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Mouth widths on Veritas bevel-up planes

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KLD

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I’ve been getting good results on otherwise difficult-to-plane workpieces by using a high blade angle and narrow mouth on an adjustable-mouth block plane, so wanted to experiment with the same technique using a bevel-up smoother. Therefore, I bought one of the new Veritas small bevel-up smoothers. While I’m delighted with its overall quality, I’m surprised to find that the trailing edge of the moveable nosepiece has a 45-degree chamfer about 0.5 mm wide across the whole width of the trailing edge. To achieve a very narrow mouth, especially with a high blade angle, that edge needs to be sharp, not chamfered.

I thought it might be a manufacturing fault (it is a new product, after all) but when I asked Lee Valley about it, the response was: “the chamfer is put there intentionally and is found on all of our planes”.

What do other Veritas plane owners do to achieve a narrow mouth? Perhaps they file off the chamfer?

Kevin

Veritas Small BU Smoothing Plane-1.jpg
 

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LuptonM

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I have a low angle veritas plane. The chamfer is the other way up (ie viewable from the top of the plane and not the sole)

Something ain't right with the way your planes set up
 

KLD

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Thanks LuptonM. The nosepiece also has the chamfer you mention that's viewable from the top. It wouldn't be possible to set the plane up incorrectly (which in this context would mean fitting the nosepiece upside down) because the upper face of the nosepiece has a threaded boss that's used to hold it in place.
 

GazPal

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This sounds like a means of improving the clearance of shavings on a bevel up plane. Simply close the mouth to the degree you'd normally use on your other planes and see how the plane performs. There's nothing to worry about if it works well and the chamfer could simply be a design improvement/modification.
 

LuptonM

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I haven't seen a chamber on the sole of a plane like this but it could help stop the shavings getting caught in the mouth - this can be very annoying

Veritas are trying new things unlike many makers so I guess we get worried when we see something different
 

dunbarhamlin

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Does seem buttocks[*] about tit. Will increase the likelihood of clogging and reduce support of the fibers in front of the cut when set as fine as possible.
Interestingly though, I understand a superfine mouth is a modern obsession, and Ray Iles actually reduced the mouth of his Norris copy to cater for current tastes.
[* Edit - Hahaha]
 

woodbrains

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Hi,

The chamfer should not be there, IMHO and I think if you have the time you should press Lee Valley for an explanation. Perhaps send it back for a replacement to see if the chamfer is actually there on other planes. Or else file it square again, which might annoy as these planes are expensive and should not need this sort of fettling to get them to be as they should.

I don't agree that a fine mouth is a modern obsession, though. Good quality Japanese planes have had micro-fine mouths for centuries and Western style planes with single irons similarly fine mouthed. The British claim the invention of the double iron as a chip breaker, which might negate a superfine mouth to an extent. The fact that Bailey style planes were mass produced and machining a fine mouth was difficult so not attempted might explain why fine mouths became less common. And the fact that these were primarily joiners planes where fine mouths were not necessary, anyway, probably the frogs were seldom moved forwards, but just used as was. But for fine wood work and the recent resurgence of better quality planes the benefits of fine mouthes have been 're-discovered'. The use of a plane to achieve a finish without the reliance on sandpaper should not be underestimated.

Mike.
 

Rob Lee

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KLD":1mwvsiig said:
I’ve been getting good results on otherwise difficult-to-plane workpieces by using a high blade angle and narrow mouth on an adjustable-mouth block plane, so wanted to experiment with the same technique using a bevel-up smoother. Therefore, I bought one of the new Veritas small bevel-up smoothers. While I’m delighted with its overall quality, I’m surprised to find that the trailing edge of the moveable nosepiece has a 45-degree chamfer about 0.5 mm wide across the whole width of the trailing edge. To achieve a very narrow mouth, especially with a high blade angle, that edge needs to be sharp, not chamfered.

Hi Kevin -

Your post kicked off quite a flurry of activity here. The chamfer on the trailing edge of the toe is not supposed to be there - but is exactly as shown on our drawings, and has completely passed through our inspection and QC process as being 100% correct. It is actually something that was propogated by our design software. In essence - it is a computer (read user) error.

