The Ruler Trick

For those unfamiliar with this little time-saving trick from David Charlesworth look here. This is a great device for old plane irons that can have backs almost impossible to flatten. Do beware, some of the demonstrations on the web show rulers that are too thick. What you want for this trick is a cheap ruler that is only 0.020″ thick and no more. It is just another device that make sharpening quick. And that is the object. Get your tool sharpened as quickly as possible and get back to woodworking.

As always thanks for stopping by and please feel free to leave a comment.


Professional furniture maker and restorer. Dealer and collector of vintage and antique woodworking tools.
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2 Responses to The Ruler Trick

  1. The “ruler trick” may be a quick method to get an out-of-flat plane iron sharp once or twice but wear bevels are cumulative. You’re not starting out with a fresh flat face after the ruler trick and you have to replace the dubbing from wear with intentional dubbing for it to work. Each use of the “ruler trick” leaves the woodworker with an ever growing and steepening wear bevel on the flat face of the plane iron. Getting and keeping things flat in the first place is just a lot easier and faster:

    • I recommend flattening the back of any plane iron the first time around if for no other reason than giving yourself a proper cutting edge to begin with. After that I have found the ruler trick to be a fast way to get back to sharp. My question is this, when re-sharpening, if you don’t remove the wear bevel, created from use, have you really re-sharpened your plane iron?

      Thank you for your comments and the link to your vey informative video.

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