Author Topic: LN jack plane warped. Grrrrr  (Read 2324 times)

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Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3402
LN jack plane warped. Grrrrr
« on: September 30, 2017, 01:44 PM »
I've learned over time not to blame the tool as the first response when something goes wrong, so when my LN LA jack suddenly started to behave strangely I tried to go through a number of troubleshooting steps to see if I had done something wrong.  The symptoms were that the plane was basically refusing to engage the wood unless I started out with a heavy cut.  Even then after a few passes the blade would stop cutting evenly.  So I checked and resharpened the blade.  When that didn't work I resharpened my spare blade.  That didn't work so I checked the sole with my Starrett straightedge, and sure enough, there is now a sliver of light spanning the length of the sole, meaning it is convex concave. I confirmed this by being able to slip feeler gauges under the center of the plane as it was resting on the flate cast iron surface of my table saw.

This plane is less than a year and a half old.  I've never dropped it, and to my knowledge it has never been banged around.  And as far as I can tell, the problem didn't slowly develop over time, but rather one day it just started behaving like that.

It's hard for me to believe that this is just environmental, but I don't have any other explanation.  I'm just really, really frustrated right now, as I had set aside yesterday and today for tackling a new commission, and instead I've just been spending hours changing the bevel on blades and getting all meticulous with measuring tools.

I've heard that LN will regrind the sole for you.  Has anyone done that?  If it were just a block plane, I might attempt flattening the sole on one of those dead flat truing plates, but with the longer sole of the jack, I would prefer to have it done professionally.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2017, 03:42 PM by ear3 »
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Offline deepcreek

  • Posts: 649
    • TimberFire Studio
Re: LN jack plane warped. Grrrrr
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2017, 02:02 PM »
I'm sure Lie-Nielsen will make it right.  They make heirloom quality tools and back them with a lifetime warranty.

(Are you listening, Festool?)
Joe Adams
TimberFire Studio
Houston, Texas

http://www.facebook.com/timberfire

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 3724
Re: LN jack plane warped. Grrrrr
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2017, 02:06 PM »
I'd have a chat with Lie Nielsen. If I remember correctly, this is a recent purchase, within the last couple of years. Sounds like it wasn't properly stress relieved.

In years gone by, machine tool factories would have areas open to the weather and they'd place the cast iron lathe beds and mill tables in the open area to age for 12-18 months. This natural aging relieved the internal stresses which then allowed them to machine the castings to their final dimensions  without warping.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2017, 02:35 PM by Cheese »

Offline JJ Wavra

  • Posts: 237
Re: LN jack plane warped. Grrrrr
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2017, 02:48 PM »
Sorry to hear about your plane.  I am sure that they will take of it.  You may want to check to make sure debris has not gotten in between the adjustable toe and the main casting. 



Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3402
Re: LN jack plane warped. Grrrrr
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2017, 03:44 PM »
Yeah, that was one of the other trouble shooting things I did.  Thanks.

Sorry to hear about your plane.  I am sure that they will take of it.  You may want to check to make sure debris has not gotten in between the adjustable toe and the main casting.
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Offline Rip Van Winkle

  • Posts: 275
Re: LN jack plane warped. Grrrrr
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2017, 05:23 PM »
From what somebody told me, Lie-Nielsen has excellent customer service. I believe the person actually damaged their plane and Lie-Nielsen repaired it for free so I would contact them. They'll probably have you send in the plane.

As far as stess relieving goes, I believe it's mostly done using ovens nowadays rather than just letting the casting sit, modtly due to time concerns and lean manufacturing.

Coincidentally, one thing Clico tooling who manufacture, or at least used to manufacture, the Clifton brand planes mentioned in regard to cast iron in planes, was that ductile iron wood bend rather than brake if dropped, however this could lead to inaccuracies in the plane. High strength grey iron like Clifton used, was less likely to bend if dropped, but if subjected to a strong enough blow, the castings would break, although Clico supposedly subjected plane castings to twenty foot drop tests onto concrete, and blows with a ball pien hammer to test the casting design, and their planes used a very fine grain high strength engineering grade iron.

Sorry for the above aside. Clifton planes used to get a bit of flak for the fact they used grey iron when they came out, so I figured I would mention the above.   

Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2349
Re: LN jack plane warped. Grrrrr
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2017, 07:01 PM »
LN is the best. I dropped my #8 and dinged it and thought I warped it. Sent it in and a week later had a reground plane with a new front knob and handle - and fixed totally free of charge. I only had to pay shipping to get it there. Great service. I sent an email directly to Tom and he replied himself. I would call them and send it in.

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3402
Re: LN jack plane warped. Grrrrr
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2017, 08:37 PM »
Thanks for the technical info.  I have the Clifton 3 in 1 rabbet plane, but that's not the sort of plane where you would really worry about or indeed, get to test the prospect of the material warping/breaking.

From what somebody told me, Lie-Nielsen has excellent customer service. I believe the person actually damaged their plane and Lie-Nielsen repaired it for free so I would contact them. They'll probably have you send in the plane.

As far as stess relieving goes, I believe it's mostly done using ovens nowadays rather than just letting the casting sit, modtly due to time concerns and lean manufacturing.

Coincidentally, one thing Clico tooling who manufacture, or at least used to manufacture, the Clifton brand planes mentioned in regard to cast iron in planes, was that ductile iron wood bend rather than brake if dropped, however this could lead to inaccuracies in the plane. High strength grey iron like Clifton used, was less likely to bend if dropped, but if subjected to a strong enough blow, the castings would break, although Clico supposedly subjected plane castings to twenty foot drop tests onto concrete, and blows with a ball pien hammer to test the casting design, and their planes used a very fine grain high strength engineering grade iron.

