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How to set up a hand plane



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 16th 07, 03:49 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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Posts: 74
Default How to set up a hand plane

I have been a woodworker for a while but never got into the hand tool
craze, probably because I am a technologist by profession.

Now that has changed, I have fallen in love with my chisels and
Japanese saws, and I have been picking up a few chisels. Nothing
fancy, a couple of wood Japanese planes, 1 a jack and the other a
smoother. I also have 3 Groz, a 7, 5 and a 4 I think. A couple
Stanley, a block and an old rabbit plus a Bailey low angle block. I
have perfected my sharpening, or so I believe, I use a Jet sharpener
and ceramic stones to make a nice razor sharp hollow ground edge. I
have set my edges about 2.5 degrees higher than the normal angles to
make up for the hollow grinding.

The chisels are great and the couple planes I can get adjusted
properly cut silky smooth translucent shavings on hard maple and
walnut. But the issue is getting them adjusted. I usually get one of
two situations, no shavings (or dust) or the plane won't move due to
the big bite I am trying to take.

Is there a rule of thumb for how much blade is to stick out thru the
sole? If there a "trick" to getting it there? Or is this strictly an
eyeball type of process? I was thinking that if I set the plane on a
flat softwood surface, and adjusted the plane iron till it was flat on
the wood and square to it, then gave it a good nudge, it would be fine
(didn't work very well). I would appreciate any helpful suggestions.

Neil Larson

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  #2  
Old March 16th 07, 04:26 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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Posts: 1,123
Default How to set up a hand plane

On Mar 16, 11:49 am, "Neillarson" wrote:

Is there a rule of thumb for how much blade is to stick out thru the
sole?


How easily the tool can be pushed. Crowning (curving) an edge
has a big effect; heavily crowned irons can be set deep, as in the
case of scrubs. A #5 jack with a 1/16" crown is easier to push than
a block with a dead straight edge.

If there a "trick" to getting it there? Or is this strictly an
eyeball type of process? I was thinking that if I set the plane on a
flat softwood surface, and adjusted the plane iron till it was flat on
the wood and square to it, then gave it a good nudge, it would be fine
(didn't work very well). I would appreciate any helpful suggestions.


Turn the adjustor knob until it just bumps. Flick the lateral lever
back and forth. That'll set or retract the iron a thou or so. Takes
but a second. Woodies are even faster.

  #3  
Old March 16th 07, 05:44 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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Posts: 8
Default How to set up a hand plane

Neillarson wrote:
I have been a woodworker for a while but never got into the hand tool
craze, probably because I am a technologist by profession.

Now that has changed, I have fallen in love with my chisels and
Japanese saws, and I have been picking up a few chisels. Nothing
fancy, a couple of wood Japanese planes, 1 a jack and the other a
smoother. I also have 3 Groz, a 7, 5 and a 4 I think. A couple
Stanley, a block and an old rabbit plus a Bailey low angle block. I
have perfected my sharpening, or so I believe, I use a Jet sharpener
and ceramic stones to make a nice razor sharp hollow ground edge. I
have set my edges about 2.5 degrees higher than the normal angles to
make up for the hollow grinding.

The chisels are great and the couple planes I can get adjusted
properly cut silky smooth translucent shavings on hard maple and
walnut. But the issue is getting them adjusted. I usually get one of
two situations, no shavings (or dust) or the plane won't move due to
the big bite I am trying to take.

Is there a rule of thumb for how much blade is to stick out thru the
sole? If there a "trick" to getting it there? Or is this strictly an
eyeball type of process? I was thinking that if I set the plane on a
flat softwood surface, and adjusted the plane iron till it was flat on
the wood and square to it, then gave it a good nudge, it would be fine
(didn't work very well). I would appreciate any helpful suggestions.

Neil Larson

There really is a lot to learn about using hand planes. I would start
by reading as much as I can about how planes are supposed to work and
the basics of setting them up so they can work. Using the right kind
of plane, a flat sole, blade shape and angle, mouth adjustment, all
matter. The blade's gotta be razor-sharp. And you have to learn how to
read the wood grain, how to handle difficult grain, and the proper
technique for pushing the plane too.

Once I get all the basics under control, I find that the method you
mentioned works fine, i.e. start with the blade not touching the wood
and move it down in small increments until it does. I adjust it by
feel, making very small adjustments.



  #4  
Old March 16th 07, 06:01 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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Posts: 1,407
Default How to set up a hand plane


"Neillarson" wrote in message
ps.com...
The chisels are great and the couple planes I can get adjusted
properly cut silky smooth translucent shavings on hard maple and
walnut. But the issue is getting them adjusted. I usually get one of
two situations, no shavings (or dust) or the plane won't move due to
the big bite I am trying to take.

