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How do you tune up a Stanely 4 1/2 as a smoothing plane?

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Forum topic by Combo Prof posted 05-22-2015 01:14 AM 968 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Combo Prof

2385 posts in 744 days


05-22-2015 01:14 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question plane tuning

I did like a little advice on how I should tune a Stanley 4 1/2 to take out some tear out I’m getting, from the jointer.

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)


13 replies so far

View BubbaIBA's profile

BubbaIBA

383 posts in 1843 days


#1 posted 05-22-2015 03:59 AM

Don,

There are several ways to control tear out. All involve a sharp iron but given a sharp iron the best is with the cap iron set very close to the cutting edge of the iron. Follow the link to one of the best videos about dealing with tear out.

http://www.theenglishwoodworker.com/cap-irons-tear-out-video/

ken

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Combo Prof

2385 posts in 744 days


#2 posted 05-22-2015 04:17 AM

Thanks for the link, I had not seen that one. very good.

This discusion/video by Garret Hack, was also helpful

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

3695 posts in 1732 days


#3 posted 05-22-2015 04:38 AM

Yes, thanks Ken. That was a very video. I’m going to try that very thing tomorrow.

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thedude50

3596 posts in 1944 days


#4 posted 05-22-2015 04:49 AM

all the above and check our a better blade I recommend the rob cosman IBC blade set. Its a great value then very sharp blade flat back ruler trick , tight mouth close chip breaker to blade edge, flat sole on the plane body check out the great hand-plane revival by rob cosman

-- Please check out my new stores http://woodratnest.com and http://woodshopstore.com

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Combo Prof

2385 posts in 744 days


#5 posted 05-22-2015 05:31 AM

Thanks dude, but its not in the budget.

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

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TheFridge

5765 posts in 952 days


#6 posted 05-22-2015 06:01 AM

dont really know how to explain it good at this moment in time, but an older fella who know a bunch set my smoother up where the iron his sitting as far back it can so it’ll rest on the back of the mouth and showed me that I need the to make sure I get the wire edge completely gone. I was getting a lot of chattering and mixed results and it solved the problem for me.

I’ve tried closing the mouth and have never had great results. But it’s prob just me.

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

View Derek Cohen's profile

Derek Cohen

296 posts in 3435 days


#7 posted 05-22-2015 02:12 PM


I did like a little advice on how I should tune a Stanley 4 1/2 to take out some tear out I m getting, from the jointer.

- Combo Prof

Questions must be first asked what experience you have with handplanes – how you used one before? Can you sharpen a blade? Do you low how to adjust the frog? Or set the chipbreaker for a smoothen shaving on interlocked grain?

What wood are you attention to plane? Can you read the grain direction?

For all we know the wood is simple and your blade is dull. Or yo are planing into the grain. Or you are taking too deep a shaving?

More information is needed.

Regards from Perth

Derek

-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at http://www.inthewoodshop.com

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OSU55

1063 posts in 1456 days


#8 posted 05-22-2015 03:14 PM

I have a tuning guide in my blog, starting here with sharpening. #3 covers getting the leading edge of the chip breaker dressed correctly. As Derek says, it’s hard to tell you what to do without more info on wood type, grain structure, and how well you know hand planes. Standard bench planes have limitations. It may be a set up issue, or a 45° typical bench plane can’t do what you want. Thicker blades and all won’t improve tear out performance (or any performance except planing with a duller edge).

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Combo Prof

2385 posts in 744 days


#9 posted 05-27-2015 01:07 AM

Sorry for my absence I’ve been busy. So did a little more research and have solved 95% of my issues. I sharpened the iron and cleaned up the chip breaker. I also set a back bevel on the chip breaker, and blunted the forward edge of the chip breaker (i.e. I made the angle front of the chip breaker and the iron more steep. I put a little spring in the chip breaker. Assembling I advanced the chip breaker until only a whisper of the cutting edge showed. I adjusted the frog. Now it works pretty well and does allow me to take out the tear/chatter made by the jointer and jack around difficult grain. The remaining problem are these the blade on this Stanley 4 1/2 is an Erik Anton Berg. This blade tappers and is wider at the edge then the opposite end it also is wider at the end then the width of the chip breaker.
I think to solve the remaining problem I just need to get a matched iron/chip breaker pair.

So Derek Yes I can sharpen a blade. Yes I can adjust the frog. My question was I suppose as you say how to “set the chip breaker for a smoothen shaving on interlocked grain”. I think I have the answer now.

