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Kittyhawk

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I have a 22° block plane and I keep the blade razor sharp. The cutting bevel on the blade is honed to 25°. However the blade chatters over the workpiece unless I give quite a lot of downward pressure. I am not planing end grain. Something is amiss and I don't know what it is. Any advice please?
 

Jacob

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Loose fit? Or too coarse a cut? Try winding blade right back and advance it a little at a time until it just starts to cut. Easier on the edge of a thin board rather than the face of something wider. See how it goes.
n.b. you wouldn't expect to get a full width cut with a block plane - a bit of camber might help.
 

Argus

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As above...........plus, and very often, a little wipe of light oil on the sole helps the passage of the sole.
It won't do any harm.
 

Kittyhawk

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I wipe the sole with a candle now and then which helps...
But I think you have solved my problem in that you are advocating very fine blade adjustments which I have difficulty doing. The plane is a tap the blade or the heel with a hammer job for advance/regard which i imagine doesn't lend itself to the very fine adjustments you are advising. Do I have to spend some money on a new one?
 

Jacob

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I wipe the sole with a candle now and then which helps...
But I think you have solved my problem in that you are advocating very fine blade adjustments which I have difficulty doing. The plane is a tap the blade or the heel with a hammer job for advance/regard which i imagine doesn't lend itself to the very fine adjustments you are advising. Do I have to spend some money on a new one?
They are adjustable but with more difficulty. Practice, practice! A little pin hammer might help?
 

Adam W.

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Agree.

I adjust all my planes with a hammer, it's a good way to get fine side movement on an iron of a metal plane and the only way to get any fine adjustment on a wooden plane.

Get a really small hammer and do light taps.
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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I have a 22° block plane and I keep the blade razor sharp. The cutting bevel on the blade is honed to 25°. However the blade chatters over the workpiece unless I give quite a lot of downward pressure. I am not planing end grain. Something is amiss and I don't know what it is. Any advice please?
What make? What is the bed angle - 12 or 20 degrees?

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

D_W

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It may have a flatness issue or an issue with something not locking down tight. One of those two. If this plane has an adjustable mouth (even if it doesn't), it's not likely that it's been used a bunch and retightened and remains clean and flat.

If you're using a block plane to do closer work vs. beveling bits on a construction site, the setup will be a little bit more demanding.

Once they're set up properly, there's nothing they won't plane, though - even with blades made of cheese.
 

Nigel Burden

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I have an old Record tap adjust block plane. With a bit of practice you can achieve fine adjustment, but you don't want to be taking heavy cut with it. If you have some wooden planes, use them for a while, you'll soon become proficient at tap adjusting.

I have recently made a wooden mitre plane. The mouth is tight, and only requires a gentle tap to advance the blade which is set for a very fine cut.

Nigel.
 

Kittyhawk

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In the theory that a look is worth a thousand words, here is my block plane. It is a no-name brand probably originating in China and I paid $2 for it second hand. The sole of the plane is totally flat as is the blade which appears to be good quality as it holds a super sharp edge. The blade is well secured into the body. At the end of each days work I use a honing guide and give the blade a quick lick on 800 and then 1500 grit emery paper. The wooden thing is an aeroplane wing. The first block plane operation is to plane a taper from wing root to tip. This is where I get the chatter. The second operation is to plane an aerofoil shape into the cross section of the wing and this causes no difficulties at all. To be fair, I like to use heart Rimu for the wings to get the grain colouration and it can be a pretty hard timber. This chatter is an irritation rather than a major problem and I wonder if it can be overcome by a change to the blade cutting bevel angle which is 25°. It is
20210518_100131.jpg
a 22° block plane.
 

Jacob

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In the theory that a look is worth a thousand words, here is my block plane. It is a no-name brand probably originating in China and I paid $2 for it second hand. The sole of the plane is totally flat as is the blade which appears to be good quality as it holds a super sharp edge. The blade is well secured into the body. At the end of each days work I use a honing guide and give the blade a quick lick on 800 and then 1500 grit emery paper. The wooden thing is an aeroplane wing. The first block plane operation is to plane a taper from wing root to tip. This is where I get the chatter. The second operation is to plane an aerofoil shape into the cross section of the wing and this causes no difficulties at all. To be fair, I like to use heart Rimu for the wings to get the grain colouration and it can be a pretty hard timber. This chatter is an irritation rather than a major problem and I wonder if it can be overcome by a change to the blade cutting bevel angle which is 25°. It isView attachment 110762 a 22° block plane.
Nothing to do with cutting angles. I'd use a stone, not emery paper
How are you holding the workpiece?
Such a small thin piece needs to be solidly clamped down - on the corner of a table perhaps, so you can get at it with the plane. Or at least to work it against a stop.
Also you can probably only work it in one direction - from root to tip. You might have to move the clamp and change the corner of the table to get at opposite sides. If the underside isn't flat then it might need supporting with a bit of card or something, to keep it solid.
 