Is there a rule of thumb for how much blade is to stick out thru the
sole? If there a "trick" to getting it there? Or is this strictly an
eyeball type of process? I was thinking that if I set the plane on a
flat softwood surface, and adjusted the plane iron till it was flat on
the wood and square to it, then gave it a good nudge, it would be fine
(didn't work very well). I would appreciate any helpful suggestions.


I use my thumb to judge exposure, as a rule. Remember the problem of
backlash when adjusting the exposure. Some designs are worse than others,
but you want to end up on extension, not retraction of the blade. Then it's
a case of adequate is as it adequately does.

Not unknown to have a frog problem that gives you a false extension that
goes away with the second push. You should have set the frog properly on
those planes having one in the initial fettling. Here's a great place to go
for answers. http://www.amgron.clara.net/

  #5  
Old March 16th 07, 07:34 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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Posts: 289
Default How to set up a hand plane


"Neillarson" wrote in message
ps.com...

Is there a rule of thumb for how much blade is to stick out thru the
sole?


Holding the plane up to the light, sole uppermost look straight down the
sole at the sharp edge of the blade and see the hairline protrusion.

Tim w


  #6  
Old March 16th 07, 07:39 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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Posts: 289
Default How to set up a hand plane


"Tim W" wrote in message
...

"Neillarson" wrote in message
ps.com...

Is there a rule of thumb for how much blade is to stick out thru the
sole?


Holding the plane up to the light...


Sorry, I got that wrong. Take your best plane and put it on a hard surface
like a concrete floor. Using a good heavy club hammer hit the back of the
iron as hard as you can. The concrete will stop the sharp edge from
protruding too far from the sole.

Tim w


  #7  
Old March 16th 07, 09:28 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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Posts: 4,770
Default How to set up a hand plane

Tim W wrote:
"Tim W" wrote in message
"Neillarson" wrote in message

Is there a rule of thumb for how much blade is to stick out thru the
sole?


Holding the plane up to the light...


Sorry, I got that wrong. Take your best plane and put it on a hard surface
like a concrete floor. Using a good heavy club hammer hit the back of the
iron as hard as you can. The concrete will stop the sharp edge from
protruding too far from the sole.


What?! You use the same surface for sharpening _and_ setting? You
really shouldn't be giving advice!

I use the slab for sharpening so I can move the plane all over and not
wear a hollow in one place on the slab. It's also fun to make car
noises when you're running the plane along the slab. Then I use a
concrete block or brick to whack the back of the plane until the iron
is set correctly (this may take a while).

R

PS To the OP - start with a shallow cut and creep up on your desired
depth of cut. You'll get the feel for it in no time.

  #8  
Old March 16th 07, 09:45 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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Posts: 2,341
Default How to set up a hand plane

On 16 Mar 2007 14:28:09 -0700, "RicodJour"
wrote:

It's also fun to make car
noises when you're running the plane along the slab.


Now that's a funny image! G
  #9  
Old March 17th 07, 12:23 AM posted to rec.woodworking
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Posts: 442
Default How to set up a hand plane


"Neillarson" wrote in message
ps.com...
I have been a woodworker for a while but never got into the hand tool
craze, probably because I am a technologist by profession.

snip


the wood and square to it, then gave it a good nudge, it would be fine
(didn't work very well). I would appreciate any helpful suggestions.

Neil Larson



You got a lot of s.a. answers, but in case yours is a serious question,
start out with the lightest cut you can with a thin edge of wood in the
middle of the plane iron. The wood I use will be 1/4" to 1/2" thick.

Next take a shaving on the left side of the iron, then the right side of the
iron. Adjust the lateral lever until the shavings at the middle and both
sides are the same thickness. The iron will then be square with the bottom.
If your shavings are not translucent, they are too thick.
If you use the Veritas MKII honing jig with the cambered roller, you can
sharpen the iron with a slight camber in it and eliminate the tracks left by
the edges of the iron.

I learned this technique at the Lie-Nielsen booth at a woodworking show.

If you have the chance to fondle one of their 4 1/2 planes, do so.



Happy planing!


  #10  
Old March 17th 07, 04:49 AM posted to rec.woodworking
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Posts: 63
Default How to set up a hand plane

Neil, every different wood and every different job may require a tap on
the back edge of the iron, or a turn of the screw to pull it off. Don't
forget to re-screw the iron adjuster screw back against the iron if you
back it off

 




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