sharp/dull blade drawing Bevels small map
Finest abrasives.
Microbevels front and back.
Use a jig.
Copyright (c) 2002-15, Brent Beach


  1. Introduction. What is the problem?
  2. Naming conventions. So many bevels.
  3. Images of microbevels. Micrographs of the three microbevels on both the front and back of a plane blade.
  4. Drawings of microbevels. The relationship between microbevel width and metal removed.
  5. Scratching. How abrasives affect metal.
  6. Worn edges - wear bevels introduced. How blades wear during use.
  7. Upper wear bevels. Micrographs of the worn upper surface.
  8. Lower wear bevels. Micrographs of the worn lower surface.
  9. Bevel up irons are different. The wear bevel on the side people normally do not sharpen matters.
  10. Larger back bevels. Simulating steeper blade bedding angles.


For most people, a cutting edge -- say a knife -- has two bevels. When first thinking about a plane blade, most people think it has only 1 bevel - forgetting that the back of the blade is also a bevel. As I spent more time looking at worn plane blades under the microscope, I came to the conclusion that the sharpest edge can only be produced using a series of abrasives, each producing its own bevel, on both the front and back of the blade. This pages discusses the issues involved. [Are these models confusing? Check out the introduction to Sketchup models that shows honed microbevels and wear bevels.]

Sharpening a New Blade

Plane iron, oem, worn The back of a new plane blade is more or less flat - it may be a little rough and have a few machining marks, but it is pretty flat. The bevel is also pretty flat. In some case, like recent Lee Valley blades, the back is very flat. You can hone the front (at the original angle or use microbevels) and use the blade. It will work pretty well. [In fact, Rob Cossman has a video on YouTube in which he does just this. Of course, this only works the first time you use a blade. After use, wear bevels on the back make this technique worthless. As such, the Cossman video is very misleading. I hope he tells people after this demo that it is just a trick, of no actual use to anyone.]

This sketchup model shows both the new and used shape of the blade - new on the left, used on the right. This model shows just the last 0.01" of the blade - a small part near the edge. The blade is shown in the orientation it has in the plane. In fact, the model assumes a bevel down iron, bedded at 45 degrees. It could just as well be a bevel up iron, bedded at 15 degrees.

The worn area of the blade - the wear bevel - is shown in red. The right edge of the intersection of the "as new" and worn shapes shows the amount of metal worn away during use. The amount the upper surface is out of flat is shown by the grey along the red. On a bevel down plane, this is the amount the back of the iron is now out of flat.

The amount the lower surface is out of flat is shown as well. On a bevel up plane, this is the amount the back of the iron is now out of flat.

When you sharpen this blade you have two options. First, you could try to return it to its original condition. Second, you try a sharpening approach that includes back bevels.

Return to Original Condition

Plane iron, oem, sharp option 1 By original condition, I mean sharpen the blade so the back and front bevels are flat all the way to the edge. There are any number of ways of doing this, but these two drawings are typical.

The first approach is to remove about as much metal from both sides of the blade, ending up with a new edge in the middle of the wear bevel.

Unfortunately, this involves removing a lot of metal. You would be removing about 0.005" thickness from the back of the iron. When an iron is only 0.1" thick, this is a problem, even if you could do it.

Plane iron, oem, sharp option 2 This is the more likely option - you grind the bevel back through the worn edge until you have ground off most of the back wear. Then you flatten the back, taking off much less metal than before. Unfortunately, you also shorten the iron quite a bit. You must also grind through the edge - that is, you must use your most aggressive abrasives at the tool edge. I believe you should only grind through the edge to remove damage to the edge or to reshape the edge. You should not make it part of every sharpening operation.

With that introduction to the sharpening problem, time for a review of the terminology.

Move to New Condition

Plane iron, microbevels - mb 3 It seems to me that the original condition is not a condition to which you can return. Rather, this drawing shows a new condition for your plane irons (and other edge tools) that is sharp. This blade will wear just the same, but you can quickly and easily return this blade to this condition.

The drawing lets you see both the upper and lower microbevels. The dark green is the first microbevel, the gold the second microbevel, the blue the third microbevel. The triangular tab at the left shows how much metal is removed going from one microbevel to the next. You cannot even see the slice removed during honing microbevel 3 in this drawing. Later drawings will show it clearly.

Bevel naming conventions.

