Using a jack plane with cambered blade to flatten

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Forum topic by BerBer5985 posted 02-21-2012 09:11 PM 1582 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View BerBer5985's profile


445 posts in 2448 days

02-21-2012 09:11 PM

I heeded Christopher Schwarz’s info on setting up a #5 with a camber blade and setting the frog back and making it a jack plane and this worked incredibly efficiently in leveling the workbench I’m building, however, when using it across the grain as described, I got a couple blow outs on the front and back of the workbench where large pieces of the sides chipped off. I’m not sure if I had the iron set to deep or if it was the douglas fir I was using or if my technique is incorrect. Should I plane towards the middle of the bench always with a jack plane like that? In essence starting on the outside and working halfway towards the middle and then the same from the other side? That doesn’t seem like it would do as well leveling the top? Thank god I did this on my workbench and not on a expensive piece of wood. I can live with some chip out on the workbench, especially one of douglas fir, but I want to make sure I don’t do the same mistake again. You might be able to see it in the pictures below:

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

6 replies so far

View Mike67's profile


97 posts in 3364 days

#1 posted 02-21-2012 09:19 PM

I think you need to chamfer the edge first so the wood at the surface will be supported. Give that a try.

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2910 days

#2 posted 02-21-2012 09:25 PM

Mike’s right, or you can clamp another board against the edge of the bench so you’ll blow out its edge instead; I think any cross grain planing will result in blow out if the edge is not supported somehow, at least that has been my experience.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View rkober's profile


137 posts in 2320 days

#3 posted 02-21-2012 09:32 PM

Mikes right, chamfer and plane to the lower chamfer intersection. This is not unlike Christopher’s approach to avoiding end grain blow out. However fir is going to be hard (IMO). I’ve cross crossed from both sides and stopped short of the far side and it worked ok. BTW I am very happy with my fir bench top. It’s not fancy but it’s solid and made to be used.

-- Ray - Spokane, WA - “Most people don’t recognize opportunity because it’s usually disguised as hard work.” - Unknown

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 2503 days

#4 posted 02-21-2012 10:09 PM

This happens often, in the future before you plane across make a small chamfer on both edges of the table this way you don’t get blow out

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15369 posts in 2646 days

#5 posted 02-21-2012 10:10 PM

The blow-out concern w/ project-quality stock is real, I had the same concerns! Starting chamfers really do work, and the bigger you make them, the better. Which leads to the second part of my comment: thickness (flatten) stock before cutting / planing to width to ensure you have some margin for blow-outs that happen.

And Rob’s advise is also good.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View bondogaposis's profile


4769 posts in 2379 days

#6 posted 02-21-2012 10:32 PM

You need to chamfer the edges or spelching is your destiny.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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