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DIY Chipbreaker

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Forum topic by Anapolis7 posted 543 days ago 807 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Anapolis7

48 posts in 1420 days


543 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question pine purpleheart plane

I am considering making my own chipbreaker and had a few questions for my fellow tool-makers: Is the steel used for the chipbreaker all that critical?

I am a tad behind on posting my finished projects to lumberjocks. My most recent project involved creating a pair of coffin-style smoothing planes—a 50 degree and 55 degree. I am sure many of you will think that I have lost my mind building a 55; however, I tend to use a lot of figured wood or extremely dense exotics, neither of which is terribly fond of lower angles. The 55 is the one that is giving me some trouble. I forgot to mention, but these are wooden planes. The throat opening is adjustable allowing me to close the opening to within a few thousandths of the blade. Both of the planes have Hock irons, the 55 has a 2 3/8”. I don’t need a chipbreaker for chips, the blade angle makes it near impossible to tear out ahead of the cut. However, the blade is flexing in the cut. You can see undulations in the cut and it is giving off that loud chirp/tear sound that planes make when not adjusted properly. I have the wedge seated a lot lower that I would on a Krenov-style and I had hoped that this would prevent this problem, but no luck.

So, can I go to Lowe’s or Home Depot and get some of the junktastic steel they sell to make a chipbreaker? I have a piece of 3/16 Starret O1 tool steel, but I use that for blades and I can’t really see how that level of hardness is needed here, but I have been wrong before.

Thanks for your help!


6 replies so far

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cabmaker

1249 posts in 1311 days


#1 posted 543 days ago

You can buy a hock capiron for 29 bucks. Im not sure you would be happy with a homemade one. I dont think you ll find the right material at lowes for sure. I dont know who started all of this chipbreaker stuff but what your talking about is called a capiron. I guess thats ok, it gives me a good idea about how long one has been around this stuff. Good luck !

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Anapolis7

48 posts in 1420 days


#2 posted 543 days ago

To answer your question about who created the misnomer of cap iron vs. chip breaker: Woodcraft certainly seems to be propagating the chip breaker term (http://www.woodcraft.com/family/2000576/hock-replacement-blades.aspx toward the bottom). I think it is up there with the tails first vs. pins first debate.

The main reason why I don’t just buy a hock chip breaker/cap iron is that I am working on my second degree and money is tighter than it used to be. Well that and I tend to take DIY to an extreme that most people would consider ill-advised ;)

Even if it is an academic question, I am just wondering what difference a lesser quality steel would make. It’s function (on the plane in question) is more for stability and support. Though they aren’t all that widely used in the US, there are bi-metal blades that cheat in exactly this way.

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

524 posts in 1002 days


#3 posted 543 days ago

Have a look at the megathread “handplanes of your dreams” starting at comment #21901 one day ago

Although it was about metal handplanes, I would say the comments are valid :

- wax the sole;
- don’t close the mouth too much;
- try the Paul Sellers trick.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

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Sylvain

524 posts in 1002 days


#4 posted 543 days ago

Look also in the same thread
comment #21913, from Don W :
”I’ve come across a fair amount of wooden plane with leather glued under the blade.”

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

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Anapolis7

48 posts in 1420 days


#5 posted 543 days ago

I will look into this. It wouldn’t surprise me if the body did at least contribute to the problem. The sole of the plane is purple heart laminated to a pine body. If you have ever dealt with purple heart in any depth, the with the grain/against the grain difference is very pronounced. Also, purple heart, at least in rough condition, i prone to splintering on sharp edges. So, if I messed up and put the sole on backwards, that could be a really nasty source of friction. I will give the Sellers method a shot and report back.

As for the leather, I hadn’t considered that, but I have seen crazier things work. On another forum question, someone told me to place paper under the blade to even out the minor inconsistency in the ramp that was causing blade instability. It worked flawlessly, so I could see something like leather dampening the vibration markedly.

Thanks guys!

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Anapolis7

48 posts in 1420 days


#6 posted 543 days ago

I read Paul Seller’s post and used the oil method to lube the sole of the plane. I have to say, I am SHOCKED at the difference it made. The plane went from feeling like a Krenov jack plane to feeling as nimble and connected to the wood as my Krenov smoother. As for the chattering, it’s still not to the point of silence, but I think with some practice and taking the advice about isolating the blade, it could very easily get there. As for the cut, the undulations have almost entirely disappeared. They are now so small that you can’t see them, though you can feel them to the touch.

I have to say, the difference is pretty shocking. Thanks for the input guys! I didn’t even know about that thread.

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