NEW PLANES PROMPTED THIS POST
I just took delivery on some relatively good quality planes (Lie Nielsen Chinese Clones), a #4 smoother, a #5 Jack and a #6 foreplane. I thought that these would cover just about all my personal planing needs aside from my block plane. I might not really need the foreplane for the mostly small work that I do, but I couldn’t resist the temptation, and it is handy as a jointer for longer pieces or for preliminary flattening of larger panels. Here is what I bought.
Before honing any edges and/or relieving any corners or putting any camber on my blades, I decided to do some research. I read some, watched some videos by recognized experts and also comments and videos from other lesser known, but skilled handplane users.
WHAT I LEARNED
The one main learning point I came away with was that there are many different views on how edges should be prepared for the different planes and what they should be used for. The strange thing about it is that even though they may differ in opinion, they are all right and they all get sterling results!
MY OWN EXPERIENCE
Personally, I have been using my 30-40 year old Stanley Jack which I bought new, and various cheap #4 smoothers for the last few years (my jack lay dormant for many years). I can’t claim to be very knowledgeable about hand planes or their use, but I have improved my skills over the years to a certain level of mediocrity. I am pretty much up to speed on the theory part, but lacking in practice. I hope to remedy that before I die of old age.
MY PRELIMINARY THINKING
I am currently thinking that my wisest move would be to camber my Jackplane blade with maybe 1/32” down at the corners. I could then use it for rough planing sawn surfaces. In cases where I wanted to use my Jack for jointing of final smoothing, I could just use my smoother blade in the Jack as it is interchangeable. My thinking is that my smoother could then straight edged with 1/64” taken off the corners, or maybe have a very slight almost indiscernible camber along the entire edge. I am also thinking that my forplane should have a straight edge or be cambered very little, similar to the smoother since it will also be used for jointing. I would probably relieve the corners more though, enough to allow for deeper cuts for the preliminary flattening of large boards and panels prior to final smoothing.
ALL ADVICE AND OPINIONS ARE WELCOME
I am pretty open minded at this point, except for the sharpening method. I intend to use Paul Sellers sharpening method with a convex edge and not secondary bevel. I have been using this method for some time now and I am more than pleased with it, so I am more concerned with camber and corner relief than sharpening methods. Thanks for reading this and any input you might have will be appreciated.
-- Mike, American in Norway The four steps towards competency: 1. unconscious incompetence, 2. conscious incompetence, 3. conscious competence, 4. unconscious competence