Troubleshooting plane.

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1275gt

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Hi all,
Setting up my first bench plane and I'm having a bit of trouble and after endless YouTube videos I can't seem to figure it out.

It's no 4 Stanley, blade sharpened to 1200 on a diamond stone then stropped with green compound.

For the life of my I can't get a thin shaving, I get thicker than card shavings and I'm having to really push on the plane just to get it through leaving horrible plane tracks.

I adjusted the frog so fine that it just jams up the mouth with sawdust like shavings after incrementally adjusting the blade out, I did a 1/4 turn back on the frog adjustment screw and back to thick shavings. So it's either clogging the mouth of the throat or taking thick really difficult shavings after only extending the blade a fraction. (Pine board btw)

Thanks in advance.
 

Ttrees

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Tightening the mouth is of no use, move it back so its flush with the casting.
Adjust the cap iron/chipbreaker if you want to stop tearout.
Plane tracks to me suggests too aggressive a setting most likely.
Is your board deflecting that you have to take such a deep cut?
That's where I'd start looking at things, that practice is prevalent on youtube.

Your plane could have a belly on it widthways, or you have a concave profile on your iron/cutter.
I'd really be looking on my first suggestion and maybe seek out sound planing technique from the likes of David Charlesworth


Tom
 
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Peter Sefton

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It sounds like you have the right kit to get the blade sharp, but is it sharp? Before it is assembled will it shave hairs off the back of your arm, is it sharpened at the correct angle 30 ish? I have had students with very sharp blade but a rounded bevel that rubs on the wood rather than giving a clearance angle and allowing it to cut.
 

richarddownunder

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You really don't need to fiddle with the frog to begin with as the first reply states. Just aim for 2 or 3 mm clearance at the front of the mouth so the shavings don't jam and ensure that the frog is sitting square before tightening the screws. Assuming the blade is sharp according to Peter's description and the back of the blade is flat to the cutting edge (that is important), have your cap iron set about 1-2 mm back from the edge of the blade and done up tight with the screw on the cap iron. If everything is aligned (cap iron/blade) and the blade is ground/honed perpendicular, the assembly should slide in to the casting, down the frog and the Y adjusting lever (depth adjuster) engage in the slot so that the blade mates evenly with the frog surface (no gaps) and the lateral adjuster should be fairly central - sometimes you have to wiggle the lateral adjuster to get the Y lever to engage properly. If all this is aligned, then the lever cap should click down and the whole thing should be rock solid. Its just a mater of winding the depth adjuster so the blade is protruding fractionally and adjusting as you go. I find it easiest to wind it back so no cut is taken, then carefully and slowly adjust the blade forward and tweak the lateral adjuster so the cut is even.

If you are doing all of that, you should be able to dial up any thickness you want in a couple of seconds with a small rotation of the depth adjuster. If its still not working, then check the sole is flat with a straight edge (usually I have found a good steel ruler sufficient).

If it's still not working, then check everything again. Its a very simple device (despite all the discussion) - it just holds a blade, tightly, on an angle. If the sole is curved one way or another significantly, you have a bit of work to do to flatten it on a flat surface with emery paper or similar! If it is very curved, then that is a problem. I have no experienced of castings that are that wonky.
Good luck
Cheers
Richard
 

AndyT

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As well as all the above, try turning the wood around and planing in the opposite direction or on another face. Some softwood is very non-co operative. If you have some other wood to try, use that.
 

1275gt

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I've attached some pictures.

The sole of the plane is after 30s on some 80 grit on float glass.
 

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David C

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I have several clips on my You Tube channel which might help.

The sole is not ideal, the felt tip needs removing just in front of the throat.

Is the blade back flat in its width so that the C/B underside edge can make a perfect fit at the edge?

I see you have done some work on C/B top edge, but have you checked the underside. Felt tip may help.

I show how to set a fine shaving in one of the clips.

If you can't set a fine shaving C/B may not be right for the plane.

Almost everything goes better with a slight camber on the blade.

Best wishes,
David Charlesworth
 

Bm101

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Just a thought on that last picture showing the sole. Did you lap it set up to work with the lever cap tight and the iron/blade just recessed into the throat? Because you need to.
I just wonder if you have tried to lap just the sole with the blade and cap iron removed? That might explain the concave scratch pattern.
Good luck. You will get there. At some point it stops being quite so baffling although I'm certainly no expert.
 

