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My First Plane

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Darren D

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Hi,
Newbie forum member and newbie woodworker here although I managed to sneak my first ever post into another thread so at least that worry is out of the way!
I went to the GoodTimber open day last weekend and came home with 2 coffee table sized pieces of 1in elm plus some 2in elm stock to make legs out of. I intend to have a table top and fullsize shelf below with 2 wide legs either end.
The table tops are fairly flat and warp free but need properly flattening and smoothing. And obviously all the edges need planing square. I intend to do this with a hand plane but I don't own one. Am I right in thinking that a jack plane would be a good start to my collection? I'm extremely swayed by the good reviews (especially by Alf) of the Veritas planes but am confused by this bevel up/bevel down malarkey.
And so to the questions. Would the LV LA jack plane do all 3 of my jobs (flatten the table top, smooth the long grain edge and smooth the end grain edges). Would I need the optional high angle blade to go with it? Or is there a much better tool I should be getting instead to start my collection?
Darren
 

Philly

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Darren
The LA Jack will definitely be a good place to start-long enough for jointing (just), great at smoothing and end grain.
Don't worry about the Bevel up/down thing-all you need to know is that it is easy to adjust and use. In fact it will give superb results!!
I've used English elm a fair bit-the regular angle blade should be fine, but if you do find it tearing out when taking a FINE shaving then simply honing the blade to a higher angle will sort it out. (see elsewhere on this forum for info on this)
Hope this helps
Philly :D
 

Alf

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Darren D":388arno3 said:
The table tops are fairly flat and warp free but need properly flattening and smoothing.
Probably need a bit of acclimatising too, depending on their moisture content.

Darren D":388arno3 said:
Am I right in thinking that a jack plane would be a good start to my collection?
Reckon so.

Darren D":388arno3 said:
I'm extremely swayed by the good reviews (especially by Alf) of the Veritas planes but am confused by this bevel up/bevel down malarkey.
Firstly; sorry :roll: . Secondly; which particular bit is confusing you? Bevel-Up or Down refers to the orientation of the blade; common-or-garden-look-ma-it's-a-plane types of plane are largely bevel down. The effective cutting angle - the bit that concerns the wood and how it'll react to being sliced open without anaesthetic - is regulated by the blade bedding angle. So a 45° frog will give you a 45° effective cutting angle. On a bevel up, the ECA is the sum of the bedding angle plus the bevel angle. Thus a 12° bedding angle and a 33° bevel angle will give you 45°. Maybe L-V's pic here will help:

Now woods react in different ways to different angles; some like 'em low and some scream unless they're oh-so-high. 45° has been found to be a reasonable compromise, although better for softwoods than hard. Now on a bevel down it can be difficult and/or impossible to get the ECA you desire for less accomodating timber, but on a bevel up it's just a matter of changing the bevel angle to suit. Of course that means keeping the bevel angle accurate is rather more important on a bevel up than a bevel down, but you can't have everything. Any help? Or have I guessed the wrong confusion. :D

Darren D":388arno3 said:
And so to the questions. Would the LV LA jack plane do all 3 of my jobs (flatten the table top, smooth the long grain edge and smooth the end grain edges).
Yes

Darren D":388arno3 said:
Would I need the optional high angle blade to go with it?
Yes

Cheers, Alf
 

Darren D

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Alf":2ra15qg1 said:
Now woods react in different ways to different angles; some like 'em low and some scream unless they're oh-so-high. 45° has been found to be a reasonable compromise, although better for softwoods than hard.
Well well well, I didn't know that. And I guess it's down to experience to know what angle is best. Luckily...

Philly":2ra15qg1 said:
I've used English elm a fair bit-the regular angle blade should be fine, but if you do find it tearing out when taking a FINE shaving then simply honing the blade to a higher angle will sort it out.
you get free experience here too. So if the angle is too low, you get breakout. What if the angle is too high, is it just harder to plane or are there other giveaway signs?

Alf":2ra15qg1 said:
Now on a bevel down it can be difficult and/or impossible to get the ECA you desire for less accomodating timber, but on a bevel up it's just a matter of changing the bevel angle to suit.
Alf":2ra15qg1 said:
Any help?
yes thank you. I'd seen the pictures and understood the mechanical difference but had no idea what the benefit might be. This has helped a lot. I'm off to read that other discussion now about "Why aren't all planes bevel up nowadays", I might uderstand it more this time.
Thanks
Darren
 

Philly

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Darren
As to which woods like which angle blade-well there are guidelines but wood varies a great deal! One plank may plane easiely while the next is a bit of a disaster :lol:
Some timber love a low angle, some will only plane with a high (i.e. exotic interlocked timbers like paduak, zebrawood, rosewood) A higher angle blade takes a bit more effort but not that much, in my experience. I also find a high angle blade will plane most timbers :idea: Recently I was planing some horrible knotty B+Q pine-my LA Jack with a 62 degree grind loved it!
So welcome to the wonderful world of planing! :wink:
Philly :D
 
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