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Short Scrub vs. longer Jack/Fore?

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Forum topic by 12strings posted 12-10-2012 03:23 PM 1751 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12strings

406 posts in 1040 days


12-10-2012 03:23 PM

For initial roughing of lumber, such that may have pronounced cupping or warping, do you prefer a short scrub plane, or a longer Jack/fore plane?

-Scrub: smaller, lighter, less fatigue, able to get into tighter areas
-Jack: longer sole give more reference and should result in a flatter surface.

What are your thoughts? For my own purposes, I’m assuming either of these has a fairly pronounced camber on the iron for this roughing work.

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


32 replies so far

View paratrooper34's profile

paratrooper34

760 posts in 1607 days


#1 posted 12-10-2012 03:33 PM

12strings, for pronounced cupping or warping, unless it is a narrow board, I use a jointer plane. In fact, I have an 8” board on the bench that is cupped pretty badly and I am going to use the jointer on it. You want to span the high spots and take them down as evenly as possible to keep as much wood on the board as possibe.

I use a scrub plane to remove a lot of stock quickly, but I don’t use it for flattening. A scrub plane has a big camber on it. I actually use two #5s; one with a straight honed blade and one with a slight camber. Those cover everything I need so far.

Good Luck!

-- Mike

View JohnChung's profile

JohnChung

255 posts in 730 days


#2 posted 12-10-2012 03:41 PM

I dwelled a long time on the Scrub plane before buying it. After using it and comparing it to my jack plane, Scrub plane just remove stock way faster than a Jack plane.

Here are some advantages of the Scrub:

1) Remove stock very fast.
2) Able to dimension wood quickly.
3) Create scallop on the grain…. Artistic expression…

Lie Nielsen has a video on Scrub plane. Well worth the time viewing it.

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

6977 posts in 1339 days


#3 posted 12-10-2012 03:52 PM

I have both a small scrub plane (ala Stumpy Nubs) and a couple jack planes. I used the #33 scrub on a beech 2×6 awhile back because it was a roughly reived ( split in two) plank. Scrub took down all the roughness in a short time. I then came in with a #5 wioth a smaller camber, at the diagonals. Finished up with #6 with the grain to get rid of the high spots. came back with a #4 to smooth the plank.

So, it depends on the wood you are about to surface. The #33 is about $10 or less, plus time to regrind into a cambered scrub plane. It is about a #3 size. The #5s i have (3 of them) have a varied degree of camber to them. The Parplus #5 has a Lot, the handyman #5 has some, and a Bailey #5 just has the corners knocked back, making it the “smoother” of the three.

Chris Schwarz doesn’t like scrub planes, he prefers to just get by with a jack plane. I like the scrub, because it is both lighter than a jack, and a lot quicker to get things done with. YMMV

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1281 posts in 1654 days


#4 posted 12-10-2012 03:58 PM

It is like saying do I not use 80 grit sandpaper because I have 220 grit. They do different things. The scrub hogs off material. That is it. You better watch your lines or you are going past them. It is just a bit more controlled than an adze or broadaxe.

Once you have removed the bulk of the material you want gone, then you use the jack to smooth it up and something else to finish it like a smoother, jointer or just a scraper.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

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12strings

406 posts in 1040 days


#5 posted 12-10-2012 04:13 PM

Several have said the scrub works faster. Is this because it is shorter and has a narrower iron? (I see that the veritas scrub has a very narrow iron) I’m going on the assumption that you can grind the same camber on either a scrub or a jack plane. Wouldn’t the Jack with a wider iron remove material faster?

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

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

6977 posts in 1339 days


#6 posted 12-10-2012 04:23 PM

A scrub goes across the grain, hogging BIG bites, the jack can follow after on the diagonal to the grain, leveling off all the high spots left by the scrub. Then just back off the iron on the jack, and go with the grain. Now ready for the smoother of your choice.

My little #33 scrub in action on Beech…

and after a jack was done.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View paratrooper34's profile

paratrooper34

760 posts in 1607 days


#7 posted 12-10-2012 04:35 PM

12strings, the narrow width of the scrub plane (combined with a large mouth opening) makes it easier to cut deep into the stock to remove a lot of wood quickly. While the #5 does have a wider blade, that width (combined with a narrow mouth opening) will make the plane harder to push with a deep cut. The narrow mouth is also restrictive and will ultimately define how thick a shaving you can make. The mouth on a #5 can be opened up, but the wide blade will wear you out quicker.