Our CAD system uses parametric processing - which basically means that a change to a part propogates through all associated parts automatically. Change a pin diameter, and hole diameters automatically change... etc. What has happened here is that a change to a radius on the leading edge of the toe propagated right 'round the toe. This change propagated though our production system, including QC and inspection processes - and so passed through with flying colours. The rad was only visible on a drawing view that was not used for manual verifiication of the change.

Our Engineering group reported:

1)During pre-production feedback and testing it was determined that Rads were required on the toe to match the body pocket. (Rads on body pocket required for machining)
2)During the CAD model update, the Rads were added causing the software to see the edge as a continuous edge, creating a chamfer around the whole part.
3)The correction is to pick each individual edge that you required chamfered, leaving the unpicked edge with no chamfer.
4)The Drawing updates directly from the CAD model. The bottom view was not required to manufacture the part therefore was not show on the drawing.

So - the small chamfer should not be there. The good news is - because of the geometry of the design, it will not affect the use of the plane for a great percentage of the use. The fix here is a simple one - a quick .03" dressing of the the trailing edge of the toe - which has (is) been done here on all stock. Most people will never notice the difference, as the adjustability of mouth opening is only slightly affected at high bevel angles.

However - we can't let that stand, and will be contacting early buyers of this plane, and shipping replacements. Keep using your plane, until we can get new ones to Brimarc - it will perform brilliantly as is... there's no need to modify it. We'll have a new one in your hands shortly.

Cheers -

Rob
(who's making the engineering dept stand in the corner for an hour.....)
 

woodbloke

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Rob Lee":3st2i2ci said:
Rob
(who's making the engineering dept stand in the corner for an hour.....)
...with pointy hats on, labelled with a 'D' :lol: Lets hope the techno-weenies (reading Clancy at the mo') don't make the same sort of mistakes with the Compass Plane :mrgreen: :-" - Rob
 

Rob Lee

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woodbloke":1a3hcmx1 said:
Rob Lee":1a3hcmx1 said:
Rob
(who's making the engineering dept stand in the corner for an hour.....)
...with pointy hats on, labelled with a 'D' :lol: Lets hope the techno-weenies (reading Clancy at the mo') don't make the same sort of mistakes with the Compass Plane :mrgreen: :-" - Rob
I keep trying to talk Tom into making the compass plane... but I'm not sure he's convinced yet....

It's kinda like one of those cartoons where two characters are passing a lit bomb back and forth ... I hand it to him and say "You should make it...", and he hands it back and says "Really, I think you should make it....", and then I give it back and say " I insist...", and he hands it back and says "No , I really couldn't....." ..... :-"

Maybe someone could talk Clifton into it.... :p

Cheers -

Rob
 

Karl

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Considering the length of time it is taking them to get their block plane into production, I doubt we'd see it this century if Clifton were charged with making it :lol:
 

KLD

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Woodbrains - Many thanks for your comments. I’m still experimenting with mouth widths and have been surprised by the improvements I’ve achieved with narrower mouths. Likewise with higher blade angles on difficult grain, which is another advantage of using bevel-up planes because it’s so easy to change the angle.

One day I’ll look in more detail at the development of the ‘chip breaker’. I was interested in a comment I read somewhere that it cannot be much use for breaking chips because even when set close to the cutting edge (say 1/64” - 0.016” - 0.40mm), that’s still a multiple of the thickness of the shaving, and the shaving is sufficiently flexible that it wouldn’t be broken by anything so far away from the cutting edge. Equally though, plenty has been written about the effectiveness of chip breakers, so making sense of it all is a job for another day!

One thing I do know is that my bench planes were transformed by fitting old Record ‘Stay-Set’ cap irons of the type now manufactured by Clifton. They ensure that the iron is held in close contact with frog, which seems like a good thing, given that modern thin irons are relatively flexible. No other cap iron exerts a clamping force in the area where it’s really needed - a short distance (say an inch or so) back from the cutting edge. Record’s original claim was that by applying pressure to clamp the iron at three points instead of two, the Stay-Set cap iron reduced chatter, and I’m inclined to agree.

