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Wood That Only BU Plane Can Deal With

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Osvaldd

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I'm planing some reclaimed boards, likely spruce or fir. My go to No.4 was struggling so much I decided to pretty much give up on the project. The No.4 was either not biting the wood at all or when it did bite it would rip huge chunks. I then, as a last resort, tried a No.220 and wow, like magic it worked brilliantly. I wonder why is that?
 

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ED65

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Shouldn't this be in Hand Tools?

This may ignite some debate but there's no wood a BU plane can plane that a BD plane can't plane at least as well if not better, assuming it's properly fettled and set up suitably. Which indicates something's up with your no. 4, and the setting of the cap iron is very likely part of it. BTW this also shows your 220 is set up very nicely so good job there.

Here's some slightly more gnarly, hard-to-plane spruce that I smoothed with a no. 4 just the other day:

 

Osvaldd

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Yes John15, for this one board I sharpened and stropped over five times, hair shaving sharp. Whereas the block plane was sharp-ish and did the whole board(3 metre long) in one go.

ED65 I tried everything, different cap iron positions(cap iron is mating with the blade perfectly), tried bringing the frog forward, tried two other planes.
Basically for the most part it just won’t grab the wood, it just sort of rides the surface as if the blade was inside and when I bring the blade forward a bit more it then garbs and rips big chunks off. There were a few areas where no4 was planing ok, but for the most part it was a disaster. I mean the difference was no4 half days work and nothing to show for, no220 less than 30min gave me a beautiful surface.

I can plane everything else with BD planes, I have pine and oak.
 

Woody2Shoes

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If your chipbreaker it properly fettled:
- leading edge is tight against the blade when tightened up;
- leading edge is 'snub-nosed' with a flat, smooth, edge which will force the new-formed chip to snap cleanly.
And your blade is sharp (the 'grabbiness' you describe makes me wonder how sharp it is, also how flat the sole is, and how firmly the blade is held in place by the lever cap). Also, is the back of the blade (within a few mm of the cutting edge at least) flat across the width of the cutting edge?

You could try 'poor man's York pitch' which is putting a micro-back-bevel on the blade (or a spare blade kept for the purpose).

https://paulsellers.com/2012/08/on-the- ... ur-throat/
https://paulsellers.com/2014/11/questio ... e-problem/

Cheers, W2S
 

novocaine

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It looks like you've got 2 directions of "grain" (not sure if thats the right word, my head hurts) on either side of that knot.
Whilst a BU will cope with it, it can be a struggle to get it to work and the settings on one piece of wood won't always work on another.
The way you say the plane reacted is exactly what you'd expect from planing against the grain and is similar to my experience.

A low angle blade down plane in my rather humble experience works better in this situation as you've found out.
 

custard

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Osvaldd":zto2dxhg said:
The No.4 was either not biting the wood at all or when it did bite it would rip huge chunks... I wonder why is that?
I sympathise, teaching yourself woodworking isn't easy. If you had an experienced person at your shoulder to demonstrate then this problem would melt away.

Put out of your mind any conclusion that your bevel up block plane has magical properties, it really doesn't. The answer is overwhelmingly likely to be one of two things,

-you've made a mistake in the set up of the 04 smoother, but you're not experienced enough to recognise what it is.

-you're planing a very rough or uneven board where the larger 04 plane rides over the valleys and only engages on the peaks (which encourages an overly aggressive iron setting, which in turn leads to that start/stop action), but when you transfer to the smaller block plane you achieve a more constant engagement. The solution is to use the larger plane but to be patient, for the initial strokes you'll only be engaging on the highest of the high points.
 

lanemaux

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Coming in from far left field as per usual , what angle are you sharpening to? I once borrowed a buddies plane and found that he had sharpened it at an angle that was visually identical to it's bedding angle, as in flat to the work surface . When it was placed to wood finely set ,well, it just skated. Crank in the adjustments for a bit of depth and clunck!
For the record , he was pretty handy with power tools.
Mike
 

ED65

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Osvaldd":prt17x79 said:
Basically for the most part it just won’t grab the wood, it just sort of rides the surface as if the blade was inside and when I bring the blade forward a bit more it then garbs and rips big chunks off.
I think this is a prime illustration of rough work for a rough plane. Were all the bench planes you tried this with set up with a basically straight edge on their irons?

I used to have exactly the same struggle as you describe before I had a plane set up specifically for major material removal. Now I have two and I wouldn't be without one or the other because they sail through this kind of thing.

You want something with at least a fair camber to sort of scoop underneath a woolly/shaggy surface.

Osvaldd":prt17x79 said:
...tried bringing the frog forward...
Set it and forget it :)

(Fully back.)
 

thetyreman

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a no5 or no 5 1/2 would be better for this job, also sounds like your plane isn't set up properly because it should cut through it effortlessly.
 

