Plane sole lapping the easy way

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Jacob

New Luddism. Awake and resist!
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
29,198
Reaction score
5,624
Location
Derbyshire
Plane sole lapping the eejit proof way. Also cheapest, easiest, quickest, but can be messy
The kit: one or two sheets of 80 grit wet n dry, some white spirit, a piece of wood, a good flat impervious surface. I use my planer bed but the other options often discussed should do.

IMG_4182.JPG


First splash white spirit in a pool:
IMG_4183.JPG


Drop paper on

IMG_4184.JPG


Splash on more white spirit

IMG_4186.JPG


No 7 plane ready to go
IMG_4187.JPG


Drop plane on. After a bit of pressure the liquid is squeezed out from under and the paper sticks down.
To and fro against the fence to keep it all tidy, move it about to use whole area of paper
IMG_4191.JPG


30 seconds later you can see the difference. This plane good anyway so no high spots going to show
IMG_4193.JPG


Just to show how firm the paper is - with this weight on it slides about a bit so you need to hold it in place - hand or the bit of wood
IMG_4194.JPG

10 secs to make a mark!
IMG_4195.JPG

A little 220 same process
IMG_4198.JPG

see next page
 
Last edited:
See previous page above

30 seconds perhaps. Neat grind marks come up a lot quicker on a lot smaller plane. This is all you need to aim for. No further polishing required - the grind will be "sharp" at first but will wear in after a few minutes planing and be low friction.
This plane wasn't in bad nick either. A badly uneven one would take longer of course, but the high points would show up immediately with no need for any markings , blue stuff, felt tip, whatever

IMG_4200.JPG


The paper. Wagnerian name, must be good! Peels off really easily, no glue involved. When it's dry put it back between boards to keep it flat. Can be reused many times.
If a lot to do then try 40 grit. No different I imagine but I haven't tried it.
Whatever you do don't get into mad polishing and finer grits, it is not necessary

IMG_4201.JPG


It's a bit messy but not too bad.
I only do the occasional one - if a lot to do I might look at a granite slab and doing it with water.

This is better than "lapping" because you are only grinding the plane, not the plate below it.
No other kit needed at all except a few oily rags

The first time I did it this way was with another No7 which was horribly concave. This means taking more off the ends obviously so you just put the two sheets further apart. It was in a bad way and took about 20 minutes.
I've done it a lot with rusty old ones - just a few minutes to flatten nicely, no need to work off all the pits they are harmless if there's enough flat surface left between them.
 
Last edited:
In my worst nightmare, I still couldn't imagine doing that
to my planer bed.
Does no harm at all to the planer bed - the plane being worked on doesn't come into contact with it at any point.
 
Does no harm at all to the planer bed - the plane being worked on doesn't come into contact with it at any point.

Perhaps not. But, even so, bro', I couldn't bring myself to do it. 😂
 
Makes perfect sense to me. It is the one almost guaranteed hard flat surface in a workshop. It's not unknown for timber coming into your shop off the back of a lorry may well have been in contact with grit at some point, at least judging from the occasional nicked planer blade I get.
 
It's the hand plane and not the planer, that one should be worried about.
That's sort of what you do after you've targeted material first, otherwise you're just nipping the ends off...
I just use the end of a carpenters square to knock off any specs of oxidized crud on my tools, and not bother with any polishing but each to their own.

Tom
 
It's the hand plane and not the planer, that one should be worried about.
That's sort of what you do after you've targeted material first, otherwise you're just nipping the ends off...
I just use the end of a carpenters square to knock off any specs of oxidized crud on my tools, and not bother with any polishing but each to their own.

Tom
What do you mean? Nipping what ends off what?
 
that'd work fine for small planes like a block plane. The glass lap that I have will generally take care of a block plane in a minute or less - unless something is *really* wrong with it. 4s and 5s are typically about 5 minutes unless they're a basket case, and then they can be 20 (or the odd one here or there that's a hard casting (sorby 4 1/2 comes to mind).

It's the big ones where the spot method is used, or if you're going to chance into building an infill and you don't want anyone to be able to use it and say it doesn't seem like it works as well as a bronze LN or something of that sort (which is a sublime feeling smoother if you only use it for a little bit).