I like to think that centuries of plane design and use came up with the ideal solutions and assignments for work. In my experiences, they got it right with scrub and jack planes. Of course others may have a differing opinion, but that has been MY experience.

-- Mike

View JohnChung's profile

JohnChung

255 posts in 730 days


#8 posted 12-10-2012 04:43 PM

Derek Cohen has covered the possibility of using a chamber on a Jack blade. Head over to his web-site for further details. From my view being narrow is not an issue but the chamber of the blade is more important. The mouth on the Scrub plane is very wide. A narrow blade requires a smaller plane compared to a wider blade which affects the weight of the plane itself.

It is possible to get a jack to work as a scrub plane AFTER tuning the blade with the right chamber on it. But the weight of the Jack is ALWAYS going to be an issue. That being said, I tend to skew the Jack blade if I need to remove a few mm from the stock itself. But when it comes to an inch then scrub plane is the way to go.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4926 posts in 1233 days


#9 posted 12-10-2012 04:48 PM

Good call JohnChung on visiting Derek Cohen’s website,
there’s a lot of insight there:

http://www.inthewoodshop.com/

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1281 posts in 1654 days


#10 posted 12-10-2012 04:52 PM

The wide mouth of a scrub lets big chips go through. They usually have a single iron to keep stuff like a chipbreaker out of the way of the chips. The narrow blade makes it easier to push. Theoretically, you could have a wide blade on a scrub but it would be a lot harder to push. Scrub planes are what you go for when you don’t already have a good surface to start from and you are not worried about the finish. Think riven stock where you might have to take off 1/4 in or more. They can also be an alternative to using a rip saw to dimension lumber to width. A modified plane like the one Bandit shows does a great job on pre-dimensioned stock. To take out cupping or warping, this is an excellent solution. It is still not as aggressive as a scrub but removes material quite quickly and isn’t as hard to clean up afterwards. A scrub plane can leave a texture much like a chainsaw carving. The main time I use my scrub is to level a panel glue-up where the pieces may have shifted during clamping or stock was of differing thicknesses.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1377 posts in 839 days


#11 posted 12-10-2012 05:04 PM

You could split the difference, and (like me) convert a jack plane into a scrub. The world is littered with crappy #5 planes just waiting to be converted.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View lwllms's profile

lwllms

544 posts in 1937 days


#12 posted 12-10-2012 06:58 PM

”You could split the difference, and (like me) convert a jack plane into a scrub. The world is littered with crappy #5 planes just waiting to be converted”

You have just converted your jack plane to a- – - – - – - – - ta-da, a jack plane. Congratu-freaking-lations. Now I think I’ll go tend to my bruised forehead after slamming it repeatedly into my desk top.

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1377 posts in 839 days


#13 posted 12-10-2012 07:06 PM

Uh, no. A jack plane doesn’t have a fully cambered plane iron like a scrub. And go easy on your head, drama. You only get one.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View lwllms's profile

lwllms

544 posts in 1937 days


#14 posted 12-11-2012 12:39 AM

Maybe yours doesn’t but mine do and traditionally they did. Jack planes are roughing planes. Some early literature uses the term “jack plane” interchangeably with “fore plane” and some early catalogs list both jack planes and fore planes. At any rate, both were intended as roughing planes. In traditional Anglo/American woodworking there were no scrub planes. Continental style scrub planes don’t appear in British or American catalogs until the mid 19th Century and they were called “Bismark Planes” when they show up. Stanley’s early catalog description of their first scrub planes says their use was to remove material from the edges of boards when the amount needed to be removed was less than could be easily removed by sawing.

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Brandon

4138 posts in 1607 days


#15 posted 12-11-2012 12:54 AM

You have just converted your jack plane to a- – – – – – – – – ta-da, a jack plane. Congratu-freaking-lations.

Wow. Easy, buddy.

I would like to note that metal-bodied jack planes are definitely not built as scrub planes in the last century or so. The mouth opening isn’t nearly as big, even though most jacks are supposed to be able to remove stock quickly. To make a jack plane perform like a scrub plane, usually takes some adjustments.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

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