The wood was a 4.5 ” by 15” by 105” ash timber containing most of the center of the tree. It has 4 knots down the center equally spaced. It was cupped and had some twist. Using the jack (as a scrub) and jointer I got it squared up, but at the end I was getting some tear out by the edges opposite the knots where the wood is softer then it is in the middle. The grain seems to keep changing direction. At that point I decided to set up a smoothing plane. I have among my bench planes Stanley 3,4,4 1/2 c, 5c, 5 1/4, 6 ,7,8 all acquired this past year. I chose to set up the Stanley 4 1/2 c as a smoothing plane. The original post was just to inquire how to do that. Maybe I should give the same treatment to the jointer (Stanley no. 8).

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

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Derek Cohen

296 posts in 3435 days


#10 posted 05-27-2015 05:22 AM

Here is a quick tutorial in all. Plane – LN #4 1/2 with 50 degree frog (still too low for interlocked West Australia timber)- LN only because it was close to hand. I get the same results with a tuned English Stanley (which is not a highly regarded rendition) ...

1. Flatten the underside. Mark beforehand ..

2. Hone on a fine diamond stone. I am resting the rear of the chipbreaker on the planing rest of a small bench top- bench I have. Note that this is slightly undercutting the front ledge (that is, towards the rear).

This is the result …

4. Hone the about 1mm (1/16”) of the leading edge of the chipmaker to 45 degrees. Here I am using the LV Honing Guide (because you should have one for times like this) ..

Not very accurate, is it … :)

5. Hone. I only used a fine diamond stone. However this one is broken in and probably about 3000 grit now …

Return to step #1 to remove the wire edge. It is tenacious so drag the edge through some end grain.

6. Set the chipbreaker. I’ve gone about 0.4mm. This took me 0.3 seconds to do now. When I started out, it took about 3 minutes.

7. Set the blade for appropriate depth, open the mouth a little (it is not going to make much of a difference, if any, to controlling tearout – but it will aid in allowing the shavings to exit the mouth), and start planing.

Here I grabbed a test board – Fiddleback She-oak, and I am planing into the grain just to show off

Watch the shavings – they should be straighter than usual. Here they are straighter than curly, but not as straight as they can be. On the other hand, this is She-oak – very interlocked short grain – and I am planing into the grain ..

The results …

No tearout.

Let us know how you get on.

Regards from Perth

Derek

-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at http://www.inthewoodshop.com

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Combo Prof

2385 posts in 744 days


#11 posted 05-27-2015 06:04 AM

Derek, I did basically the same, except free hand on soft and hard Arkansas oil stones. Honning with green polish on a leather strop. I do have the vertas jig but almost never use it. Do note that I was tuning up the 4 1/2 to repair tear out form the scrub and jointer. I wasn’t getting tear out from the 4 1/2. I may do the same procedure for on the chip breaker for the jointer.

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

View Derek Cohen's profile

Derek Cohen

296 posts in 3435 days


#12 posted 05-27-2015 06:11 AM

Hi Don

I do all my sharpening freehand on waterstones or ceramic Spyderco stones.

When I started preparing chipbreakers I continued in the same vein – just eyeballing the approximate angle. Later I found that this did not produce as good a result as the consistency of a honing guide (in this particular area).

This method is used for all BD planes. I have the newly-released Veritas Custom planes, both a jointer and a #4 smoother. The former has a 40 degree frog and the latter a 42 degree frog. Both set with a closed up chipbreaker will plane very interlocked wood without tearout.

Review article: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolReviews/VeritasCustomPlanes1.html

Regards from Perth

Derek

-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at http://www.inthewoodshop.com

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Combo Prof

2385 posts in 744 days


#13 posted 05-27-2015 12:30 PM

I guess preparing the chip breaker is more or less a one time event. So breaking out the honing guide may be a plan. Thanks for the article. I will have to do with the old Stanley planes I have been collecting for now. Maybe someday a LN or Veritas, but for now I like the idea of rehabilitating old planes. Has its challenges though.

Incidentally in order to get my Jack (Stanley 5) to work I swapped its chip break with one I had on my Miller Falls 14c.
But now with what I have learned here and in you article, I think I can adjust the original chip breaker and put it back into service.

Here is a picture of the ash timber that I’m turing into a work bench. This is prior to tuning and using the smoother.
You can see some of the grain issues and rough areas.

BTW I have always wanted to visit Perth, I have a few friends there, but I seem to always end up else where. Last visit was 6 months in NewCastle abut 2 years ago.

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

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