ED65

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I thought you might find this useful Osvaldd, I took this photo the other day for a different thread but didn't get a chance to post it. Here are the cambers on my prep planes:



Significant, noticeable and imperceptible. As you know if you've seen a modern scrub plane's iron you can camber an edge much more than at left here, but this curvature is enough to make a useful roughing plane.

An old wooden jack plane makes a great candidate for turning into a fore plane (be-fore plane) by giving its iron a significant curve. And a great thing is that for this purpose it doesn't matter if it's in rough shape! This includes if there are a few pits on the back of the iron that are too much work to remove, you can just ignore them.

With a thicker vintage iron it does require a fair bit of effort to add a lot of camber, but you'll never need to grind it again so it's a one-shot deal.
 

woodbloke66

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Those that have been around on UKW for a while will remember the notorious 'Wood from Hell' from a few years ago. Matt Platt at Workshop Heaven reckoned he could tame it, so I sent him a chunk around 200mm long and about 20mm thick.
He did eventually manage to plane it reasonably well and sent it back to me (it's loafing around somewhere in the 'shop), but it was now only around 10 or 12mm thick :lol: - Rob
 

Hornbeam

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I see little reason why a BU plane would be so much better than a BD plane .Have you checked the base of of your No4. It may well be slightly concave so the the plane iron isnt contacting the wood surface until you have quite deep setting, which then digs in
Ian
 

Trevanion

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woodbloke66":3o80sx0m said:
Those that have been around on UKW for a while will remember the notorious 'Wood from Hell' from a few years ago. Matt Platt at Workshop Heaven reckoned he could tame it, so I sent him a chunk around 200mm long and about 20mm thick.
He did eventually manage to plane it reasonably well and sent it back to me (it's loafing around somewhere in the 'shop), but it was now only around 10 or 12mm thick :lol: - Rob
I remember watching that video years ago!

I reckon it wouldn't be too hard to master with the surface planer with a similar set up to the knives like Matthew did with his hand plane, about a 15 degree negative grind to the knives can make all the difference with knarly timbers. You can go from having massive chunks being torn out to a silky smooth surface with a little back bevel :) Only problem with that set up in a machine is it does raise your risk of kickback quite a bit and you can't take too heavy of a cut.
 

woodbloke66

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Trevanion":1fwl9bc2 said:
woodbloke66":1fwl9bc2 said:
Those that have been around on UKW for a while will remember the notorious 'Wood from Hell' from a few years ago. Matt Platt at Workshop Heaven reckoned he could tame it, so I sent him a chunk around 200mm long and about 20mm thick.
He did eventually manage to plane it reasonably well and sent it back to me (it's loafing around somewhere in the 'shop), but it was now only around 10 or 12mm thick :lol: - Rob
I remember watching that video years ago!

I reckon it wouldn't be too hard to master with the surface planer with a similar set up to the knives like Matthew did with his hand plane,
As I recollect, Matt did with a Clifton No. 4 or 4.5, very tight mouth, very fine shaving, a York pitch frog and a bit of a back bevel on the iron...but he did still say it was a bit 'tricky' to plane - Rob
 

Osvaldd

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Well, I figured out why my bench planes weren’t planing, it’s a sharpness issue. One pass over a knot and the edge is ruined. With some denser woods like pine the blade will still cut, but with some of that white-stuff - it's a game over. I still haven’t figured out why the 220 block plane was cutting the same wood so well for so long though.
 

Osvaldd

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Also I noticed that the cabinet scraper deals with knots really well. I now pre-scrape the knots so that the bench plane iron doesn’t touch them. Really helps with this type of wood.
 

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custard

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I hate being prescriptive Osvaldd, if it works then usually that's all that matters. But using a scraper to tackle knots for fear of damaging your planer iron, well that's just nuts mate!

Imagine if you were an apprentice in a cabinet making workshop and you came up with a daft scheme like that? You'd be told in no uncertain terms to stop @8&%ing around and get your plane working properly!
 

woodbloke66

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Osvaldd":7qba6c0a said:
Also I noticed that the cabinet scraper deals with knots really well. I now pre-scrape the knots so that the bench plane iron doesn’t touch them. Really helps with this type of wood.
If that's the best pine that you can find to work with, sorry, but you're on a hiding to nothing with it. There's much bettter quality pine out there but you gota go and look for it - Rob
 

Osvaldd

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custard":19fdhy7a said:
using a scraper to tackle knots for fear of damaging your planer iron, well that's just nuts mate!
:lol: why? These sprouts are as hard as a rock, planing one fricking board I had to resharpen several times, If I scrape the knots first so the plane iron doesnt touch them I can extend the life of the cutting edge a fair bit, plus when scraping theres less chance of cracking the knots too.

@woodbloke66 I know wood selection is very important, but this is all I have at the moment.

p.s. I didn’t write the word sprout, what is going on here?
 
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