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Wooden hand planes suggestions?

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M_Chavez

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Hi All,

I am going through a wooden plane phase and currently considering replacing my metal planes with an arsenal of woodies.
The plan is to batch produce a variety of woodies from bits of scrap i have around the shop and see if any of them work particularly well for me.

Would anyone have any suggestions in regard to bedding angles, mouth widths, plane sizes that you find work for you? Single or double blade? Brass or Krenov-style pin (if there is any difference between the two)?

I have a smoother that works well for very thin shavings and currently building a half-jointer, but I need something for hardwoods and very difficult grain - both smoothing and taking reasonably aggressive cuts, as well as some block-plane sized stuff.
There's a Hock Krenov blade as well as some old sheffield steel stashed up for the experiment.

Any advice and tips are appreciated.
Thanks.
 

Ttrees

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David Weaver makes some excellent planes, and has a build playlist on his channel.
You can see Brian Holcombe using one in the "buried in walnut shavings" video on his channel if you look his up also.
I wouldn't follow anyone make a double iron plane to the tee, who doesn't use the cap iron.

Make sure you post a pic or two of your plane
Tom
 

tony_s

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Ttrees":282pf0kp said:
I wouldn't follow anyone make a double iron plane to the tee, who doesn't use the cap iron.
Sorry, I honestly don't understand what this means?
 

M_Chavez

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Thanks - I'll give all this a watch/read.

I've seen this Veritas kit, but the screw adjuster is something I don't want - I am (potentially) looking to degrade to a complete neanderthal and only build the ones that are set by tapping the blade. I've done some work recently with a tap-set plane and it made me feel that all these screws make me over-think the set-up process when I should spend more time sharpening (and planing).

Has anyone had any experience with Krenov pin vs brass pin - any difference in how they perform?

In the meantime, I'm off to turn a new mallet for tapping those blades :evil:
 

Pete Maddex

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I agree with you about the adjuster it's a pain, just use the method of building and use a longer blade.

Orte
 

ac445ab

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M_Chavez":16fhstrt said:
Would anyone have any suggestions in regard to bedding angles, mouth widths, plane sizes that you find work for you? Single or double blade? Brass or Krenov-style pin (if there is any difference between the two)?
I think a chipbreaker is useful in a wooden smoother for mastering wild grain as well as it adds weight to the plane. Also a 50-55 degrees bed angle can help.
Ciao
Giuliano
 

ED65

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M_Chavez":2v9z2fml said:
Would anyone have any suggestions in regard to bedding angles, mouth widths, plane sizes that you find work for you?
Bedding angle, here's something to ponder: a plane with a 45° bed fitted with an iron that has a 10° microbevel on the back works identically to a plane with a 55° bedding angle, with the added versatility of also being able to work as common-angle plane.

The important of mouth size is, still, consistently overstated in double-iron planes. They're very important with single-iron planes.

M_Chavez":2v9z2fml said:
Single or double blade?
FWIW I think single-iron planes are obsolete unless they're for rough work so I wouldn't bother with making anything with a single iron unless it's a roughing plane. Other than that they're a curiosity, not a path to take towards functionality.

tony_s":2v9z2fml said:
Ttrees":2v9z2fml said:
I wouldn't follow anyone make a double iron plane to the tee, who doesn't use the cap iron.
Sorry, I honestly don't understand what this means?
I believe what he's saying is that if you have a double iron and don't use it as the means to control tearout you're not using it to its full potential, or to call a spade a spade you basically don't know what it's for.

Early on controlling tearout was the cap iron's sole reason for existence. They can have other (additional) functions now but their prime purpose should still be to control tearout. When first introduced double irons and double-iron planes cost a noticeable amount more (I forget the price differential but you can look it up) but yet in an era when craftsmen penny-pinched to a degree that is hard to fathom today they still swept single irons almost completely from the market. This tells us how much better they were found to be, by people who exclusively used planes to put food on their tables.
 

Oskar Sedell

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Hi,

I´ve been making wooden planes for a while now, and have made many different types, almost all of them are the planes that I use all the time. My advice to you is to forget about the batch production and the plan to replace all your metal planes at once. Decide on one model (block plane, smoother, your choice) and take a nice piece of wood (does not need to be perfect, but also not just any scrap). Starting with a good blank always motivates me to do my best work. Now do as good as you can in making this one chosen plane and strive to build it and fettle it until it really works good, not just ok, or "good for a wooden plane". I mean really good. When your done with this, you are probably hooked and you can turn to the next plane, and do even better this time.

What plane type is up to you, but for your stated wish for a plane that works for both aggressive cuts and smoothing and for difficult woods I would build a double iron plane with standard bed angle. Hock iron or standard shape doesnt matter. Same principle here as in choosing blank. Pick an iron where you are confident that it is a good one, and take the time to prepare it to the utmost of your capability, again motivating yourself to make a plane body that lives up to the iron. Learn about shaping the cap iron (Steve Voigt and David Weaver are good info sources, written and video, for Krenov planes the book by David Finch is good).

Have fun! nothing beats the feeling of taking a perfect shaving with a plane you built yourself.

