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I've borked my Japanese planes ....

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A few weeks ago, I decided to take the plane irons out of my Japanese planes to sharpen them. Long story short, I completely forgot I'd done it, and the bodies have been sat in a rather high temperature garage for 3 weeks with no blade.

And now they won't go back togeather. I have to apply a silly amount of hammer force to get them even remotely in place. The width of the iron is mostly fine, it's the "vertical wedge" area that won't fit, i.e the thickness of the cap iron and blade between the body and the metal rod.

I've had these planes for about 2 years, and I don't remember this happening last year. So I am wondering if it is purely down to me leaving the irons out and the wood moving more than it could have with the irons in place?

Either way - it seems like it would be a lot of material to remove which could them make them far too loose in later months?

What to do?

oh! and no comments about upgrading to metal planes :p
 

Pete Maddex

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I would leave them some where cool and damp, if you can find somewhere!
A insulated box with a bowl of wet sawdust.

Pete
 

D_W

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It's likely little material on each side. I can't advise on the best way for you to deal with it as I've got a cadre of floats (which make it easy to remove bits there whereas the first time you chisel one of those wider, you may cause some splitout and ugly results).

They are just a wooden block, meant to be adjusted as needed, though. Cycles of humidity and lack thereof over time will cause the iron to be shrunk tight eventually (when wood shrinks, the spring back with moisture is never as much as the shrink - many cycles in a row and you have permanent shrink until the wood has lost it's volatile gases and then it just stays shrunk and doesn't expand again).

If you decide to chisel just a little until the iron goes back in, i would score the front and the back of the abutments with a knife and then lightly pare out the stuff in the middle. Go slow if you're worried about aesthetics.
 
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