When you first look at a plane iron, you see only one bevel. When there is only one bevel, it is ok to simply call it the bevel (or Bezel!). When there are lots of bevels we have to be more careful, adding qualifiers to identify each bevel clearly. So, excuse the heavy lifting of making of a lot of names for bevels - it will avoid problems later on.

Primary Bevel

The big bevel that everyone sees -- that is there when you buy a new iron -- is the main or primary bevel. Manufacturers usually recommend a primary bevel angle of about 25 degrees.

The face of the iron that has the primary bevel is the FRONT of the iron; the other face is the BACK of the iron. (This is an arbitrary naming convention. Others use exactly the opposite terms.)

Bevels on the front of the iron are also called front bevels, while bevels on the back are called back bevels.


Grinding is the process that creates the primary bevel. Once we have ground the primary bevel, we hone microbevels. We create these microbevels by very slightly increasing the honing angle and honing on a finer abrasive. At each step we remove the scratches left by the earlier grit, while putting on new finer scratches.

I use three abrasives - 15, 5, and 0.5 micron - to put three microbevels at ever increasing angles. The result is an edge that has been honed on both sides using an extremely fine abrasive. What is more, the process has removed all of the scratches from earlier grits in the region at the edge where all contact with the wood takes place.

Microbevels as a sharpening technique have been around for a long time. In fact, the very first issue of Fine Woodworking January 1976 included an article by Bruce Hoadley "Micro bevels; getting a better edge." This article is available on the Fine Woodworking website. [Note: The article is wrong in asserting that the microbevel does not affect chip formation. In fact, all contact between the wood and the blade takes place on the front and back microbevels.] Leonard Lee also mentions micro bevels in his 1996 book.

Wear Bevels

These are all good bevels produced during sharpening. The bad bevels, the wear bevels, are produced during use.

If you have never seen pictures taken by the QX3 microscope, you should read the short introduction to the QX3 microscope and the pictures it takes. That article includes some images of razor blades.

Most microscope pictures of cutting edges show just the sharpened edge. I am going to show you sharpened and worn edges.

This discussion is based on using bevel down planes - normal bench planes. That means that the front bevel faces down toward the work during use, while the back bevel faces forward toward the shaving.

Leonard Lee on bevel names

In his book on sharpening, Leonard Lee includes the following discussion of bevel naming:

"I recommend the use of honing guides with chisels and plane blades for two reasons; speed and accuracy. A good guide should let you select a honing angle, clamp the tool firmly at that angle for shaping a basic bevel, and then let you make a small angular adjustment for fine honing of a secondary bevel or micro-bevel. In addition, you should later be able to set the tool at exactly the same angles again when you need to resharpen it."

I am not sure, but I don't think he wants you to hone at the grind angle, so the basic honed bevel is what I call the first microbevel. When you twist the cam, you get the secondary bevel, that I call the second microbevel. (Actually the third bevel!)

One other small note - Leonard Lee discusses back bevels for the lower face of bevel up plane irons. (He does not mention their use for changing the planing angle of bevel down irons.) He says that a 10 degree back bevel for a 20 degree block plane and a 5 degree back bevel for a 12 degree block plane, are possible for the right types of woods.

Images of microbevels

In order to emphasize the various microbevels, I angled the blade to the direction of motion while sharpening. That is, rather than have the side of the blade parallel to the direction of motion, which would produces scratches perpendicular to the edge, I angled the jig and blade. To make the boundary between microbevels clear I alternated this angle, first to the right, then to the left.
This is a freshly sharpened blade, front side, showing the 4 bevels, with the edge at the top.

The third microbevel, labelled 32 degrees and produced using 0.5 micron abrasive, is the dark area at the edge. This area looks like it is scratch free because the scratches left by the 0.5 micron abrasive are too narrow to reflect light. I am still looking for an electron microscope to get an image of these scratches. This microbevel is about 0.0045" wide.

The second microbevel, labelled 31 degrees and produced using 5 micron abrasive, has fine scratches going up to the left. Of course, immediately after honing this microbevel these scratches went right to the edge and this microbevel was about 0.01" wide. The last honing step removes the part of the second microbevel at the edge, while producing the third microbevel.

The first microbevel, labelled 29 degrees and produced using 15 micron abrasive, has deeper scratches going up to the right. Immediately after honing this microbevel, these scratches went right to the edge and this microbevel was about 0.025" wide (under 1/32").

