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Small Planes for Removing Twist

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Forum topic by TheLastDeadMouse posted 09-27-2016 05:51 PM 347 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TheLastDeadMouse

38 posts in 841 days


09-27-2016 05:51 PM

I’m primarily a power tool user, but recently I’ve started using a borrowed block plane (Sweetheart 9-1/2) to shave down the high points on the cup side of boards to eliminate twist before jointing them. I’ve found that it makes it much easier for me to flatten that face as evenly as possible, leaving me a lot more thickness in my final board. While the block plane worked well for me I have to send it back, so I was wondering what’s the ideal plane for this job?

In my limited understanding of the subject I’d think that this would be a job for a scrub plane or fore plane, but I did like the one handed operation of the block plane, since my work surface is just a heavy mdf torsion box so I don’t have bench dogs or vises to keep my work stable. I placed a non-skid rubber mat beneath my board and clamped it down with a small trigger style clamp. It worked fine for what I was doing, but I’m thinking it wouldn’t be enough for something as aggressive as a fore or scrub plane.


11 replies so far

View JayT's profile

JayT

4785 posts in 1676 days


#1 posted 09-27-2016 06:00 PM

In my limited understanding of the subject I d think that this would be a job for a scrub plane or fore plane,

- TheLastDeadMouse

Yes, that would traditionally be a role for a scrub, fore or jack plane. In reality, you can use about any hand plane, it’s just a matter of how long and how many strokes it takes. A scrub or fore plane has a heavily cambered iron, so can remove a lot of material on each pass and cut down the amount of time needed. A cambered jack is the same idea, but not generally quite as aggressive. For me, I generally use a 5 or 5-1/2 for taking out twist, but it could be done with a #4 or #3, as well, or even your block plane. Whatever you find easiest.

For rough work like what you are talking about, there is no reason to spend a lot of money and the plane doesn’t have to be tuned up to near the level of a smoother. A good, vintage #5 or #4 can probably be found for $20 or less and would serve you well, though won’t be a one-handed operation. If you prefer a block plane, then a 9-1/2, 60 or similar are also very common and inexpensive.

For work holding, I’ve done the clamp thing many times and it works, though repositioning the work is a pain. In your situation, I’d probably clamp a piece of scrap that is thinner than your workpiece across the top of the torsion box and use it as a stop. As long as you are planing in a straight line into the stop, you shouldn’t have issues and it will be a lot faster to turn the board around and flip it over, as needed.

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

View gargey's profile

gargey

483 posts in 241 days


#2 posted 09-27-2016 06:08 PM

The ideal plane for the job would be a jack plane. Which is to say any mid-sized plane with a slightly cambered/curved blade.

The ideal plane for you is probably a decent block plane, or maybe even a No 2 bench plane. It sounds like these two options would work best with your workflow. Note that the very small bench planes can be effectively used one-handedly, and probably more aggresively as well since you have a more secure grip.

If you have a chance to borrow a No 2, you can see what you think. If not, just get a good block plane and keep it sharp. Keep it simple…

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

13738 posts in 2084 days


#3 posted 09-27-2016 06:14 PM

I second the jack plane suggestion. A #2 is way too small for such work IMO.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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ColonelTravis

1192 posts in 1359 days


#4 posted 09-27-2016 06:41 PM

I don’t have an end vice in my bench so I adopted the holdfast and batten way. Works great.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNrof3cd1cA

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HokieKen

1786 posts in 604 days


#5 posted 09-27-2016 06:50 PM

I use a #3 plane with a heavy camber for this very purpose. Although, if you liked the way the 9-1/2 worked, then I’d stick with it. The “best” tool for any job is the one you use and get the desired results.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View ChickenChaser's profile

ChickenChaser

102 posts in 546 days


#6 posted 09-27-2016 08:33 PM

I think HokieKen has it right. What works best for you, and you use, is the best tool. I tend to use a scrub to knock the board relatively flat, then I have a heavy sent 6 with a cambered Iron, then a finer set 6.
I would suggest going to estate sales or garage sales and find a cheap 4 or 5, put a pretty good camber on the iron an try it out. you might even find a cheap block plane while your out there.

you don’t really need a vise or dogs. On my first bench I just screwed some scrap plywood on the end as a planing stop. But be warned collecting planes can be quite addictive.

View Kirk650's profile

Kirk650

294 posts in 214 days


#7 posted 09-27-2016 09:32 PM

I use a #4 for that task. I might take off too much with a scrub plane.

Probably the fact that the closest plane to hand is a #4 is why I use a #4.

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

17969 posts in 2033 days


#8 posted 09-27-2016 10:04 PM

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.net

View JohnChung's profile

JohnChung

372 posts in 1540 days


#9 posted 09-28-2016 03:32 AM

It depends on the length of the work piece. I would use a block plane if the stock is less than 12 inches long and a narrow board. I doubt a Jack will do well on that size.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

3694 posts in 1731 days


#10 posted 09-28-2016 04:23 AM

Be very careful my friend. You keep playing with hand planes and your going to get addicted. They will consume you!! Only in a good way.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 951 days


#11 posted 09-28-2016 04:44 AM

I’d use a slightly cambered jack. A block plane may have a tendency to scrub a bit lower on long stuff. On short stuff a block would be fine if that’s what you have.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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