Last time I messed with the Stanley #444, the side walls of groove were pretty ratty. Not that they’d be seen, of course, but the product means the nickers aren’t sufficiently sharp.
A little work on the fine DMT showed it wasn’t flat on the outer surface of either of the two nickers.
I worked each just enough to get the surfaces flat.
Then I carefully worked the primary bevels of each on the fine DMT. They’ve got a ‘camber’ to them already that I don’t think is original, but I’m not removing more material than necessary to get an edge.
A half dozen swipes on the strop had the edges sharp and looking good. The nickers are now the shiniest parts on the plane.
A marking knife made the start line and the plane followed the line pretty well. Kinda like a shoulder plane. And it that regard, I did adjust the iron to get it aligned with the nicker (more out than in, if you know I mean). That adjustment had a big impact on the end result.
The cuts I made here though aren’t the ones needed for a dovetail groove; those require the fence. And that is next time. No, I haven’t successfully made a sliding dovetail joint with this tool yet. It’s clearly Stanley’s most complex hand plane, and I’m humbled by it. Stay tuned.
-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --