Yesterday I went down the peninsula to visit some friends. They’d been asking me for help on a smoothing plane for a while. Specifically, the blade needed sharpening, so I packed up the sandpaper, waterstones, honing guide, and drove down.
Before starting anything, we went to the Woodcraft store. I had been thinking about getting a granite surface plate for a long time. Since I was eager to try out anything that would lessen the pain of flattening the face of a chisel or plane blade, especially the one that was about to be flattened, I bought one. It was at least cheaper than a Hock plane blade.
Well, I’d been hearing stories about people and their surface plates. How they wanted to get married to their surface plates, they loved them so much. How they might have children–you know, that sort of thing. And now I know why. For some reason, it’s a lot easier to flatten stuff on the plate than on glass or diamond stones or whatever. Perhaps it’s because it’s heavier, or maybe there’s more friction? I don’t know for sure, but it works. Using a little water to hold Norton 3x 220-grit paper in place, it took almost no time to get the face of the 2″ blade flat. The blade’s milling helped a lot, too.
I still had the surface plate buzz lingering today, so I decided to see how quickly it would do the job on this little Stanley #75 bullnose rabbet plane:
Very quick, as it turns out. That silly little plane works surprisingly well, too. It’s kind of a pain to adjust at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not bad.