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ECE scrub plane: Iron quality?

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Fromey

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I'm thinking of buying a scrub plane. Other than an old Stanley/Record, there seems to be only two options;

Veritas which comes in high carbon steel blade or A2 steel blade

or

ECE which comes in i don't know grade steel (probably high carbon)

The ECE is half the price, plus I'd like to own a wooden plane with a wedged blade, but my main concern is the quality of the blade.

Could someone give me some low-down on the quality of the ECE planes/blades?

Thanks in advance.
 

Jacob

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I bought one - just wanted to see what all the fuss was about. The ECE works brilliantly and the steel seems perfectly OK. I don't see the point of the Veritas at that price.
NB there is a general notion that a scrub plane is for "rapid stock removal" but this is wrong IMHO. It's more for deep stock removal i.e. lifts off a bad surface (grit, paint or whatever) by cutting into the clean wood instead of scratching through the rubbish.
Hence the name "scrub". Perfect for scrubbing clean some old scaffold boards for instance.

Just had a look at the Veritas site. It says
The scrub plane is the tool of choice for major stock removal, the first step when flattening rough stock by hand. .
This is wrong. For normal sawn stock you wouldn't need it at all. For un-sawn rough stock (riven, axed etc) it's one tool you might use along with alternatives such as axe, adze, saw, jack plane, draw knife etc. Or most likely - a rough old plane with a steeply cambered blade, set aside for rough work i.e. the original scrub plane!
In other words most woodworkers will never need one, which is why old ones are so uncommon.
 

Paul Chapman

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Hi Fromey,

Despite what Jacob says, scrub planes can be very useful particularly if, like me, you don't have any machinery and work mainly with hand tools. I have the Veritas scrub but I've previously used modified bench planes as scrubs. I find that the Veritas works better because it has a very thick blade and is therefore far more rigid. I can't see from the links you posted what the thickness of the blade is in the ECE scrub, but I'd say it's more important to consider the thickness of the blade rather than whether it's made from A2 or high-carbon steel. Maybe Jacob can say how thick the blade is.

Hope this helps.

Cheers :wink:

Paul
 

Fromey

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Thanks Paul. I understand the controversy about scrub planes and their use. Chris Schwarz has an online article somewhere that suggests they were intended for edge planing.

I don't have any machines other than a router and a drill, so I need a way to quickly thickness wood. Like in this video. I'll now research the thickness of ECE blades.
 

Paul Chapman

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Fromey":10ijf1us said:
Thanks Paul. I understand the controversy about scrub planes and their use. Chris Schwarz has an online article somewhere that suggests they were intended for edge planing.
Like Chris Schwarz, I use mine mostly for reducing wood in width rather than thickness. The other thing you might want to consider is a toothed blade. See video clip here from Deneb Puchalski http://www.youtube.com/user/lienielsent ... l8Tj1lUha4 I use one in a bevel-down plane and find it very useful when preparing boards





Cheers :wink:

Paul
 

Jacob

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Controversy? What controversy? Just a healthy variety of opinions.
ECE blade is 2.7mm thick. Thick enough without a doubt, as I know from using one, and as David Moore demonstrated in his video
The video is good. Yes by all means a scrub plane would be handy for that job, if you had one, but by no means essential. Most people would use a cambered jack (5 or 5 1/2).
The only omission he makes in his video is to point out that the square edges would be sawn before any surfaces were planed. Everything reduced to finished size plus planing allowance, before any planing begins. He is joining two waney edge boards but this is relatively uncommon.
Yes you could use a scrub plane for the edges but no particular point as a jack would be perfectly adequate. The scrub finish is very rough - even a hand rip-sawed edge would be smoother.
The scrub plane was more or less obsolete until re-invented by LV and LN. I don't know if the ECE has been in continuous production.

As for different steels, they are all the same to me - they go blunt , you sharpen them.
But I guess (this is a guess) that softer steel might be better in a scrub plane, as, if dinged against a nail for instance, you will get a nick but be able to carry on planing, whereas harder steels might break or crumble, stopping you planing and require more remedial work. "Crumbly" seems to be the word with A2 etc.
 

bugbear

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Fromey":1kl9ky6w said:
I'm thinking of buying a scrub plane. Other than an old Stanley/Record, there seems to be only two options;

Veritas which comes in high carbon steel blade or A2 steel blade

or

ECE which comes in i don't know grade steel (probably high carbon)

The ECE is half the price, plus I'd like to own a wooden plane with a wedged blade, but my main concern is the quality of the blade.

Could someone give me some low-down on the quality of the ECE planes/blades?

Thanks in advance.
You list your main options if you're buying new.

There are other ways.

You could make your own, fairly easy if you use Krenov style construction, and a scrub doesn't have tight tolerances.

But I would recommend buying an old wooden jack plane, preferably a worn one with a wide mouth, and converting it. Should cost you less than a fiver at a car boot, and they're dirt common.

