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setting hand plane depth

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Forum topic by UncleBen posted 09-19-2007 08:05 PM 4392 views 1 time favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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UncleBen

37 posts in 2672 days


09-19-2007 08:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plane hand smooth 4 depth adjust tuning set up shim paper

I am still trying to learn the proper use and set up of hand planes and I am having some trouble. I am attempting to use the method of setting the plane on paper shims (not under the throat of course) to set the depth, but once I tighten down the cap iron (cam action) it greatly increases the blade depth and raises the plane up. What am I doing wrong? How can I fix this problem?

I don’t know if it matters, but I am using a #4 smooth plane, and will be getting a block and a jointer soon.

Thanks much!


23 replies so far

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WayneC

12300 posts in 2817 days


#1 posted 09-19-2007 08:42 PM

Hmmmm. I’ve not used the paper method. I normally just turn the plane over and sight down the body of the plane and adjust to eye. I then take a practice pass or two and adjust from there. Perhaps, you could try setting the plane down with the lever cap locked, unlock it, adjust, and then re-lock.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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Thos. Angle

4438 posts in 2682 days


#2 posted 09-19-2007 08:44 PM

Hi Ben,

The method you describe is the way I set a #112 or # 80 scraper. I just look on a smooth plane. Put a block of scrap wood in the vise edge up. . Make sure the grain is running away from you. Look down the plane from the front and show just a little of the iron. Make sure it is paralell with the sole of the plane. Try it. Adjust and try again. Stop when you are getting a shaving that is almost thin enough to see though and as wide as the edge of the board. If the iron is as sharp as it should be, the surface will be smoother than you can sand. It will feel SLICK.If it doesn’t feel slick then you need to do more sharpening.
Good Luck,
Tom

Wayne, we were both typing at the same time. Same response. LOL

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

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WayneC

12300 posts in 2817 days


#3 posted 09-19-2007 08:51 PM

Lol – Hey, it works… Also, Ben, if you have $25, David Charlesworth’s video on plane sharpening is worth the money (all 3 in the series are recommended). It demonstrates how to sharpen using water stones and set up planes.

http://www.lie-nielsen.com/catalog.php?grp=1320

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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WayneC

12300 posts in 2817 days


#4 posted 09-19-2007 08:52 PM

Oh and a word of caution – handplanes are a slippery slope. Second only to festool.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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UncleBen

37 posts in 2672 days


#5 posted 09-19-2007 10:26 PM

Thanks guys. I did get a video covering a few subjects that included a Mike Dunbar segment (20 minutes) about cleaning and tuning up an older plane, as well as sharpening, but obviously it is not as in depth as a video dedicated to planes.

It seems like the issue I’m having may be due to the way the iron sits on the frog (I have not flattened the frog’s face) or some other type of tuning issue (like how far back the frog sits), because when I tighten the lever cap, it moves the blade out enough to make a big difference, but maybe I just need to try sighting it down. I also just got my first two waterstones (800 and 4000) along with some green honing compound, so that’s the other part that I need to practice. I can hardly wait for the paper thin slivers to curl out! I have yet to experience that satisfaction.

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WayneC

12300 posts in 2817 days


#6 posted 09-19-2007 11:06 PM

Is the frog aligned correctly with the mouth? There could be an issue there.

I have a tuned Bedrock 605 with a hock blade and chipbreaker….. Almost addictive…..

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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UncleBen

37 posts in 2672 days


#7 posted 09-19-2007 11:10 PM

I’ll have to check that Wayne. I could not say for sure, especially since I’m not certain that I know the exact way that it is supposed to be aligned.

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WayneC

12300 posts in 2817 days


#8 posted 09-19-2007 11:12 PM

Basically, it should align with the back of the mouth. Let me look for a picture.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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WayneC

12300 posts in 2817 days


#9 posted 09-19-2007 11:27 PM

I found a good photo in this pdf file. It show a cutaway of the plane. you can see how the frog aligns with the mouth. You can then use the adjustment screw to open or close the mouth depending on how fine a shaving your planning to take.

http://www.tooled-up.com/Artwork/ProdPDF/DRA56628ins.pdf

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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mot

4911 posts in 2756 days


#10 posted 09-19-2007 11:29 PM

I was thinking alignment of the blade. I have a crappy Mastercraft block plane that once the blade depth is set, tightening causes it to creep a few thousandths making it really hard to set depth.

I also set handplane depth by looking down body…practice pass and away I go.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

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WayneC

12300 posts in 2817 days


#11 posted 09-19-2007 11:31 PM

What kind of plane is it? Any chance you could post a photo?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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UncleBen

37 posts in 2672 days


#12 posted 09-19-2007 11:59 PM

Thanks for that photo, that makes sense. I would post a photo, but my “workshop” is not at home and I only get over there 1 day a week :-(

It’s a cheap plane, but the build feels solid.

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Thos. Angle

4438 posts in 2682 days


#13 posted 09-20-2007 12:46 AM

Ben, if it’s no good, can it and get a Stanley Bailey. They’re solid and have been at it for over a 100 years. At least you are learning about planes.If you can make a $5 flea-market special work you will be on the way to really getting into the planes. Oh, Lordy, we might have created a monster!!!!

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

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UncleBen

37 posts in 2672 days


#14 posted 09-20-2007 03:08 PM

Thanks Thos. Angle, I will keep that in mind. I have been looking for old Stanleys/Baileys at the flea market also, but there are very few where I have gone, and overpriced for what they are too (cracked handles, missing parts, etc). I’ll still look every time though.

I’m gonna take out the frog, flatten the face, then make sure it’s adjusted to be flush with the back of the mouth and take it from there.

Thanks everybody.

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Thos. Angle

4438 posts in 2682 days


#15 posted 09-20-2007 03:16 PM

Ben,
Go to E-bay.
Tom

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

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