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Hand Plane Multi-Tasking --- AKA Blade Swapping & Adjustments

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Forum topic by HorizontalMike posted 02-07-2011 09:24 PM 3499 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HorizontalMike

7154 posts in 2379 days


02-07-2011 09:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: multitasking hand planes mouth gap adjustments sargent 418

During the past year, as I set up my WW shop, I have slowly added a few hand planes to the two handed down to me. I now have five planes of varying sizes and have a question about setting my old Sargent #418 for dual duty. This plane was passed down from my GG-father and by the time I got it had a well worn but serviceable “Sweetheart” blade on it. I bought a new “Hock” blade for it and would like to set this Fore Plane up for both hogging material and for jointing.

I understand and have radiused the old “Sweetheart” blade for hogging large quantities, but wonder how close I should set up the “Hock” blade and mouth for jointing with the #418. I am assuming that for jointing, I should have a squared off blade but need to know just how much to adjust the frog forward (How much gap?). Any advice on how to set up multitasking hand planes would be much appreciated. We all like to get the most out of what we have…

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


8 replies so far

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2463 days


#1 posted 02-07-2011 10:31 PM

Purely opinion here…..

The #6 sized planes are really bigger than you would want for really hogging out stuff. It’s also at the bare end of jointer land. But, we use what we have got.

The jointing will be set with a very fine cut and as tight of a mouth that will fit the shavings. You really are trying to eliminate tear out. For hogging, its the tear out that is getting the wood out of the way. Depending on the mouth on the wooden plane (odds are that it is not a really tight mouth) I would consider instead setting the Sargent as a dedicated small jointer and use the woodie for a fore/scrub.) The wooden plane is a lot lighter and rough dimensioning wood is, shall we say, a bit aerobic in nature. It will convert enough calories to shavings that you won’t be going to the gym that day. Swapping blades and readjusting the mouth on the Sargent is not a quick and easy thing and will seriously slow down your work flow.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

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HorizontalMike

7154 posts in 2379 days


#2 posted 02-07-2011 10:57 PM

The 22” woodie jointer’s mouth is just under 3/16” (0.1835in) but cuts surprisingly thin shavings with it’s 1/4” thick blade. Truth be told, my G0593 jointer will be getting the biggest jobs anyway and much of my hand plane use was/is smoothing of joined surfaces at the moment.

I like the idea of setting up the #418 for dedicated small jointer use. Maybe this will motivate me to use this particular plane more than I have thus far.

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

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swirt

2118 posts in 2437 days


#3 posted 02-07-2011 11:17 PM

David presents great advice there.

One other thing to consider is that many hand plane “experts” suggest even the blade on a jointer should be cambered so that by positioning the plane off of center you can adjust the jointed edge until it is true. (Example: planing a little off center to the left will take off more on the left edge of the board. Planing a little off center to the right will take off more of the right edge of the board. Its not a big camber like on a scrub, but just a wee bit to more easily allow to correct an edge. Otherwise, running a flat blade along a skewed edge can still result in flatter but still skewed edge. Opponents of this method argue that you can just use the lateral adjuster to get the edge true.

Mine is cambered slightly. I found I made too many mistakes using the lateral adjuster to help true up an edge.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2463 days


#4 posted 02-07-2011 11:17 PM

3/16 is not what I would call a particularly tight mouth but it also depends a lot on the kind of wood you work with. For general stuff it is good. You won’t be working highly figured wood with one that wide.

Even if you are primarily a power tool user, planes can really improve things. Those times with things are “just too big” to fit through the machines. Small touch ups. Small pieces that are too dangerous to feed through a machine. Knock a bevel in before you can find your extension cord for the router. It is a matter of balance and grabbing the right tool for the job.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

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HorizontalMike

7154 posts in 2379 days


#5 posted 02-08-2011 12:13 AM

I wasn’t trying to imply that the woodie had a tight mouth, just the opposite. The thing is ~150yr old and I had to run it over the power jointer half a dozen times to flatten the twist out of the sole. I was just surprised that the mouth wasn’t too wide to do a decent job after having flattened it, but the thing does rather well.