Oskar
 

woodbloke66

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ac445ab":tmgaq0xe said:
I think a chipbreaker is useful in a wooden smoother for mastering wild grain as well as it adds weight to the plane. Also a 50-55 degrees bed angle can help.
Ciao
Giuliano
Not sure about chipbreaker thing though; if you consider low angle Veritas planes, there's no chipbreaker but the mouth can be set very fine and they'll deal with the gnarliest grain by cutting with a very high effective pitch. Sorry to go OT a little my mentioning metal planes - Rob
 

ac445ab

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woodbloke66":3eqhk2fa said:
ac445ab":3eqhk2fa said:
I think a chipbreaker is useful in a wooden smoother for mastering wild grain as well as it adds weight to the plane. Also a 50-55 degrees bed angle can help.
Ciao
Giuliano
Not sure about chipbreaker thing though; if you consider low angle Veritas planes, there's no chipbreaker but the mouth can be set very fine and they'll deal with the gnarliest grain by cutting with a very high effective pitch. Sorry to go OT a little my mentioning metal planes - Rob
Bevel up Low angle planes cannot have a chipbreaker, so the difficult grain is mastered with fine mouth and higher cutting angles. In a woodie i find not easy to have a tight mouth with double irons (the plane clogs easily) but I prefer to renounce to this and have a chipbreaker, not only for planing difficult grains but also for have more weight, stiffness and stability for the cutting group.

Ciao
Giuliano
 

woodbloke66

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ac445ab":2qipcymh said:
Bevel up Low angle planes cannot have a chipbreaker, so the difficult grain is mastered with fine mouth and higher cutting angles.

Ciao
Giuliano
Agreed, what I just said, but it's also ridiculously easy to alter both the mouth setting and the high cutting angle. All my Veritas planes cut at 54deg including the bed angle and that can be changed simply by honing the bevel at a lower angle; about three or four minutes work - Rob
 

M_Chavez

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Thank you very much.

Oskar - by "scraps" I mean some bubinga, ash, purpleheart and ebony that are not earmarked for any upcoming project - I have no plans to use firewood!
 

M_Chavez

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Actually, since we are talking blade & chipbreaker set-up - what's the best way of flattening a plane iron back that has a hump in the middle of the blade? I remember seeing a Sellers video where he hits the iron with a hammer, but that method doesn't seem to work on a thick old iron.
 

Ttrees

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M_Chavez":2phqxcve said:
Actually, since we are talking blade & chipbreaker set-up - what's the best way of flattening a plane iron back that has a hump in the middle of the blade? I remember seeing a Sellers video where he hits the iron with a hammer, but that method doesn't seem to work on a thick old iron.
Yes it does indeed work on old irons, you just need a bigger hammer :)
Tom
 

M_Chavez

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Is it the case of many small taps right at the edge, or just whack the dickens out of it and hope I don't miss the blade? (hammer)
 

Ttrees

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Place the iron with the bellied side up, resting on two blocks of wood.
Get another small block for protecting the metal, and have at it.
Better for it to be on the slightly hollow end of the spectrum, rather than a belly.
The amount of hollow should be an unnoticeable amount, until you lap it afterwards.

Having the iron hollow gives a solid registration point at each side of the iron,
compared to just one registration point in the middle, which gives chance for errors lapping,
and takes longer to do.

Tom
 

ED65

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woodbloke66":2d9wmb5n said:
Not sure about chipbreaker thing though; if you consider low angle Veritas planes, there's no chipbreaker but the mouth can be set very fine and they'll deal with the gnarliest grain by cutting with a very high effective pitch. Sorry to go OT a little my mentioning metal planes - Rob
It is worth bringing this up so that the following can said straight out: a fine mouth (with or without a higher AOA) is less effective at controlling tearout than the cap-iron effect.

Mouth size is also not adjustable in a typical woodie, making for a plane that out of the gate is less versatile. A wooden plane can be made to have an adjustable mouth, with a movable shoe or toe plate, but that does add a not-inconsiderable amount of complexity and work to an already challenging project.
 

ED65

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M_Chavez":2kgal2ty said:
Actually, since we are talking blade & chipbreaker set-up - what's the best way of flattening a plane iron back that has a hump in the middle of the blade? I remember seeing a Sellers video where he hits the iron with a hammer, but that method doesn't seem to work on a thick old iron.
Yes hammering can work, I've used it a few times successfully myself since I first found out about it. I believe I've had it work on a thick trad iron too although this was some years back so I can't remember for sure.

But there's a known risk with this technique, you can crack the iron. Unfortunately I now have firsthand experience of this since I cracked my first iron a couple of months ago. However, I was relieved to discover that in actual fact a crack isn't fatal and the iron can remain usable but it's obviously something best avoided!

So if a hump needs to be taken down I think the best method is to tackle it directly e.g. using a sanding drum or with careful grinder work. Once the worst of it is off you can switch back to regular sharpening methods.

Another option that is sometimes possible is to ignore it. You can concentrate sharpening effort right at the edge, along a strip no more than 10mm wide, and IME this often makes it possible to just hone conventionally and have a hump become a non-issue.
 
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