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What I am doing wrong with this hand plane?

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Forum topic by bludhemn posted 06-02-2014 05:38 AM 2294 views 0 times favorited 38 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bludhemn

5 posts in 1091 days


06-02-2014 05:38 AM

Topic tags/keywords: hand plane preparing lateral nut uneven smooth

Hello

I’m trying to plane a rough sawn pine plank, but the hand plane I use refuses to give a proper shave. Every stroke makes a gash, instead of shave. If I pull up the blade with adjustment nut, the plane just slides over the wood. When it does make contact, it ends up eating into the wood.

Initially I was using an old No 4 plane which I bought from an auction site. I sharpened the blade and prepared the cap iron and went about planing. When it didn’t go well, I bought a new No 4 from the local hardware store. Sharpened the blade and tried that too. Same result.

I think the error is on my part, but I can’t quite figure out where.

Here is the old plane and blade:

And this is the new one:

On both the new and old one, the blade seems a bit skewed when I look through the mouth (shown in pics). But this happens after make adjustments with the lateral lever.

Can somebody please advice ?

Thanks very much


38 replies so far

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

879 posts in 2279 days


#1 posted 06-02-2014 10:16 AM

You have the chipbreaker way too far away from the edge of the blade and way too big a throat opening. Try setting the chipbreaker 1/32 or so from the edge and then try to get the throat opening only slightly larger than that.
Pine is a relatively tricky wood to plane.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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schnable

23 posts in 1542 days


#2 posted 06-02-2014 11:39 AM

I agree with jdh122. Also make sure your blade is sharp. And figure out which direction the grain is flowing – you want to go with or across the flow – but not against it. Near a knot is always tough as the grain switches direction on you.

Back your blade out and advance just a bit – start planing at the high spot – it will skate over the low spots. (From you pic it looks like your blade was advanced out too far).

Try skewing your plane (hold it on the diagonal) – if you get tear out holding it in one orientation, try skewing it the other direction.

Check out these articles from lost-art press: reduce tear-out.

Andrew

-- Andrew

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TheWoodenOyster

1275 posts in 1396 days


#3 posted 06-02-2014 11:43 AM

Your plane irons may not actually be sharp. You may be sharpening them to the best of your knowledge, by they may just not be getting very sharp. What is your sharpening method?

Also, you may just have a crappy plane that will not keep from chattering. My first experience planing was just like this because I bought a junky plane. Take a photo of your plane from the top assembled and with the blade removed. That would likely help us come up with more advice other than move the chipbreaker forward and get it sharper.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

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jdh122

879 posts in 2279 days


#4 posted 06-02-2014 12:02 PM

Oyster makes a good point. My first experiences with hand planing were pretty much what you are experiencing. It took some time (and the purchase of a better plane, although that did not solve everything), and sharpening practice. And I still am not an expert, although I think I’ve made a lot of progress.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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bandit571

14551 posts in 2144 days


#5 posted 06-02-2014 12:15 PM

Those are called Tracks, and any plane with the corners of the iron even with the rest of the edge will make them. Round the corner back just a bit, a little is about all you need.

Go look up Crosman, or Paul Sellers, and watch them sharpen an iron…fast.

First set the iron so that it doesn’t make any shavings, then adjust the edge into the wood a 1/4-1/2 turn at a time for each pass. Continue on until you get the full width, minus the corners. Then leave it alone, and just plane wood.

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

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1831 days


#6 posted 06-02-2014 12:55 PM

Not sure what #4 you were using, but if it’s pretty old, it’s probably better than the one you got at the hardware store. I’d go back to that and focus on getting it set up correctly. To reiterate what others said :
- Flatten the back of the blade.
- Flatten the sole of the plane.
- Make sure blade is correctly sharpened, I just use the scary sharp method.
- Adjust chipbreaker to be ~1/32 from the edge of the blade. If you’re looking to take off a lot, you can go larger, but you’ll probably want to put a very slight radius on the blade, or at minimum, break the edges back.
- Adjust the frog forward so that, when the blade is installed, the opening is just a hair larger than that 1/32. Do your best to get the blade parallel to the mouth opening and do fine adjustments with the lateral lever after everything is reinstalled.
- Start with the blade backed out, and make a few passes, lowering the blade just a hair each time. Very small adjustments. Make a big pass, because like others have said, you’ll have high spots and low spots. If you’re just making test passes in a low spot, when you hit a high spot, you’ll dig in. If the board is really rough, you could set the blade on something a little flatter, like the edge of a 2×4 or something.

