For the manner in which men live is so different from the way in which they ought to live, that he who leaves the common course for that which he ought to follow will find that it leads him to ruin rather than safety.

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Hand Plane rant (sort of)

Not the blade in question...just there for a picture.
So, someone brings me a hand plane. They say they lent it out and it got dinged. Included in the story is "I've been using hand planes since I was a kid." This brings up a few things:

Ok...if you know how to use a hand plane, why can't you sharpen it yourself?
If you had used the plane before...why are the factory grind marks on the blade?
The plane is 15-20 years old, hasn't been all that well cared for...and you're blaming it on the guy you lent it to? I know what patina is. I can tell a paint stain from last month from one that's 10 years old.

Anywho, I take the plane apart, give it a once over. Checked for flat...not flat...flattened it. Then I took the blade and sharpened it. I could tell that this was the first time the blade had ever been sharpened. The patina is a dead giveaway that this is the original blade.
I only took the blade up to a 4000 grit edge. I could have gone to 8000, but I knew that the user would never appreciate the difference. Reassemble the plane, test shaving, cuts nice.

Here's the best part. I give the plane back to the owner. I removed the blade and showed him the edge. He looks at it disapprovingly, runs it up his arm and shaves a few hairs...frowns...and says, "I guess that'll do."

YOU GUESS??? WTF? Someone who wouldn't know a sharpening stone from a rock on the beach wants to criticize the edge I just handed him?

Needless to say, the blade nearly became a piece of evidence at the police station, but I held my temper.

The moral of the story? Admit when you don't know about something. It's ok. People won't look down on you. I have a hell of a lot more respect for someone who admits ignorance on a topic than someone who tries to fake knowing everything.

(also, if I've seen the butcher job on a knife you've sharpened, telling me you know about sharp plane irons won't work)

I just had to let that rant out.


  1. Please stop holding back.

    Say what you really feel.


    1. Ha! yeah, sometimes I have a bit of an attitude problem.
      It was just one of those things that ticked me off. Instead of "thanks for fixing my plane," I got a resigned shrug.
      Oh well.