Jointer Plane Iron: Camber or not?

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Forum topic by 12strings posted 06-30-2012 10:42 PM 3369 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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434 posts in 1476 days

06-30-2012 10:42 PM

Let the Debate begin! On your Jointer plane, do you have a slight camber on the iron, or straight accross? Please defend your choice with evidence!!! Are you completely happy with your choice or tempted to try the other?

I’m undecided. I definitely am sold on a pretty radical camber for my scrub/Jack Plane for rough work, and I think I’m going to be a Straight blade guy for the smoother, but jointer/try plane, I’m not sure.

What say you?

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

9 replies so far

View Loren's profile


7967 posts in 2740 days

#1 posted 07-01-2012 12:08 AM

If you plan to use it for jointing boards I would recommend a
square grind. A cambered iron gives you less width to work
with when joining wider boards. It is not unknown to skew
a jointer plane a bit and a cambered iron’s geometry does
not favor this technique.

However in flattening boards a camber may serve your
preferences by taking a narrower, deeper cut and
reducing surface “steps” which need removal out later.


View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


12296 posts in 1710 days

#2 posted 07-01-2012 12:49 AM

Slight camber, relieved corners.

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

View sikrap's profile


1101 posts in 2451 days

#3 posted 07-01-2012 01:45 AM

No camber for me on jointers, but I may give it a try.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 2411 days

#4 posted 07-01-2012 01:48 AM

I’m forced to have a slight camber, mine ancient jointer won’t go flat! ;)

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View jmos's profile


682 posts in 1461 days

#5 posted 07-01-2012 02:18 AM

I camber. I had mine flat with relieved corners and ended up putting some minor, but noticeable plane tracks in some work pieces. It took a lot of extra work to get them out.

I could see having a straight blade for edges and a slightly cambered blade for faces, or two planes set up each way.

-- John

View Brett's profile


657 posts in 1775 days

#6 posted 07-01-2012 02:26 AM

For jointing, a cambered iron makes it much easier to correct an out-of-square edge. True, the edge is not “perfectly” flat (it’s slightly concave, to make the profile of the iron), but even when using an iron cambered by about 0.006” at the edges, I can joint a 3/4” wide board so I can’t fit a 0.0015” feeler gauge between a try square and the center of the board.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View barringerfurniture's profile


221 posts in 804 days

#7 posted 10-11-2013 01:03 AM

I’m about to spend a good part of a day tomorrow tuning up tools. Up until now, I’ve had cambers of various degrees on all but block planes without a lot of logic. But I think tomorrow, I’m gonna try grinding everything straight with just slightly rounded off corners to prevent tearing at edges. If I owned a scrub, that might be an exception.To answer the original question, my jointer has always been straight with eased corners. I wouldn’t really call it a camber. And I do it freehand.

-- Scott Barringer, Sacramento, CA

View Don W's profile

Don W

16833 posts in 1659 days

#8 posted 10-11-2013 03:39 PM

relieved corners, no camber on my jointers.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Benvolio's profile


144 posts in 1023 days

#9 posted 10-12-2013 02:49 AM

straight on my 7 and slight camber on my 6.

that way I use my 7 as a dedicated edge jointer and my fore plane picks up flattening operations where the jack has been.

Besides, it’s less hassle to surface your surfaces with the lighter number 6 as you’re lugging less iron about.

-- Ben, England.

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