A plane that isn’t properly set up is just going to tick you off. Been there, done that.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View stefang's profile

stefang

15512 posts in 2795 days


#7 posted 06-02-2014 01:06 PM

Hard to tell, except that the chip breaker should be very close to the cutting edge, especially with hardwood. Try a 1/32” and then increase or decrease according to the way it cuts. The gouges are caused by your blade corners caused by the blade being skewed in the mouth opening. That might be caused by taking too heavy cuts (blade out to far) or the blade not being well enough secured, and a host of other things already mentioned

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4024 posts in 1812 days


#8 posted 06-02-2014 01:11 PM

Besides what others have said it looks to me like you are planing in the wrong direction against the grain. Try planing the board from the opposite direction and see if you get better results.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Sawdustmaker115's profile

Sawdustmaker115

306 posts in 1182 days


#9 posted 06-02-2014 01:12 PM

I would grab a straight edge and check the soul up to a light to see how flat it is, which could be a reason as for the iron not engaging on the wood properly, also could just be the board to, but at any rate i would check to see how flat it is. You may need to sharpen the iron as stated here in earlier comments, i would knock off the corners like bandit said, and i would adjust the chip breaker a bit too(i do about 1/16’’ away from the edge). As for the iron being skewed, I’m assuming that’s because of the frog not being straight, see if you can adjust that, and while your doing that i would close up the mouth a bit(don’t go to much or the shavings will clog up the mouth) if the plane has a lateral adjuster just leave the frog alone and adjust the iron via the lateral. If not the plane then it’s just the dang wood, by knots the grain starts to do annoying things like change direction, in my experience i never like to plane #2 pine, the only thought i would say is get a nice sharp iron and try to skew the plane as you run it along the board like Andrew said ’’Try skewing your plane (hold it on the diagonal) – if you get tear out holding it in one orientation, try skewing it the other direction.’’
BinghamtonEd offered some good advice ( my post didn’t post till after a few of these bad internet i guess)

-- Anthony--http://knottywoodshop.weebly.com/

View JayT's profile

JayT

4772 posts in 1672 days


#10 posted 06-02-2014 01:16 PM

Has anyone mentioned making sure you are really sharp? :-)

What you are describing is a classic case of not being sharp enough. That is probably the biggest hurdle to good planing—learning what sharp really is. None of the pictures above of the cutting edges show any characteristics of a being truly sharp.

When starting out with hand planes, I thought I had sharp edges until purchasing a plane from another LJ who is very skilled at sharpening. Using that plane one time re-defined my expectations and gave me something to strive for. My results since then have been much, much better.

I don’t know where you are located, but will throw out an offer for you. If you would be willing to mail me one of those irons, I would flatten and sharpen it up to my standards and send it back at no charge to you. (provided you are in the US, I’m not going to mess with overseas shipping) Then you can work over the other iron on your own.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View Picklehead's profile

Picklehead

1015 posts in 1390 days


#11 posted 06-02-2014 01:46 PM

Very nice offer, JayT.

-- You've got to be smarter than the tree.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7171 posts in 2038 days


#12 posted 06-02-2014 02:06 PM

JayT rocks.

View Sawdustmaker115's profile

Sawdustmaker115

306 posts in 1182 days


#13 posted 06-02-2014 02:26 PM

Oh yes, yes he does
Here’s to you, Jay

-- Anthony--http://knottywoodshop.weebly.com/

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

2526 posts in 1738 days


#14 posted 06-02-2014 02:43 PM

I don’t know where you are located, but will throw out an offer for you. If you would be willing to mail me one of those irons, I would flatten and sharpen it up to my standards and send it back at no charge to you. (provided you are in the US, I’m not going to mess with overseas shipping) Then you can work over the other iron on your own.

Very generous offer JayT !....

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View JFred's profile

JFred

190 posts in 1006 days


#15 posted 06-02-2014 04:22 PM

That’s what lumberjocks is all about, woodworkers helping woodworkers.
I would take JayT up on that offer and soon.
Here’s to JayT…....... : )
Good luck with the hand plane Bludhemn

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