LumberJocks

Need some insight on tuning my Stanely No. 4

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by Steve Diogo posted 02-11-2014 07:32 PM 726 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Steve Diogo's profile

Steve Diogo

87 posts in 346 days


02-11-2014 07:32 PM

Hi, all. Hoping you can give me some insight on tuning this Stanley #4. From everything I’ve seen and read, I believe the mouth is supposed be really tight. On this one (my first plane) I have the frog all the way forward, but with the blade set at the correct depth to get a nice, thin shaving, the mouth seems awfully wide open. Am I setting something incorrectly or is there a problem with the plane? I’m happy with the performance, but I don’t know what a perfectly tuned plane feels like.

Thanks,
Steve!

-- http://chicagowoodworker.wordpress.com/


25 replies so far

View Airframer's profile

Airframer

2756 posts in 707 days


#1 posted 02-11-2014 07:39 PM

Is that Maroon japanning?

From the shape of the frog and if that is Maroon than it probably isn’t anything you are doing wrong. That would make it a much newer model and as such was starting the downhill slide in quality. It probably had a larger mouth new in the box.

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

View ksSlim's profile

ksSlim

1011 posts in 1644 days


#2 posted 02-11-2014 07:42 PM

Does it make shavings?

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View JayT's profile

JayT

2635 posts in 965 days


#3 posted 02-11-2014 07:44 PM

Two things

A) +1 to Airframer

B) Tight mouth is overrated—they are nice, but not completely necessary except on a few occasions with very tear-out prone wood. A truly sharp iron with a correctly mated and set chipbreaker will do wonders, even with an open mouth.

-- "My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right." Abraham Lincoln

View Steve Diogo's profile

Steve Diogo

87 posts in 346 days


#4 posted 02-11-2014 07:52 PM

It is maroon, Air.

kss, yes, the shavings are full width and thin—now that I’ve learned how to sharpen. Interestingly, my No. 5, which I bought just after this one and should have a wide open mouth, has a super tight mouth. I had to set the frog back just to get the blade to protrude. Here’s the frog on the 5.

-- http://chicagowoodworker.wordpress.com/

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4351 posts in 1802 days


#5 posted 02-11-2014 08:02 PM

If your frog already is all the way forward, there is nothing you can do.
Or, if you do not mind modifying your plane, may be elongate the holes in the frog so that would move the frog forward a little more.
Another solution , go buy a wood-river plane, the price is very reasonable and they are excellent plane.
Wood rivers are sold by woodcraft.

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2021170/29725/WoodRiver-4-Bench-Hand-Plane-V3.aspx

-- Bert

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4351 posts in 1802 days


#6 posted 02-11-2014 08:02 PM

The Woodriver hand planes are made in china by a company named Quangsheng.
They are excellent.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXUVzviBjCs

Here is another video by Christopher Schwarz about the quality of these made in China Woodriver planes:
http://www.popularwoodworking.com/article/smashing_planes_video

-- Bert

View Don W's profile

Don W

15581 posts in 1321 days


#7 posted 02-11-2014 08:42 PM

About the only want to tighten the mouth is buy a thicker aftermarket iron, but as already stated, if its not broke, don’t fix it. It should work as is. Keep the cutter sharp and the chip breaker close.

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

View Mike67's profile

Mike67

96 posts in 2090 days


#8 posted 02-11-2014 09:11 PM

Hard to tell but from the looks of the picture there’s paint where the blade contacts the frog. Look at your #5 and there isn’t any. That should be a perfectly flat surface to best support the blade. If your blade is sharp and you can’t get the plane to cut well, I think I’d start by rubbing that frog over some sandpaper glued down to a flat surface like a jointer table. You’ll have to work around the little nub that adjusts the blade and the rivet on the lateral adjuster, but just taking down any nubs or high spots in the paint could help.

View DocBailey's profile

DocBailey

400 posts in 1114 days


#9 posted 02-11-2014 09:28 PM

Do you really have it all the way forward (B) , or do you have it set so that the face of the frog is aligned with the machined angle in the sole (A)?

View TheWoodenOyster's profile

TheWoodenOyster

1057 posts in 689 days


#10 posted 02-11-2014 09:50 PM

If it is working and giving you good, clean shavings, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. I am with JayT when he says that the interaction between the chipbreaker and iron are much more important than the mouth opening. I have noticed a significant difference in performance when I vary the chipbreaker tip location. I haven’t noticed much based on the mouth opening

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View Steve Diogo's profile

Steve Diogo

87 posts in 346 days


#11 posted 02-11-2014 10:35 PM

Really appreciate the posts. I think I’ll stick with the general consensus and be happy with the fact that it performs well. Doc, you’re right: I have it set like image a. And Bert, I have my eye on a couple of Wood Rivers.

-- http://chicagowoodworker.wordpress.com/

View DocBailey's profile

DocBailey

400 posts in 1114 days


#12 posted 02-11-2014 10:41 PM

Don’t want to beat this to death, but if yours is set like figure A, yet you could move it forward, it is fine to do so.
The bevel is not supported on a bevel down plane.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10394 posts in 1372 days


#13 posted 02-11-2014 10:54 PM

Doc has it right, and that’s what the pictures show: the frog is not as far as forward as it could go for a tighter mouth. The name for the color I’ve seen is cordovan. My dad’s smoother is the same make / model, and is a solid performer. The last USA-made bench plane line was this color, and is not typed specifically in any of the studies I’ve found.
.
.
.
They get no respect at all, I tell ya.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

7526 posts in 1437 days


#14 posted 02-11-2014 10:59 PM

All the bench planes I’ve rehabbed, I start them out as in Photo “A”, then go from there IF needed. Most don’t, and they work just fine. I do find that the more like Photo “B” I get, chatter starts to show up. Atleast on the “Non-Premium” planes.

I think I MIGHT have one of them Cordovan 9-1/2 block planes, sitting around…...

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

View Steve Diogo's profile

Steve Diogo

87 posts in 346 days


#15 posted 02-11-2014 11:00 PM

showing 1 through 15 of 25 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase