Shall I continue lapping this sole ?

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

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

1275gt

Established Member
Joined
27 Apr 2020
Messages
86
Reaction score
41
Location
Newcastle Under Lyme
Hello,
Picked up this plane and its in really good nick bar the sole.
It was hit and miss getting a shaving to start thinly and in the middle however placing the plane on the edges of the board I was able to do this. (Lateral adjust made no difference, blade is also sharp with an ever so slight camber.)
So i turned my attention to the sole, It was rubbed with some fine abrasive on float glass just so I could see the high spots.
It seems it's slightly convex and starting touch at the edges I can't get a 3 thou feeler gauge to penetrate the sides when it's on the glass.

Shall I continue to lap the regular way till marker is removed at the key areas (toe and around the mouth) as it seems like it's touching on the sides and not rocking or attack the middle of the sole and create a concavity then proceed to lap.

Thank you in advance.
 

Attachments

  • 20210902_185839.jpg
    20210902_185839.jpg
    109.8 KB · Views: 202
I would keep going until all of the marker lines are gone. If it were taking ages I would drop down to a lower grit of abrasive and then finish off with a high grit.
 
Is that a #7 or a 6? In any case, it's a big'un and you are up for a bit lot of work getting it flat, by the looks of where it's at now - a lot is going to have to come off the rear section to get the toe co-planar. It's probably only a couple of thou high, but that can take a lot of work to remove on a large sole. Someone over here coined the "90-10 rule" (it takes 90% of the effort to get the last 10% flat). I have confirmed the accuracy of that 'rule' many times!
To speed things up, you could use a large file, but if you are not reasonably experienced at draw-filing, or filing in general, it's all too easy to make things worse rather than better. Lapping is safer, as long as it's done carefully & the abrasive surface is truly flat. As suggested above, start with a coarse grit (~80), get it flat, then finish with finer grits. I don't bother going past 240 as the scratches a plane acquires in use on our woods are often larger than the scratches 240 leaves.

Take it steady & check progress often - it's far too easy to make things worse....
Cheers,
Ian
 
I'd use it as it is. For it to contact in the middle, but almost be perfect is a good compromise - continued lapping may just make more of the same shape.
 
I made an almost insane video describing spot removal on something like this, by the way. It was insane because I'm halfway there already but was tired and recovering from a headache, but it shows the process well if you can wade through it.

You can find it on youtube - you're in for kind of a nasty treat lapping large planes unless they happen to have a slightly high toe and heel or a tiny hollow ring around the outside, and to get something really flat, you have to have something really flat to check and then (what I did in the video was fail to do a thorough check, notice something less than perfect in performance and then have to come back and finish the job later).

The point of all of this is that as ian says, draw filing is something you can do (but cast is kind of dry - you're better off draw filing steel), a good alternative is making a small block so that the contact area of coarse paper is small and can get good bite. Lapping large planes leads to paper feeling like it's instantly dull.

The title of the video is this:
"Flattening Large Hand Planes Accurately and Cheaply"

I don't edit ads or turn on videos - so one is in turn for the other (but youtube automatically puts ads on my videos now, they just keep the money when they do it - I use an adblocker).

If you have a flat lap to use as a reference, though, you should probably use the block method if you really want to continue forward with that - block the high spot out of the middle of that until it looks good on the lap, and then just a brief session of lapping. It's far easier than just lapping a big plane and the result can be way below LN's spec in less than an hour or in an hour or so.
 
(jeez, end of the day -should've said "I don't edit videos or turn on ads")
 
Thank you for the replies.
I'm not confident draw filing however I watched your video David and it was very informative (unedited is great because it gave a great representation of how long these things take). I'll definitely try spot removal with coarse paper.

Thank you.
 
I'd just get on and use it, as there's no such thing as flat or straight anyway.

There is such a thing as close enough to get an invisible glue joint just planing an edge with through strokes, though. Same with a face. Kind of a nice thing to have if it only takes an hour of time and costs almost nothing.
 
During my apprenticeship, I learned to hand-scrape iron and steel blocks and plates for use in the main works as surface plates, so when I find a surface that needs some metal to be removed, that is the technique I first think of using. In fact, I used both scrapers for metal (made from files) and carpenters' scrapers, to true a 124-year-old beech jack plane, which is now my go-to jack!
 
