Sharpening a Moulding Plane

A used, typically blunt moulding plane.

A young neighbour dropped in the other afternoon with an antique 1/2in. side-bead moulding plane. He’d just bought it for some purpose and was keen to get on with it. I knew there was more to it because this man is a real tool-oholic know-it-all and wouldn’t have brought it round unless he wanted my help.

Sure enough, out he came with the most unexpected request; “Can you sharpen this moulding plane for me?” Given the amount of tools this man has at his disposal, I was a little taken aback. Nevertheless, being the ever helpful type that I am, I said “Of course, just leave it with me and I’ll do it for you in the morning”.

This morning I opened the shed and saw the old wooden moulding plane lying on the bench, so I thought I’d just sharpen it and get that little job out of the way. The plane was indeed very blunt (as any I’ve come across invariably are), and if my neighbour wanted it sharpened, then of course, I was happy to oblige.

To make a decent job of it, the first requirement was to accurately grind the edge, so I switched on the bench grinder and carefully worked the bevel, strictly observing the blade’s original profile. Once that was done, I moved to several finer grits of stones until I could see my reflection in the steel.

I tested the blade in the time-honoured fashion by shaving off a few ugly arm hairs. I then took the plane body firmly in my left hand and adroitly made the first cut with the freshly honed hatchet. Goodness me, that old seasoned beech is tough! A few more judicious blows and the plane looked really good…

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The nicely sharpened plane.

My neighbour duly turned up this afternoon to collect his sharpened plane, but the ungrateful malingerer swore at me freely and avowed never to return! That’s The Young for you these days!

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No usable planes were injured during photographing for this post. Irreparably damaged moulding plane courtesy of Peter McBride.

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About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
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4 Responses to Sharpening a Moulding Plane

  1. This would be a good April Fool’s day joke! Good delivery!

    Like

  2. damien says:

    Even for a second read, it is still very funny.

    Like

  3. Roy Davi says:

    Had me going too, almost laughed out loud in the library!

    Like

  4. RokJok says:

    At last I finally see the point of sharpening moulding planes.

    Like

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