The primary bevel, labelled 25 degrees with rough scratches going up to the left, is at the bottom of this picture. I usually grind the primary bevel using a coarse Silicon Carbide bench stone.

front bevels
This is an image of the microbevels on the back of a freshly sharpened blade.

The area labelled 3 is the third microbevel, produced using 0.5 micron abrasive. For a typical blade this microbevel is at an angle of around 4.3 degrees to the back.

The area labelled 2, with scratches slightly angled up to the right, is the second microbevel, produced using 5 micron abrasive. For a typical blade this microbevel is at an angle of around 3.4 degrees.

The area labelled 1, with near vertical scratches, is the first microbevel, produced using 15 micron abrasive. For a typical blade, this microbevel is at an angle of around 2.4 degrees to the back.

back bevels

Drawings of microbevels

The above images show the blade after the third honing step. The blade has three microbevels on the front and three corresponding microbevels on the back. To understand why microbevels are such a benefit, we have to consider the profile.

drawing first microbevel Using the dimensions from the above images, this is a scale drawing of the primary bevel - in black - with the first microbevel shown in green.

You will notice that the first microbevel has honed a very small portion of the primary bevel. The primary bevel is 0.22" wide, the microbevel only 0.025" wide. The depth of metal removed at the edge is calculated to be 0.00174".

To remove that much metal over the entire primary bevel would mean removing almost 16 times as much metal. That is, it would take 16 times as long and wear out 16 times as much abrasive.

drawing first microbevel This is a scale drawing (equivalent to about 300 times magnification), of the tip of a plane blade - the 0.01" at the tip. The blade is drawn as if it was back down, edge facing left with the front side microbevel facing up. The black lines represent the blade with a 29 degree included angle. This is the situation after the first microbevel.

The red line shows the second microbevel, at 31 degrees.

The very short green line shows the depth of the metal removed in honing this second microbevel.

The scale was selected based on the second microbevel being 0.01" wide (a typical value).

The depth of metal removed is then 0.00035". (The blade is shortened by 0.00076".)

This depth of metal removed is actually an important number. The widest scratch left by the 15 micron abrasive used to create the 29 degree microbevel is about 0.0003". If we assume the depth is about half the width (the abrasive crystals are roughly cubical so the corners are about 90 degrees), then the deepest scratch is about 0.00015".

The metal removed at the edge during honing of the second microbevel is over twice the depth of the deepest scratch in the first microbevel. I have been told that the damage to the metal during abrasion is not restricted to the scratched up surface, but extends to about twice the depth of the scratches into the surface. With this geometry, the second microbevel removes all metal damaged during the honing of the first microbevel. Of course, it causes some more damage itself (which gets removed in the next step ...).

The angles I use when sharpening, combined with the jig size and the thickness of the slips are not selected at random!

With reasonable care, using these standard angles and sizes, you will produce perfect microbevels, and the best possible edge while removing the minimum amount of steel from your blade.


scratching glass An interesting article on Gemstone polishing includes a drawing of how depth of scratch affects the scratched material, reproduced on the right. This article is well worth reading if you are interested in the detailed mechanisms of sharpening.

The article is about polishing gemstones, using results derived primarily from scratching glass, but some of the concepts may well carry over to honing tool steels. The article cites literature which describes three different models of the polishing process. First, the finer scratch model in which a decreasing series of grits are used, producing finer and finer scratches until the scratches can no longer be seen. I have assumed this model. Second, for very fine abrasives, the metal on the surface is smoothed by the grits rather than chipped away (a plastic process, like modelling clay or perhaps raking a garden). Third, for some polishing with grits in flexible media (stropping), a chemical reaction (involving the metal, the abrasive and the other components of the polish) occurs that removes material atom by atom.

Whatever model you use, there appear to be different processes involved for grits size 1 micron and smaller than for grits 20 microns or larger (in between, it may be a combination of the two). For scratches less than 1 micron deep, the grits move material around on the surface without cracking the subsurface. For scratches up to 10 microns deep, cracking occurs radially from the groove, with little damage below the scratched surface. For scratches over 10 microns deep, cracking can occur well below the bottom of the groove.

For sharpening edge tools, assuming the results from glass and gemstones carry over to tool steels, the implications are clear. Use of large grit abrasives (possibly even small grit abrasives at very high speeds) will damage the metal below the surface. However, use of fine abrasives at low speeds will not alter the internal structure of the edge.

