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Need help hand planing edges

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Forum topic by Joel_B posted 02-15-2016 01:10 AM 935 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Joel_B

294 posts in 848 days


02-15-2016 01:10 AM

I have some 3/4” thick white oak boards that I was trying to hand plane the edges to remove saw marks prior to edge gluing them together. I am using a No 6 plane and tried to keep it square but no matter how hard I try the edge goes out of square from tilting the plane. I know a shooting board would help and wonder if that is the best solution. The sole of the plane is not perfectly flat it dips a little in the center but I don’t think its enough to be contributing to the problem. I also have a No 4 plane if that would be better.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA


22 replies so far

View hotbyte's profile

hotbyte

844 posts in 2442 days


#1 posted 02-15-2016 01:15 AM

Since you are going to be edge gluing the boards, put 2 boards that will form a joint together and plan both at once. If you put the bottom faces to each other, any amount you are off from square will cancel. Plus, you’ll have wider support for plane sole.

You can also get a magnetic fence to sick on side of plane that should help hold plane square.

View Richforever's profile

Richforever

755 posts in 3187 days


#2 posted 02-15-2016 01:49 AM

What hotbyte said. Also you can curl the fingers of your forward hand under the side of the plane and against the face of the board to stabilize the plane and keep it from tipping.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

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Joel_B

294 posts in 848 days


#3 posted 02-15-2016 02:03 AM

thanks for the tips. I found this article about the magnetic fence pretty helpful:

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/techniques/joinery/cheating-at-jointing-edges

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View James Wright's profile

James Wright

233 posts in 330 days


#4 posted 02-15-2016 03:09 AM

Also make sure the that the iron is evenly protruding out of the mouth. I have found that planes that I do not use every day often need to be checked just before use. some times the horizontal lever gets bumped and you dont realist.

-- James Wright, Rockford IL, https://www.youtube.com/c/WoodWright

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Joel_B

294 posts in 848 days


#5 posted 02-15-2016 03:12 AM



Also make sure the that the iron is evenly protruding out of the mouth. I have found that planes that I do not use every day often need to be checked just before use. some times the horizontal lever gets bumped and you dont realist.

- James Wright

I did notice that the shavings seemed to be uneven side to side. I just checked and iron it is not even so that is likely part of the problem. Thanks for pointing that out.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View Tim's profile

Tim

3119 posts in 1428 days


#6 posted 02-15-2016 04:04 AM


Also make sure the that the iron is evenly protruding out of the mouth. I have found that planes that I do not use every day often need to be checked just before use. some times the horizontal lever gets bumped and you dont realist.

- James Wright

I did notice that the shavings seemed to be uneven side to side. I just checked and iron it is not even so that is likely part of the problem. Thanks for pointing that out.

- Joel_B

Since pretty much no one learns hand tool woodworking in an apprenticeship anymore, some of the basics like this get missed. I would recommend buying and reading Wearing’s The Essential Woodworker.
http://lostartpress.com/collections/books/products/the-essential-woodworker
It’s specifically intended to help you figure out how to replace the skills missed from not having a traditional introduction to hand tools.

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rwe2156

2198 posts in 947 days


#7 posted 02-15-2016 01:06 PM

It takes practice. Everyone has a tendency to get one edge lower you have to compensate for that. Check for square frequently just a shaving or two is often all you need.

Of course the face to face trick (make sure grain direction is the same!!) is easiest errors cancel out, but I’ve found even with this method you still have to be fairly accurate in your planing.

Tip on checking the iron: put a thin piece of wood in vise and plane edge with each side of blade, when shavings are equal it is set properly. Don’t go by the way the wood is coming off the plane it will lead to error unless the board is already flat.

Tip on correcting unsquare edge: Its even more difficult to correct by tilting the plane so don’t do that. What I do is place the side of the plane flush with the low side then as you plane it bottoms out on the sole to the side of the mouth but takes shavings on the other side. The result is uneven shaving to the high side. Hope this makes sense.

I think the best way (which I never use LOL) is to simply shoot the edge. But then, you’ll never learn the muscle memory it takes to perfect that skill.

