A customer in Baldwin County Alabama sent twelve of these 20″ planer blades for sharpening. They were in very bad shape and I had doubts as to whether the blades were worth the effort of restoring and sharpening. In fact, it occurs to me just now that that was exactly what would have to be done – a restoration project.
I kept thinking of what was written on the planer blades cardboard containers the blades were sent in. In dark, broad script was written, “NO Good. Can’t be Sharpened.” I enterpreted this as a tell-tell sign the customer knew the condition of the blades. So, what the heck. Let’s do it.
The video shows one of the blades being stone ground with a 800 grit whetrock. This was actually about the third step of the entire process. The first step was a thorough wire wheel cleaning followed by step two – using a fine mill cut file to remove the severe dings on the cutting bevel. The dings, obviously caused by nails, etc., had curled the cutting edge back on the bevel surface. Bad, bad, bad.
I was very happy with the end result of this work. The blades were very sharp with only a few remaining dents (probably less than 1/32″) that I left. My decision was that too much blade surface would have to be removed just to correct the most minor of flaws.
When the work was done, I called the customer and told him of the entire ordeal and in the kindest of ways let him know how bad the blades were and my disapointment in the fact that anyone would let planer blades get in that kind of shape. (I was gentle). The customer chuckled and said everything was fine; he was accustomed to tearing up blades as his shop uses only reclaimed lumber and specializes in dealing with well heeled clients. I emailed the invoice and when payment was made, through Paypal, Vickie and I drove to the post office and sent the blades on their way.
My final thoughts on this job.
- Please don’t take this story as encouragement to send me your destroyed blades. I am willing to tackle even the toughest of sharpening projects but I have to receive fair compensation for my time.
- It might be best to contact me by phone (251-five-eight-three-595-five) if you are hoping to restore and sharpen expensive-to-replace blades of any type.
- The fee is $1.25 per blade inch. Yes, you can replace some cheaper Chiwanese blades for less than the price of sharpening them. Please check your price for replacement. You may qualify for membership in the throw-away-society.
- Planer blade sharpening fees is for standard 1/8″ blades. Blades that are 1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″ or 1/2″ will be slightly higher and their condition influences the price.
- Sharpening fee for carbide blades are $2.00 per blade inch.
- I flat grind planer and jointer blades. It makes for a stronger edge and it gives you the opportunity to hand hone the blades a few times between re-grinds here in the shop.
- All work on the bevel is perpendicular to the edge which raises the most acute wire edge which is polished off. If you want your blades bias-flat-grind, be sure to indicate this.