How to Sharpen a Planer Blade

8 November 2010


There are many ways to sharpen a planer blade instead of replacing and throwing them away. This article will introduce one easy way.

The Planer and Planer Blades

The planer used is as shown. It has 2 blades, each has a length of 3-1/4" and are made of HSS steel.

When the blades are blunt, it will not give a good cutting surface on the wood and the surface will have a fluffy feeling.
The Sharpening Tools

The usual way to sharpen the blade is to use a standard blade sharpening tool which has adjusting screws for angle and other adjustments. Grinding stones are often used. The sharpening work will require some professional skill to prepare grinding stones etc. This article will introduce a simple and yet effective way for DIYs using tools that can be made in just less than ½ hour. No professional skill really required.

The Materials

a) A base made from a piece of plywood measuring around 100 mm x 75 mm ( 4” x 3”) or with the width to suit the length of the blade;
b) A 15 mm PVC tube of about 75 mm (3”) in length;
c) 4 wood screws and washers; 2 shorter ones to tighten the blade to the base and 2 longer ones to tighten to the base to a PVC tube for adjustment of the blade angle;
d) 2 pieces of water base sand papers; one of 240 grade and the other of 300 grade or finer
e) Optional: a set of rollers to be mounted underneath the 15 mm PVC tube so that the base can slide freely on the sand papers. One can use the small rollers that is stripped from the spoilt computer mouse for this purpose.

Other tools required are electric drills and suitable drill bits

The Set Up

a) Drill 2 rows of holes and 2 small holes as shown on the base
b) Drill 2 small holes on the PVC tube to hold the longer screws

The Completed Assembly


1. One can omit having rollers mounting beneath the PVC if one can always place the PVC tube outside the sand paper area. Anyway, PVC tube are replaceable if they are worn.

2. Constantly check the grinding surface of the blade and adjust the angle of the blade to be grinded. When the angle is correct, make a marking on the PVC tube and the base.

3. When the blade is ready, one should feel the blurs on the opposite edge of the blade. Dismantle the blade and grind away the blur on a fine sand paper. To ensure the blade is always placed at a small angle to the sand paper, one can use a steel ruler or the back of another sand paper to "jack" up the opposite end of the blade when grinding away the blurs.

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