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How to Sharpen a Moulding Plane | Paul Sellers

Jun 06, 2021
You've written me from time to time asking me about how to shape air

plane

s, how to

sharpen

them, they have these molding players, they've rusted, they're dull, they're warped and things like that, so I'm just going to go over a couple of methods that I use to restore sharpness. shape of the profile of a molding

plane

. Here is a molding plan I have. I just pulled it off the shelf earlier and I want to show you what it should look like. and then you'll be able to see for yourself exactly what I'm seeing if you look at the end there, hopefully you'll be able to see how the blade sticks out slightly beyond the profile of the sole of the plane, so here you'll be able to see right here, hopefully.
how to sharpen a moulding plane paul sellers
You can see a little bit of the profile following the contour of the sole and that is what we want to maintain throughout the life of the plane, so this is a plane that is already done. I don't have to do anything to this one. Here is a Plane that I would use to shape it and then I want to see the sole. He has two Nicks. I don't know if we can get that close, but there's a Nick here and another Nick right next to it. So every time I use this plane I leave these two long lines on the piece of wood that I'm planing, so I'm going to try to show you that on this piece here you can see this plane works fine, but when you take this and let's see if I can make this show you those lines there, you can see the traces on the surface that are not very smooth and this plane is quite opaque, so let's

sharpen

it but we're also going to To get rid of those two lines that come here and I'll show you how we do it, First of all I need something to give me space here and I have already shaped this piece, but just to show you. how useful it is to have molding plans first of all I'm going to take this plan here and I'm going to use this one is not designed for this because this plan has given me a profile that I can use now almost like a file.
how to sharpen a moulding plane paul sellers

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how to sharpen a moulding plane paul sellers...