1275gt

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I have several clips on my You Tube channel which might help.

The sole is not ideal, the felt tip needs removing just in front of the throat.

Is the blade back flat in its width so that the C/B underside edge can make a perfect fit at the edge?

I see you have done some work on C/B top edge, but have you checked the underside. Felt tip may help.

I show how to set a fine shaving in one of the clips.

If you can't set a fine shaving C/B may not be right for the plane.

Almost everything goes better with a slight camber on the blade.

Best wishes,
David Charlesworth
Hello Mr Charlesworth,

I did some work on the underside of the chip breaker as well, flattened it till a bit developed then removed, when it's attached no light passes through the mating surface between the iron and CB.
After I posted the images I continued to lap on the 80 grit paper and all grid lines have gone from the front of the throat onwards, just towards the rear of the and the heel leaving just a hollow in the middle.

I have seen your videos Mr Charlesworth but will definitely check again to see if I have missed any.

Thank you for your reply.
 

1275gt

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Just a thought on that last picture showing the sole. Did you lap it set up to work with the lever cap tight and the iron/blade just recessed into the throat? Because you need to.
I just wonder if you have tried to lap just the sole with the blade and cap iron removed? That might explain the concave scratch pattern.
Good luck. You will get there. At some point it stops being quite so baffling although I'm certainly no expert.
Hello.
Yes this was the first time I started to lap the sole, I started the process with everything under tension just the iron retracted. I did continue to lap untill most of the grid has gone bar a hollow in the middle of the plane.

Thank you for all the replies so far, I tested the sharpness of the blade on my arm and it did remove hair but not effortlessly. I'm starting wonder if I just need to refine the edge just a little more.
 

Ttrees

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I would be cautious about going over the top if you continue lapping the sole, as
a lapping surface larger than the plane is, will make it more convex than you might want, what your photo appears to show is the plane is making contact at the edges slightly along the width so this is not a problem.

It might have been a problem if it was the other way round concerning plane tracks.
How you can tell easily is just by eyeing down the front of the mouth with the finest of settings.
Which emerges out first, the center of the iron, or might it be possibly troublesome edges, a reverse camber if you will.

As Mr Charlesworth has said a little camber helps, but it all depends on what you want to do with the plane.
I suggest you need another plane, I and many others like a no.5 1/2 for dimensioning and the no.4 for smoothing.
You could even get another rougher plane so you can have course medium and fine.

If tearout is of concern then I'd not have a camber larger than 1/32" (as best measured as you can, by the closest distance you can set the cap iron which would be a reference)
More on that later..

Defiantly have a look at some videos again of Mr Charlesworth's.
Note that planing anything that's long enough to deflect
or thin needs a flat surface to support the work, to get a consistent thin shaving the length and breath of the work.
A reference is needed, something as long as the work,
You will likely need flip the board around to eliminate deflection and get to this point where flat stock is sitting on a flat support.

Easier started by taking high spots from the middle of the convex side of the timber,
so underneath is sitting on the ends and not pivoting about from the middle.
As said, advance the cutter until you get a cut.

Yes, you should give your iron another lick so your not getting skin, or pinching your hairs for that forearm hair test.

After that...

Your plane looks good like that, no more needed to be done to it.

What reference have you got for the job?
This is key, and along with a little camber is your answer to the plane tracks situation.
You don't need to advance that iron so much, recently someone actually chipped their irons by doing so!
This was from trying to plane into a hollow, rather than taking the high spots down to that hollow.

Now if your on a shoestring...
Depending on how much stock you have access to, doubtful that what you have is clear with no knots, the cap iron will need to be employed if your on a budget.
If you only have one double iron plane, then I would suggest honing a larger camber on it like 1/32" max, instead of maybe half that distance away from the edge, as one would do for a smoother.

The mouth must be open or this won't work!
A tight mouth gives the illusion that the cap iron is too close

Most folks who actually use the cap iron! like the leading edge of the cap iron honed somewhere like 50 degrees or just a smidge over that 50 degrees point, it's a good place to be in.
David W (Weaver) has gone to many efforts in demonstrating this, Derek Cohen is also another proponent of the proper use of the cap iron.

