Author Topic: Hand plane 101  (Read 21150 times)

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Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: Hand plane 101
« Reply #90 on: July 29, 2016, 06:48 PM »
How big the plane he wants to buy? You only need a piece a lapping glass, you can get a bit of float glass about 12" by 4", I put mine in the missus's handbag.

Some women have ceiling glass in theirs.

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Online waho6o9

  • Posts: 1430
    • Garage Door
Re: Hand plane 101
« Reply #91 on: July 29, 2016, 08:42 PM »
Got the veritas edge trimming plane in the mail this morning, and so spent some time getting it in shape.  I was kind of surprised to find: 1) the PMV-11 blade wasn't ground with a square edge, and so it took a long time to redo the primary bevel, and 2) there's a small concavity in the sole, .002 at it's maximum right in front of the blade.  Is this within acceptable tolerances?  After honing the blade I was able to make excellent shavings, though I haven't yet tried to push it to the thinnest possible and test whether that concavity is making a difference.  I'm also not 100% convinced the sole is completely square with the edge/fence.  I checked it with multiple engineer's square and could see a sliver of light coming through at the top of the fence, but the plane is so small that I'm not sure if it's just a function of my incorrect placement of the square on such a small surface.  This being my first decent plane I'm reticent to blame the tool first rather than my ability to gauge it properly.  What I'll probably do is plane the edges of two different boards and see how they match up.   

Gonna spend some more time with it later.

Mine was out of square enough to not get 90*, so I went to a machine shop to square it up. I took it for granted they would do it right, back to the machine shop to get it squared.  They finally got it right and all is well.
Veritas was awesome, they said send it back and we'll replace it, or use it for a couple on months if you want and then send it back.
Hello machine shop. No light can be seen anywhere along the fence. :)

Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 278
    • In The Woodshop
Re: Hand plane 101
« Reply #92 on: August 02, 2016, 11:18 AM »
After seeing how useful just a block plane was on the cabinet I have been building, and having become more comfortable/confident with sharpening blades now that I have the MKii honing guide and a decent set of stones, I'm looking into expanding my use of hand planes.  I realize this isn't a hand tool forum, but there are folks on here with plenty of experience in this area, so I thought I'd post a hand plane 101 question.

I don't know yet if I'm going to go all in at once (like getting one of the three or five plane sets from woodriver, lie nielsen or the like), but right now I'm thinking I'm going to take it one step at a time, and just get a single plane.  From what I' know (which is little when it comes to hand tools), it seems like a jack plane is a good all around "starter" plane.

I'm looking for something that will perform multiple operations.  In the main: occasionally roughing out of small boards that can't be handled on the planer, smoothing the saw marks out of a board edge, and creating bevels in pieces that would be difficult to do with power tools.  As an example of the latter, I'm planning on recreating an Arts and Crafts lamp we have at home, where the base has a beveled edge like you can see in the picture:

The actual one we have has a larger bevel/base that actually extends beyond the capacity of my table saw, which is why I'm thinking the hand plane would be a good option.  I would also note the recent video made by @woodman_412 about the beveled Carvex base where he executed it with a handplane -- this would be another example of a task I would want my plane to perform:

So a couple of specific questions:

Is the jack plane a good all-around plane for someone in my position?

What's up with all the different options (low-angle, bevel up), and which one is better?

Are Lie Nielsen planes really that much better than the others in terms of their performance, such that their cost is justified (I don't care about aesthetics)?  If not, what's a good, more cost-conscious brand?

What different blades should I get to perform the different operations the plane can do (roughing out vs. smoothing)?

My apologies for all the basic questions -- any advice and knowledge shared is appreciated.

I'm coming in very late here, and I know that you have purchased some of your planes. However I thought I might try and briefly comment on the important planes to purchase.

The three most important planes are a jack, a jointer and a smoother. Have a look at Christopher Schwarz's Coarse, "Medium and Fine" video. This will throw more like on these planes. In short, they form a team: the jack is used for roughing out, and the jointer levels. Finally the smoother polishes the surface. The jack is actually the most used plane, doing about 75% of the work, with the jointer about 20%, and the smoother the last 5%.

The main feature of a jack is the cambered iron, which runs between 8"-10" radius. There really is no point in sending big on a jack. It is a rough plane. The sole does not even have to be flat. This is not a precision plane. Save your money for the other planes. A Stanley #5 is excellent. I have a woodie and a Stanley #605.

The jointer is used to flatten the face of a board and true the edges for building panels. Rule of thumb is that an edge of 3/4" and greater is held in a vise or on a benchtop and planed with the jointer. Adjacent edges can be planed together. This is "match planing". Narrow ends, such as the ends of drawer faces, will be better to plane on a shooting board. Long edges can be jointed using a bench as a shooting board ...

There is a full description of this technique here:

My personal favourite jointer is the Veritas Custom #7 (40 degree frog). Here it is with the fence from the Veritas Skew Rabbet, which fits as you can see ...

Smoothers? I have a bunch, but the two that get used most are a LN #3 with 45 degree frog, and the Veritas Custom #4 with a 42 degree frog.

Here is the Custom #4 with a Stanley Bed Rock #604 ...

I mention the frog/bed angle because I use low cutting angles to obtain the smoothest finish. The only way they work like this is if you adjust the chipbreaker to control tearout. Tearout may be controlled with a high cutting angle, either via a high bed in a bevel down plane or a high bevel angle in a bevel up plane. They all work, however the low cutting angle+chipbreaker does offer the best finish. It does, however, have more of a learning curve.

I am happy to discuss any type of bench plane (or other handtool). Just shout out.

Below are the bench planes I keep ready above my bench. There are woodies and metal planes. The woodies include a jack I built, HNT Gordon Trying Plane and Smoother, and a smoother I got from Jim Krenov. The metal planes are a Veritas LA Jointer, Veritas BU Smoother, Veritas LA Jack, Veritas Custom #4, LN #3, and Veritas Custom #7. There are three block planes: LN #60 1/2, LN #103, and Veritas NX60. Yes, far too many planes. I hang my head in shame :)

Regards from Perth


Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1859
Re: Hand plane 101
« Reply #93 on: August 02, 2016, 01:45 PM »
Not a big fan of "sets". I'd suggest buying planes as you meet up with a task you feel you can't so any other way. Flattening rough boards with a hand plane is hard work. While I've seen it done and tried it myself, I would say it would be my choice of last resort. The block plane is one of the most useful planes to have. It performs a variety of functions and is useful for small jobs. Beyond that, what planes you own seems to me to be a function of what you do with wood. I have a smoothing plane; a great plane but I find I don't use it all that much. I also have a jointer plane and, which it also has been useful, I have found that my powered jointer would be my tool of choice because of the consistent and quality of the results I get compared to my work with  a hand plane. I would guess I'd get better with all of these with practice but I have chosen to spend my time on design and actual construction rather than wood preparation. Having said that, there are, of course, parts of projects for which hand tools are indispensable (block planes, chisels, scrapers, smoothing planes).

Buy planes as you feel you will use them rather than to try to fill out a set of must have planes.