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Jacob

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Starting the new year with a bit of plane fiddling!
I had this very nice old #4 with a very sharp Jap "smoothcut" blade which cuts softwood beautifully but comes to a dead stop on anything hard such as this piece of sycamore. Digging in like a very loose blade, mysterious because obviously not loose on softwood

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But the plane and everything seem dead solid and perfectly set

Looking at the blade can't help noticing little shiny marks

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More clearly here

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and here

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The first marks obviously back of blade bearing on top edge of frog but the single scratch at the other end no obvious cause until looked closer

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That bit of the frog casting is shiny too and the blade has obviously riding and rocking on these three points - the bit of casting and the two top edges of the frog. Not at all obvious when I just looked at the plane itself.

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Easy fix with a file

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Also noticed frog doesn't sit tight on the casting when the screws are loose, so added a primitive shim to tilt it forwards so the front feet are tight against the sole. Copper wire, could flatten it and glue it on

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Done the trick! It now planes perfectly and starts to remove the great dig-ins of the first attempts.

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The point of this being the diversity of things which can be wrong with a plane - difficult to spot and tending to be blamed on poor sharpening, fine adjustments, or other issues.

Happy New Year!
 
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D_W

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There is no good reason that rib sticks out in the frog. I think you'd have found filing the nib off without adding the wire would've done the trick alone. Just carelessness on record's part allowing the nib to stick out after adding the "improvement" of the tight fit rib to aid alignment that's easy to do by hand in the first place.
 

Bod

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I'd also be inclined to take an oil stone to the face of the frog, to try to rub off any burrs or high spots on that roughly machined surface.

Bod.

P.S. Is that a Record, or a copy of?
 

Jacob

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I'd also be inclined to take an oil stone to the face of the frog, to try to rub off any burrs or high spots on that roughly machined surface.

Bod.

P.S. Is that a Record, or a copy of?
Frog seemed flat enough.
It's a Record as far as I know. Might be an alien frog though, which could account for it not fitting too well.
 

Bod

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Loo
Frog seemed flat enough.
It's a Record as far as I know. Might be an alien frog though, which could account for it not fitting too well.
Looking at the David Lynch Record Planes website, and from what is shown in your photos, the frog design changes away from your style in the late 1950's, the paint colour is about right for that period and the curved cap iron top, could be right.
However, I will only buy record Planes from that era, or earlier and have never seen one with that rougher machining. Which is why I asked if it was a copy.
Pre 1957 Record made all their own castings, after that a lot of castings were made by Qualcast, to a different pattern. The quality became more variable.
As the metal Bailey type plane is well out of Patent any one can copy it.

Bod
 

Jacob

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Loo

Looking at the David Lynch Record Planes website, and from what is shown in your photos, the frog design changes away from your style in the late 1950's, the paint colour is about right for that period and the curved cap iron top, could be right.
However, I will only buy record Planes from that era, or earlier and have never seen one with that rougher machining. Which is why I asked if it was a copy.
Pre 1957 Record made all their own castings, after that a lot of castings were made by Qualcast, to a different pattern. The quality became more variable.
As the metal Bailey type plane is well out of Patent any one can copy it.

Bod
Just had a look. I've got another Record #4 which seems identical in every respect except for having slightly finer machining on the frog face and not having the protruding bit of casting. Not a lot in it.
 

Jacob

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Since struggling (and resolving) plane prob (above) on a bit of cross grain sycamore I've taken to using the same piece as a plane test piece.
Now hit similar probs with a #6 which I don't often use. Felt like a rocking blade the same. Checked everything, nothing obvious. Swapped blades with a #7 which had been working well but discovered I'd transferred the problem too - it was obviously the blade unit at fault and not either of the plane bodies.
Did all the usual things, checked length of blade to see if it was bent - possibly a bit, but hardly visible.
Then applied the back (bevel side) of the blade to my 12" sanding disc to see if there were bumps and hollows - and there were - all over the place - instantly revealed by the sander and a few minutes to flatten them off enough, revealing a distinct pattern of bumps, hollows and other irregularities! In fact not unlike the Turin Shroud. :unsure:
End of problem, planes beautifully now!
But I can't see how the bumps and hollows got there in the first place, except there was a bend in the middle which could have been caused by having the frog too far back for a long time.
It's a Stanley USA made.
The point of this boring story is that a plane problem can be one or more of many things over and above sharpening and adjusting, and an old plane may have been underperforming for years, possibly from new, and then they turn up on Ebay!


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D_W

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check the rear post - if the handle is held down firmly by the front screw but the post has a little bit of movement, the handle will lift at the rear tiny amounts when you go to use the plane. the more cross or hard the wood (and the wider), the worse the trouble will be and you'll get an interrupted cut.

If everything else is tight, there's a fair chance that's the issue.

When the front screw is tight, it's not that easy to lift the rear of the handle to look but give it a tug and see if you can slip paper or something under it.

I've seen that at least three or four times. The post needs to be shortened in that case so so that you don't strip the threads in the casting trying to make it tighter.
 

IWW

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.... The post needs to be shortened in that case so so that you don't strip the threads in the casting trying to make it tighter....

By "post" I assume you mean the stud? Indeed, this is a bit of a fetish of mine because I'm convinced leaving the stud loose is an invitation for the handle/tote to split. My thesis is that the stud pre-tensions the wood and supports all that weak cross-grain of the grip. After broken-off horns, a split grip is the most common tote injury I've seen.

I've come across quite a few old planes where progressive tightening of the tote has compressed & worn the wood so that the nut bottomed out before it could tighten things up. The preferred cure is a washer or two, but washers with a 7/16" OD & 7/32" ID aren't a common hardware-store item, so you need to faff about making some. Before I had my small metal lathe I would find washers with the right ID, which were inevitably >7/16 OD, so I'd screw them onto a cobbled-up mandrel which I could spin in a battery drill while I reduced the diameter with a file.

