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Hand Plane sole flattening

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Forum topic by unbob posted 08-02-2013 09:53 AM 3907 views 1 time favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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unbob

718 posts in 1368 days


08-02-2013 09:53 AM

There is an interesting discussion on the Practical Machinist forum, under woodworking here-
http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/woodworking-woodworking-machinery-new-forum/restoring-planes-flatten-sole-269653/

Abit of a chore for sure, with many opinions.
I have been working my planes flat by hand scraping the soles, it is making a much needed improvement for me.
The planes I have had the most problems with are my #8s and #7s, but most all have problems
Those jointers have proven the worst for having twist and being lumpy.
I have been hand planning for many years with lumpy twisted planes, and I can get a board flat with constant testing the board surface and then correction.
I just have found the better the plane is flat, the better it works with less corrective moves.

There is an example of a plane on PM that has been scraped to perhaps 50millionths of an inch flatness, well, maybe that’s over kill to some degree.
I found if I can get them to a couple of thou, they perform much better “for me”.



13 replies so far

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carguy460

800 posts in 1800 days


#1 posted 08-02-2013 01:55 PM

What do you mean by “Scraping”? This is interesting to me as I lap on sandpaper…can you scrape steel just like you would Wood?

-- Jason K

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JustJoe

1554 posts in 1503 days


#2 posted 08-02-2013 02:27 PM

It’s not quite as easy, it’s 1,000,000,000 times more monotonous.
I’d find you a good explanation on the internet but google things scraping means scrapping.
I did find this:
http://www.nikon.com/about/feelnikon/craftspersons/4/index3.htm
If you look at the pic 5 it shows one of the types of tools. I’ve got a piece of metal bar with a flat chunk of carbide brazed on the end that was used for scraping. The basic process is to start with a flat reference plate, cover it in blue goo, carefully hold the piece to be flattened onto the goo and remove. That leaves the blue on the high spots. Then you slowly scrape .000001 off wherever you see blue, wipe it down and repeat until the entire surface is covered in blue, meaning you’ve flattened it. If you have something like a lathe bed with big dings where the edges are pushed up, you can use the scraper to bring it flush (that’s what I did.) For plane soles, if you’re going to flatten you might as well stick with sandpaper. Or if you have the patience and the time to kill, one of the hobby metalworking mags did a long series on the subject last year. (Machinists Workshop?)

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theoldfart

8121 posts in 1916 days


#3 posted 08-02-2013 02:28 PM

The terminology is throwing me as well. Do you mean Milling?

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

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JustJoe

1554 posts in 1503 days


#4 posted 08-02-2013 02:30 PM

It’s not milling. That’s more the metalworking equivalent of routing.
And it’s not grinding. It’s done by hand.

Found a much better explanation/instruction with cool pics and diagrams and all that fancy stuff:
http://www.schsm.org/SCRAPING.pdf

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theoldfart

8121 posts in 1916 days


#5 posted 08-02-2013 02:39 PM

Thanks Joe, from what I can see it still requires great skill at holding the scraper parallel to the sole. It also seems like bad technique will ruin the tool quickly, certainly faster than wet/dry glass lapping.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

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PurpLev

8523 posts in 3113 days


#6 posted 08-02-2013 02:45 PM

scraping is a more ‘fine finishing’ technique than milling which is more like rough work.

scraping is a manual operation of flattening and bringing surfaces to very high tolerances like a surface grinder would so to speak – just manually (and isn’t limited to surface area).

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

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PurpLev

8523 posts in 3113 days


#7 posted 08-02-2013 02:48 PM

scraping will flatten the sole much much faster than lapping with sandpaper ever will if you have deep low spots.

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

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Rick M

7923 posts in 1845 days


#8 posted 08-02-2013 04:31 PM

@PurpLev, no offense but I honestly doubt this scraping business is faster than sandpaper lapping unless it’s something other than what has been described here. Some folks spend a long time flattening because they mistakenly start with high grit sandpaper.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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PurpLev

8523 posts in 3113 days


#9 posted 08-02-2013 04:38 PM

no offense taken.

in addition to woodworking I do home-machining as well and actually know scraping. like I said -depending on how much you sole is out of flt, the time difference could be significant.

....but what do I know ;)

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

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unbob

718 posts in 1368 days


#10 posted 08-02-2013 04:44 PM

These hand planes are the worst object I have had to deal with. As been noted the shape and varied thickness of them leads to twist and lumpy areas. If the twist and lumps are in the right spots, they still can work pretty good. My luck mostly has been bad. I got on to this by trying a friends LE jointer, that thing worked great. With most things other then sole flatness being fairly equal, I started working on a really bad off Stanley 5 1/2, this one had a lot of wear from use. The 5 1/2 I set up and milled the sole first, then scraped it true, it works great. The longer planes such as 7 and 8s seemed to hard to fixture in machines to me with the experience of doing the 5 1/2. On those longer ones, I used a Nicolson Magicut file to work the worst high areas down, checking along the way the best direction to work the sole down keeping the sole true to the sides, or best side. And using the flat reference with Prussian blue dye to aid that also. Then finish scraped them true. The results, the old planes work as good as a new LE plane, but I don’t count the hours it took to get that done. I work on them awhile then walk away for a time. Here is a photo of a plane showing some blued high spots, and a home made scraper with a 1/2” carbide blank brazed to a steel handle. The scraper works like a single tooth on a file, making for working more selective areas.

[URL=http://s170.photobucket.com/user/donsmonarch10ee/media/DSC01113_zps8af74365.jpg.html][IMG]http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u265/donsmonarch10ee/DSC01113_zps8af74365.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

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Loren

8309 posts in 3113 days


#11 posted 08-02-2013 04:45 PM

Good info. I’ve never scraped metal to flat but I’ve been
considering making some infill planes so it’s good to know
scraping works well for Stephen Thomas.

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unbob

718 posts in 1368 days


#12 posted 08-02-2013 04:53 PM

ST is a very talented person for sure!

So far, I have no infill planes, I would think the design would make them more stable, and less likely to twist and get lumps.

I should add that scraping is not that hard to do. The angle to hold the scraper, and the action becomes apparent when doing it. It would be very hard to cause any damage.

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Tim

3118 posts in 1426 days


#13 posted 08-02-2013 05:25 PM

I had been curious about hand scraping since I heard bob mention it in another thread. I had tried to find information on it but not much luck. This time though I tried searching youtube for hand scraping metal and a lot of good links come up. The first video is a good explanation. You can see how it could be faster than sandpaper. Thanks for those links too, Joe.

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