Reply by unbob

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Posted on No 7 vs No 8

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808 posts in 1872 days

#1 posted 03-06-2014 06:17 AM

From what I have seen in the 2- #7s, and 2- #8s “old” planes I have, they are far from flat as found.
I have used a LN #7…..nice. LN planes “they say” are 1/2 of one thousandth .0005” flat, perhaps they are. To approach that flatness on an old Stanley or other brand vintage plane is not an easy task. A while back, I linked to a discussion on a machinist web site on the subject of flattening old hand planes. What was concluded there is- If one is to get one as flat or better then a LN plane, it will have to be hand scraped to a Master surface reference using dye. There is no way around it, here are some reasons why. The casting are thin, can have a hard skin from chilling after being cast. The castings have an uneven and odd shape, causing internal stresses that cause them to warp, twist and get lumpy. Milling, and or surface grinding will get the worst out, but tends to add stress of its own, but still will not get them as flat as a LN hand plane. They still must be hand scraped to finish off. The LN planes are ductile cast iron, better castings-less internal stresses. You did mention LN planes, I stated what it takes to get to that level of sole flatness with a vintage hand plane. And.. that is not going to happen sanding the sole on top of a table saw….that most refer to as lapping. Perhaps sanding the soles is good enough for most users, but not all.

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