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Jack Plane Chipbreaker Clogging

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Forum topic by HokieKen posted 11-09-2016 02:07 PM 546 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HokieKen

4510 posts in 973 days


11-09-2016 02:07 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plane millers falls chipbreaker

Hey guys. I have a Millers Falls 14 (#5 Size) jack plane that’s got me a bit frustrated. This plane works very well when I’m peeling long shavings with the grain. But, I’ve been working on flattening some oak timbers and when working across the grain with this plane, it clogs up. It turns out the chips are getting between the chipbreaker and the iron and I have to remove the chipbreaker to get them out.

This is puzzling me because I have gone to great pains to be sure the iron is flat and polished and that the chipbreaker edge is flat and slightly undercut. I polished the leading edge of the chipbreaker as well and when I put the breaker on the iron, it’s a “perfect” fit. Meaning, no matter how I look at it, I can’t detect even a hint of a sliver of light between the 2.

To further complicate things, when I use a Stanley #5, I don’t have the same problem. And, the breaker isn’t mated as painstakingly to the iron on that plane.

FWIW, it’s not large chips but more like “dust” that’s getting packed in there. I’m taking fairly light cuts, probably .010-.020” or so. The iron is sharpened straight across (no camber) at 25 degree bevel. Like I said, other than this issue, this plane has been a great user for me, I actually prefer it over my Stanley. The iron, breaker and cap are all original MF.

So, any thoughts on what the issue is or how to fix it?

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


10 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4802 posts in 3795 days


#1 posted 11-09-2016 02:16 PM

Is the lever cap causing some distortion of the iron/breaker fit? Too tight, etc.?

Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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HokieKen

4510 posts in 973 days


#2 posted 11-09-2016 02:20 PM



Is the lever cap causing some distortion of the iron/breaker fit? Too tight, etc.?

Bill

- Bill White

I don’t think so. I considered that, so I fiddled with the tension a bit and saw no change whether it just barely clamps or really dogs down. I forgot to mention in the OP, but I have also tried setting the breaker right at the edge of the iron and as much as 3/32 back with no noticable difference except that it clogs faster the closer it is to the cutting edge.

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

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

1765 posts in 482 days


#3 posted 11-09-2016 02:28 PM

I do not have a Millers Falls 14 (#5 Size), but I’ve experienced the same thing! Depending on the day, type of wood, etc. ... I have to adjust the distance of the cap iron from the iron end. When I have it about 1/16” from the end of the blade it works great for jointing an edge, but clogs up when flattening. Move it back to almost 1/4” from the edge and it works like champ … go figure. I spent a great deal of time making sure the cap iron was flat against the iron, but that didn’t seem to be the issue. I also put a thin piece of cork between the cap iron and the iron, to assure a “perfect” fit.

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

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JayT

5453 posts in 2045 days


#4 posted 11-09-2016 02:37 PM

Also check the iron to frog fit, especially at the bottom. If it’s not really good, the iron can flex away from the chipbreaker a bit on cuts that require more force, such as going cross grain.

Can be a result of the frog needing flattened or maybe adjusted a bit forward or back. If you’ve got the frog overhanging the bed to get a closed up mouth, then it leaves the last 1/16 or so of the iron unsupported and it can flex enough to allow the shavings in. For planes that I use cross grain, I make sure the frog to rear of the mouth is a seamless fit, regardless of how open that leaves the mouth.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View bandit571's profile (online now)

bandit571

18609 posts in 2518 days


#5 posted 11-09-2016 02:53 PM

When I get down to the shop later, I ‘ll take a look at my No.14

Usually, I try to grind the mating part of the chipbreaker into a knife edge. With the edge being the “cutting edge”. I polish the curved part until it is as smooth as can be. Any burrs there are traps for shavings.

I try to keep the frog face and the ramp at the mouth coplanar. One smooth surface all the way up from the opening.