The article reports another unexpected observation -- use of very fine grits creates considerable stress in the surface. It has long been known that hammering a saw spreads the metal on the surface, creating tension in the saw blade. Chipping bits off with large grits leaves no stress, but rubbing the surface metal around with very small grits leaves unresolved stress in a very thin layer of metal on the surface.

If stresses are created during the last honing step, the third microbevel, do they affect the durability of the edge? Given that this surface layer is quickly worn away in use, does this matter at all? Unlike gemstone polishing where the surface left by polishing is the final surface, in plane blade sharpening, the surface produced by honing is quickly worn away (the top micron or so anyway).

If you read this article and have any opinions on it, on my interpretation of it, or on information about the effect of abrasives on steel as discussed in any of the articles the gemstone article cites, I would be interested in hearing your views.

This section was written in 2006, long before I read Leonard Samuels' books on Metallography. The points made here are roughly true - the ideas to apply to both gemstones and tools steels. The state of the metallographic art is beyond what was know to the author of the above article.

A slightly different explanation of this material also appears in Grinding, Keeping Your Edge, Grinding shatters the metal at the edge.

Worn blades - Introduction to Wear Bevels

wear bevels OK, enough about freshly sharpened blades. We can now turn our attention to worn blades.

When you use a plane, the cutting edge pushes forward and down against the wood. The upper surface of the iron pushes against the shaving, pushing the shaving up and through the mouth. The lower surface of the iron pushes down against the work. The action of the wood on the iron actually grinds/hones metal away, producing what I call a wear bevel on both upper and lower surfaces. These pictures show both the front and back wear bevels.

This discussion applies equally to bevel down (normal bench planes) and bevel up (block planes, some bench planes) irons. It is important then to use names that do not depend on whether the bevel faces up or down. I use upper wear bevel for the wear bevel on the blade face which is upward during use - pushing the shaving up through the throat. Likewise, lower wear bevel applies to the wear bevel on the downward blade face which rubs against the work.

It happens that this is a bevel down iron, so the face labelled front faces down toward the work and has the lower wear bevel. The face labelled back faces up toward the shaving and has the upper wear bevel. It is typical that the upper wear bevel is the wider of the two by about this factor. [On a bevel up plane, the wide wear bevel occurs on the front of the iron!]

The area between the yellow lines is the wear bevel. The lower wear bevel is about 10 pixels or 0.0007" wide, the upper wear bevel is about 40 pixels or 0.0028" wide. The iron itself is actually shortened by about 0.0002" during use. This wear was the result of 200 passes along a 4 foot douglas-fir board.

These wear bevels are visible without magnification. If you hold a worn iron toward a light and tilt the blade back and forth, you will see a bright line along the edge. The angle at the edge between the line from the edge to the light and the edge to your eye should be about 90 degrees. Wear bevels are visible on both the front and back of a worn blade.

Close up of a worn edge

drawing - worn edge This is a scale drawing of a worn blade, based on observed test results. This interpretation is new as of Mar, 2006.

This time the blade is drawn as it would be in the plane. This plane has a bedding angle of 46.5 degrees. The blade was sharpened with a single front microbevel at 29 degrees, and a single back microbevel at 2.4 degrees. That is, the included angle was 31.4 degrees.

The black outer lines show the original microbevels. Once again the drawing is of the last 0.01" of the blade. The lower face (the clearance angle) is at 46.5 - 29 or 17.5 degrees. The upper face is at 46.5 + 2.4 or 48.9 degrees. The included angle is 31.4 degrees.

Before the test, each freshly sharpened face was scratched and the distance from certain features on the scratch and the sharp edge measured carefully. After the test (150 passes along the 4 foot test board) the distance from the same features on the scratch to the worn edge was measured. The shortening of the blade was 0.0013" (17 pixels), as measured on both the front and the back.

The green lines represent the observed shortening of the blade. The green lines are perpendicular to the faces because the microscope was perpendicular to the faces.

The worn edge must be at the intersection of these two green lines.

The width of the wear bevels was also measured. The wear bevel on the lower face was 0.00061" (8 pixels) wide, on the upper wear bevel almost 0.003" (40 pixels). So, we know where the wear bevels begin and end.

What do they look like between those points? In fact, I don't know. The red lines in the drawing are my current guess at the shape of the wear bevels.