It will be slow going or seem immpossible if you are trying to plane into a hollow though, so the work surface needs to be sufficient.



All the best
Tom
 
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Bm101

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Hello.
Yes this was the first time I started to lap the sole, I started the process with everything under tension just the iron retracted. I did continue to lap untill most of the grid has gone bar a hollow in the middle of the plane.

Thank you for all the replies so far, I tested the sharpness of the blade on my arm and it did remove hair but not effortlessly. I'm starting wonder if I just need to refine the edge just a little more.
Again, I'm Mr Amateur Hour and you have the likes of David Charlesworth helping, but I'd suggest your iron is sharp enough if not as sharp as it possibly could be. The thing is, as soon as you use a newly honed iron, it's already losing that perfect edge in natural use. You have to keep regaining that edge. So it's no biggie that it's not perfectly sharp. I'm not even going to approach the subject of honing materials.
Chances are as a newish user it's your fault. :) I've got * too many* old planes, not one has been so out I haven't been able to make it work, at least after a bit of faffing. Most old planes with short irons are users by default. Yours looks like it's newer but that's not necessarily a bad thing despite bad press.
(Again, I qualify myself as a rank amateur just trying to help).
Try reeling the iron back in all the way and buy a pack of orange rizla fag papers. Have a play around with extending the iron from the body. If you put a rizla under the bed forward of the mouth see what you can do with the iron on the flatest surface you can find with regards to extending the iron.. Just a hint, I have read/been told that you should always work with the adjustment wheel in positive. So if you wind it in, wind it back out before you work. Makes sense when you think about it.
Try setting the cap iron as close as you can manage. Then a bit more. Atom thin then work backwards.
Last try is to skew your plane. Push at 30 degrees.
These are just snippets I have picked up from more knowledgable guys. I share them in the hope it helps you out but certainly not as solutions.
Good luck fella. Keep at it!
Best regards
Chris
 

1275gt

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I would be cautious about going over the top if you continue lapping the sole, as
a lapping surface larger than the plane is, will make it more convex than you might want, what your photo appears to show is the plane is making contact at the edges slightly along the width so this is not a problem.

It might have been a problem if it was the other way round concerning plane tracks.
How you can tell easily is just by eyeing down the front of the mouth with the finest of settings.
Which emerges out first, the center of the iron, or might it be possibly troublesome edges, a reverse camber if you will.

As Mr Charlesworth has said a little camber helps, but it all depends on what you want to do with the plane.
I suggest you need another plane, I and many others like a no.5 1/2 for dimensioning and the no.4 for smoothing.
You could even get another rougher plane so you can have course medium and fine.

If tearout is of concern then I'd not have a camber larger than 1/32" (as best measured as you can, by the closest distance you can set the cap iron which would be a reference)
More on that later..

Defiantly have a look at some videos again of Mr Charlesworth's.
Note that planing anything that's long enough to deflect
or thin needs a flat surface to support the work, to get a consistent thin shaving the length and breath of the work.
A reference is needed, something as long as the work,
You will likely need flip the board around to eliminate deflection and get to this point where flat stock is sitting on a flat support.

Easier started by taking high spots from the middle of the convex side of the timber,
so underneath is sitting on the ends and not pivoting about from the middle.
As said, advance the cutter until you get a cut.

Yes, you should give your iron another lick so your not getting skin, or pinching your hairs for that forearm hair test.

After that...

Your plane looks good like that, no more needed to be done to it.

What reference have you got for the job?
This is key, and along with a little camber is your answer to the plane tracks situation.
You don't need to advance that iron so much, recently someone actually chipped their irons by doing so!
This was from trying to plane into a hollow, rather than taking the high spots down to that hollow.

Now if your on a shoestring...
Depending on how much stock you have access to, doubtful that what you have is clear with no knots, the cap iron will need to be employed if your on a budget.
If you only have one double iron plane, then I would suggest honing a larger camber on it like 1/32" max, instead of maybe half that distance away from the edge, as one would do for a smoother.

