What should I do first?
The plane should be completely disassembled. Clean the adjuster and all machined surfaces with a rag dampened in solvent/degreaser. Old toothbrushes are also handy for this work.
To help protect against rust, apply a silicone-free surface treatment such as Boeshield T-9 or Veritas Tool Wax. Use a light machine oil on the adjuster.
How do I sharpen the blade?
First, polish the back of the blade, working your way up to the finest grit of your sharpening medium. The back has been lapped flat, so you are simply polishing this surface to the same degree that you will be honing the bevel.
The next step is to hone the bevel. We recommend using a honing guide because it quickly provides accurate, repeatable results. The 25° bevel blade coupled with the 12° bed is ideal for soft- to medium-hard woods. For harder material, you may want to add a micro-bevel for better edge retention.
How do I set the blade?
The lever cap screw should be snug enough but not overtightened. A quarter turn after full engagement is plenty. Never torque it down – this may damage the plane.
Begin by setting the blade parallel to the sole. Start with the blade slightly retracted and the cutting edge approximately parallel. Advance the blade slightly, and use a small scrap of wood (approximately 1/8" × 1" × 2" to 3") to test the cutting edge as it emerges. Run the scrap wood past the cutting edge at both corners of the blade.
If the blade doesn’t take a shaving, advance it slightly and try again. Since this plane lacks a lateral adjuster, you’ll need to back off slightly on the lever cap screw to shift the blade. You’re aiming for both shavings to be the same thickness. Once you’re satisfied the blade is parallel to the sole, tighten the side stop screws against the sides of the blade and back them off slightly. This ensures the blade returns to approximately the same position when you remove it for resharpening, but you may need to fine-tune its lateral adjustment to a small degree.
With the blade sharpened and the plane properly adjusted, it’s time to make shavings. In the next section, we’ll show you how to put it to work, and give some tips on how to look after it so it performs well for years to come.
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