There is such a thing as close enough to get an invisible glue joint just planing an edge with through strokes, though. Same with a face. Kind of a nice thing to have if it only takes an hour of time and costs almost nothing.

I think most of us know that.
 
I think most of us know that.

Planes often come unable to do that. The advice to "just use everything" is fine if everything works. That standard isn't even met by all of the boutique planes in their own spec (most of those meet it, 8 of 10 in my sample).
 
Hello,
Picked up this plane and its in really good nick bar the sole.
It was hit and miss getting a shaving to start thinly and in the middle however placing the plane on the edges of the board I was able to do this. (Lateral adjust made no difference, blade is also sharp with an ever so slight camber.)
So i turned my attention to the sole, It was rubbed with some fine abrasive on float glass just so I could see the high spots.
It seems it's slightly convex and starting touch at the edges I can't get a 3 thou feeler gauge to penetrate the sides when it's on the glass.

Shall I continue to lap the regular way till marker is removed at the key areas (toe and around the mouth) as it seems like it's touching on the sides and not rocking or attack the middle of the sole and create a concavity then proceed to lap.

Thank you in advance.
It looks pretty flat to me and slightly convex is better than hollow. I'd leave it alone.
Worst thing you could do is lap "the regular way" - it's another obsession of the sharpening enthusiasts and can waste hours of time and even spoil planes.
If you must lap it, easiest and fastest is with thin paper backed wet n dry paper, say 100 grit, very wet laid in a pool on a flat surface. I use white spirit and my planer bed. Work the plane up and down against a bit of board as a straight edge so that the lines are all straight and parallel. Keep it well flooded wet.
That's all you need to do.
It will cut straight and the sharpness of the ridges will wear off in a very short time. A very quick pass with a finer grit would speed this up, but not essential.
Don't bother with feeler gauges - if you look too closely for faults you will find them - don't waste your time.
PS - if it's a long plane just put two sheets of wet n dry down end to end. The wetness keeps them stuck down enough.
PPS I wouldn't put a plane in a vice the way you have shown - it'll distort the bed anyway and if over tightened could do damage
 
Last edited:
I regularly get messages or comments on youtube from people who can't get loose wet paper to work. I wonder if they're reading your advice.

One thing is for sure - if a plane is fine and you're not going to do something tidy to it and chance making it worse (like sliding it around on loose paper or wasting naptha or mineral spirits), then it's better to leave it alone and just find one that's already flat.

I started with that method, by the way. Couldn't find silicon carbide paper coarse enough to stand up (it doesn't - it's designed for high carbide hardened steels).

A great deal of the problem for folks trying to find out how to make planes flat is two-fold:
1) bad advice with low standards for results
2) the opposite end: "you have to send it to a job shop so they can run it on a surface grinder"

The method I showed is better than both (nothing wrong with a surface grinder, but it's a waste of time and money and will take almost as long to pack, drop off and get the plane as it would just to flatten it).

OP suggested trouble getting a good smooth shaving. The bottom looks to me like it's not in the length down the center causing the problem, but you can't plane with a plane that's not able to start a shaving easily unless you're chunking pine doorways.
 
I regularly get messages or comments on youtube from people who can't get loose wet paper to work. I wonder if they're reading your advice.
.....
Obviously not. It works very well.
People seem to have forgotten what wet n dry is for.
Thin paper-backed lies flat when wet - better if it starts flat and kept between boards, but will flatten down quite quickly if not. Has to be very wet - laid into a puddle on your flat surface. It sticks down and isn't very loose at all, though you can peel it off quite easily.
It's also flatter than anything stuck on a board with glue and much faster than doing it dry.
PS you need an impervious flat surface or you won't get the wetted down effect. I use my machine steel bed. Glass would be good, maybe MFC or ply faced with something shiny.
 
Last edited:
I used a glass shelf - completely clean. I used all of that before settling into aluminum oxide machine roll with adhesive. The difference is that the adhesive and the hard al-ox particle that's not friable makes for a much better go.

Silicon carbide paper was probably developed for hardened steel sanding and graded paper for sanding finishes wet.