Kevin
 

Modernist

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Rob Lee":3loon9ol said:
Your post kicked off quite a flurry of activity here. The chamfer on the trailing edge of the toe is not supposed to be there - but is exactly as shown on our drawings, and has completely passed through our inspection and QC process as being 100% correct. It is actually something that was propogated by our design software. In essence - it is a computer (read user) error.
Fascinating - it made it's own mistake, wrote it's own QC procedure, checked against it, and passed the product as correct.

This is why nuclear power is so dangerous.

Keep up the good work Rob, the only organisations who never make a mistake are those who never try. It might be an idea to put a woodworker in the QC department though.
 

Jacob

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woodbrains":eqcwfil2 said:
........ The use of a plane to achieve a finish without the reliance on sandpaper should not be underestimated.

Mike.
Should not be overestimated either. Yes the right plane will take you just a bit further (but only a bit) - sandpaper and the scraper will never be made redundant.
There's a bit of sandpaper phobia going around but there shouldn't be IMHO. Using grinding and polishing compounds, loose or stuck to paper, is an ancient and venerable practice.
 

Jacob

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KLD":3bl5ar47 said:
Woodbrains - Many thanks for your comments. I’m still experimenting with mouth widths and have been surprised by the improvements I’ve achieved with narrower mouths. Likewise with higher blade angles on difficult grain, which is another advantage of using bevel-up planes because it’s so easy to change the angle.

One day I’ll look in more detail at the development of the ‘chip breaker’. I was interested in a comment I read somewhere that it cannot be much use for breaking chips because even when set close to the cutting edge (say 1/64” - 0.016” - 0.40mm), that’s still a multiple of the thickness of the shaving, and the shaving is sufficiently flexible that it wouldn’t be broken by anything so far away from the cutting edge. Equally though, plenty has been written about the effectiveness of chip breakers, so making sense of it all is a job for another day!

One thing I do know is that my bench planes were transformed by fitting old Record ‘Stay-Set’ cap irons of the type now manufactured by Clifton. They ensure that the iron is held in close contact with frog, which seems like a good thing, given that modern thin irons are relatively flexible. No other cap iron exerts a clamping force in the area where it’s really needed - a short distance (say an inch or so) back from the cutting edge. Record’s original claim was that by applying pressure to clamp the iron at three points instead of two, the Stay-Set cap iron reduced chatter, and I’m inclined to agree.

Kevin
If a chip breaker breaks chips and if this is a useful thing, then how do the BU planes work without chip breakers?
Personally I think it's a misnomer and it's real function is to clip the blade down tight at the plane mouth, by transferring pressure there from the lever cap, or from the wedge of a woody. NB not "an inch or so back" but at the mouth as near as possible.
 

KLD

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Jacob":2ewex81e said:
KLD":2ewex81e said:
One thing I do know is that my bench planes were transformed by fitting old Record ‘Stay-Set’ cap irons of the type now manufactured by Clifton. They ensure that the iron is held in close contact with frog, which seems like a good thing, given that modern thin irons are relatively flexible. No other cap iron exerts a clamping force in the area where it’s really needed - a short distance (say an inch or so) back from the cutting edge. Record’s original claim was that by applying pressure to clamp the iron at three points instead of two, the Stay-Set cap iron reduced chatter, and I’m inclined to agree.

Kevin
If a chip breaker breaks chips and if this is a useful thing, then how do the BU planes work without chip breakers?
Personally I think it's a misnomer and it's real function is to clip the blade down tight at the plane mouth, by transferring pressure there from the lever cap, or from the wedge of a woody. NB not "an inch or so back" but at the mouth as near as possible.
Thanks Jacob. To clarify, I could perhaps have stated it better as "No other cap iron exerts a clamping force where an additional one is needed to resist the component of the cutting force that acts perpendicular to the iron, tending to bend it. That additional clamping force needs to be applied a short distance back from the cutting edge and behind the heel of the bevel, to resist bending and hold the back of the iron in firm contact with the frog."

I agree with you about the need to "clip the blade down tight" but the force from the cap iron applied close to the cutting edge only clamps the 'heel' of the bevel - it does nothing to resist bending of the iron (in fact, it increases it). That's why a second clamping force is needed. The Stay-Set iron provides that. In the case of a BU plane, the lever cap serves both functions provided that the frog and iron are both flat and in perfect contact.

Kevin
 

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