Router Plane  

Image to the right shows nomenclature used in this outline. The vertical part of the blade (which affixes to the tool holder) is shown perpendicular to the surface of the wood.

As with chisels and plane blades, both surfaces which interface to make the cutting edge must be honed. This is the angle β in the picture to the right.

It is critical that α ≥ 0. The toe (cutting edge) must not be higher than the foot (opposite from the cutting edge). If this is not the case, the cutting edge will not engage with the wood properly and will not cut correctly.

How are such old tool designs still so relevant in today's world where we have the Internet and CNC systems? It is probably because we are clamoring for a simpler time.

Rich Colvin

General Guidelines
Type β α Notes Recommended
Tormek Jigs
Traditional 30° 2° - 5°

Top Face: When using the Tormek to sharpen the β; angle, use the SE-77 jig.

The multi-base (MB-100 or MB-102) is also needed as the top face must be sharpened using the side of the grinding wheel.

Bottom Face: When using the Tormek to shape or sharpen the α angle, use the SE-77 jig.

Melbourne Tool Company 30° n/a

Melbourne Tool Company introduced a set of router planes which use a straight blade. When Using the Tormek to sharpen these, use the SE-77 jig.

If the blade is too short to sharpen using the SE-77, then add the use of a multi-base (MB-100 or MB-102) to sharpen the blade's edge on the side of the grindstone.


Notes & Comments

Information regarding Grindstones

When grinding on the side of the grinding stone, the diamond grindstones are recommended.

It is a good practice to note the blade's angle(s) in one of these ways:

  1. Record a reference number on the blade, and use an index card to keep the pertinent information for that blade.

    This is the preferred method as it also allows for noting other information about the blade such as metal type, where & when purchased (and cost), and any other sharpening notes.

  2. Record the angle on the blade itself.

More Information

Books & Papers

Videos & Presentations

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About this site
Remember : The goal of sharpening is to produce sharp tools, and these tools can injure you if mishandled. Safety measures should be followed to protect yourself and those in your shop. Be sure to read and follow all instructions from the manufacturer, and and utilize proper safety equipment. Never consume alcohol or anything that could impair your judgement before sharpening tools, or using sharp tools. Comments can be sent via eMail to me at