I just came back in after trying out some new adjustments and swapping blades back and forth (cambered and uncambered) on the 418 and came back in rather unimpressed. The 418 depth adjuster is pretty sloppy and I had sneak up from one direction only. Moving the frog forward did not help me out as I had hoped. Set it pretty tight, until I started to clog and then backed off. Very hard to get consistent shavings. I am sure that there is an operator factor here, but how much I don’t know.

BTW I just picked up my #4 WoodRiver and it still blows the 418 out of the water. The tight adjustment mechanics on the #4 sure seem to make a difference.

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

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2463 days


#6 posted 02-08-2011 01:24 AM

Where was it clogging? Make sure that it wasn’t getting chips hung between the cap iron and the iron. That is a different issue. The slop in the adjuster is part of why I recommend set it and leave it rather than swap irons back and forth. That kind of adjuster can be pinched in a bit but it will never be that fine of an adjustment. Just the nature of the mechanism.

Overall, it looks like a perfectly fine plane so once you get in tune with it, it should do as well as anything else. A lot of it comes by feel with experience. How hard to clamp the iron with lever cap, how to barely nudge the blade. At first you will just have to sit and fiddle with it. Believe it or not, I have one plane that it actually tool me several years to come to terms with. It had very little original tuning from factory and I would just get frustrated and put it back on the shelf under the bench. Kind of a ritual to bring it out and try again every year or so. I finally got pretty aggressive with it and we now have an understanding.

The mouth problem only kinda rears its head when the grain switches around and you end up cutting against the grain.

The woodie actually looks like it is great shape. There are options to close the mouth down but honestly, I would use it as is. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

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HorizontalMike

7154 posts in 2379 days


#7 posted 02-08-2011 03:12 AM

The cap/blade interface is a possibility. Need to clean the exterior edge up a bit and flat file the contact.

BTW, how far back from the blade edge would you advise the cap iron be? 1/16”? 3/32”? I think I was probably closer to 1/32” (crowded it pretty good) when I was experimenting earlier.

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

View Gofor's profile

Gofor

470 posts in 3252 days


#8 posted 02-08-2011 04:23 AM

Mike: I do not have a Sargent, but so have a #6 Bailey I use quite a bit and will relate my most recent experiences, for what they are work. I know I still have a lot to learn:

I am currently in the process of trying to turn a 12’ x 5’ wide pallet full (4’ high) of black walnut combination sap/heart wood sawmill boards into some usable lumber. These are the outer boards cut from trees where the solid heartwood was made into flooring. I do not own a power jointer, so I am edge jointing the 2’ to 10’ boards , 1/2” to 2+” thick starting with a circular saw and straight edge, and then jointing the edge straight with hand planes. Also removing what twist I can using hand planes also.

All my hand planes are getting into the action. Relating to my #6, which seems to be the closest to the Sargent, and which I also use for double duty, I have found the “sweet spot” to be: Mouth slightly over 1/32”, and cap iron back slightly more than 1/16”. I found the cap iron at 1/32” really caused it to jam up. About 3/64ths seems about right to let me adjust down for some aggressive cuts, and then back off to get some full width fine shavings (I have my stanley iron straight ground). Cap iron is about 5/64ths back. With this air dried walnut (some heart, some sap wood), it is not tearing out even with the grain reversals.

I had both a lot closer for the last project which was white oak, because i was getting some really bad tear out with that, although I have found moving the cap iron back is my first step when the mouth is jamming, and opening the mouth is the second. With that wood (QS white oak) I could not do any aggressive cuts with anything other than my low-angle jack and a 62 degree attack angle (50 degree bevel iron).

I don’ think there is one magic setting, but if the wood you are working with is comparable to walnut, these settings may help.

Go

PS, I keep my jointing irons flat ground. I do not yet have the talent and skill to get anything square with a cambered iron, although after I get close to finishing this pallet of wood, I may have gotten comfortable enough to try it. Right now, just getting a square straight edge on a 6’ board with my #7 is about all the challenge I am willing to face at the moment!

-- Go http://ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=730

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