Tools tools, I love toys, I mean tools #3: Building hand plane tune-up confidence: lapping, lapping, and more lapping

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Blog entry by paxorion posted 08-09-2014 04:10 AM 1582 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Hand tools because it made me feel safer, and my first sharpening/honing attempt... Part 3 of Tools tools, I love toys, I mean tools series Part 4: Why I bought two Groz hand planes as my starter planes »

After a seeming successful first attempt at sharpening/honing, I decided to finally tune up my Groz bench and block plane. The lapping took the longest part and I went through a good amount of 100 and 120 grit paper flatting the bottoms of both planes. The block plane was significantly worse, taking close to 2 hours to flatten the bottom whereas the #4 took a little over an hour. After the lapping was done, a wipe down and thorough cleaning with mineral spirits cleaned off the metal shavings, as well as the packing grease that I should have cleaned off a year ago.

I had set my hopes up that the lapping would have made a night and day difference, but it didn’t. Both planes do perform better now than before, but certainly not as well as other tuned up planes I’ve used before. I’ll probably go back and re-sharpen/hone both blades again this weekend to see how it works. But nevertheless, I think my objective of building confidence in my ability to tune a hand plane. Maybe a pre-WWII plane hunt will be in my future after all…

-- paxorion

3 comments so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3708 days

#1 posted 08-09-2014 03:21 PM

What is the nature of the difficulty you are having using these planes?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2041 days

#2 posted 08-10-2014 02:00 AM

I don’t know if I would call it “difficulty”, more my overly optimistic and (admittedly) irrationally expectations meeting reality. I paid $40 for a block and bench plane for 1 sole reason: as sacrificial planes to experiment with tune-up, before I decide on buying premium modern plane or look for a pre-WWII plane to restore. I’ll write a summary of my thoughts in my next post of this blog series.

-- paxorion

View johnstoneb's profile


2914 posts in 2168 days

#3 posted 08-10-2014 02:17 PM

When flattening the sole on planes there comes a time when you reach the point of diminishing returns. It is nice to have the sole perfectly flat but not really necessary. Once the toe, heel and the mouth all are making contact. You may have reached that point and it comes to how mugh more time do I want to spend doing something repetitive that may not change the outcome that much..

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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