• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Sole Searching

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Philly

Established Member
Joined
24 Nov 2003
Messages
6,874
Reaction score
0
Location
Dorset, England.
Hi All
Sorry about the title :lol:
I have been a little unhappy with the performance of my Clifton 4 1/2 recently. I have been tweaking the blade, ensuring that wasn't the problem, but checked the sole last night with a reliable straight edge and feeler gauges. I found a hollow of about 0.0015 (which is within stated tolerence for Clifton planes) in middle of the sole, so thought I would have a go at lapping the sole.
I set up my piece of float glass on my workbench and then checked with the straight edge to ensure that the surface was flat. (at least as far as I could measure) It was definitely flatter than the sole of the plane, so out came the 100grit wet and dry for some lap action. Here's how it looked after 10 strokes....


You can obviously see where it was hollow. I spent a further 3 minutes carefully removing the rest of the marks, making sure I kept even pressure on the plane. ( I held it with both hand either side of the frog) Here's how it came up...

I cleaned it up, polished it out with 1500 grit wet and dry and applied some oil. Spent some time taking test cuts and there is a definite improvement (when taking very fine sub 2 thou shavings). I won't bore you with curly shaving shots, but it certainly made an appreciable difference.
I'm not a member of the "flat sole society" as in practise this is difficult to achieve, but this simple procedure has definitely mproved the performance of my plane. If you notice your favorite plane is not performing as it once did, maybe this could be what you are looking for?
Cheers
Philly :D
 

Gill

Established Member
Joined
3 Sep 2003
Messages
3,537
Reaction score
0
Location
Lincs
Hi Philly

Very interesting - and the photos fitted onto my screen too. Yay!!! :D

Gill
 

ydb1md

Established Member
Joined
6 Apr 2005
Messages
634
Reaction score
0
Location
Maryland
I just ordered a piece of float glass specifically for the purpose of flattening the soles on my jack and smoother planes. I'm not too concerned about my other planes, but these two are the ones that I use to take thin shavings with. I imagine that I'll get to tackle this job this weekend, once my glass arrives. Both planes are LV LA jobbies. If there's any interest, I'll post before and after measurements.
 

Philly

Established Member
Joined
24 Nov 2003
Messages
6,874
Reaction score
0
Location
Dorset, England.
There is definitely a relationship between haow flat the sole is and how fine a shaving you want to take. DC is somewhat more informed than me, and I recommend you read up on everything he has to say on the subject, but this has definitely worked.
I think knowing when to stop is important. It is easy to do more damage than good if you keep going, as "flat" is a relative term!! :lol:
Cheers
Philly :D
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Excellent post, Philly. This really illustrates the importance of where a sole is out of flat. In your first picture, it appears there is a high point in front of the mouth and that is the worst scenario. Even a tiny high spot in this area can really cause problems when you need to take a thin shaving. The hollows behind the mouth in the center of the sole are not nearly as important.
 

Chris Knight

Established Member
Joined
14 Jan 2004
Messages
6,641
Reaction score
3
Location
SE London - NW Kent
Philly,

Thanks for an interesting post. I guess it means that your plane has "moved" since you bought it - and of course cast iron can and does distort with time unless fully stress relieved before machining etc.

I haven't looked at any of my plane soles lately but I will check my little Clifton #3 in the light of your experience. I tend to make this a messy job though as I prefer using a surface plate and engineer's blue for checking sole flatness as I reckon a straightedge can give a distorted picture (no pun intended :) )
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

Established Member
Joined
2 Mar 2005
Messages
2,785
Reaction score
200
Location
Perth, Australia
Thanks Philly. My comments would echo those of Roger.

For those you are contemplating lapping plane soles, here is my 2c worth (or should that read 2p?).

I use a metre long (x 300 mm wide) sheep of 12mm float glass. This rests on a 2" thick stack of MDF sheets, which rests on a flat, low bench.

Before you start any lapping, check that the glass is flat. Unless the substratum is both flat and rigid, the glass will bend. This is not a good thing for plane soles, unless you want a banana.

Glue on Nortons Zirconion Oxide sanding belts. I begin with 80 and 120 grit, then I move to 180, 240, 360 grits in wet-and-dry. The ZO lasts forever.

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

ydb1md

Established Member
Joined
6 Apr 2005
Messages
634
Reaction score
0
Location
Maryland
I use a metre long (x 300 mm wide) sheep of 12mm float glass. This rests on a 2" thick stack of MDF sheets, which rests on a flat, low bench.
Regards from Perth

Derek
Wow. That's some base upon which to lap a plane. I'd think that the 1/2" thick piece of glass wouldn't budge, but overkill is never a bad thing.

:)
 
Top