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Hand planing advice - cut is taking off more at far end

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Tetsuaiga

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I've been doing a little hand planing on the edge of some pieces to join them together. The joining part has gone fine but i've got another problem

My cut seems to always be taking off more on end of the board furthest away from me than at the start. When i'm planing I try to start off the stoke with pressure at down at the front and as I progress tranfer pressure towards the rear of the plane.

I've tried to correct it with pressure but it still seems to cut more at the far end than at the start where its quite hard to get it to shave to begin with. I'm pretty certain my tool is sharp its a jack plane, honed up to 8000 grit stone with 30 degree angle, slight crown.

Can anyone give me tips on any reasons why im having difficulty getting the shaving started at the edge of the board closest to me or what I can do to sort this out. I've ended up with a piece thats noticeably less wide at one end than the other due to this.

The set up I was using was to have the wood between two vices on the edge of a table, with the edge grain facing up.

Thanks
 

Cheshirechappie

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It sounds as if the plane is set up as it should be - if it's taking nice shavings without too much effort, it's sharp enough; and by the sound of it, you've got the basic technique about right. One problem with longish boards is a tendency to 'reach out' with your arms as you approach the end of the cut, thus losing control of the plane to some extent. A trick that might help is to try the 'stop-shaving' technique - start the plane with the sole engaged, but the blade about 2 to 3 inches inboard of the end, and plane to about 2 to 3 inches inboard of the far end, then lift off (don't just stop, or you'll get a rough step on the job; lift off like a aircraft taking off). Two or three of these, followed by one full through shaving, should help. The other tip is to check progress frequently - it's amazing how much a fine-set plane takes off when you're getting the fit close to perfect.
 

Tetsuaiga

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Thanks I'll bare that stop shaving technique in mind for future.

I've pretty much solved the issue now, I switched to my no.7 and it started shaving from the start much better. The piece was only 56cm long so I presumed the jack would be a fine choice, the extra sole on the front of the no.7 really seems to pay off though. Guess it was just my poor choice.
 

Tetsuaiga

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I'm pretty sure it's flat. I'm quite new to planers but if I mark the bottom with a pen and give it two strokes across some sandpaper on glass it takes virtually all of it off. So imagine that means it's good.

Perhaps I'll double check on my sharpening.
 

johnwc812

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Hi,
You have not mentioned how long and thick the boards are. Possible that the plane is moving sideways towards the end of the pass (as you reach out) to cut a slightly thicker shaving, which gets repeated each time.
If the board is fairly thin, try your front hand gripping the plane sole, thumb on top/ fingers under the sole to act as a guide "fence", to keep the plane in a straight line.
cheers John
 

bugbear

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A helpful mental image is to visualise "scooping out" the board with the plane.

I mean, you won't, since a plane can't, but the thought of it helps you do the right things to keep the board flat.

BugBear
 

Mr T

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Hi

You seem to have solved the problem, but one suggestion might be to angle the plane when taking the cut, this should help the start of the cut,

Chris
 

David C

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Stop shavings (till the plane stops cutting) followed by no more than one or two through shavings will solve the problem.

Planes do not create straight surfaces on their own. Technique does.

David Charlesworth
 

bugbear

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David C":unp74l7b said:
Stop shavings (till the plane stops cutting) followed by no more than one or two through shavings will solve the problem.

Planes do not create straight surfaces on their own. Technique does.

David Charlesworth
I suppose it's all relative.

Compared to a gouge, or an adze, or a knife, or an axe, a plane makes a very flat surface, even when used poorly.

It's only when you want a VERY flat surface that you need to add some technique.

BugBear
 

David C

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I think that it is the assumption that a flat plane will automatically produce a flat surface, that is responsible for most of the troubles.

Only a small adjustment to the mind set is required.

Minute hollow is almost always preferable to minute bump.

David
 
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