This is a big change in my understanding of the shape of the wear bevels. I used to think the wear bevels were flatter, coming to a finer point with a smaller included angle than in this drawing. In fact, what you would get if you used steeper front and back microbevels. I now think the worn edge is blunt.

How blunt? If you use my jig when honing, you get a sharp blade as shown by the outer black line. The edge has thickness very nearly zero - it is sharp. At the point shown in this image, the worn edge has a radius of curvature of about 0.0005" (computed from the measurements above).

This is actually a 10 to 1 scale drawing of the 200X images taken of the test blade. This drawing corresponds to a magnification of about 2,000 times.

Plane iron, microbevels - mb 3, wear This is a scale drawing of a worn blade that started out with 3 microbevels on the front and back. It is the same wear profile as above.

The bevels, starting from the edge: red is the wear bevel, blue is the remnant of the third microbevel, gold is the remnant of the second microbevel, green is the remnant of the first microbevel.

Plane iron, microbevels - mb 3, wear, detail This zoomed drawing shows the amount of metal removed at each stage.

Upper Wear Bevel

The wear bevel on the upper surface results from the head on collision between the shaving and the iron. As the shaving turns up the blade and breaks, the pressure on the blade, and hence wear, decreases. After the shaving has moved 0.0028" up the front of the iron, there is no longer sufficient pressure to wear the iron. The shaving (at least when taking shavings less than 0.002" thick) is completely broken by this point.

A few thoughts about the upper wear bevel.


The shape of the worn blade, a shape which all blades gradually assume as they wear during use, as suggested by these measurements, has led me to the following 4 observations:

  1. Unless you remove 0.003" from the blade each time you sharpen, your sharpened blade will continue to have at least part of the back wear bevel.

    So, if you do not use back microbevels, you will have a bit of back wear bevel on your freshly sharpened blade.

  2. Most of the time most people are planing with a back wear bevel.

    This means that most plane users are planing with an angle at the shaving of greater than 45 degrees. Most of the time their planes perform well with this slightly higher planing angle.

  3. The shape of the worn blade depends only partly on the shape of the sharp blade!

    It depends on the included angle and perhaps the bedding and clearance angles to a small degree, but basically every worn blade will look like this right at the edge, no matter what its original geometry was. That is, with or without an original back micro bevel, it will have a back wear bevel during use!

    As soon as you start planing, the blade shape begins to morph from the sharp blade shape to the worn blade shape. Most of the time the blade looks more like a worn blade than a sharp blade.

    Most of the time you will be planing with a back wear bevel.

  4. It makes sense then to start with a back micro bevel.

Lower Wear Bevel

lower wear bevel The lower surface of the iron rubs against the work. This rubbing has the effect of gradually grinding/honing a new bevel on the lower face of the iron. As more metal is ground/honed off, the wear bevel widens.

Let's use the above drawing of a worn blade, where the red lines are my best guess at the shape of the wear bevels.

The first thing to recognize is that the lower wear bevel is where all the contact between the blade and the work take place. The upper wear bevel is where all the contact between the blade and the shaving takes place.

As the two wear bevels widen and the included angle grows, the plane stops cutting easily.

There appear to be two reasons for the poorer cutting action. First, the larger included angle means a blunter cutter. Don't let the scale of this image confuse the problem. In fact, the part of the dull edge that is actually cutting is probably less than 0.0004" wide. This is still a pretty fine cutting tool.

Second, the shape of the lower wear bevel. As you push the plane forward it tends to surf along the wood - to rise up out of the wood. As the lower wear bevel widens, this tendency increases. The person using the plane notices this and increases the downward pressure. This works for a while, but with increased pressure you also get increased friction, leading to increased heat and increased wear rate.

The difference in planing action as the blade goes from very sharp to too dull to use:

Bevel Up Planes

While the same types of wear occur on irons used with the bevel facing up, they present a sharpening problem that is very different from that for bevel down planes. I have not seen this problem discussed directly, although Leonard Lee discusses it indirectly.

Most people sharpen bevel up irons no differently than bevel down irons - they sharpen the main bevel. I think this is a mistake.