An alternative is to cut a thread or two off the stud, but that's a bit drastic 'cos there isn't a lot of leeway, and if someone needs to replace the woodwork in the future they may find the stud is too short to fit the new handle. That's no big deal if you happen to have a set of 12-20 taps & dies & can whip up a new stud, but that's not a common size either.......

Jacob, I can only imagine that the blade in question fell under an army tank or something similar & someone "straightened" it with a lump hammer & more enthusiasm than skill!
I've seen blades on old Stanleys with mushroomed tops, presumably because some previous user hadn't yet figured out what that brass thumbwheel thingy was for. But I have yet to come across one that has been turned into a moonscape, like yours... :D
Cheers,
Ian
 

Jacob

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.....washers with a 7/16" OD & 7/32" ID aren't a common hardware-store item,
they are common in bicycle shops. It's the size of a "presta" valve ring nut. As found on old bicycle inner tubes. I've used them often. An emergency alternative is a little coil of solid copper wire, which will press nicely into place.
Jacob, I can only imagine that the blade in question fell under an army tank or something similar & someone "straightened" it with a lump hammer & more enthusiasm than skill!
I've seen blades on old Stanleys with mushroomed tops, presumably because some previous user hadn't yet figured out what that that brass thumbwheel thingy was for. But I have yet to come across one that has been turned into a moonscape, like yours... :D
Cheers,
Ian
Well I was mystified too! Seemed to have regular ridges, dips and hollows. Maybe a misguided flattening attempt? Certainly better now but still visible. :unsure:
 

D_W

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By "post" I assume you mean the stud? Indeed, this is a bit of a fetish of mine because I'm convinced leaving the stud loose is an invitation for the handle/tote to split. My thesis is that the stud pre-tensions the wood and supports all that weak cross-grain of the grip. After broken-off horns, a split grip is the most common tote injury I've seen.

I've come across quite a few old planes where progressive tightening of the tote has compressed & worn the wood so that the nut bottomed out before it could tighten things up. The preferred cure is a washer or two, but washers with a 7/16" OD & 7/32" ID aren't a common hardware-store item, so you need to faff about making some. Before I had my small metal lathe I would find washers with the right ID, which were inevitably >7/16 OD, so I'd screw them onto a cobbled-up mandrel which I could spin in a battery drill while I reduced the diameter with a file.

An alternative is to cut a thread or two off the stud, but that's a bit drastic 'cos there isn't a lot of leeway, and if someone needs to replace the woodwork in the future they may find the stud is too short to fit the new handle. That's no big deal if you happen to have a set of 12-20 taps & dies & can whip up a new stud, but that's not a common size either.......

Jacob, I can only imagine that the blade in question fell under an army tank or something similar & someone "straightened" it with a lump hammer & more enthusiasm than skill!
I've seen blades on old Stanleys with mushroomed tops, presumably because some previous user hadn't yet figured out what that brass thumbwheel thingy was for. But I have yet to come across one that has been turned into a moonscape, like yours... :D
Cheers,
Ian

This problem is much worse on beech (handles), which has an enormous amount of radial shrinkage and successive drying and expanding always has a springback factor <1. Or, in short, beech will noticeably shrink even after the first year (thus, planes that had been used for years end up with irons stuck in them so hard they're difficult to get out - wooden planes of course).

Washers are suitable, though one has to have something on hand that's small enough to fit inside the handle, but large enough on internal diameter to allow the post through. The small washers available at HD here are one or the other, so I generally end up (if using washers) putting a bunch in the vise and just drilling through them (they're always soft).

I guess beech is both softer and more shrink vulnerable over time, so it could be compression or shrinkage (but I have a plane right now that's 60 years old that came to me from the south, and now a couple of months after getting it (it's been sitting as I"ve been making chisels), it's very loose.
 

Tony Zaffuto

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Deepen the counterbore, place handle over the stud, place washer on stud, put sturdy spring on stud, top with another washer and tighten nut onto stud.

Problem solved!

(or adjust with seasonal changes)
 

cowtown_eric

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I find it interesting that the "shiny spots" mentioned ain't on the back of the blade by the edge!
1642825745015.png
1642825745015.png

so I'mthinkin that that blade ain't really sharp1642825745015.png at all!
 

Fred48

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Try the 'ruler trick ' to form a micro bevel. Hope that helps.
 

IWW

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.... they are common in bicycle shops. It's the size of a "presta" valve ring nut...

A very useful bit of information, Jacob, ta for that. I don't have a problem, having a small metal lathe & plenty of brass scraps, I can make a suitable washer any thickness required, but very handy to be able to tell others where to get them!


..... Well I was mystified too! Seemed to have regular ridges, dips and hollows. Maybe a misguided flattening attempt? ...

Yebbut, why did it need 'flattening" in the first place? Bent plane blades are not a common part of my experience. But I suppose they may have been more common once, some of the rougher chippies of my father's era would use their plane blades as chisels when they needed something a bit wider than 1" which was usually the widest chisel they had. (Not a practice the old pot favoured, I should add!)
Cheers,
Ian..
 

D_W

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I find it interesting that the "shiny spots" mentioned ain't on the back of the blade by the edge!
View attachment 127601 View attachment 127601

so I'mthinkin that that blade ain't really sharpView attachment 127601 at all!

maybe not optimally, but any flat iron (even with mill marks) with the bevel set up properly will cut fine - it just won't leave a bright surface. One fattened at the tip and rounded over from the back over a very small distance (so that the burr can't be removed and the initial contact point is blunt is another story, but we'd see that.
 
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