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Hand Planes...a Design Limitation?

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Forum topic by poopiekat posted 673 days ago 3611 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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poopiekat

3559 posts in 2336 days


673 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question

Something is inherently wrong with the design of the typical handplane! It just occurred to me, as I set up a new set of cutters on my antique jointer, that the bed of a hand plane should be “stepped” as is the table of a jointer! Think about it! Assuming that a plane shaving is approximately .005 inch thick, this means that the toe of a handplane is mostly elevated above the surface of the board. The only two areas of contact between the sole and the board is that area just ahead of the mouth, and the far back end of the heel. (This also explains why experts often say that flatness is over-rated). This explains why it’s hard to keep a #3 or #4 exactly square to the sides, with that bump-out for the rear tote making it unstable.
So… what if somebody milled a plane so that the toe, the leading edge, was .005 HIGHER than the aft section behind the blade? Imagine, the cutter FLUSH with the sole behind it. This way, the entire sole would contact the board, ahead of the cut, AND behind it.
Any thoughts? Could somebody do a Sketchup or CAD thing to illustrate the deficiencies in a typical handplane and post it here?

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!


23 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

14651 posts in 1169 days


#1 posted 673 days ago

Then you’d always have to start the plane off the board or the cutter would never touch. ( like you do a jointer) think what a pain that would be.

Easiest way to test your theory that I don’t think will work: modify a transitional.

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

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poopiekat

3559 posts in 2336 days


#2 posted 673 days ago

good idea, Don! To have 100% contact with a recessed toe ahead of the cutter is the concept I’m thinking of.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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rance

4125 posts in 1762 days


#3 posted 673 days ago

In my unprofessional opinion, the shavings are supposed to be nearer to 0.001”, not 0.005”. I’m not a hand plane guy though.

What Don said, stick some of that UHMW tape behind the blade on the sole and adjust your blade to the thickness of that tape.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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lab7654

250 posts in 849 days


#4 posted 673 days ago

Glad I’m not the only one this bothers. I don’t personally use hand planes but the design they have often bugs me…

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

View Don W's profile

Don W

14651 posts in 1169 days


#5 posted 673 days ago

If you guys are going to make my Stanley’s obsolete after a couple hundred years, I’ll need to know ahead of time.

;-)

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

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Mosquito

4508 posts in 894 days


#6 posted 673 days ago

The other issue, is that theoretically you’d have to use a Rabbet plane… because otherwise the width of the blade would be less than the width of the plane. Unless you only did this adjustment to the center of the sole…

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

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poopiekat

3559 posts in 2336 days


#7 posted 673 days ago

Wow, thanks, Rance!! That’s an absolutely perfect rendition of what I meant! I just took some random curls off the floor and trash can, each one I meaasured was between .004-.006. Heh, I don’t do ‘money shots’ so I go as deep with the cutter as I can. Mosquito: Oh yeah, true! If the sides of the mouth were milled to the same height as the nose, it shouldn’t be a problem. Lab: Thanks for the words of encouragement!
To put this all another way, visualize a bullnose plane with the cutter edge front and center…then visualize adding a toe set to the height of the unplaned board. Don…don’t worry, your planes will be safe for another thousand years. Though they might be found buried under a Pompeii-like excavated civilization, LOL!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1571 days


#8 posted 673 days ago

I agree with the theory, take a look at the depth adjustment of any electric hand planer, the depth of cut is adjusted by raising or lowering the part of the base in front of the cutters.
But in the real world, hand planes work, have worked well for centuries, so if it ain’t broke…

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Mosquito

4508 posts in 894 days


#9 posted 673 days ago

You would have to go beyond just the the mouth. You’d have to go down the entire length of both sides, to bring it in just narrower than the blade. Otherwise the blade wouldn’t clear the wood in front of the rear section of the plane body.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

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Mosquito

4508 posts in 894 days


#10 posted 673 days ago

This would also eliminate the ability to angle the plane to effectively cut with a skew… Interesting concept for something to only use as a jointer, though.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

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Rob_G

13 posts in 1221 days


#11 posted 673 days ago

The sides of the plane sole are wider than the blade, so the back side of the sole doesn’t “fall” into the new groove as it’s cut because the back section oft the sole is wider than the cut. Having a raised area on the back hald of the plane sole would prevent using the plane at an angle.

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vipond33

1405 posts in 1099 days


#12 posted 673 days ago

I actually tried this out on a No.5 about 30 yrs. ago with a machinist friend. He put it on a milling machine and took it down .002. For the reasons given above it did not work. We could have anticipated the result if we were thinking straight but I think the idea came after too many brewski’s. The next day we soberly milled off the rest of the plane.
BTW, just out of curiosity Rance, lately you seem to know a lot about hand planes. Is it time for you to come out of the backer board closet?
gene

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

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poopiekat

3559 posts in 2336 days


#13 posted 673 days ago

Mosquito: Ah, very astute!! Now I get the rabbet plane idea mentioned above too. Yes, a prototype would have left two jet trails of original height left behind it! I’m grateful for everyone’s participation here.

I had been visualizing a 3/4” board in a vise, not even considered machining a wide board, wider than the plane body! Thanks, all!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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Mosquito

4508 posts in 894 days


#14 posted 673 days ago

Gave me an idea though… not sure it would work, but it’s an idea none the less…

Instead of just a straight recess on both sides, what if you tapered the recess into a V that was blade width at the mouth, and tapered down. That would allow you to skew the plane a little still, if it was to be used for face planing… Just thinking out loud here lol

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

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Mosquito

4508 posts in 894 days


#15 posted 673 days ago

This is what I was talking about… exaggerated for easier viewing

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

showing 1 through 15 of 23 replies

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