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Sole lapping

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Forum topic by Bugnurd posted 01-19-2014 11:04 PM 612 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bugnurd

74 posts in 344 days


01-19-2014 11:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: block plane plane sole lapping

So I just lapped the sole on my first hand plane, a Stanley 220 that I picked up at a local antique shop. From what I’ve been reading, I recon there are better options for a block plane (like a 9 1/2 perhaps). I cleaned it up nice and attempted to lap the sole today (granite tile and sandpaper method). There was a pesky low spot in the middle, but I managed to make it disappear with a little elbow grease. The sole and mouth look pristine! I’m rather proud of my first attempt. After that, I turned my attention to the sides. They both needed major attention, and I got them about half way there before calling it a day (it took about an hour and a half, including the sole). My question is, how important is it that the sides be dead flat? Maybe when I make a shooting board that will matter, but until then?

-- Marc -- Worcester, MA


14 replies so far

View grfrazee's profile

grfrazee

346 posts in 892 days


#1 posted 01-19-2014 11:08 PM

Unless you plan on using the plane with a shooting board, the flattness of the sides is irrelevant. I would just ease the corners of the sole and call it a day. Also, you might have gone overkill with the low spot in the middle if there is enough flat around it, but that’s just my opinion.

-- -=Pride is not a sin=-

View TheWoodenOyster's profile

TheWoodenOyster

1057 posts in 688 days


#2 posted 01-19-2014 11:34 PM

Agree with above. The sole is what really matters, the sides are not totally vital. I spent hours lapping on my first plane or two until I realized that If I wanted a lie nielsen, I should have bought a lie nielsen and not tried to rehab a stanley into a lie nielsen because it doesn’t work like that. Good old quality planes like yours are good tools and workhorses. They do 95% of what the high-dollar ones do. Spend an hour tuning them up and that honestly is probably the best you’ll get out of them. You can spend aopther 20 hours tuning it up, but the results usually aren’t worth the extra time. Fix up the vital components and get to work.

Congrats on your new plane!!!

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View Nicholas Hall's profile

Nicholas Hall

348 posts in 859 days


#3 posted 01-20-2014 12:19 AM

+1 the comments above

Also, just getting the sides flat isn’t useful under any circumstances, even as a shooting plane, unless the sides are perpendicular sole. This is a project unto itself.

-- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho Marx

View Don W's profile

Don W

15572 posts in 1320 days


#4 posted 01-20-2014 12:29 AM

it’s kind of unlikely you’ll shoot with a 220. I did one today as well. Clean up the sides and call it a day.

Pic’s or it didn’t happen.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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Bugnurd

74 posts in 344 days


#5 posted 01-20-2014 12:53 AM

Haha… It happened, Don. I’ll have to get a pic of it tomorrow. I forgot to get a before shot, though. Oh well. On deck is a pretty darn rusty #5C.

-- Marc -- Worcester, MA

View realcowtown_eric's profile

realcowtown_eric

381 posts in 690 days


#6 posted 01-20-2014 01:14 AM

With a 220, I’d not go OCD on the sides, except for appearance, and that can easily be done with 220 wet paper. First thing I do is take a file and stroke the corners to get rid of the knicks and divits from the tool box.

As for the sole lapping, you could start with coarser grits, and go as fine as you want, OR until you yet tired.

Ain’t it surpising just how “out of flat” plane bottoms can be….I’ve been known to to even put them on the belt sander (which trashes the paper real quick) and buddy who did this almost started a fire when the sparks smouldered in accumulated dust within !!!)

Nobody ever said you had to achieve perfection in one go. You will be tuning it up again, to be sure.

OTOH, practicing these skills on a 220 is a good learning experience, cause when you get a #8, there’s a leck of a lot more work involved!!

Have fun.

Eric

-- Real_cowtown_eric

View Nicholas Hall's profile

Nicholas Hall

348 posts in 859 days


#7 posted 01-20-2014 01:31 AM

“On a number 8 there’s lot more work involved”

That’s a fact. I did a number 7 jointer last year and I have no appetite left for an 8. You definitely want to start with a lower grit than 220 for the big boys.

Bugnurd, the good news is that the corrugated planes are 1/2 the work, since there’s less metal to remove.

-- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho Marx

View Don W's profile

Don W

15572 posts in 1320 days


#8 posted 01-20-2014 01:34 AM

what grit you start with will depend on how flat they are to. Most are already surprisingly flat.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

7520 posts in 1436 days


#9 posted 01-20-2014 01:54 AM

Some planes need a bit more work

this number 4 took awhile, even on a beltsander

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

View Bugnurd's profile

Bugnurd

74 posts in 344 days


#10 posted 01-20-2014 08:08 PM

Okay, so it works… Pictures to prove it!

-- Marc -- Worcester, MA

View Bugnurd's profile

Bugnurd

74 posts in 344 days


#11 posted 01-21-2014 06:21 PM

One more question while I’m at it. My next plane to tune is a #5 Stanley with a corrugated sole. It’s 14 inches long, but my granite tile is only 12 inches square. Does it matter that it will be overhanging the sandpaper and tile, or will that create more problems that I’ll only have to deal with and fix later?

-- Marc -- Worcester, MA

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2401 days


#12 posted 01-21-2014 06:26 PM

Marc- the sand paper does not remove much material with each stroke, so you can overlap it over your entire tile/paper – as long as you work it such that the sole ends up being flat is all that matters.

to take this even one step further – the sole does not need to be perfectly flat across the entire sole (shocking… I know) – just the toe + mouth + and heel. is there are low spots in between here and there, they are not necessarily critical (depending on size and location some may, but some may not)

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

15572 posts in 1320 days


#13 posted 01-21-2014 09:55 PM

what PurpLev said plus I’ll add if it’s a number 5 that will be used as a jack, it doesn’t need it anyhow.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View realcowtown_eric's profile

realcowtown_eric

381 posts in 690 days


#14 posted 01-28-2014 05:32 AM

Yer bottom looks good big fella…

Eric
Ducking and running….

-- Real_cowtown_eric

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