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Axminster 5 1/2 plane issues?

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HomeyJay

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Just bought this yesterday and am pretty happy with the quality of cut and the solidity of the thing but mine has a massive amount of play on the depth of cut knob. It pretty much spins freely (maybe 6 - 8 revs) up until a bite point where it starts moving the cutter. Once it gets to where I need it, if I need to move it again, it’s another 6 revs of nothing before any adjustment etc. It gets old pretty quickly!

Is this normal?
 

sammy.se

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It's normal on all of my planes. The knob picks up the slack before moving the blade.

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sammy.se

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I have record and Stanley plane btw

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MikeG.

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HomeyJay":osynbpk5 said:
Just bought this yesterday and am pretty happy with the quality of cut and the solidity of the thing but mine has a massive amount of play on the depth of cut knob. It pretty much spins freely (maybe 6 - 8 revs) up until a bite point where it starts moving the cutter. Once it gets to where I need it, if I need to move it again, it’s another 6 revs of nothing before any adjustment etc. It gets old pretty quickly!

Is this normal?
It's called backlash, and it is normal. However, that amount of backlash is more than I am used to (my planes are Stanley and Record).
 

HappyHacker

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I have a few old Record and Stanley planes and the amount of play is different on each of them, I had never counted the number of turns though. Six full turns does seem excessive on a new plane. If I get time today I will have a play and let you know.
 

SammyQ

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It can be fettled/dialed out, but this degree of slop is more akin to 60 years old than 60 mins put if the box!

Sam
 

Rich C

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Most of my planes are 70+ years old and have a couple of turns of backlash. 6 seems really high.
 

AndyT

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I agree it seems high, but it really doesn't matter and will not affect the surface of the wood. It's not surprising in a tool which has low price as one of its most important features.

If you look at the plane for a moment you can see that there are several places where there needs to be a little bit of a gap for the adjuster to work. Between the ends of the yoke and the sides of the groove on the knob. Between the yoke and the pin. Between the tip of the yoke and the top and bottom of the slot in the cap iron.
Each component will have been made to finish at a size somewhere between too small and too big. Probably your plane is at the end of the size range in each case and so the gaps all add up.

If it really bothers you you could try to build up extra metal in each of these places, but it won't be easy and there's really no point.
 

Mr_Pea

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Is the hole on the chip breaker/ cap iron very big ?

Remove the lever cap and watch it in action.
 

HappyHacker

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Free turns in no particular order:

2, 1.5, 3, 1.75, 2.25, 4, 2, 1.5

Various ages of Stanley and Record but nothing new, all acquired second hand or hand me downs.

Now I have to work out why I have 8 planes
 

AndyT

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HappyHacker":2fnslle1 said:
Now I have to work out why I have 8 planes
Because you haven't got the others yet? :)
 

Bm101

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phil.p":2q4tq74v said:
Set your plane when winding the iron out. If too deep wind it back and start again. The play doesn't then matter.
What Phil said.
If you go from a deeper set of iron (deeper cut) to a shallower cut wind your iron in and then out again. I was advised not to use a plane with the adjuster set in reverse (if you like) and it makes sense to me. Unless you are constantly adjusting your depth of cut on the fly then it's not an issue.
All my planes have backlash too. I have a QS low angle one that has hardly any right through to an old stanley 3 thats 4/5/6 turns. It works just fine as a plane. The tuning is elsewhere as far as I'm concerned(as a relative beginner mind) Unless you go to maybe the likes of a specialist maker and remortgage or jump in price to a LNielsen etc why worry and just use it. I'd concentrate far more on how you fettle the rest of it tbh. The sitting of the frog, dressing the component parts so it's all working in unity, all that stuff. One off jobs but worth doing well once.
Cheers.
Like happy hacker I have too many planes. *does a happy dance*

I'm not sorry. Beginners error and i should sell a couple that came my way by accident but the rest are keepers, my little shed buddies.
They ent' goin' nowhere!
 

ED65

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HomeyJay, are you sure it's a actually 6-8 full turns? Reason I ask is that after just checking on my planes it's pretty consistent on every one, in either direction; and "maybe 6-8" sounds like you're going with an impression, and be assured these can be way off. Mark the wheel with a bit of tape or something and actually count revolutions.

If what you actually have to do is 6-8 flicks of the wheel that's towards the upper end but still within normal limits. If it is 6, 7 or 8 revolutions that is a lot.

Because I pay so little attention to this – the amount of slop/backlash is what it is, I don't sweat the differences plane to plane (although it is nice when there's less) – I had to use a tape marker and actually do the count on even the plane I have used the most over the past five years, and the results surprised me. For every plane I currently have access to it's:

2 and a smidge.
2 1/2 -2 3/4... this is my user with the most play in the mechanism, and my mental estimate of the number of turns was way off. I thought it was far more than the preceding or next plane's.
2 1/8

2 1/4
2 1/4 - 2 1/2
2
1 1/8 (!)

That last one, a no. 5, the reason there's so little slop is the Y-lever (two-part type, not cast) is just a particularly good fit to the slot on the cap iron. Rather sadly this is a Frankenplane so the best adjustment of the lot, by far, might just be an accidental byproduct of the parts used!
 

Jacob

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If you do manage to reduce the slack don't do it to zero - you still need a bit of "feel" to tell you if you are pushing or pulling.
Mine all have plenty of slack. After they have worn in the adjuster wheels just spin easily with one flick. Maybe a dab of oil would help?
 

D_W

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Ditto that. I'd prefer a plane with a turn or two of backlash - anything with a true zero-lash adjuster is a real pain to use - there's little touch with an adjuster like that even though it seems like it should be easier to make fine adjustments.

6 full turns is absurd. with a fraction of that amount, you'll end up getting the right feel while adjusting, and you'll be doing the adjusting while you're observing or thinking about something else, anyway.
 
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