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My new plane

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Taffy Turner

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Well, as planned I treated myself to a LV LA Jack plane at Yandles on Saturday. :-$

(It was very nice to meet Terry - where where the rest of you?).

I couldn't wait to get it out of the box and give it a try, so yesterday I locked myself in the workshop together with a large piece of 1" thick air dried Oak which I also picked up at Yandles.

First impressions on getting it out of the box were that it is a workmanlike piece of kit, but unlikely to win any beauty contests. :? Totes were nice and comfortable for my (small) hands. Wound the blade down into a cutting position - this takes ages compared to "normal" plane due to the very low angle, and started attacking the oak with gusto. \:D/

Ho - hum - it cuts OK, but nothing to write home about. Same on the end grain. What's going on? I am feeling a bit disappointed now, as I was expecting so much more. :(

Decided to take it apart and clean all the rust inhibitor off as per the instructions. Once I had it in bits (took about 30 seconds), a closer inspection of the blade revealed what looked (to my eyes anyway) suspiciously like a bur on the cutting edge. :shock:

Anyway, cleaned all the bits with white spirit, and then gave everything a good coating of paste wax and buffed it up until it looked the biz. 8)

Turned my attention to the iron - took it outside in the daylight for a better look - definitely something weird with the edge. :-s

Got out my Trend coarse / fine diamond stone (also purchased at Yandles), and gave the iron half a dozen strokes on the coarse side, followed by a dozen or so strokes on the fine side (hand held - I don't possess a honing guide - I am waiting for the new LV one to become available). I then loaded my newly acquired (don't even ask me how much I spent on Saturday!!!) leather strop up with stropping compound and gave the back and bevel a quick polish. A few more strokes on the fine diamond stone to put a micro bevel on, and then back into the plane with it. [-o<

What a difference!!! \:D/ Curly shavings from Oak end grain!!! :shock: Full width, whispy, lace-like shavings off the long grain. :p Before I knew it, the floor had disappeared under these beautiful Oak shavings.

Taffy now a happy camper! :D

A couple of questions from a novice plane user: -
1) Is it to be expected that a brand new iron should have a bur left on it (presumably from grinding).
2) I measured the thickness of the shavings from the long grain at 0.05mm - is this about right, or do I need to keep working on my sharpening technique?

Regards

Gary
 

Noel

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Taffy, I know little about the more esoteric aspects of plane usuage but I reckon the cutting action and the finished surface is of more importance than the thickness of the shavings. But, of course, I may be wrong...
Congratulations on the purchases.

Noel
 
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HI Taffy

Congrats on the new purchase, I can tell you're pleased :D

To answer your questions.
a. One is always expected to hone the blade upon receiving the plane before use, whether LN, LV or Stanley.
However, I have never actually received one with a burr on it :?

b. Don't worry too much about the thickness of the shavings, after all it is the quality of the surface left on the wood :wink:
However, 0.05mm is about 2/1000 of an inch and so very fine indeed - in fact, that is what DC tends to set his to cut in the videos :D

enjoy
 

Taffy Turner

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Noel":22xga2zs said:
Taffy, I know little about the more esoteric aspects of plane usuage but I reckon the cutting action and the finished surface is of more importance than the thickness of the shavings. But, of course, I may be wrong...
Congratulations on the purchases.

Noel
Noel - I realise that the quality of the cut surface is the defining factor, but it is hard to measure this objectively (it was as smooth as a preverbial by the way), hence my use of shaving thickness as some kind of performance indictor.

Regards

Gary
 

Alf

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Ahh, Gary, a man of taste and discernment, obviously. :D

The burr issue? Erm, not brilliant, but then personally I consider honing the iron as something you should always expect to have to do anyway, so it doesn't bother me unless there's a big dink out of the edge or something. So while it'd be nice to have it "ready to go", on the other hand you've been forced to hone it yourself and probably got a better result in consequence. :D

0.05mm seems pretty darn good to me, 'specially for a "novice plane user". Congrats. =D> What d'you need a honing guide for then...? :wink:

Cheers, Alf
 

Chris Knight

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Gary,

New blades always need at least a touch-up unless you buy a bespoke plane. More generally they will require a proper sharpening.

