Tips & Tricks Issue 95: Flattening a Plane Sole

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This article is from Issue 95 of Woodcraft Magazine.

Flattening a plane sole typically involves rubbing it on an abrasive that’s sitting atop a dead-flat surface like a cast iron table saw wing or slab of reference granite. For abrasive, I’ve used wet/dry carborundum paper, but it seems to lose its aggressiveness pretty quickly. Alternatively, I’ve used silicon carbide powder, but that can undesirably abrade my reference surface. I finally realized that combining the two is a better approach. I start off with carborundum paper attached with spray adhesive. Then, as the paper dulls, I sprinkle it with silicone carbide powder, adding more as necessary to get the job done. That way, I make the most of the paper and powder while protecting my reference surface. 

—Paul Walco, Toledo, OH

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