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Millers Falls No. 8 lever cap will not stay on

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Forum topic by lusk posted 02-14-2014 09:14 PM 780 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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lusk

19 posts in 285 days


02-14-2014 09:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: hand plane millers falls no 8 smoother lever cap cap iron

I restored my grandpa’s old Millers Falls No. 8 smoother and its great, with just one issue. It planes beautifully for about 10 strokes and then suddenly the lever cap just, flops off. Its extremely tight when i first put it on, tighter than the cap on my Stanley No 5, but I can still make adjustments with ease. If i tighten the screw any more I cannot even attach the cap to begin with. The more I look at it, it seems to have something to do with the whale hump cap iron, but I may be wrong. If anyone has any insight I really need it
Thanks

-- Carlin, Upstate SC


11 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

15415 posts in 1289 days


#1 posted 02-14-2014 09:21 PM

What is a “whale hump cap iron”?

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

View TerryDowning's profile

TerryDowning

1023 posts in 839 days


#2 posted 02-14-2014 09:43 PM

I think he means the hump on the cap iron

This is actually from a MF No. 14 but the same design is used.

I had a similar problem on my MF No. 9

Make sure that Cap Iron is set within 1/16” to the end of the blade. If it is too far away from the end of the blade, the lever cap does not seat correctly and pops loose during use. It also makes it seem like the lever cap is very tight.

The lever cap needs to be at the bottom of that bump.

-- - Terry

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Don W

15415 posts in 1289 days


#3 posted 02-14-2014 10:00 PM

I would have described it as the top of the hump, but it should be similar to this.

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

View Deycart's profile

Deycart

392 posts in 979 days


#4 posted 02-14-2014 11:54 PM

You might want to check and make sure your depth adjustment knob is not supper sloppy. If your last step when setting the blade is to back it out it might slip back causing the lever cap to pop. It’s better practice for you to retract and then extend it to where you want it.

View lusk's profile

lusk

19 posts in 285 days


#5 posted 02-16-2014 03:18 AM

Thanks for the info everyone, but the cap iron is already set to within 1/16” and the depth adjustment is anything but sloppy, at least it isn’t in my opinion. I had assumed I was just doing something wrong with the plane since Millers Falls uses the two-piece lever cap I am not accustomed to seeing.

Deycart: When you say retract and then extend the iron, do you mean retract it, place the lever cap, then extend it to the correct position? If so, will making depth of cut adjustments also count as “retracting” the iron in your book? That hasn’t seemed to be a factor in whether or not the cap falls off though.

-- Carlin, Upstate SC

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Deycart

392 posts in 979 days


#6 posted 02-16-2014 03:33 AM

No, I mean when you are setting the depth of cut when it is fully assembled. You want your last action to be extending the blade. That way the yoke is at the bottom of the slot in the cap iron. If you retract it, it is at the top and when you push the plane on a board it will cause the blade to shift (retract) a little bit. If your lever cap is having problems staying on, this might help relieve it and you will have a more predictable cut.

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lusk

19 posts in 285 days


#7 posted 02-16-2014 05:39 AM

Deycart now I see what you’re saying. I will definitely give that a try seeing as how I generally do exactly the opposite. It seems to work for me on every other plane I have that doesn’t have that two-piece lever cap though. I really do love the feel of the Millers Falls while the lever cap is still on it and I hope to use it a lot one of these days.

-- Carlin, Upstate SC

View Fettler's profile

Fettler

159 posts in 719 days


#8 posted 02-16-2014 09:27 AM

Sounds like your cap screw is too tight. Back it out (might need a fractional turn) and potentially add some locktite. If the lever cap is on to tight it won’t close properly and just pop open. The lever cap should close with ease. Also, put a couple drops of oil (I use camellia oil) on the lever cap hinge.

-- --Rob, Seattle, WA

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Deycart

392 posts in 979 days


#9 posted 02-16-2014 06:57 PM

Lubrication is some thing people thend to over look. I try to put some 3 in 1 on all surfaces and threads. And make sure to work all the movements really good.

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lusk

19 posts in 285 days


#10 posted 02-16-2014 07:47 PM

I’ve waxed the surfaces with Johnson wax and oiled all the threads and movements already, but I’m not sure how well the wax works in your opinion (seems to do well on my Stanley planes.) I was halfway wondering if I should oil the places where the lever cap touches the cap iron to reduce friction but that seemed like it was asking for dust to collect on it.

-- Carlin, Upstate SC

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lusk

19 posts in 285 days


#11 posted 02-20-2014 02:05 PM

My problem seems to be fixed. Took some of the tips from here, made a few minor adjustments and used it for an hour or so yesterday on oak with no problem. Thanks everyone!

-- Carlin, Upstate SC

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