The mouth must be open or this won't work!
A tight mouth gives the illusion that the cap iron is too close

Most folks who actually use the cap iron! like the leading edge of the cap iron honed somewhere like 50 degrees or just a smidge over that 50 degrees point, it's a good place to be in.
David W (Weaver) has gone to many efforts in demonstrating this, Derek Cohen is also another proponent of the proper use of the cap iron.

It will be slow going or seem immpossible if you are trying to plane into a hollow though, so the work surface needs to be sufficient.



All the best
Tom
Thank you for your in-depth reply Tom.

I will have a look at my iron again. Just to make clear I'm not actually doing a job as a beginner I've started with sharpening and maintenance first before I start with any kind of project so the wood I'm planing is a 4 inch wide softwood board from b&q to basically test my plane once I have sharpened it. ( I will use a straight edge to see if it is cupped or has a hollow)
 

1275gt

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Again, I'm Mr Amateur Hour and you have the likes of David Charlesworth helping, but I'd suggest your iron is sharp enough if not as sharp as it possibly could be. The thing is, as soon as you use a newly honed iron, it's already losing that perfect edge in natural use. You have to keep regaining that edge. So it's no biggie that it's not perfectly sharp. I'm not even going to approach the subject of honing materials.
Chances are as a newish user it's your fault. :) I've got * too many* old planes, not one has been so out I haven't been able to make it work, at least after a bit of faffing. Most old planes with short irons are users by default. Yours looks like it's newer but that's not necessarily a bad thing despite bad press.
(Again, I qualify myself as a rank amateur just trying to help).
Try reeling the iron back in all the way and buy a pack of orange rizla fag papers. Have a play around with extending the iron from the body. If you put a rizla under the bed forward of the mouth see what you can do with the iron on the flatest surface you can find with regards to extending the iron.. Just a hint, I have read/been told that you should always work with the adjustment wheel in positive. So if you wind it in, wind it back out before you work. Makes sense when you think about it.
Try setting the cap iron as close as you can manage. Then a bit more. Atom thin then work backwards.
Last try is to skew your plane. Push at 30 degrees.
These are just snippets I have picked up from more knowledgable guys. I share them in the hope it helps you out but certainly not as solutions.
Good luck fella. Keep at it!
Best regards
Chris
Definitely will try that Chris and thanks for the words of encouragement, I'm aware that is probably my fault and its just a learning curve just got to figure it out.
 

richarddownunder

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I've attached some pictures.

The sole of the plane is after 30s on some 80 grit on float glass.
It may be an optical illusion from the camera angle, but that looks more than 25° on the primary bevel. If you use an eclipse honing guide, then 38 mm projection is about right for honing.

Cheers
Richard
 

planesleuth

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My advice is: I have only ever had the best results using my Record 5 1/2 plane. All adjustments as stated here but generally.....you should use a better make of plane, the right model of plane and you are probably expecting too much from the timber, the quality of which is almost certainly suspect, especially if it is pine board.
 

Racers

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My tip is to stretch the paper you are laping on tight, otherwise you can get a wave pushed up before and after the plane which takes more off at the ends.

60 grit is the minimum for a seriously out sole.

Pete
 

Ttrees

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Agreed Pete, no point in dubbing the ends, but even still,
a taught stretched down lapping abrasive which is larger than the plane is
will always still favour the ends.
There's no way to stop that, one has to use a smaller area abrasive removing metal where its needed to be removed only.
The pictures show it was getting convex lengthwise allready.

More of an issue if the OP is wanting to do this with a longer plane in which (if lapping with abrasives) needs to be done right, or it will get a big belly.
The same thing goes for adjustable mouth planes like a no.60 1/2, important to have a flat sole so the movable shoe in front of the mouth is parallel and won't lift the plane off of the work.

If one believes that they can keep lapping on a long plate and the thing will get flat is fooling themselves.
I won't lie, I was convinced also, as why would most of the guru's demonstrate this...

Those same folks today seem do be in denial of David Weaver's publications on what's the most part lost cap iron information articles, and still shrug away or squirm when they get asked.
Pride or stubbornness takes a hold and is a trap of willing ignorance.
These folks are just being misleading in my opinion, and really should just be honest/humble and be setting the record straight about all those bad techniques of old which somehow got passed down to them.

Too many planes have gotten thin from that thinking.
 
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