Cheap, fun and effective. Great blades!

http://web.archive.org/web/200901141057 ... scrub.html

They work extremely well for either taking large amounts of wind and cup out of a board, or for thicknessing.

BugBear
 

Paul Chapman

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bugbear":3fdd27mq said:
They work extremely well
I tried out BugBear's scrub plane a couple of years ago. It worked really well - one of the best scrub planes I've ever used in terms of performance.

Cheers :wink:

Paul
 

Jacob

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BBs plane still has the wide blade but the purpose made scrubbers are narrow.
The whole idea is to obtain a deep and narrow cut. Deep and wide is too hard work. Wide or narrow, shallow puts the cut into the surface gunge.
Home made version here support-for-scrub-planes-t51182-15.html where someone split a plane lengthways to reduce the width and accommodate a narrow blade, making it into a more useful scrubber.
 

bugbear

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Jacob":151vkj2c said:
BBs plane still has the wide blade but the purpose made scrubbers are narrow.
Agreed.

But since I put a tight radius on the cutting edge, the cut is deep and narrow, even though the blade isn't.

Further, it means that the shavings are well clear of the abutments and wedge arms, leading to excellent shavings ejection.

It works very well in practice, but it's just another point on the furring-to-jack spectrum.

BugBear
 

matthewwh

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ECE use Chrome Vanadium steel, not ideal in a smoother but fine for a scrub. (I've got one of their smoothers that I've converted for scrubbing too - anyone see a pattern emerging?)

I find it useful for thicknessing boards that are too wide for my thicknesser and a real labour saver for initial removal of significant cupping / wind etc.

Wonderful things - everyone should have one!
 

Jacob

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matthewwh":pm41aaif said:
....(I've got one of their smoothers that I've converted for scrubbing too - anyone see a pattern emerging?).......
The adaptation of any old plane for scrubbing?
5 minutes on a grindstone. Seems to be the way. Hence the relative scarcity (i.e. the redundancy) of purpose made scrub planes.
 

Fromey

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Thanks all for your advice and comments. It's been very interesting. I think I'll go with an ECE scrub; Good build quality. My first woodie (ooo errr). I'll put it to lots of use.
 

bugbear

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Jacob":nu7f1si7 said:
matthewwh":nu7f1si7 said:
....(I've got one of their smoothers that I've converted for scrubbing too - anyone see a pattern emerging?).......
The adaptation of any old plane for scrubbing?
5 minutes on a grindstone. Seems to be the way. Hence the relative scarcity (i.e. the redundancy) of purpose made scrub planes.
Yes - Salaman records that old worn jacks (being around the right size) were often converted to single iron, with even more camber than was usual for a jack back then.

But old (English) catalogues do list specific planes-for-this-purpose, under a wide variety of names - German jack, roughing jack, roughing plane, scrub plane, and they were made by English makers.

Here's some interesting nomenclature:



BugBear
 

bugbear

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Fromey":2yh7uwjp said:
Thanks all for your advice and comments. It's been very interesting. I think I'll go with an ECE scrub; Good build quality. My first woodie (ooo errr). I'll put it to lots of use.
I'm sure it'll work just fine.

What's the total cost, at your door, with shipping, VAT, etc?

BugBear
 

Fromey

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I purchased it from FineTools.com who I believe are in Germany. Total cost was 72 Euro (£62.75). I also added a brace since I was paying for the postage. Amazingly, the UPS postage has gone down by 1 Euro since I ordered this morning! By lunch it was already in the post and on its way to me (currently in Berlin). I expect to have it in my grubby hands on Friday.
 

bugbear

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I found an old "in use" photo I took of my scrub plane, just after I did the conversion.

Some pixel counting on the image tells me that the shavings I was taking were a "quite narrow" 7/8" wide.

BugBear
 

LuptonM

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Wouldn't an old Stanley no3 with a thicker blade do the trick? A scrub plane is just a narrow (smoother sized) plane with a thick heavily cambered blade. A2 steel is probably better for this than O1 as the blades gunna take a beat'n
 

Jacob

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LuptonM":vbcx1fio said:
Wouldn't an old Stanley no3 with a thicker blade do the trick? A scrub plane is just a narrow (smoother sized) plane with a thick heavily cambered blade. A2 steel is probably better for this than O1 as the blades gunna take a beat'n
Yes, but a normal blade with a steep camber is fine. The ECE is 1/2" narrower, which is better for the deep but narrow cut. I wouldn't buy a new blade - it's just a rough old plane for rough work. A2 might not suit - there are a lot of comments about crumbly edges with A2, so if you are doing rough work (grit in the surface etc) this could be a problem. And tungsten vanadium is going to be a lot easier to sharpen.
 

revwayne

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I'm new to this forum and the ECE scrub plane is what brought me here to learn some sharpening techniques. I enjoy this plane very much. It helps flatten jointed boards very swiftly and allows some peace and quiet in the shop - the power planer is noisy and dusty. I was wondering if there are any videos on sharpening the iron for the ECE scrub plane. Thank you very much!
 
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