LumberJocks

A journey into the workshop. #25: Tuning my Groz #4. You'd be amazed how sweaty you can get...

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 11-01-2009 03:55 AM 1511 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 24: My head hurts for good reason... Part 25 of A journey into the workshop. series Part 26: Working on anniversary and Christmas presents... »

Like most new planes, heck, what am I saying, like most planes, period, new or new to you, my Groz #4 was in need of a tuning. First things first check the sole for flatness… Heel to toe dead flat. This is a good sign, Side to side it is concave, at 120 grit I get scratches all the way accross, but moving up the grits the ones in the very center don’t even hardly come out. Time to work this plane on the sharpening board.

Now I am pretty sure this isn’t the RIGHT way to do this, but it has worked for me for a LOT of years, and I see no need to change it up now…

I use a sharpening board that is a simple piece of 3/16” hardboard, with various grits of sandpaper glued down with 3M Super 77 spray adhesive. This was the way I was taught in High School, and right or wrong, it is what I have been doing for all those so many years since then…

Anyway, so I am working my way through the grits, 120, 220, 320, and my finest grit of 400 (Yeah I know I should go finer, but hey, it works so far…) Then to the whetstone. No clue what grit either side is, there is a coarse side and a fine side. I have had this thing since High School…

Anyway run the sole through the whole rigamarole of flattening until I honestly get tired of fooling with it. It’s close but not perfect. (WIll get after it again, probably tomorrow). Moved on to the iron. WOW is that thing concave on the back! It took me something like 45 minutes to get it flat! But it is there now… Flipped it over, and got after it with the honing guide. Took me a bit to get the angle right, but I finally got it…

Finally got it put back together, adjusted the blade depth, set a piece of solid wood (Southern Yellow Pine, it’s what I had) in the vise, and took a swipe, no chatter, just nice, long, thin curly shavings interrupted where the wood dipped down out of reach of the blade. Two swipes later I was able to keep full width translucent shavings.

I literally wore out the 120 grit in the process and need to replace it on the board. But tomorrow brings another chance to get after this plane and get it perfect…

Oh, for what it’s worth, I checked side to sole for squareness, according to my Johnson Engineers square, it is dead on…

I don’t recall who wrote the review of the Groz #4 and low angle block plane combo set from Woodcraft, but that review was a contributing factor to me buying this set. While it certainly needs tuning out of the box, I am pretty sure every single new plane shy of maybe a Veritas or similar plane needs to be tuned. And to be honest, part of the fun of setting up shop is tuning and tweaking the tools and equipment…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com



10 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112862 posts in 2324 days


#1 posted 11-01-2009 04:16 AM

A lot of work and sandpaper.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3685 posts in 1911 days


#2 posted 11-01-2009 04:22 AM

Hmmmmm….....ain’t there yet….....looking forward to planes and chisels…............

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5387 posts in 1979 days


#3 posted 11-01-2009 04:37 AM

My chisels were scary sharp when new. They are the Stanley Fat Max. Rumor has it the current set is made in china, mine are marked as made in England.

Yeah, a lot of work and sandpaper. From what I have been reading, it’s not at all uncommon with new hand planes except for the very very top of the line models like Veritas… And those are WAY out of my price range… The Groz replace some 1980s vintage Stanley’s that I got at a yard sale for $5.00. I ran through the same thing with the Stanley, and the results were nearly as good, but the adjusters and stuff kept working their way lose no matter what I did to it. I traded them off for a cheap set of screwdrivers. The new owners is happy as a clam with them. Not sure what he did, but he figured out how to make it hold its adjustments… Same sort of setup, a #4 and a low angle block plane… The block was FAR worse than the #4 too… I gave up on flattening the sole on that one.

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Gatsby1923's profile

Gatsby1923

39 posts in 1884 days


#4 posted 11-01-2009 05:28 AM

I just went through this with a Stanley. (see my blog) Atleast you did not pay for a new Stanley. That was just a waste of cash.

-- I don't know where I'm going but I'm on my way!

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5387 posts in 1979 days


#5 posted 11-01-2009 05:37 AM

I got these Groz planes on sale at Woodcraft. They are individual planes and not the kit in the blow molded case. Same planes, just lacking the case… I looked at the new Stanleys. I think I paid something like $50.00 or so for both of my Groz planes, cheaper even than the junk series Stanley’s at Lowes, and yeah I agree. The Stanley Sweetheart planes I saw at Woodcraft were in need of tuning as much as these Groz planes. So my choice was buy made in India, or buy made in China. And the Indian planes looked nicer…

I am happy enough with these that I am thinking about getting a #6 and #7, (skipping the #5 as it isn’t enough longer than the #4 to make it worthwhile…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Andrew's profile

Andrew

709 posts in 1945 days


#6 posted 11-01-2009 03:18 PM

Thanks for the details, never flattened, just sharpened. A freind of mine gave me a 1/2 hp motor that turns at 1750 rpm. I turned a peice of MDF ( 2 3/4” peices glued together) round on my lathe, they are close to 10” in diameter. I mounted them on the motor and then charge it with the white buffing compound. I don’t have any tool rests, suppose I could make one, but I have been free Handing it so far. The wheel runs up and away from me, rrrrr, I will take pictures later and post them in the tool review section. By the way I got the whole idea from one of Alan Lacers videos

-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5387 posts in 1979 days


#7 posted 11-02-2009 06:01 AM

My Groz planes and a small sampling of the shavings they make.

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3685 posts in 1911 days


#8 posted 11-02-2009 06:06 AM

Nice shavings….....nice planes….......

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5387 posts in 1979 days


#9 posted 11-02-2009 05:15 PM

Cheeeep planes too…

The #4 is a little annoying as the sole is a little short for my meat hooks…, and I tend to occasionally follow the plane with the side of my hand. That is more of an operator construction issue though. I have yet to find a plane big enough for my hands… What can I say, the good lord blessed me with large hands to do my work with. Unfortunately they interfere with certain work. There is a reason I HATE Japanese cars…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3685 posts in 1911 days


#10 posted 11-02-2009 05:36 PM

Build your own plane, David, somebody is telling you to build your own plane!

I have average size hands, by more than one definition. The biggest problem is the effects of aging on the extremely fine motor control. I have a slight tremor now, never used to. Doesn’t affect my work in anyway, or my woodworking. It seems much of what we can do with our hands depends on how our brains work.

Wish my grandfather had some old planes to give me, along with the bit and brace and such. He gave me what was left of his tools when I was in high school. I think the nearby son-in-law got the best of the stuff, which was appropriate for a number of reasons.

Work day, don’t know if there will be time for the shop.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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