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flattening the sole of a bench plane

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Anonymous

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i have gone through 3 sheets of 240grit wet and dry trying to flatten the sole of my bench plane and i don't seem to be much further forward can anyone give me some advice on how to speed up the initial flattening.

Cheers,
Derek.
 

Midnight

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derek...

short answer is to get more aggressive with the grit..
Back when I flattened mine, I started with 60, 80 and 120 grit sanding belts slit open and glued to an offcut of kitchen worktop. Mark a cross hatch grid in felt tip all over the sole of the plane and work the sole over the 60 grit till the cross hatching's gone. Re-mark the sole and repeat on the 80 grit; be warned that it's gonna take no time at all now. Re-mark one last time and repeat the buffing on the 120 grit..

Remember to keep the blade fitted and cap iron at working tension, but retract the blade as far back as needed to ensure it doesn't get buffed away too...

Stop every half dozen strokes to brush or vac the swarf out of the paper. Given that corrugated sole planes work like a charm, I didn't se much point in taking the grits past 120; if nothing else it gave the candle wax something to key into....

Have fun.....
 

GaryD

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Hi Derek,

Last time I dressed one of my planes I think I used my water stone I then finished off with wet and dry.
Make sure your oil or water stone is dead flat if not dress before use
 
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Anonymous

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Midnight":3eh5aiup said:
Remember to keep the blade fitted and cap iron at working tension, but retract the blade as far back as needed to ensure it doesn't get buffed away too...
Why do you need to leave the blade in place, sorry for my ignorance.

Cheers,
Derek.
 
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Anonymous

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derek681":2zbfw4eq said:
Midnight":2zbfw4eq said:
Remember to keep the blade fitted and cap iron at working tension, but retract the blade as far back as needed to ensure it doesn't get buffed away too...
Why do you need to leave the blade in place, sorry for my ignorance.

Cheers,
Derek.
So that the plane sole is trued under the conditions it will be in when in use. The tension from the lever cap can impart a small flex to the plane, so if you true the sole with it not there, when you re-assemble the imparted flex will affect the flatness of the sole.

That said, I've never seen any studies that show how MUCH flex there is; it may (probably?) be not enough to make a difference, but that's the theory, anyway.
 

Philly

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Derek
Dont know whether you have it but David Charlesworths first book has loads on flattening plane soles. Sort of the difinitive book for me.
Hope this helps
Philly :D
 
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Anonymous

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Derek

Exactly as Mike (midnight) said. I start with 80 grit until is it dead flat and then move towards 240 to polish out the scratches
 

CHJ

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Tony":1i4zscnm said:
Derek

Exactly as Mike (midnight) said. I start with 80 grit until is it dead flat and then move towards 240 to polish out the scratches
What!! No Granite Surface Table, Engineers blue and a Scraper. Shame on you. :twisted: Modern Engineers :roll:
 

ike

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I took a large flat Second file to mine - worked a dream.
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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Hi Derek

In addition to beginning with 60/80 grit (and working your way upward to at least 360/400 grit), you may want to consider getting a l-o-n-g piece of float glass. Mine is 10mm thick by 1 metre long. This makes very fast work of the lapping since each stroke is three times your average lapping surface.

Here is mine (example at the beginning of a restoration):

http://www.wdynamic.com/galoots/4images/details.php?image_id=1149

Be careful when you lap a sole that you do not rock it or lift it at either end. Press down firmly and evenly.

Regards from Perth

Derek (another one)
 
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Anonymous

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CHJ":8t3ky75u said:
Tony":8t3ky75u said:
Derek

Exactly as Mike (midnight) said. I start with 80 grit until is it dead flat and then move towards 240 to polish out the scratches
What!! No Granite Surface Table, Engineers blue and a Scraper. Shame on you. :twisted: Modern Engineers :roll:
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Did I mention that the sandpaper is clamped to a surface plate? :wink:
 

Chris Knight

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Plainly the use of float glass introduces an error. It is always curved with a radius of approximately 4000 miles. That is why I do indeed prefer a granite surface plate and scrapers.

PS. That blasted blue stuff gets everywhere. Plan on having at least a box full of latex gloves per plane.
 

Philly

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Lol Chris :lol:
You always were a stickler for detail!
I must admit that a 4000 mile radius is fine for woodworking......although maybe not for metalwork :roll:
Cheers
Close Enough Philly :D
 

jasonB

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Which way up should the curve be for best results :?: :lol:

Jason
 

Midnight

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What!! No Granite Surface Table, Engineers blue and a Scraper. Shame on you. Modern Engineers
Didn't I mention these were modern Stanley planes..? sorry.. meant to.. bottom line being that even if I'd lapped to 12,000 grit... they'd still have their limitations..

I learned my lesson... cut my losses... never had to worry about it since...
 

CHJ

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Midnight":1ne9lo1w said:
Didn't I mention these were modern Stanley planes..?

I learned my lesson... cut my losses... never had to worry about it since...
Tuché
 
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Anonymous

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I've never found flattening a plane sole to be a difficult or long winded process.
Here is an old article I wrote about it. I have since made some changes in my methods that makes this chore even easier. I'll write it up one of these days but this article gives the basis of quickly flattening a plane.
 

aldel

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Just a note to say that when using abrasive paper on a granite /float glass surface I use a 50/50 mix of car window wash fluid and water as a lubricant. This enables the grit to cut better without clogging and speeds up the entire process.

Cheers Aldel :D
 

dickm

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It's probably cheating, but for initial flatting of a damaged/repaired early Bailey plane, I used my belt sander in inverted mode. A bit vicious, but quick!
 
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