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Lapping the sole of a jointer plane

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Forum topic by Brett posted 07-23-2011 07:36 PM 4954 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Brett

660 posts in 2149 days


07-23-2011 07:36 PM

I have a #7 jointer plane that I’ve lapped using sandpaper and glass, but am not entirely happy with the results. I think that the coarse grit (60 or 100) sandpaper sheets are so thick that they flex under the weight and pressure of the lapping action that the sole does not get as flat as I would like. Also, I was lapping on a sheet of glass backed by MDF, but I’m not convinced that these were entirely flat, either. Can anyone tell me where I can get a piece of granite, marble, glass, etc. that is flat enough for lapping and that won’t break my budget?

-- More tools, fewer machines.


21 replies so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12642 posts in 3563 days


#1 posted 07-23-2011 07:41 PM

Bertha uses granite or marble that is used on window sills. Send him a PM for some info or perhaps he would see this post. Another option is to use the wing of your table saw. How did you determine you needed to lap the plane’s sole?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3563 days


#2 posted 07-23-2011 07:48 PM

The other option would be to use some Silicon carbide abrasive grit with plastic on the glass. Examples of the grit can be found here…

http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?p=59752&cat=1,43072

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View cam1297's profile

cam1297

64 posts in 2677 days


#3 posted 07-23-2011 08:16 PM

I would check the building materials section of craigslist. I always see granite tiles for sale. Or if there is a big box close by, you can probably buy one tile.

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David

172 posts in 2309 days


#4 posted 07-23-2011 08:31 PM

Or if you have a buddy with a granite top TS lol.

-- “Don’t tell me what can’t be done, tell me what you want done then shut up and get out of my way and let me do it!”

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16244 posts in 3684 days


#5 posted 07-23-2011 09:39 PM

Look for a place in your area that fabricates granite countertops. They should have some small cutoffs available cheap, if not free.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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SCOTSMAN

5839 posts in 3051 days


#6 posted 07-23-2011 09:55 PM

lock the sole facing up on a vice, then rub continuously over the sole with a flat sharpening stone normally used for sharpenning chisels. This does a great job with some oil of course of flattening out the sole of any plane I read about this tip from a British woodworking magazine where the guy did up an old plane .I tried it and it does work great try it on an old plane first if you don’t trust this method. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7155 posts in 2380 days


#7 posted 07-23-2011 11:23 PM

new2wood has it, go to big orange box store and buy a granite tile for $4.50 each. OUCH!

Either that, or start hanging out at the cemetery when you need to flatten your #7…

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

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2106 days


#8 posted 07-23-2011 11:44 PM

Oh, no… go to a home center and get a “sample” ;=) then never return it. Happens to us all the time. :=(

LMAO @ Horizontalmike re: cemetary… visualizing seeing 3M spray adhesive (yellow) spatter on grave stones with strange rectangle shape ripped from the middle.

Just make sure you don’t use the lettered side of the monument.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View Brett's profile

Brett

660 posts in 2149 days


#9 posted 07-24-2011 02:04 AM

How big are these granite tiles? My #7 jointer is 22” long. Should the flattening surface be at least 30” long?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

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Brett

660 posts in 2149 days


#10 posted 07-24-2011 02:06 AM

WayneC, I used a drafting square for a straight edge and a thickness gauge to measure the plane’s flatness. The middle of the plane is flat to within 0.003”, but the last few inches on each end deviate by about 0.007”. Is that flat enough?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3563 days


#11 posted 07-24-2011 02:21 AM

I would think that is more than flat enough… Another way to check it is on the wing of a tablesaw or bed of a jointer.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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Chris

1879 posts in 3457 days


#12 posted 07-24-2011 02:35 AM

I used Silicon Carbide Paper adhered to 1/4” plate glass to lap my #8

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

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Brett

660 posts in 2149 days


#13 posted 07-24-2011 02:40 AM

WayneC, I have a Ridgid 4510 portable table saw, so the top is not as flat as a slab of machined iron. And my only jointer is the plane. :) Good ideas, but I’m still lacking in the power tools department.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3563 days


#14 posted 07-24-2011 02:59 AM

Lol. You might not even need power tools. Have you read the Anarchist’s tool chest?

http://www.lostartpress.com/product/a1aeb796-1199-45c3-b9ca-99acd1d22b1a.aspx

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Brett's profile

Brett

660 posts in 2149 days


#15 posted 07-24-2011 03:36 AM

I haven’t read it yet, but I’m planning to. I’m having a ball building up my collection of user-tools. I just bought a Millers Falls #2 hand drill today that’s in great shape, so that’s one more I can cross off my list.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

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