I can wrap this with my abrasive paper and that gives me a perfect profile for this particular plane, so we had to redo this plane, that's what I would do. I would leave this here with the abrasive arm and what is the sole of the plan I don't want to wear out the sole of the plane and how I do it is very simple with this is the plane that we want to repair we want to restore this iron of the plane and marry it let me see can we go this way, yes? I think you can see the truss rod here, the surface of the truss rod and this is my wood profile, this one marries this one, it matches this one, so this gives me a round that will fit into the sole of the plane and it matches.
how to sharpen a moulding plane paul sellers
The profile is close enough, it doesn't have to be exact, the radius should be slightly smaller than the radius of the plane to protect the soul of the wooden plane. I don't want to wear it out at all, I just take a piece of tape. here and let that protect the sole a little bit, remove the excess here, I don't need to worry too much here, just keep it a little bit longer here and usually what I do is I hit the flat iron that they are so that it sticks out through the sole a little bit more than normal, just send that sheet up and it's wedged so it doesn't move, then take the abrasive paper.
how to sharpen a moulding plane paul sellers
I'm starting with a 240 grit, I probably would. I can't get any rougher than that unless it's really bad, so here I wrap this tight and I'm going to pull this here like this using this like I would use a file until I see those two little indentations. the blade collars disappear so they're gone now so now I have to do this round here and I would take just a very small flat file like this one here and run it again on the profile of the sole so you can Hear this is cutting and I simply follow that profile and this brings me closer to the surface I want.
I have a little bit inside that I can reach here on the edge of my file and I think you'll see it. I have a little more on this side to do here. I'm not taking that much often, so you can see inside that profile, you can see a white line following the profile and that's what I want now that you've brought the steel down. body of the plane, so if I take this off now because I won't need it again, now I take the iron off the body of the plane and the way we do it is we're just going to touch, there are two places you can touch this. plane, you can tap here, which is where you'll often find hammer marks here.
Most of the old Jonahs just used a hammer like this, it gives a very positive hit, so you can hit there. I tend to use this one. I like nylon. The hair has the weight that shakes the back now, in this case, sometimes not, if it doesn't hit there, you can hit here and that will work, and the nice thing about a Warrington hammer like this is that you can come right under it. just give it a little tap there and that's why that way, as it is, it just removes the wedge without damaging it if you're careful, so now I think more clearly you'll be able to see that white edge that I have. which I've reset the profile with and now I'm going to go in the vise here so now you can put something under here you can put anything under here just to chalk it here give it a little bit of extra support now so I go in here and go to go to the back of this iron like this, work on the inside of the profile rotate the paper just to get a new cutting surface and follow the profile, the best thing you can do, it's not complicated and follow this part here I would take the flat file and I would go all the way around the back edge like this just to get to the sharpest edge here's another very useful tool these are wonderfully easy and these are just diamond files these are wonderful tools for this.
I would take course one first. This is the fine one. This is a medium. I take the middle. The equivalent. This is the thickest. I must say and continue in this area. Take the entire bezel and take it again. that bevel down all the way to the cutting edge so wherever it's a convex serving surface you can go with any type of file on your diamonds or if it's abrasive paper it works fine, if you don't have this you can just make a puddle . of a flat piece of wood and just grab some abrasive paper here.
I follow this too so that you have the same effect. When you've finished that profile, can you see here that you have a burr on this other one? side now on this top side, so here you can see I have the profile and that works great. I have a little cut on this side, so I would just take that flat file, probably just come here, these are not going to be super hard these ions because they knew when they made them that you were going to sharpen them and reprofile them just with abrasive paper or with a file, so most of that makes it very simple, so I did it on this inside face.
Can you see there have been some pitting there? This is not like a normal iron or chisel. You may have to remove all the pits and this bezel on the back. Don't worry too much about this either because you can see when this is in plane, I have a lot of back bevels there so it could be any angle, really this is going to be in plane at this angle so it could be any angle at The bevel can be any angle as long as it is smaller. than this angle here, so that would work well, so now I'm going to focus on polishing and working on a finer grit, so I'm going to use a 1200 grit for the next adjustment on the inside of the concave. to get it right, so here again, just inside, I'm polishing the inside of Cove. rotate your paper, give it a little freshness, this is polishing very quickly, if I wanted to, I could use this same paper with a puddle like this to get the outside edge of the plane is the same on this other one, so it should go to a Superfine on this one.
This cuts through the steel very quickly, so you have to be careful not to take too much of the 1200 off of this one, which is about the same grate as this one. it's being polished very well, we see it now, so we have that and we have this inside to do, but we're going to go to these whetstones again. You could use one of these for this because I happen to have this whetstone. stones here and these will work fine so just a little bit of water on these because they have pits and I'm going to field there first and that's just a glass cleaner that I'm using here so I'm going to this inside face so you can see that it is not flat.
You can see that this face is not flat, so this is the previous genus, who probably used a slightly hollow stone, so he removed the high corners first, so don't do it. Don't worry, you can lift these molding planes slightly, not just a hair, so instead of keeping it completely flat, just raise it just a hair and you'll reach the back of the edge like I did. now no, I don't want to have any bites on this edge, so I'm just moving my fingers along this edge like this and I'm going to this one. I can't get into this, so going this direction, I can't go sideways, I see that black that's coming to the surface, that's the steel that's wearing away and now you can see I've got up to that cutting edge behind the same cutting edge, look, it's slightly rounded. all the way to the edge which is fine on the molding plane, this top edge has a little bit more here, same thing on this one, as long as it's pretty polished for a molding plane, this would be way beyond anything I think most cabinetmakers I would have had when they were developing this profile, you don't really have to polish this profile shape and the bird that's there will come off very quickly, so they'll get out of the way and what you could do if you were worried about the bird is, I just take a piece of leather like this and a piece of polishing compound leather, I rub this here, I wrap it around that profile like this and then I just pull it like this just to buff out the marks and then I can go too with the flat side I can do the same thing, place it on the flat side of my stick to get the flat surfaces here, this only takes a few seconds.
Actually, you don't technically need to do this if this face, but you can if you want. really necessary, but you can pull this way and it will help remove the burr, if any, and my molding plane profile looks great, this one is ready to go, so we'll see what it does now. that has been sharpened, place this back on the plane and this will show you below how to place this and load it to sharpen your molding plan. I slide it from the bottom like this, transfer it back to the sole. of the plane so it doesn't stick out, take your wedge, slide it like this and hit it your way now it's up to you if you use a steel hammer or not.
I'm not going to put, can you hear what he did and that's it? As tight as I am, I'm looking at the bottom of my truss rod so I don't have any bumps going over this face of the truss rod yet, so now I'm going to tap here which is going to loosen up because the cutting iron is actually tapered, so I tap. a couple of times here and then let's jump the wedge again just with a touch. I roll the sole until I see that cut. I'm a one two producer now that I have. I'm sticking out slightly here, so I'm going to give it a try.
The piece of wood like this is shaving very fine, so again I tap it and then tap it just to tighten it. Now I'm getting a cut. Now all British aircraft have what we call a stick, which is an angle here. where instead of the plane being perpendicular like the European airplanes, where we went slightly at an angle that allowed us to push into the corner when we were pushing the plane into the surface of the wood, it was a development that came with the airplanes of the 18th century . so we bow. I'm still not removing enough.
Remember that when you use a profile plane like this, your first few strokes will be very, very small, that feels better and I got rid of all those little tram lines there, so I can. You'll see in this, this is super slippery, now I have a beautiful profile, this plane is actually too big for this piece of wood, but it's exactly done. I have exactly what I wanted with this pristine surface that needs no sanding and I'm ready to start doing my polka dots.

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