Honing Back Bevels
If you have a bevel-down plane, a back bevel can be an effective tactic for taming tear-out in reversing grain. With a bevel-up plane, a back bevel can help the blade stay sharp longer in dense woods.
As the name suggests, a back bevel is honed on the back of the blade, and its effect depends on the type of plane you have. On a bevel-down plane, it increases the effective cutting angle; if the plane is bedded at 45°, a 10° back bevel yields a 55° cutting angle. For a bevel-up plane, a back bevel is used to increase the included angle of the blade, thereby improving edge retention. It doesn’t alter the cutting angle.
Simply set the blade carrier in the (green) back-bevel configuration and the blade registration stop on the green scale. When you’re installing the blade, ensure that the bevel is facing down in the carrier (opposite to its conventional orientation).
Photo 8 – The honing guide makes the sharpening of a back bevel at a precise angle easy.
Photo 9 – Back-bevelled blades are equipped to handle difficult grains well.