Last but not least: frequent checks with your square will keep you from getting too far out of whack.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View hotbyte's profile

hotbyte

844 posts in 2442 days


#8 posted 02-15-2016 01:27 PM

I am still very much in the learning stages and found this to be so true. I was holding knob and trying to tilt plane to get edge back in square and making a mess of things. Started using the “finger curl” fence technique and running plane with edge along the low side and it made a huge improvement in ability to keep edge square, or for me, mostly square :)

I’ve also found once the edge is square, it helps if I really take time to ensure toe is flat and even on edge before starting plane stroke. If you watch videos, the experienced folks just zip from stroke to stroke. I can’t do that at his point and really need to make sure plane is in proper position between strokes.

Tip on correcting unsquare edge: Its even more difficult to correct by tilting the plane so don t do that. What I do is place the side of the plane flush with the low side then as you plane it bottoms out on the sole to the side of the mouth but takes shavings on the other side. The result is uneven shaving to the high side. Hope this makes sense.

- rwe2156


View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1836 days


#9 posted 02-15-2016 02:48 PM



Tip on correcting unsquare edge: Its even more difficult to correct by tilting the plane so don t do that. What I do is place the side of the plane flush with the low side then as you plane it bottoms out on the sole to the side of the mouth but takes shavings on the other side. The result is uneven shaving to the high side. Hope this makes sense.- rwe2156

This is good advice. Another way to think of it (simpler for my mind) is to center the plane towards the high spots. If your left edge is higher, center the knob over that edge. If your left edge is higher at the front of the board, and the right is higher at the end, you can start with the knob over the left edge and as you progress, move the plane so the knob ends up centered on the right edge.

Once I started doing that, a lot of my edge-planning headaches went away. Usually now I’ll plane it until I get a full-length shaving, check it with a square, and do one or two swipes for square, and be done.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Joel_B's profile

Joel_B

294 posts in 848 days


#10 posted 02-15-2016 03:28 PM


Tip on correcting unsquare edge: Its even more difficult to correct by tilting the plane so don t do that. What I do is place the side of the plane flush with the low side then as you plane it bottoms out on the sole to the side of the mouth but takes shavings on the other side. The result is uneven shaving to the high side. Hope this makes sense.- rwe2156

This is good advice. Another way to think of it (simpler for my mind) is to center the plane towards the high spots. If your left edge is higher, center the knob over that edge. If your left edge is higher at the front of the board, and the right is higher at the end, you can start with the knob over the left edge and as you progress, move the plane so the knob ends up centered on the right edge.

Once I started doing that, a lot of my edge-planning headaches went away. Usually now I ll plane it until I get a full-length shaving, check it with a square, and do one or two swipes for square, and be done.

- BinghamtonEd

Had to read that a few times, now I think I understand it. Since my plane sole has a dip towards the center its not going to do this as well. Maybe I should try to make it flatter. Its a No 6 so a lot of surface area to take down. This has been really helpful, a lot of nuances to learn.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View JayT's profile

JayT

4786 posts in 1678 days


#11 posted 02-15-2016 03:54 PM

I use the match planing as hotbyte described for most all glue ups and it works well for both reasons mentioned—errors cancel out and the wider surface. If just doing one edge, I’ve frequently used another board to get a wider surface and it’s amazing how much that one little thing can help.

The other tips are also good. A little practice and you’ll get there.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View Richforever's profile

Richforever

755 posts in 3187 days


#12 posted 02-15-2016 04:05 PM

Another way that I like to do this is using the Lie-Nielsen edge plane. It has a built-in 90 degree angle and takes a lot of variables out of the effort. It’s very sweet.

“https://www.lie-nielsen.com/product/joinery-planes/1-95-lh-bronze-edge-plane?node=4169”

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

14627 posts in 2150 days


#13 posted 02-15-2016 04:34 PM

Now..IF you find a plane with a couple holes drilled and tapped into one side..

Then you can make one of these fences. Then you can just keep the fence tight against the side of the boards you are jointing

You hook your tumb up and over the side of the plane, and press the fingers against the fence.

No fence….Hook the thumb over the side, and use the knuckles of the fingers as a fence. These two boards needed to be the exact same width….one was a hair wider.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View The__Dude's profile

The__Dude

125 posts in 529 days


#14 posted 02-15-2016 05:23 PM

I just glued up two table tops.
I used #8 plane on the edges.

Did them in pairs, flipped together.
Joint was not perfect 90, but they matched up.

I have one spot one table that has slight gap.
I think I had the board flipped when I glued.

This was my first try

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1063 posts in 1456 days


#15 posted 02-15-2016 09:36 PM

Flatten the planes sole before continuing. Concave sole is not good and will create a lot of frustration. I have a how to in my LJ blog if needed.

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