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

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HokieKen

4510 posts in 973 days


#6 posted 11-09-2016 03:12 PM

Ron, thanks, glad it’s not just me! I can’t set the breaker back any more than 1/8” without the iron projecting through the mouth too far. I’ll back it off as far as possible and see if it helps though.

JayT and Bandit: I set this plane up with the frog and the back of the mouth lined up then lapped them flat with a steel plate and wet dry paper. That part is as well-fit and flat as this ole’ boy can make it.

Chipbreaker is ground as you describe Bandit, knife edge with slight undercut at back and polished the front/top. Now I’m wondering though if maybe the undercut isn’t enough and the absolute leading edge may not be what’s mating with the iron? I’ll grind the undercut a bit steeper tonight and see.

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

View Tim's profile

Tim

3680 posts in 1796 days


#7 posted 11-09-2016 07:40 PM

Ken, what did you lap flat? The face of the frog? That’s the part that needs to be flat so that it doesn’t flex the blade. Sandpaper can actually round things over instead of flatten them perfectly, but probably not enough to cause the problem. And the blade needs to be flat to, not bent away from the face of the frog. Some blades and or chip breakers are bent or twisted. Try some prussian blue or similar and see if you can check how well the blade fits to the frog, like JayT said down near the bottom especially.

View Aidan1211's profile

Aidan1211

196 posts in 661 days


#8 posted 11-09-2016 07:47 PM

Got a call from Bill White about this post. You definitely should not be having ANY problems with your Falls plane. If you would like I’d be happy to fix it and send it back to you. I collect these guys and use them. All I’d ask is you pay shipping each way (depending on where you live USPS regional rate is the cheapest option). I’ll service it free of charge. If you need references please feel free to ask Bill White or even Don W.

Robert

-- its better to plan on the task at hand than actually doing it........ You look smarter.

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HokieKen

4510 posts in 973 days


#9 posted 11-09-2016 08:33 PM



Ken, what did you lap flat? The face of the frog? That s the part that needs to be flat so that it doesn t flex the blade. Sandpaper can actually round things over instead of flatten them perfectly, but probably not enough to cause the problem. And the blade needs to be flat to, not bent away from the face of the frog. Some blades and or chip breakers are bent or twisted. Try some prussian blue or similar and see if you can check how well the blade fits to the frog, like JayT said down near the bottom especially.

- Tim

Yes, I lapped the face of the frog as well as the back of the mouth. I mounted the frog, dyed up the face and used a machinist parallel with some wet/dry glued to it and worked both surfaces until flat. Then I used layout dye on the frog face to print the iron to ensure even contact on all the machined surfaces. I follow this process with any plane I rehab with the exception that I don’t always worry about the mouth and the frog being coplanar.


Got a call from Bill White about this post. You definitely should not be having ANY problems with your Falls plane. If you would like I d be happy to fix it and send it back to you. I collect these guys and use them. All I d ask is you pay shipping each way (depending on where you live USPS regional rate is the cheapest option). I ll service it free of charge. If you need references please feel free to ask Bill White or even Don W.

Robert

- Aidan1211

Thank You Robert! A very generous offer indeed but, where’s the fun in that? ;-p I actually think I have this figured out.

I ran by the house on my lunch break ‘cause this has been gnawing at me since Bandit brought up the “knife-edge” on the chipbreaker. I knew I had ground it back and had an extremely tight fit with the iron but, I wondered… Sure enough, when I lock the chipbreaker screw down tight, the spring-action was lifting the leading edge ever so slightly. So, I honed the bottom of the edge back at a higher angle and re-polished the front/top of the chipbreaker. I didn’t have time to re-set the iron and see if that fixed it, but I feel pretty confident it will. I’ll test it out tonight and let y’all know.

Thanks to all for your feedback and for helping me think through this! I’ll either report success or come back whining tonight or in the morning after I have a chance to see if it worked or not ;-)

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

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HokieKen

4510 posts in 973 days


#10 posted 11-09-2016 11:45 PM

That did it…

Soooooo much better :-) Thanks guys!

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

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