Sharpening HP-6 irons

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Sharpening HP-6 irons

Postby » Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:29 pm

I have a sharpening question about the HP-6 irons. I have read and heard that the back of the irons should never be honed. Okay, but my problem is that while some blades come with the finest mirror finish that I have ever seen, some do not. In fact some are a bit rough. On the rougher irons I cannot get a shaving edge by honing the beveled edge alone. I also note that since these are bevel-down planes, the flat back actually does the cutting and bears the brunt of the wear and deformation. If that deformation is never flattened or polished out, how do I get or maintain a shaving quality edge? Why is there a problem with polishing the entire back flat and sharp? Is this true even with an 8000 grit water stone?

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Re: Sharpening HP-6 irons

Postby rwest » Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:01 pm

Hi Jim,

On any Irons that don't have the factory mirror finish, you should go through your usual back flattening/honing process. If the mirror finish is there, you will degrade it by using even an 8,000 stone, so in that case, sharpen the bevel with the hones or your stones and then just strop the very edge of the back to remove the burr.

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