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Sargent 409 type 5 Smooth Plane set up question

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Forum topic by steveinaz posted 12-28-2016 06:25 PM 1828 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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steveinaz

39 posts in 1012 days


12-28-2016 06:25 PM

While refinishing this plane I noticed that there is a 1/16” gap between the frog tip and the body of the plane (sliver of wood in picture 1 indicates spot). This severely limits the adjustability and stability of the cutter. It almost seems as though the frog and plane body are a mismatch. Is that likely? Can I correct this by filing down the mating points? Is that too inaccurate, should it be machined? Should I abandon project and sell for parts?

-- Steve in AZ


17 replies so far

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

18630 posts in 2521 days


#1 posted 12-28-2016 06:36 PM

You MIGHT be able to remove enough off the bottom of the frog itself. Keep checking with a square and straight edge as you go. Test the fit often, don’t want to go too far.

Then check the point where the front edge meets the base for any small gap to either side.

You can either use a large file for this, or a beltsander. Keep checking to make sure you are keeping things square to the sides. You can also add a few lines across with a black sharpie, to help out.

Frog is also sitting back a hair too far in the photo. Might slide it forward a hair, check with a steel ruler to see how it makes up with the back of the mouth opening.

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

View UpstateNYdude's profile

UpstateNYdude

901 posts in 1821 days


#2 posted 12-28-2016 06:46 PM

To me it looks like someone ground the inner part of the sole down where the frog meets the bottom portion of the plane, and filed down the tip of the frog. I could be wrong, but usually there is some paint back behind the frog section at the tip, and maybe its just the photo, but it looks as though the tip of the frog is skewed.

-- Nick, “I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.” – Vincent Van Gogh

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Don W

18523 posts in 2406 days


#3 posted 12-29-2016 12:10 PM

Does the plane not work? I’m not sure that gap is going to have any affect.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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HorizontalMike

7658 posts in 2752 days


#4 posted 12-29-2016 02:25 PM


Does the plane not work? I m not sure that gap is going to have any affect.
- Don W

Ditto on that. That part of the frog is behind the cutter and chipper, so it will not affect how the plane works. That is assuming that you don’t mount the frog too far to the aft, and that is usually taken care of when you adjust the front of the mouth-to-blade gap.

Granted, that having both the front of the frog and main frog mounting BOTH seated, could help stabilize the cutter against chatter. That is not a requirement.

Below—Early Frog Bottoms. Look at the right, The 424 Type2, and just how big that foot is! And it DOES NOT touch the sole when in use.

.
.
.
.
. Below—Older on left, younger on right. In other words, Sargent started seating there frogs to the sole/body more tightly as they improved over time. An option when restoring these old planes, is to add a new/thicker cutter (like a Hock) and chipper to stiffen up the cutter against chattering. I did that with one of my 418s and it was much improved after doing so.

Also see: http://lumberjocks.com/topics/47190

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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steveinaz

39 posts in 1012 days


#5 posted 12-29-2016 03:55 PM

A few comments. The first picture with the wood sliver does not show the frog in a set or tuned position; the picture was only meant to illustrate the gap. The tip of the frog was not ground down nor was the body portion behind the mouth. I just removed the paint assuming it was a mating surface. I can get a shaving , but the range of adjustment seems limited. I have not worked on a Sargent before and am more accustomed to Stanley and Millers Falls. I squared up the iron and chip breaker, moved the chip breaker around 1/32nd from the edge of the blade, adjusted the frog so the blade lays flat on the frog, moved the frog so the blade was just clearing the back of the mouth. I can get a nice shaving, can just retract the blade enough to clear the sole. The adjustment parameters are very tight. I feel you have more flexibility with a Stanley and the absence of a frog adjusting screw compounds the issue. Please ignore my following post, editing failure. Thanks

-- Steve in AZ

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steveinaz

39 posts in 1012 days


#6 posted 12-29-2016 04:23 PM

correction; As you push the frog back the cutter ends up resting on the back of the mouth, not on the frog. That was how I took a shaving. If I adjust the frog forward so the cutter rests on the frog and not on the back of the mouth I cannot retract the blade enough to get a shaving.

-- Steve in AZ

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johnstoneb

2641 posts in 2011 days


#7 posted 12-29-2016 04:35 PM

The purpose of the frog is to set the angle of the cutter, support the cutter, control the width of the gap in the mouth of the plane and has the mechanism to adjust the depth of cut. It does this by moving the frog forward and aft to control the gap and by advancing or retracting the cutter on the ramp of the frog. The cutter does not need to contact the mouth. To get a shaving you should need to advance the blade. Is the chipbreaker set to low and interfering with the front side of the mouth?

