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setting your plane and blade

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engineer one

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just to ensure that alf does not think i put too many topics in one area!!!!!!!!!! :lol:

so we appear to have settled on every body having their favourite way of sharpening their plane blades, but what to do when we get them back in the body.

i have succumbed and like every body have a range of manufacturers products, some new metal planes, some really old wooden ones, and a couple of new wooden ones, not japanese. now i can sharpen the blades, i want to know the correct ways to set them.
lets start with LV, since they have the two tiny screws in the body side, do i assume that when these centre the blade within the body, the blade should be square to the throat, and the side adjuster should be central, or
will it occassionally be slightly to one side or another due to "backlash" etc???

with LN BU no side adjusters, so whats the best way,
also on my block plane, the adjustment in the blade for backward and forward movement is very limited, so how many times and how far can you sharpen before you need a new blade because it can no longer reach the throat??

side adjustment for clifton no 5 same applies as to LV i guess, should side adjuster be vertical?

complaint about particularly the clifton adjusting the frog screws is a pain in the butt, there really should be an angled screwdriver with a wide blade available. what do others use? the LV is better as is LN.

finally i have a couple or so older wooden planes and whilst i understand shoving the wedge in, how do you easily adjust the blade without moving the wedge to much? my newer ones have a metal stud at rear, what is that for and how do you adjust it??

i have read a couple of articles including the most recent by DC about setting the blades, but just thought to find out more info. particularly for the wooden planes. obviously the ECE are relatively easy since the have adjusters but hitting the flaming thing, thats a long stretch no??? :wink:

anyway so far my metal planes all give me thin shavings, but need to be sure i am right again
paul
 

MikeW

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lets start with LV, since they have the two tiny screws in the body side, do i assume that when these centre the blade within the body, the blade should be square to the throat, and the side adjuster should be central, or will it occassionally be slightly to one side or another due to "backlash" etc???
The screws are just to keep the blade from shifting sideways. They should, unless really tightened against the blade, allow for lateral adjustment. LV's claim is that they maximize lateral adjustment ability. Dunno about that. I pretty much only care that the blade is square to the sole.

As for LN BU planes...I've watched Deneb (rep from LN) tweak the blade with a small hammer. I don't own one, so someone else will need to answer their method(s) for lateral adjustments, though I understand there is little need for lateral adjustment--as long as one sharpens the blade squarely. Which would be my opinion.

I suspect the blade will last most everyone a very long time even sharpening frequently.

As for general positioning of the lateral adjustment lever, it depends on the amount of slop in the adjuster to blade contact, squareness of sharpening and where the blade is on the bed of the plane. Which is one reason to argue the side screws on the LV planes are useful I suppose.

Frog adjustment. I don't adjust the frogs on my BD planes after the first time. Good reason to own more than one :lol: . I have a few sizes that are duplicated for just this reason. One is set for a rank cut, another for a fine cut. Makes one appreciate the BU planes and their adjustable mouths that much more.

Adjusting wood planes with wedges. Judicious taps with a hammer does it. Plenty of sites that describe methods. I like the one from HNT Gordon's site. Simple. Knight also has info on his site. Basically, set the plane on a known to be flat scrap. Slide the blade down and let it make contact. Slip in the wedge and give it a light tap. The amount of projection is adjusted by taps to either the blade--deeper and lateral--and the projection lessened via taping the back end of the plane's body. Another tap to ensure the wedge is secure and plane away.

Easier to write than do, but with practice it becomes something one does easily. ECE instructions via Fine Tools site.

Any plane with a strike button (the metal or wood "studs" you describe) on the rear is to lessen any damage to the plane body when lessening the blade's projection. Some wood planes also have a strike button on the top front and or the front and is used for setting the blade deeper.

*Unless* you are here referring to the ECE. I believe that is a knob for adjusting backlash out of the adjusting system...or something like that.

For an ECE with an adjuster, no reason to hit it. Their adjusters work very well.

Well, need to go fix dinner.

Mike
 

Frank D.

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Hi Paul,
At first I wasn't sure, but now I'm starting to like your questions. They provoke some very interesting discussion!
I'm like you, I have and use a variety of plane types. I'll give you a few answers, as usual they are personal and limited to my own (limited) experience.