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Adam W.

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Are you using one hand to hold the wood and planing with the other ?

If so, you could sink a rebated form of it in a piece of scrap, put it in that and clamp the scrap to the bench. You can use both hands to plane it with then and get some decent pressure on the toe of the plane.
 

Kittyhawk

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The work is tightly held. Because of the odd shaped bits of wood I work on, I built a vice a while ago out of some sort of New Guinea hardwood. I would describe it as a modified leg vice but with an adjustable jaw that conforms to the taper of the bit being held, within reason. It was a make it up as you go along job, but it works quite well.
Concerning honing, I would be most reluctant to go back to stones. Professional wood workers I know have three or four stones of different grits that they use in sequence on plane and chisel blades. Good quality stones are hellishly expensive here in NZ, too dear for me. We do have some from India which are pretty crummy, double sided stones called 'coarse' and 'fine'. Ok for kitchen knives, maybe. So I lay abrasive paper on my sawbench which of course is totally flat. If I have some serious correction to do I will start with 180 grit. Otherwise, normal honing will be 400, 800 and then 1500grit, bevel and back. This produces a shaving edge. Sometimes I finish with 2000grit and this will give a mirror finish to the steel and an edge that will cut you just by looking at it. With standard sized sheets each stroke is much longer than you can do on a stone, in my opinion it is also much quicker and when the paper is worn out you buy a new bit for $2.
As stated, the chattering is an irritant rather than a big problem and I can overcome it with pressure on the toe. But I see people using a block plane one-handed. I can't so I think something is wrong with my set up and it annoys me.
 

profchris

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This is just a guess, but based on my experience working thin plates for ukuleles and guitars.

If the edge of your wing protrudes more than around 1/4 inch from whatever is clamping it, then the plate will vibrate as you plane. This is likely to cause chatter.

For planing an edge like that, I simply place a piece of wood flat on the bench, hold the plate down on top of it with finger pressure with 1/4 inch or less protruding, and then run the plane on its side, resting on the bench. Very like using a shooting board. No chatter.

If the wood is fighting the plane I just clamp the plate and piece of wood down to the bench to get a better hold.
 

Jacob

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As stated, the chattering is an irritant rather than a big problem and I can overcome it with pressure on the toe. But I see people using a block plane one-handed. I can't so I think something is wrong with my set up and it annoys me.
Block planes are designed and intended for one handed use. That's why they have a low angle blade with a nicely rounded cover to fit your palm - with one finger on the button. Maybe practice a bit more on some scrap.
 

Adam W.

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If you can do it with two hands and not one, it's bound to be a lack of pressure on the toe. Maybe it's because you have a hard timber and it just needs that extra weight to get it to cut.
 

Kittyhawk

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This is just a guess, but based on my experience working thin plates for ukuleles and guitars.

If the edge of your wing protrudes more than around 1/4 inch from whatever is clamping it, then the plate will vibrate as you plane. This is likely to cause chatter.
Thank you. I had not considered the possibility of workpiece flex before. All of the stuff I'm trying to plane is 8mm thick maximum, mostly less and I know that it flexes a bit in my oddball vice. I've got some 30mm stock which should be plenty rigid enough to test plane one handed. Will try it tomorrow morning, looking forward to it.
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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Kittyhawk, the block plane you show is a copy of a Stanley #102. To be quite blunt, it does not get much worse! There is hardly any support for the blade (which is the biggest factor causing your chatter). That lever cap needs to be cranked down. The blade must be sharp (of course). And you need to set it for fine shavings.

It can be done.

The plane is essentially the same as my "Orange Block Plane", about which I wrote this review many years ago. Read it. It's fun :)


Regards from Perth

Derek
 
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