I think the average person doesn't have a casting in their shop that's known to be truly flat, though. When I used power tools, I checked the castings that I had and none were that flat (just an entry level jointer, a delta tablesaw, etc).

Of course, you could put adhesive roll on that and be further ahead.
 
Have to disagree with you there in regards to adjustable mouth planes David, take the 60 1/2 for example, as the bed for the shoe must be in line with the sole, otherwise there is a step on the movable shoe plate if adjusted.

Not nice to find a pocket in the castings under the mouth if one were to believe what Jacob is alluding to, something along the lines of...
Long swipes on a big lapping surface automatically means flat.

Tom
 
that'd work fine for small planes like a block plane. The glass lap that I have will generally take care of a block plane in a minute or less - unless something is *really* wrong with it. 4s and 5s are typically about 5 minutes unless they're a basket case, and then they can be 20 (or the odd one here or there that's a hard casting (sorby 4 1/2 comes to mind).

It's the big ones where the spot method is used, or if you're going to chance into building an infill and you don't want anyone to be able to use it and say it doesn't seem like it works as well as a bronze LN or something of that sort (which is a sublime feeling smoother if you only use it for a little bit).

I think the average person doesn't have a casting in their shop that's known to be truly flat, though. When I used power tools, I checked the castings that I had and none were that flat (just an entry level jointer, a delta tablesaw, etc).

Of course, you could put adhesive roll on that and be further ahead.
Look at post before. It also works fine for a big plane. No idea what the spot method is and can't imagine why I'd need it.
If you don't have a flat bed you'd need to go out and find one - glass, ground granite whatever.
No need for adhesives and doing it dry is not good.
 
Last edited:
I've gone through this sort of process with apprentices' planes a few times over the years.

Flat casting? If you don't have one a piece of float glass on a cut of plywood or chipboard will do (2 no 18mm thick pieces screwed together are better than a single thickness). Or a granite pastry board for that matter. My one variation from Jacob's approach is that I hold my papers with a spot or two of spray contact adhesive.

Checking for straightness? Many woodworkers already have a straight edge - their spirit level (I'm assuming it's a metal one, here).

But before I start I always sharpen and hone the blade to see if the plane cuts well. In recent years the one plane which did was a Quangsheng #5 brought in by an apprentice which was almost right straight out of the box.

I have done the self same process with a #7. It works as well with the bigger plane
 
silicon carbide dry is bad. Basic tough alumina dry is not bad.
 
I do wonder why the white spirit when water does the job well (wet and dry paper?).
Rust
Other liquids would do.
Wet is good because it sticks thin paper down well, thinner means flatter, easy to remove/change/reuse, the liquid floats the swarf off, the paper lasts longer and the cutting action is faster. White spirit because its' cheap and I have a big bottle of it.
Water on granite would be good and you could also lift the swarf off with a magnet.
 
Last edited:
At the risk of you branding me effete, Jacob, I've been using industrial paraffin honing fluid for about 10 years. Basically just paraffin with most of the smell taken out because 'er indoors' detests the smells of white spirit and ordinary paraffin (which is what I used to use until the ban). Last lot cost me about £30 for 5 litres
 
I do this all with 3M microfinishing film on float glass plates, all you need for most planes are a sheet of 100 micron and then 40 micron, it's self adhesive and never curls up on the corners like wet/dry paper can, so no need for white spirit or turps, I usually lubricate it with ACF50 and it really works well at preventing the planes from rusting. For longer planes you need a couple of big pieces of float glass but the same process as jacob shows, you can do it on your workbench with some leather underneath to stop it from moving about. Seems expensive but bear in mind I've had sheets last about 6 months to a year.

https://www.workshopheaven.com/3m-micro-finishing-film-100-micron-ao-psa.html
https://www.workshopheaven.com/3m-micro-finishing-film-40-micron-ao-psa.html
 
...... industrial paraffin honing fluid .....
Didn't know there was such a thing!
Mind you I have my doubts about so-called "honing fluids" - if I was selling white spirit I suppose I could market it separately as "White Spirit Honing Fluid" at 3 times the price!
Ordinary (non honing) 5L white spirit is about £10 and would last me several years unless I get into painting and decorating.
This caught my eye. Workshop Heaven Scary Sharpening Kit (Basic) Bargain! :ROFLMAO:
 

Latest posts

Back
Top