How to maximize my usability on 3+ #4s

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Forum topic by Swyftfeet posted 10-16-2012 03:35 PM 950 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Swyftfeet's profile


170 posts in 2170 days

10-16-2012 03:35 PM

I have start by saying I have GREAT Parents, they are both retired and spend a ton of time at flea markets and antique stores. I mentioned to my father who is a tool aficionado of sorts mostly chainsaws, that I am looking to buy some bench planes and a couple block planes. I also told him if he sees a #113 to snatch it up.

Well in their excitement to help me I now own a really nice #7c and about 4 or 5 #4s, a #9 1/2 and a #220. All users. Pop brings a machinist square with him and knows how to say no to cracked or warped planes, but somehow can’t turn down a usable #4. So down to the actual question are there ways to tune some of the blades for different jobs to make up for the ones I am missing (3,5,6)? I was thinking of cambering one. I have the veritas sharpening jig with both the flat and the camber roller

Thanks ahead!

-- Brian

6 replies so far

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 3358 days

#1 posted 10-16-2012 07:22 PM

You have several options. You vary the camber on the irons and use one for scrub work, another for smoothing, etc. You can vary the angles of the bevels on the irons so that you have steeper angles for harder or grainier woods, you can do a little of both, you can have a couple set up the same way so you don’t have to stop as often to sharpen while you’re working on a project.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3647 days

#2 posted 10-16-2012 07:31 PM

it really boils down to personal preference. there is no better/worse. you could camber 1 blade, and sharpen different angles on different planes if you are a heavy hand plane user to have specific planes setup for different jobs, or sell some, and get those missing #’s if you are trying to collect them all, or have a better use for something you do not have. all depends on the nature of work you do, and what you and you alone WANTS

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7757 posts in 2913 days

#3 posted 10-16-2012 07:39 PM

How about dedicating one of your #4s to being a “scraper”?

Lee Valley offers this scraper insert. I actually put this on one of my #418s for double duty:,310&p=32635

Here is mine, mounted on my Sargent #418, AKA #6 size
I also bought the THICKER blade at all of $6.50 additional

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

View Swyftfeet's profile


170 posts in 2170 days

#4 posted 10-18-2012 01:08 PM

Thanks guys! I might very well give that scraper insert to myself for Xmass!

-- Brian

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

943 posts in 3392 days

#5 posted 10-18-2012 02:10 PM

if you read carefully some of the Veritas comments about sharpening in your Gig Instruction Manual, there is a trick to put a “york pitch” on a standard bench plane blade. Basically is putting an angle in the opposite side, so it will worl like the 50 degrees blade they carry for the Low angle bench planes. Here is the tech text from the site:

“The 50° blade is for smoothing woods with widely varying or reversing grain (e.g., bird’s-eye maple) where tear-out is difficult to control. The resulting cutting angle of 62° produces what is known as a Type II chip (or shaving), one created by wood failure right at the cutting edge, eliminating tear-out on even the most difficult grain patterns. Planing wood at this cutting angle will give you a bit of a workout — but the results are well worth it.”

So you dont need to throw your money on scraper inserts.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2834 days

#6 posted 10-19-2012 01:57 AM

The scraper insert is still a good idea to save on sanding, that’s why the stanley 112 is so popular. Very nice for quick clean ups on flat panels.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

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