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flattening the sole of a plane

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Forum topic by Zach posted 03-13-2012 04:00 AM 1050 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Zach

5 posts in 924 days


03-13-2012 04:00 AM

I’m a beginning wood worker and I was wondering the process used to flatten a planes sole

-- Never laugh at live dragons, The Hobbit


7 replies so far

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Brandon

4138 posts in 1609 days


#1 posted 03-13-2012 04:04 AM

Welcome to Lumberjocks! I don’t flatten the sole of every plane—just the ones that really need it, like the shorter smoothing planes. When I do flatten it, I like to start with a long sanding belt, usually one I used already on a belt sander. I use spray adhesive to attach the sanding belt to a flat surface, then just run the plane over it repeatedly until the whole thing is flat. You can mark up the sole with a sharpie to see where metal is being removed and where it is not. I’m sure others will have some different suggestions, but this method has worked for me.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

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Zach

5 posts in 924 days


#2 posted 03-13-2012 04:21 AM

I’m worried about this spot. I spent a whole 30 bucks on this No 4. on ebay. I’m a total newbie to wood working and I’m leaning toward hand tools. I also have a 5 1/4 which I bought thinking it was a larger version of the no 5. (NOOB!) Its in good shape aside from an extermely dull blade.

-- Never laugh at live dragons, The Hobbit

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Brandon

4138 posts in 1609 days


#3 posted 03-13-2012 04:28 AM

Smitty,

I would run that over some sandpaper a few times and if the plane is flat, the spot won’t affect its use. I have one block plane with some serious pitting in the sole, but it doesn’t really detract from the usability of the plane.

Regarding the 5 1/4—that’s a great plane. Hold one to it, but still you’ll want a regular No 5, which are plentiful on ebay.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

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Farkled

24 posts in 974 days


#4 posted 03-13-2012 09:12 AM

The larger the plane, the less you should wish to flatten it yourself. Can you guarantee that the substrate you use to flatten against is flat? Within .0005” ? If you can’t do that then flattening doesn’t matter. More to the point: use the plane. If it planes well, then no flattening is required. Move on with life. If it does not plane well, either have it professionally ground or go buy another plane.

IMO & YMMV

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Don W

15045 posts in 1226 days


#5 posted 03-13-2012 01:16 PM

I use a piece of granite with a cut sanding belt glued to it.

I agree though it only needs to be flattened if its not working well. If its real bad, I’ll start on the belt sander. Get it close than move to the granite.

Smoothers are most important. The closer thay are the better they work. Jack planes do not matter much.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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Don W

15045 posts in 1226 days


#6 posted 03-13-2012 01:17 PM

oh, and welcome to LJs

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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Willeh

228 posts in 997 days


#7 posted 03-13-2012 01:32 PM

Hey, Welcome to LJs!

Have a look at my Blog agoub restoring oild handplanes:
http://lumberjocks.com/Willeh/blog/27918

Part 3 discusses flattening and resurfacing the sole. Feel free to msg me with any questions!

-- Will, Ontario Canada. "I can do fast, cheap and good, but you can only pick two... "

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