engineer one":175nsvtj said:
with LN BU no side adjusters, so whats the best way,
also on my block plane, the adjustment in the blade for backward and forward movement is very limited, so how many times and how far can you sharpen before you need a new blade because it can no longer reach the throat??
l
First, for lateral adjustment on my LN block planes I just loosen the wheel a little and use my thumb or index finger as I sight down the blade. I can usually get it by eye, but for really thin shavings I try it out and tweak when necessary. I also use the lever cap wheel as a fine depth adjustment. The lever cap should never be too tight so as not to deform the sole, but I fond that by tightening it a little more I get about a thou of forward movement.
For the LN jack I do the same for lateral adjustment, loosen the lever cap, adjust with thumb/finger, and tighten a little. I admit that I ground off those little nibs that stop the blade from moving laterally more than a few mm. I just couldn't see the use of them (kind of like the LV side screws). I have been much happier since I did this.
As to blade life, the depth adjustment screw gives you about 3/4" of blade, which is not far from all you can get. If you really want to use the last 1/4" (the useable length is about 1"), you just lift the blade so the rib on the depth screw comes out of the slot at the rear of the blade, and advance the blade so the screw pushes the rear edge (not the slot). You won't be able to retract the blade without unscrewing the lever cap, but you will be able to sharpen it right to the screw slot in the blade.
engineer one":175nsvtj said:
finally i have a couple or so older wooden planes and whilst i understand shoving the wedge in, how do you easily adjust the blade without moving the wedge to much? my newer ones have a metal stud at rear, what is that for and how do you adjust it??
For old woodies, I use the infill method of adjustment which is like Mike's except for the tap at the rear of the plane. I sit the plane on my bench, set the blade and push in the wedge firmly (but not too firmly). If the fit is less than perfect I give it a light tap. Then I go from there, with light taps on the blade to advance it, or on the side to adjust laterally. The wedge shouldn't move. If the blade is too far forward, I pull out the wedge with my fingers, and start again. If the wedge is stuck in the plane (it rarely is), I place it (the wedge) in a rubber-lined vice and tap lightly on the rear of the plane with a mallet or my hand. I never hit the plane with a hammer nor mallet to adjust it. I have about 60 old woodies, about 30 of which I have used at least once so far, and none of them (as far as I can recall) have any evidence of having been hit repeatedly on the body with a hammer. The blades, on the other hand, are all mushroomed at the rear and on the sides from hammer taps.
Frank
 

bugbear

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I have about 60 old woodies, about 30 of which I have used at least once so far, and none of them (as far as I can recall) have any evidence of having been hit repeatedly on the body with a hammer.
Wow. Having trawled lots of car boots, I've seen hundreds of woodies (mainly coffin-bodied smoother and jacks) that show AMPLE evidence of body strikes; to the rear of the smoothers, and on the upper part of the toe on the jacks, where some manufacturers placed a "strike button" for protection during this (evidently) normal activity.

I will admit to being less clear on how the blade is retracted on 28" wooden jointers, or beatiful closed handle infills.

BugBear
 

Alf

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MikeW":1sn3i5wa said:
Basically, set the plane on a known to be flat scrap. Slide the blade down and let it make contact.
I've had some success doing that with bevel-ups too - particularly the L-Ns where adjusting laterally isn't as easy. Obviously you advance the blade with the depth adjuster rather than just slide it down, but it's a pretty good way of getting the blade square and set for a fine cut. Anyway, Jeff Gorman's take on adjusting a wooden plane and a metal plane.

Cheers, Alf
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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Many of the important factors have been already well described by my learned friends above.

I might add a few points.

I am not averse to adjusting the lateral postion of both BU and BD blades with a few light hammer taps.

I am not a fan of the lateral adjuster on the LV BU planes. It is too coarse a mechanism. I end up using my fingers directly on the blade, or occasionally a light mallet tap (not much room to do this on some). The set screws are a terrific aid in finding and setting the blade squarely, which is important in smoothers that are set as finely as possible.

On my wooden HNT Gordons, I set them as described earlier (flat wooden block, etc). The relevant additions are that the blade should not require more depth projection. I usually get it right just when setting the blade and wedge. Only occasionally does the blade need a tiny persuasion further downward. Secondly, do not hammer in the wedge too deeply - after all, it must also come out again at some stage. Lastly, If the blade is set poorly initially and needs much lateral adjustment (tapping the side of the blade), it is usually easier just to start from scratch.

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

Frank D.

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bugbear":18xu7x32 said:
Wow. Having trawled lots of car boots, I've seen hundreds of woodies (mainly coffin-bodied smoother and jacks) that show AMPLE evidence of body strikes; to the rear of the smoothers, and on the upper part of the toe on the jacks, where some manufacturers placed a "strike button" for protection during this (evidently) normal activity.
BugBear
Yes Bugbear,
I find that very curious too but here in Quebec cabinetmakers and carpenters didn't seem to bang on the plane bodies very often, maybe it's a regional quirk. The planes I have might not be too representative as far as the numbers go (none or just about out of 60) since I only buy planes that are in very good condition. One thing I do see a lot of are broken or very worn wedges that have been tapped to get them out. I also must say that I don't have too many bigger planes, mostly rabbet, fillister, moulding planes, as well as hollows and rounds. The bigger planes around here are usually so cracked and worn (soles) as to be beyond using.
 

engineer one

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well i have been goofing about with a couple of bits of scrap,
a large piece of lime, and a triangle of walnut.
i found that the clifton was the biggest pain in the a***, the
LV 6 was brilliant once i had reduced the depth. nice thin shavings and a good smooth finish.

the LN 162 was good too especially on the walnut which was roughly cut out and chopped about a bit. so i'm back on the slippery road.

now i have to learn more about free hand edge planing. must find my LV
side fence, but still not sure how that helps at the beginning with a piece of wood that is not square? still i guess it is practice.
thanks frank for the "compliment" as i tell clients in my other world, i can only tell them things they know, but ask them to address them in a different way. " in the business advice area it is called thinking outside the box" i tend to ask questions that way too. sometimes it works, sometimes not.

i still have this major other question, what do people use for adjusting the frog in clifton planes i assume some kind of dog leg screwdriver, but do they make them with that big a blade?? also what do you use for the screws on LN planes, to stop the brass burring?

now i must get some wooden plane blades sharpened, and see whether i can use them at all. so thanks for the words.

paul :lol:
 
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