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Nelson Plane Setup

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D_W

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A not so short pictorial of setting up the Nelson plane for fine work.

This is the wooden plane from the foolish American thread, made approximately 1840.

Nice full length iron, but significant pitting at the edge. I have a tool to fix this.
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The glass lap to flatten the plane and then flatten the back of the iron. 80 grit fresh on one side for the wood first, then the iron, and worn in. 220 grit on the other side for the iron only.
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First a detour to the wedge. This plane was almost unused. Look at the wedge fingers. Almost 200 years old and immaculate. What a treat. Lateral fit in the plane is still perfect- fingers match abutment.
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The boss on the cap iron had been ground down neatly but still bumped the inside of the wedge. I chiseled it out
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D_W

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On to the plane body. Flattened on the 80 grit in about 5 minutes. You can do this other ways, but the lap is super accurate.
20210228_113339.jpg


Teak oil and was to the fresh surface to avoid side checking. Looks more vintage, too.
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On to flattening the iron and getting the pitting out.

The holding tool is just scrap wood with bolts through it. I guess this picture is also after the 220. 5 minutes total to deal with the pitting and freshen up.
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No other hand flattening method comes close to this, and it's cheap and not hard on the fingers.

After this, I spent about 2 minutes on the back of the iron on an india and Arkansas stone.

I prepped the front edge of the cap iron, 220 grit, rounding the tip then undercut, then gray deburr and buffing wheel. Took about two minutes. (Forgot the picture)

Matched the angle of the iron to the cap, and then reground the bevel freehand on a high speed 36 grit ceramic belt. No water, enormous removal rate and cool enough to touch the iron. Get the bevel shallow enough to get it out of the way for sharpening.
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Hand hone the iron on crystolon, fine india and Arkansas stone. This is the last the bevel will ever see a coarse stone.

Set the cap and test shavings. They straighten nicely
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D_W

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Clarify above, the deburring and buff touch only the bevel of the cap iron and not the undercut.

Time to recut bevel angle and square to the cap iron was about 5 minutes, including honing.

This plane needed no wedge fitting, which is very uncommon.

The finish on cherry from the test shaving. You can make out the window grout.

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On to something more difficult next. Quartered louro preto.
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Note the shavings. Minimal tearing showing in them. Smoother will follow with no extra work. Side grain then planing back against the grain, no problem.
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Last direction turned out to be with the grain. The first shavings were against it.
 
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D_W

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Last bit of testing when setting this up (all on the same sharpening of course - this blade sharpens like silk, but is not at all soft - it just has a sublime feel on india and arkansas stones and sharpens off evenly without leaving any pinning on the stones).

I didn't post this in the prior post last night as this is a real chore from the phone (esp. when pictures are getting somewhat old and far down the list).

At any rate, curly maple - if you do nothing to control tearout, then people have issues with it. If you set the cap iron, it planes easily. Brittle quartered woods are far worse, but since it's sort of the standard of "figured wood" at entry level.

20210228_151625.jpg

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This board was somewhat rough (some parts still had saw marks in them) but planed pretty easily. You can see from the shavings that there's no tearout. And they show an appropriate amount of straightening from being held down by the cap so that they can't lift.

You can plane any direction like this. The contest when you're dimensioning (to reduce effort) is to try to do this increasing shaving thickness so that the shaving is continuous but the effort level is like 75% of comfortable max - then you can sustain a rhythm.

I didn't get a great picture entirely before planing, but the saw marks:
20210228_151312.jpg


Everything planed entirely out -the whole board looks like this, but I had to get a picture from overhead. I certainly have more figured stuff floating around, but nothing that I can just junk around with like this.

20210228_151605.jpg


This isn't "special planing" for figured wood, it's just planing. Certainly, it won't take much final smoothing to have a finish ready surface. No tiny thing shavings needed unless you're really chasing something way out there.
 

D_W

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Total time including faffing around planing just to get proof of fitness for use was around 45 minutes (all of the iron prep, etc). Generally, if a wedge needs fitting bit is otherwise suitable, add 5-10 minutes. If a wedge needs to be made nicely because the wedge isn't going to be suitable, then add an hour to make a wedge that looks like this one.

What's the best way to get good at setting up older planes? It's to make them. That's not practical, though, and that's too bad.
 

Jameshow

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Hi

I have some 4x4 x18" oak offcuts given to me would you think they would be ok for a plane body?

Not sure what sizes as I already have a no6 sized woodie. (Which I must fettle to plane as well as yours!)

Any suggestions as to what wooden planes work best.

I have the infill of course and an eastern Europe style plane which cost me £2 + p+p!

Cheers James
 

D_W

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Oak would make a plane that works, but arises (around the mouth, etc) would be fragile and it would get beat up. I once got a jointer that I Thought was beech and it was a continental style made in oak (probably by a craftsman). It was splinted and chipped all over the place. You want 4x4 beech quartered and sawn perfectly straight. It's just much stronger around the edges of the mouth, etc, and won't chip.

The oak will end up chipping even when you make the plane.

Jack and try plane are the two types of wooden planes for actual work. Jointer far less frequently used and coffin smoothers are OK for light softwoods but they'll batter you working hardwoods unless they're small and narrow. They can be tolerable if made from a heavy exotic wood, but fall behind a stanley plane in day to day use smoothing pretty quickly.
 
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