I doubt anyone made it thinking it would be great on a cast lap in paper form. Loose grit intended to cut coarse and then fine if not refreshed is a far different story.

It's certainly possible to improve a plane with your method, but if the plane is off in some directions, the odds are against you.
 
....

It's certainly possible to improve a plane with your method, but if the plane is off in some directions, the odds are against you.
Wrong again. It's easier my way, the odds are with me.
PS I first found out about wet n dry wet grinding about 60 years ago when we were flattening the cylinder head faces on a BSA Bantam. Difficult to find a flat impervious surface in those days - no steel machine surfaces in our house, toughened glass not been invented, wasn't allowed to do it on the Formica kitchen table, ended up on the terrazzo floor, with water , not white spirit..
Modern sharpeners just want everything to be mysterious and difficult - see recent thread involving knife sharpening with a steel - they say in all seriousness that you can't "sharpen" with a steel. They are wrong but it's a matter of faith and dogma! :ROFLMAO:
 
Last edited:
I have no idea who you're talking about. You lap something convex. I showed a method that uses less material, takes less time and results in all surfaces being within a fraction of a thousandth. Cost of about a dollar a plane.

I'm assuming you had gaskets on your BSA (which isn't what I'd hold up as a standard of quality in the first place).

The difference between you and I is you've done a couple of these. I've made about 150 planes and chisels - they don't start like a used stanley and you have to be able to work faster.

I started with your method, all the way down to 60 grit silicon carbide paper, and also tried the expensive belts (which I do now use on the belt grinder - at close to a mile of belt a minute with the particles shedding off, they make sense there).

Perhaps you've done a couple of smoothers - this often comes up with long planes. It's true that you can lap a smoother on almost anything, but it leaves you standing still for a long plane. It's also true that the smoother won't be that flat (but it won't matter if you're doing house work or almost anything). If you're making a nice tool or shooting for actual flat in less time on a long plane, you won't lap the sole. The fact that you think this would work tells me you haven't done it or done it well.

It's not great for you to mislead beginners. I think the 6 that I did up in the video took about 50 minutes - by the time it was done, it was in a spec that makes it easy to use for neat work (for all work) without having the grip that a boutique plane does.

Last table saw that I had wore a hollow of about 8 thousandths front to back - 27" deep or something (delta hybrid saw with cast tops). I'm not sure you would've noticed.
 
I have no idea who you're talking about. You lap something convex. I showed a method that uses less material, takes less time and results in all surfaces being within a fraction of a thousandth. Cost of about a dollar a plane.

I'm assuming you had gaskets on your BSA (which isn't what I'd hold up as a standard of quality in the first place).

The difference between you and I is you've done a couple of these. I've made about 150 planes and chisels - they don't start like a used stanley and you have to be able to work faster.

I started with your method, all the way down to 60 grit silicon carbide paper, and also tried the expensive belts (which I do now use on the belt grinder - at close to a mile of belt a minute with the particles shedding off, they make sense there).

Perhaps you've done a couple of smoothers - this often comes up with long planes. It's true that you can lap a smoother on almost anything, but it leaves you standing still for a long plane. It's also true that the smoother won't be that flat (but it won't matter if you're doing house work or almost anything). If you're making a nice tool or shooting for actual flat in less time on a long plane, you won't lap the sole. The fact that you think this would work tells me you haven't done it or done it well.

It's not great for you to mislead beginners. I think the 6 that I did up in the video took about 50 minutes - by the time it was done, it was in a spec that makes it easy to use for neat work (for all work) without having the grip that a boutique plane does.

Last table saw that I had wore a hollow of about 8 thousandths front to back - 27" deep or something (delta hybrid saw with cast tops). I'm not sure you would've noticed.
I had a 5 minute flip through your 1h12min vid!
You could really save yourself a lot of time and effort if you tried the wet wet n dry method.
You need a big flat surface - your little board with sand paper stuck on is just not wide, flat or long enough.
You wouldn't need blue stuff, straight edge or feeler gauges you can see where the high points are from the grind marks.
If in doubt use a coarser grit so you can see where you've been.
Hope that helps.
 
Back
Top