How many passes do you take with a smooth plane before you need to address the edge? 100? 200? I have no idea, but it's a lot. The point is that the profiled planes do not require maintenance nearly as often as, say, your smooth plane. You're just not taking that many passes with them. Let the rabbet plane do the work.
Look at the actual material that profiled planes are removing in this ogee.
Step 1 and 2 are executed with a rabbet plane which has a straight iron.
In the perfect world of google sketch up you will take 3-5 passes with the hollow in step 3. Ideally, you will knock some of those corners in step 4 off with a rabbet and you will also take 3-5 passes with the round. You should be taking as few passes as possible.
*Note: I will link to a few products below. I'm not going to get in an oil stone vs. water stone vs. sandpaper argument. I imagine they all work well. I use oil stones. I've never used any other methods. I'm happy here. You be happy there. Additionally, I'm not endorsing products. I'm pointing you to examples of which I will be talking. I cannot speak to various grits. I just don't know. The links are simply representative of what I have.
Let us not make light of the sharpening subject by stating that you don't take many passes with them. The quality of edge and the profile of the edge vs. the profile of the sole are CRUCIAL to performance and should not be overlooked or understated. In fact, if your plane is clogging and your wood is oriented properly, these two factors should be looked at first.
**Note: First things first. If you ever lack the confidence to sharpen a profiled molding plane iron get a mid-swept, mid-width carving gouge. Learn all of the skills below on a carving gouge before a plane iron. There is significant room for error with a gouge when compared to a plane iron, which is nil. You will learn to rock the gouge across the stone. You will learn to use slip stones inside of the gouge's canal. You will learn how wonderful a strop is. The movements are not exactly the same, but if you can sharpen a gouge you can sharpen one of these. It may take you a long time, but you can do it. (And, as a bonus, once you can sharpen a molding plane iron efficiently you will be incredible at sharpening carving gouges.)
Here we go...
Probably four out of five times that I need to address the edge (really any edge) I bring it to a leather strop (or piece of flattened maple for the iron's back) charged with green honing compound. If you attempt to hold the iron at the proper angle you won't mess anything up at this stage. Just don't hold the iron at 90 degrees and scrape the strop. I pinch the strop for the hollow and lay it flat on my bench for a round. Get both sides and get back to work.
On the fifth time you will need to go to a fine, unaggressive stone. Both sides of a round's iron are done on a flat stone. You will need some sort of slip stone for the bevel of the hollow. I imagine you can also use sandpaper on a dowel. I even saw water slip stones in a recent catalogue for the first time.
People use slip stones differently. Some move the iron while holding the stone still. I move the stone while holding the hollow's iron steady. Start at an angle you think is slightly too shallow and take several passes. Look at the edge. You can see if you dulled the finish from the strop at the bevel's edge or at the heal of the bevel. Slowly steepen the angle at which you're holding the stone until you're touching the bevel's edge. Take five to ten long sweeping motions. Do not take 50 short staggered, abrupt sawing motions because this WILL cause problems as you develop gutters (?) that the slip stone will rest in. Flatten the back on your unaggressive stone, repeat and strop.
If you're holding the stone at the proper angle and intentionally addressing the entire edge, the few passes that you take with this unaggressive slip should not affect the iron's profile while still establishing a new edge.
A round will follow the same idea. Take long sweeping passes while intentionally holding the iron at the proper angle and addressing the entire edge. Flatten the back, repeat and strop. Do not lean heavily upon the iron.
By the time you need to go to a more aggressive flat stone and slip stone where you can quickly and drastically affect the profile, you will have executed the above, unaggressive step several times with that iron and with others. You will have the skill down. If you don't, PLEASE practice on a carving gouge.
What you see above is pretty much all I use other than a diamond stone to start off. When I started carving and using molding planes I also used one of these conical stones. The more I sharpen, the less I use this stone. I really only use it now to dig myself out of deep holes, usually 30 minutes after I should have grabbed it.
I know what you are thinking... What is Matt talking about? We need Google Sketch-ups!
Well, I have a treat for you. I had grand ideas of posting 10 small videos showing all these different steps up close. But I have bills to pay and chose not to afford you the time. I think I have something better.
A lot of times I've seen videos and they show an hours work condensed into minutes. A bombe chest in a series of short web episodes...A router table in one PBS time slot...A pair of hollows and rounds in 2 hours... a 3 minute dovetail? I saw Chuck Bender of Acanthus Workshop (this is a plug) nearly do one in person, but I still think it was condensed.
I let the camera roll in my shop today. I started with the iron directly off the grinder and out of heat treating. I'm starting at square one flattening the back and finishing with the end product. There's no verbal instruction and no camera girl getting the perfect angle. I'd probably prefer that you don't take your time to watch them completely because I may find it a little weird. You can zip through them as you please, but everything, in its entirety, is in here.
I'm working with a #8 round here. You will see me rocking the iron across the various stones. About the time when I move the camera I switch from the course india to the fine arkansas. I make the switch once the profile is very close. You will also see my shop friend and middle son, Thaddeus.
Here I'm working with with a #6 hollow. You'll see how I hold the slips.
The one thing I didn't include is how, once everything is perfect, I like to take a ruler out to perform the ruler trick, and screw everything up....ha ha ha, just kidding Larry.
A few final thoughts: You can see any areas that need to be readdressed by the uniformity of the shaving's thickness. It's pretty obvious, especially when it's not cutting in a certain place. 5-10 minutes spent at the grinder and with files before heat treating can save significant time on the stones. It will change 90 minutes of frustration into the 15 you see above
If you want more detailed footage I'll recommend that you get Larry Williams DVD. I've never seen it but I imagine it's very good and detailed. I hope somebody will chime in and give it a first person endorsement in the comment section.
I may have missed something. Ask questions.
Also, I will be at the Lie Nielsen event in Brooklyn this weekend. I will have a starter set that gets mailed on Monday with me. Come check out what I deliver, if only to compare them to your antique gems. I will also, as usual, have one of everything represented on my website set up for you or me to use. Bring questions, bring requests.