A well planed surface on a close grained hardwood should feel literally like glass and viewed at an angle should reflect like a crude mirror - looking towards a window, you should be able to see an image of the window in the surface. The more open grained the wood is, the more you will feel pores and the wood reflection will be hazier. Maple is a good wood for this test. The softer woods and more open grained woods display less of these characteristics.
 

Taffy Turner

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Thanks Alf,

I have to admit that the decision of which plane to go for was very heavily influenced by your advice and your excellent review. :D

Next on the list of desireable metal is the LV Scraper Plane (I hate sanding!!!), followed by the LV Large Shoulder plane.
That should keep me skint for the next year or so! :(

Regards

Gary
 

Rob Lee

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Hi Gary -

Firstly - thanks for your custom....

We've always been at odds here on how to deliver a blade on a product. Sharpening is a touchy area - and just about any way we'd do it would be wrong for some (even most!).

What we try to do is deliver a blade that requires an absolute minimum amount of work...but perhaps we should be more explicit it stating it!

Cheers -

Rob
 

Taffy Turner

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Thanks to everyone for the advice.

The planed surface is indeed as smooth as silk, and does reflect the light (allowing for the fact that I have only tried it out on Oak so far).

The bur on the iron wasn't that much of an issue to be honest - it just gave me a bit of a scare when it didn't seem to be cutting right. Just my enthusiasm in wanting to try it out straight away I guess! :oops:

It will get a more thorough work our tonight, as I will be using it to clean up the end grain after cross cutting the Oak on the tablesaw. Previously I would have used a belt sander for this, so I must be making progress towards the more civilised end of the woodwrking spectrum, and leaving my "bodget and butcher it" brute force days behind! :D

Regards

Gary
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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Hi Taffy

I have several blades for LV LA planes and they have all been as good as it gets. The important part was that the backs were as flat as can be and required no lapping at all. The blades were sharp, too, but this means little since "sharp" is not the same as "sharp AND smooth", and unless you have the smooth component, then the plane may cut the finest of shavings but the timber surface will be flawed.

In my experience most new blades are sharpened to about a fine diamond stone (600 grit, 9 microns), perhaps super fine diamond (1200 grit, 6.5 microns). Neither of these is nearly good enough for a smoothing plane (6000 waterstone is 2 microns, 8000 waterstone is 1.2 microns).

I accept that it is not practical for plane makers and aftermarket blade sellers to sharpen blades to the same level that we can do in the workshop, and so I just expect that all blades will require attention before they are ready to cut as we desire them to do

Rob, if you tune into this, what grit does LV sharpen to, and what medium is used to do this?

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

Rob Lee

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(snip)

Rob, if you tune into this, what grit does LV sharpen to, and what medium is used to do this?

Regards from Perth

Derek
Hi Derek -

As there's a fair amount of difference in grit grading standards - our tolerance is to a specified surface finish - 32 microinches (0.8 microns) for both the back and face of the blade, and 16 microinches (0.4 microns) for the bevel and micro-bevel.


Cheers -

Rob
 

Philly

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Rob
Couldn't you be a bit more specific? :lol: :lol:
Great answer! Thanks for the info,
cheers
Philly :D
 

Rob Lee

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Philly":5rbobqcr said:
Rob
Couldn't you be a bit more specific? :lol: :lol:
Great answer! Thanks for the info,
cheers
Philly :D
....and if you believe I knew that off the top of my head, then I've really got some neat things to sell you... :lol: :lol:

Helps to have a really good staff - that info came from Terry, the Chief Designer, who probably could quote it cold...

