has to include a step of bevel, iron back and then buffer.
the adjustment to the method is a low 20s primary bevel and then shallower attack on the buffer and for less time.
Straying to more time on the buffer (even at the same angle) makes for an iron that's less eager to pick up very thin shavings at the start of a cut (on the edge of a board). That's generally the first indication that an edge is starting to lose clearance, so we're trying to avoid it and get an iron that picks up a very thin shaving.
Sharpening cycle time, 55 seconds.
Add 30 seconds or so to take the plane iron apart and put it back together and it's very close to the cycle time that I'd have just sharpening by hand. The back wear step can't be avoided.
I'll report later how the edge holds up in use. Bargaining with the mrs. on making another shelving unit for another room in the house, but she wants it to be paint grade. if she tells me what it is that she actually wants, I'll be back into heavy dimensioning soon and get an idea about edge longevity. Averse to doing a couple of more a/b tests of a thousand or two thousand feet per iron.
compared to my normal regimen (shallow primary, then secondary somewhere around 30 and then final bevel ever so slightly higher (32/33? ) freehand and strop for finishing work, there's only intentional secondary bevel work on the bevel side around mid 20s to leave room for roundover to still have clearance.
I think this will be harder for someone to have success with (more touch, more sensitive to overwork, and stones and flat facets don't come up short on planes like they do on chisels.