What is hand plane “chatter”?

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Forum topic by Brett posted 04-07-2011 09:06 PM 6408 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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660 posts in 2709 days

04-07-2011 09:06 PM

What is hand plane “chatter”? It is an actual sound? How does it affect the wood that is being planed?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

7 replies so far

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2719 days

#1 posted 04-07-2011 09:29 PM

Oh you’ll know it when you experience it. The iron will skip across the wood surface creating a series of parallel lines. To me, it’s like nails on a chalkboard, a very distressing feeling.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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281 posts in 1985 days

#2 posted 08-04-2013 12:06 AM

I’m reviving this thread because I have an issue with plane chatter right now. I am a beginner with hand planes so forgive me if this has an obvious answer.

One of my planes was getting dirty and clogged with wood shavings so i disassembled it, cleaned it and put it back together. Once i started planing, it began to chatter and I noticed my blade wasn’t as sharp as it could be so I resharpened it and reassembled my plane. It still happened! It cut better but there was still noticeable chatter. Is this an issue with the frog not being in the right place which would change the mouth size? It isn’t the blade because it was just sharpened so this is the only thing I can think might be causing it. Would anyone care to enlighten me?

-- "Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone." -- Pablo Picasso

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3674 days

#3 posted 08-04-2013 12:26 AM

Set the chipbreaker pretty close to the edge of the iron,
like 1/16”.

If the frog is too far back, the iron won’t seat on the frog
correctly and will bear instead on the back of the mouth.
This can cause problems.

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Don W

18754 posts in 2594 days

#4 posted 08-04-2013 12:32 AM

Also if the cap is to loose, the frog is loose, or the blade doesn’t bed correctly on the frog will cause chatter. Taking to thick of a cut will also cause chatter.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View MaroonGoon's profile


281 posts in 1985 days

#5 posted 08-04-2013 10:30 PM

Thanks Loren ill check into all those things. It chattered even when I tried to take thin shavings so I bet the problem is the assembly. Ill let you guys know

-- "Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone." -- Pablo Picasso

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4767 posts in 2377 days

#6 posted 08-04-2013 10:59 PM

Be glad you don’t know.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 2681 days

#7 posted 08-04-2013 11:36 PM

Basically it’s caused by a flexing of the Iron, or the plan itself. The blade is forced deeper into the wood by the resistance exerted by the wood, until the stress of the flexed iron equals or overcomes that force…it then rebounds and the cycle happens again. You end up with a series of light dig lines that are perpendicular to the direction of your cut.

If you experience this:

1. Take a lighter cut.
2. Sharpen your Iron.
3. Check that your plane Iron is bedded properly.
4. Check that you have the blade under good tension.
5. Check that the sole of your plane is flat (espescially if you experience “chatter” at the beginning and end of cuts.
6. Skew your iron a bit as you plane.
7. Oh, check that you are planing with the grain.

8. If all that fails…outside of buying a brand new LN and having Rob Cosman sharpen it for you, I am stumped.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

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