Cheers -

Rob
(who, when he takes a bow, is often doing it on behalf of many others...)
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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Thanks Rob

0.4 microns for the bevel and micro-bevel.
Wow, that is sharp! Is that a result of polishing on chromium oxide compound?

Related to this is a question I have about the micron level of Veritas green rouge, and the issue of whether to strop or not.

I have recently been discussing honing and stropping with Brent Beach, who has done quite a bit of research on blades and sharpening. He believes that stropping is counterproductive (see http://www3.telus.net/BrentBeach/Stropping/Stropping.html). My own experience is different. I am now using a 8000 waterstone, but until recently used a 6000 and stropped after this with the green rouge. This has always worked well for me. As far as I can ascertain, the green rouge has a micron rating of 0.05 - yes? If so it would explain why I get an improvement in sharpness. If it is above a micron rating of 1.2 (for 8000) or 2.0 (for 6000) it would support Brent's argument.

Anything that you (and your team) can clarify in this regard?

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

Rob Lee

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Thanks Rob

0.4 microns for the bevel and micro-bevel.
Wow, that is sharp! Is that a result of polishing on chromium oxide compound?

Related to this is a question I have about the micron level of Veritas green rouge, and the issue of whether to strop or not.

I have recently been discussing honing and stropping with Brent Beach, who has done quite a bit of research on blades and sharpening. He believes that stropping is counterproductive (see http://www3.telus.net/BrentBeach/Stropping/Stropping.html). My own experience is different. I am now using a 8000 waterstone, but until recently used a 6000 and stropped after this with the green rouge. This has always worked well for me. As far as I can ascertain, the green rouge has a micron rating of 0.05 - yes? If so it would explain why I get an improvement in sharpness. If it is above a micron rating of 1.2 (for 8000) or 2.0 (for 6000) it would support Brent's argument.

Anything that you (and your team) can clarify in this regard?

Regards from Perth

Derek
Ok - replying quickly - so you know it's me this time.... :lol:

One additional factor you have to consider is the speed at which the abrasive is travelling past the steel - a powered abrasive will be effectively "finer" than an abrasive moving more slowly (similar to how an abrasive can seem "finer" with less pressure (scratches aren't as deep))...

What you mean by "stropping" also has to be clarified - just leather, or leather with an abrasive?

With a strop (and abrasive) technique comes into play - one can easily round an edge (while keeping it sharp) as the strop material deforms... producing a relieved bevel, which may change cut characteristics...

I wouldn't strop plane blades - as geometry is crucial.

I also use a softwood as a strop (usually pine), scribbling the chromium oxide on the wood as one would if it were a crayon...the strop is just a carrier for the abrasive....

How's that?

Cheers -

Rob
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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One additional factor you have to consider is the speed at which the abrasive is travelling past the steel - a powered abrasive will be effectively "finer" than an abrasive moving more slowly
Ah, Rob that makes sense. I use the Veritas green rouge in two ways, on a piece of MDF (hard, flat surface that absorbs the rouge), and on the flat side of a spinning disk (what I have termed the "Honing Plate" on my belt sander). See picture below for the latter.

http://www.woodworkforums.ubeaut.com.au/attachment.php?attachmentid=6561

I wouldn't strop plane blades - as geometry is crucial
I have been stropping both chisels and plane blades on the Honing Plate. Very carefully as I am mindful of rounding an edge - so rock it from the rear of the bevel until it is flat on the plate surface. The surface of the honing plate is flat with very little give. It is made of two sanding disks glued face-to-face, so that it attaches to the machine with velcro on the one side and the velcro on the other (face) side has just sufficient absorption to hold the green rouge.

I get extremely good results from this process, which is why I have queried Brent's results. From your earlier comment, the speed of the wheel is causing it to hone the bevel surface, that is, remove metal, rather than just strop a wire edge. If so, I had better take a closer look at the bevel to check whether I am altering any angles and, again if so, find a way to better support the blade.

Regards from Perth

Derek
 
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