In this drawing, the iron is shown as it is used - the bevel side is the upper surface.
  • The black lines represent the sharpened blade -- included angle 30 degrees, bedding angle 12 degrees.
  • The red lines represent the wear bevels. The diagram is roughly to scale: the ratio of the shortening of the iron (0.0002"), the lower (0.0007") and upper (0.0028") wear bevel lengths is what I have observed. This is what you would see if you could look at the worn iron from the side at about 2400 times magnification.
  • The green line represents the bevel side of the iron after sharpening if you only hone the front wear bevel, and stop when you reach the worn edge. Viewed from the front side of the blade, this blade would look sharp. The entire back wear bevel would still be present and this blade would cut very poorly.
  • The blue line represents the bevel side of the iron after sharpening if you only hone the front bevel, and stop when you have entirely removed the lower wear bevel.
grinding metal removal
A sharpening strategy that works both faces would remove less metal -- it would be quicker, use up less abrasive, and increase blade life. If you hone a 3 degree back microbevel, working until you had removed all of the lower wear bevel, you would solve this problem while removing far less metal and not actually shortening the blade.

In this drawing, the yellow line represents the 3 degree back bevel. Do not be misled by the small apparent difference between the lower wear bevel (red line) and the new lower microbevel (yellow line). The lower wear bevel was drawn as a flat surface at about 5 degrees. In fact, it should be a curved surface with the part near the edge horizontal.

By working both the front and the back of the iron at the edge, you can reduce the amount of metal you remove during sharpening by a factor of 10. As well, if you were able to do this perfectly, you would not actually shorten the iron at all during sharpening.

This ten-fold improvement is sharpening efficiency for bevel up irons has no parallel for bevel down irons. In the bevel down case, the wear bevel that must be removed is on the main bevel. It is readily removed using standard sharpening techniques. As shown above, the wear bevel on the back is not removed using standard sharpening practice, but that is not as important.

back bevel metal removal

Larger back bevels

Some hardwoods are particularly prone to tearout. In the past, plane manufacturers solved this problem by building planes with steeper beds. The practice was common enough that these steeper pitches were given special names.


When using my jig with the short jaw 1/8" and the two slips, the back bevel angle is around 3.6 degrees. When added to the plane's bedding angle, the effective angle is 48.6 degrees, or closer to the York pitch than the common pitch.

If you are getting tearout problems you can increase the back bevel angle by making a jig with a taller short jaw. Assuming the tall jaw is 1.75" then you can use this table to find a short jaw height to create any desired back bevel. Or, you can make a wooden slip with thickness equal to the difference between the actual short jaw height and the height in the table. NOTE: The angle shown here is the final back bevel angle, assuming you use the two standard slips when honing the back bevel.

Short jaw heightBack bevel angleEffective angle
1/8"3.6 degrees48.6
1/4"6 degrees51
3/8"8.1 degrees53.1
1/2"10.2 degrees55.2
5/8"12.2 degrees57.2
3/4"14.3 degrees59.3
7/8"16.3 degrees61.3

At the larger angles you will very quickly hone a microbevel wide enough to cause the desired effect. Be very sparing when working these high angle back microbevels.

NOTE I would dedicate an iron to a particular back bevel angle rather than using a single iron and changing the back bevel to suit the wood. While it is easy to increase the back bevel angle, it is much harder to decrease the back bevel angle. The proper procedure for removing a large back bevel is to grind the front primary bevel until the entire back bevel has been removed, then start honing. This is slow, involves regrinding through the existing edge, and shortens the blade. It is much better to dedicate a blade to the steeper back bevel.

The Pits

Not all sharpening sessions work out well. The first time I sharpened this older Stanley iron - PAT. APL 19 92 - I noticed the back was pitted. I usually hope the back bevel will remove the pits, at least right at the edge. In this case, the pits were just too deep. The iron came out of a 604-1/2 bought at auction. The cap iron was resting just at the edge, so the pitting right there was most severe. I think the next sharpening will get past these pits.

All pictures of the back microbevels at 60 times magnification (there are 3 pictures, but you have to look closely to see the join between 2 and 3). From 15 micron on left to 0.5 micron on the right. The yellow line shows the limit of the 5 micron microbevel; below that in pictures 2 and 3 it is remnant of the 15 micron microbevel. The green line shows the limit of the 0.5 micron microbevel; below that in picture 3 is the remnant of the 5 micron microbevel.

This blade worked very well, cut cleanly and lasted well, in spite of the small pitted area.

pitted blade

Check out my jig page for a simple jig you can make in your shop, along with a sharpening set up using sheet abrasives, that reliably produces excellent edges, for all types of irons.


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