Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Sole of a Frog

One of the more interesting things that has happened to me since beginning to teach woodworking is that I'm finally taking the time to get my tools up to snuff. In the process, I'm finally getting my planes and chisels really tuned up to where I've wanted to get them for a long time. I've been able to get a pretty sharp edge on the cutting edges, and I can tune my planes up well enough not to shred the wood when hitting crossgrain--but I've felt for a long time that they could be a lot better. Now, having to actually teach the process of sharpening and tuning, I'm taking the time to try out some new tricks...and its really working for me. I've never had my planes working this well and I can see and feel the difference. The secret is getting the back of the cutting blades absolutely flat to a polished surface (I"m becoming a convert to the "scary sharp" sandpaper method) and getting the part of the plane that holds the blade (the frog) properly seated by filing its sole. (Bet you didn't know that frogs had soles?)

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