Hand planes not seeming to cooperate.

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Forum topic by giser3546 posted 08-18-2014 02:06 AM 1213 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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179 posts in 1675 days

08-18-2014 02:06 AM

I have few different hand planes… #3, #7 prewar Stanley, a #5, and a low angle block plane both from Wood River. I sharpen all the blades on flat water stones to 8000 grit using a honing guide to be sure their straight but they don’t seem to be cooperating. The problem comes with even moderately figured wood, I’ll used a straight edge to find a high spot but the the #7 will just glide over it without taking anything off. My plane soles seem to be flat judging by straight edges and my band saw table but I’ve never had the chance to flatten them. I’m aware of the general directions for the hand planes but guess I need to find the specifics for flattening.

-- "If you wait for it to rain, It will"

10 replies so far

View TheFridge's profile


10746 posts in 1689 days

#1 posted 08-18-2014 02:28 AM

Post question on “hand plane of your dreams” thread. A lot of knowledge there.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View ksSlim's profile


1290 posts in 3092 days

#2 posted 08-18-2014 04:50 AM

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15701 posts in 2821 days

#3 posted 08-18-2014 04:53 AM

A jointer is too large for tackling high spots, it’s for flattening long boards/edges. Does your #3 hit the higg spot? It’s what you should use for final smoothing.

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

View JohnChung's profile


416 posts in 2277 days

#4 posted 08-18-2014 01:10 PM

@giser is the blade sharp? Can it cut the hair on your arms with little effort?

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Don W

19014 posts in 2770 days

#5 posted 08-18-2014 01:23 PM

your question is a little ambiguous. Does the problem only happen with moderately figured wood, but works ok with a piece of straight grained wood? How big is the piece of wood in question? Will the #3 work as Smitty suggested? How high is the high spot.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View giser3546's profile


179 posts in 1675 days

#6 posted 08-18-2014 02:13 PM

Just sharpened them and yes they shave hair off the back of my hand easily. Yes I had some luck with the #3 and low angle block, guess I just assumed the jointer would be able to take care of the flattening. I just can’t understand why I can push the plane over the entire surface and get no shavings, but get shavings from the spots my straight edge are saying are too low.

-- "If you wait for it to rain, It will"

View JohnChung's profile


416 posts in 2277 days

#7 posted 08-18-2014 02:30 PM

Sounds like it is either the straight edge has an issue or the plane has a convex surface.

1) Here is a test. Let’s start with #3 and low angle block plane. Does it get shavings planing the edge of the wood. The entire length of the board? If so, plane it until it gets a continuous shaving from end to end.

2) With that same work piece can the jointer make shavings? If not. Check the flatness of the plane. I generally use a straight edge but in this case I wonder…... If that edge planed by the previous plane which is #3 I will consider that board straight enough…. Mark the sole of the jointer with a marker. Then try to plane on the edge again. There should be an even wear across the sole of the jointer plane…. If not then it is not flat.

The low angle plane from Wood River should get shaving easily. Was the blade tighten down adequately? No need for death grip for the blade. It can damage the plane itself.

That is the maximum gap registered on the sole of the jointer? Did you use a gauge feeler?
There should not be a gap at the front, back and just before the mouth of the plane?

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416 posts in 2277 days

#8 posted 08-18-2014 02:34 PM

Here is a link on how to tune your handplane.

Just inform us if you are good with the plane later on. :)

View bobasaurus's profile


3544 posts in 3387 days

#9 posted 08-18-2014 05:16 PM

Note that all planes will leave a slightly convex surface due to the geometry of the cutting action… it could be the low spots you mention are just a result of this slight convex-ness.

If you’re not getting shavings at all, try increasing the depth of cut until you get something. If you’re getting tear-out, try moving the frog to narrow the mouth as much as possible while still letting the shaving escape. Also, while sharpening make sure your blade bevel/microbevel is no more than 45 degrees or no cutting will happen on a standard plane bed angle (this happened to me on one plane where I over-did the microbevel while hand honing).

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View giser3546's profile


179 posts in 1675 days

#10 posted 08-18-2014 07:27 PM

I will take a look at my frog and be sure thats not my problem. I use the Veritas honing guide and get all my irons to a 25 degree bevel angle with a micro bevel of 26 or so.

-- "If you wait for it to rain, It will"

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