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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bandit571

18630 posts in 2521 days


#8 posted 12-29-2016 04:40 PM

Happen to have a #408 in the shop. When I can get back down there, I see what is going on. Mine is the same age as the OP’s plane. Give me a while to check things out…....

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

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bandit571

18630 posts in 2521 days


#9 posted 12-29-2016 05:56 PM

Ok, had to work on the plane a bit, anyway. Iron needed to have it’s edge square to the sides, and had to mate the chipbreaker.
As for the OP’s question:

This is how my plane is set up. Face of frog is coplanar with that wee bit of a ramp at the rear of the mouth. Yes, there is a slight gap.

This is the bottom of my frog. All I did was remove the rust and what little black paint that was on here.

Frog seats. Mine are a bit longer than the OP’s.

Once the iron and chipbreaker were tuned up, I tried the plane on some White Oak scrap..

Seemed to do..OK…

Nice and smooth.

Since the edge of the iron contacts the wood long before the back of the mouth does, and even covers the back of the mouth when the iron is cutting. Gap seems to be a non-issue.

BTW, I have this frog almost all the way forward. Still plenty of room to extend the iron. I wasn’t making all that deep of a cut, though.

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

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steveinaz

39 posts in 1012 days


#10 posted 12-29-2016 07:48 PM

Gentlemen, thank you for all the fine comments and help. As I said earlier, I think the frog set up parameters on this model are too tight front to back and the play of the frog from left to right is too great. I’m going to try to adjust this, but you can see that the gap between the port side and the frog is greater than that of the starboard side. Sorry for the nautical terms, but it eliminates confusion on what is right or left.

-- Steve in AZ

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7658 posts in 2752 days


#11 posted 12-29-2016 09:08 PM

I went out to the shop and opened up a few of my 408 and 409 Sargents to show the difference between types 2,3,4. I also tested just how well each of the frogs fit between Types. What I found was to be expected. There was progressively better/matched fitting between the frog and the mouth/sole of the plane.

In other words
  • Type 4 is tighter/better matched than Type 3 and
  • Type 3 is better matched than Type 2

Notice how the mouth starts out very thin(Type 2), with frog not touching, then we get a thicker mouth/step and better machining (plus thicker castings) in Types 3 and 4. Type 4s appear to be slightly lighter weight than the Type 3 (VBM) planes, but seem to work just as well as the VBM Type 3s (probably best Sargents ever made). My two cents worth…

FWIW, I even checked out my #415 Type 4 and found the frog fit to be tight:

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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HorizontalMike

7658 posts in 2752 days


#12 posted 12-29-2016 09:26 PM

Oh, I forgot to point this out. Notice the far right mouth. It has been machined in order to match the matching frog. That 408 plane has not been refinished/restored. Most likely, that plane was manufactured at a different local than the one next to it (Made in USA vs. Sargent logo)

As far as Type 5s, I have chosen to avoid due to declining quality. It is most noticed in the Type 4 to the Type 5 jump. IMO, there was a slight decline in the Type 4s that were produced post-WWII. That is where the decline began…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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steveinaz

39 posts in 1012 days


#13 posted 12-29-2016 09:49 PM

Horizontal Mike,
Thank you for the info. You’ve got me thinking more like I may have a mis-match. My lever cap has no logo (type 2), the lateral adjuster looks more like type 3 and later, my body has no casting identification (type 4). the cutter is a Stanley. Maybe I’m overthinking it. With the help of you and others I now have it making a shaving.

-- Steve in AZ

View Don W's profile

Don W

18523 posts in 2406 days


#14 posted 12-29-2016 10:14 PM

The no logo cap was used from a type on through a type 3.
The folded lat didn’t start until type 4.
The frog seat you have looks like a later model.

As Mike said the later model Sargent’s declined in Quality and they really tended to use what they had. Its common to see the gaps in the side to make the frog look to small.

Although I’d tend to agree. The frog looks much earlier than the base.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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HorizontalMike

7658 posts in 2752 days


#15 posted 12-30-2016 01:16 PM

I agree with Don on the above. That said, your chipper look much younger because the back side is solid/flat. I believe that to be one of the final production pieces. Bandit actually posted a “Craftsman” #408 made by Sargent (post #96 on Sargent Planes-Information NOT in Heckel's 2nd Ed. Guide ) that shows the underside of the chipper, similar to yours. The “no-logo” on this chipper probably means an off-brand made by Sargent, as far as I could tell.

That would make the production date approx during late 1950s.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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