Sorry for the above aside. Clifton planes used to get a bit of flak for the fact they used grey iron when they came out, so I figured I would mention the above.   
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/Long-Life Bag • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3402
Re: LN jack plane warped. Grrrrr
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2017, 03:51 PM »
Just an update -- I spoke with LN about a month and a half ago, and they told me to double check that I hadn't created too much of a back bevel on the blade.  So I waited around for another couple of weeks until I had an afternoon to reset the primary bevel on both my jack plane blades (having to reshape two bevels in one day on my bench stones sent me down a path that ended with a Tormek, but that's another story).  Still had the problem.

So finally on Monday I sent it in.  Just got a call back from them, and they confirmed finding a hollow behind the blade mouth, and after lapping the sole and doing some general maintenance they were able to get the plane back into tip-top shape, and are sending it back today.  That's a pretty awesome and quick turnaround.

Incidentally, I asked them why they thought this happened, and they said they didn't know, especially since it wasn't a condition affecting my other planes.  I suddenly remembered though that fairly soon before the problem showed up I had tried to work over some wenge by hand -- working mostly with the jack plane.  It was a disaster, and I had to give up after quickly blunting a couple of blades on several planes, when the blades would even cut into the wood at all.  I told them about it, and they said that might have actually contributed to the problem -- though I'm not sure how one session of wenge work would create a plane-warping hollow on the sole.

But I will probably never try to work Wenge by hand again.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/Long-Life Bag • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline bnaboatbuilder

  • Posts: 128
Re: LN jack plane warped. Grrrrr
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2017, 04:15 PM »
Wenge has been worked for ages with far lower quality tools. I think that plane was warped from the beginning and not from working the wood.
- John

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3402
Re: LN jack plane warped. Grrrrr
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2017, 06:13 PM »
That was my thought as well.  But the plane worked just fine for an entire year, and then suddenly stopped working.  I'm at a loss, unless there are little monsters in my shop that come out at night and mess with my tools.

Wenge has been worked for ages with far lower quality tools.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/Long-Life Bag • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline greg mann

  • Posts: 1797
Re: LN jack plane warped. Grrrrr
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2017, 08:34 AM »
We machine ductile iron differential carrier mountings for commercial trucks by the hundreds of thousands every year. Aging of the castings is not something that happens in our modern world. There is very well documented data regarding the machinability curve that shows the worst conditions within the first day or two of casting with gradual improvement out to about 20 days. We seldom get 20 days to wait. Point being that molecular activity is still going on for measurable time. If LN machines a casting before the 20 day period things are still going on. This seldom presents a problem for us and we machine to tolerances that are pretty crazy.

That said, castings sometimes just don't behave the way you expect. I have a love/hate relationship with them, and I wouldn't be surprised if Tom LN does too. I once had a foundry-man tell me the definition of a casting is a piece of metal that is almost in the shape you want. My definition is that it is a piece of metal that is never in the shape you want. You get it there by machining and even then it can leave you scratching your head.

The great thing is that LN stands behind their product unequivocally. Some of the premium price Edward paid was on an insurance policy that he just made a claim against. It was perfect until it wasn't, then they made it perfect again. Hats off. [not worthy]
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Offline JJ Wavra

  • Posts: 237
Re: LN jack plane warped. Grrrrr
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2017, 08:41 AM »
Thanks for the great post Greg.  I had wondered if that could be the case.  Edward glad you have your plain back in working order.

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3402
Re: LN jack plane warped. Grrrrr
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2017, 08:50 AM »

The great thing is that LN stands behind their product unequivocally. Some of the premium price Edward paid was on an insurance policy that he just made a claim against. It was perfect until it wasn't, then they made it perfect again. Hats off. [not worthy]

In the end, this is the moral of the story for me.  I wasted a lot of money in the first decade of my woodworking career on subpar tools that I either had to compensate for when utilizing (without even realizing most of the time that I was compensating, at least not until I gained the opportunity to use a good quality tool), or that had to be chucked once they went bad.   
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Offline greg mann

  • Posts: 1797
Re: LN jack plane warped. Grrrrr
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2017, 11:03 AM »
Thanks for the great post Greg.  I had wondered if that could be the case.  Edward glad you have your plain back in working order.

Not to put too fine a point on the aging thing but we machine casting made in Wisconsin. They can be cast on Tuesday morning, cleaned and painted in the afternoon, shipped out that night for a twelve hour ride to SE Michigan, where we might start machining as the first pallet is taken from the truck. We might have a couple finished parts before the truck is fully unloaded (somewhat rare but it happens, sometimes we need to wait for the paint to cure.) That parts can be on a truck for a twelve hour ride to North Carolina to be assembled and then delivered in an axle to the truck assembly plant. It may be in a new truck being delivered to a customer in less than a week from the time it was molten iron. The molecules are still active but there is enough accuracy built in to take care of that and these units rarely see any repair needs, even bearings, until more than a million miles of service.
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 3724
Re: LN jack plane warped. Grrrrr
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2017, 11:58 AM »
Not to put too fine a point on the aging thing but we machine casting made in Wisconsin. They can be cast on Tuesday morning, cleaned and painted in the afternoon, shipped out that night for a twelve hour ride to SE Michigan, where we might start machining as the first pallet is taken from the truck.

I'd have to believe the foundry your using employs some method of stress relief? Certainly not the old "age them outside for 2 years" approach, but perhaps vibratory stress relief?

I'm also curious what tolerances you have to hold the finished machined castings to?

Offline greg mann

  • Posts: 1797
Re: LN jack plane warped. Grrrrr
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2017, 02:22 PM »
Not to put too fine a point on the aging thing but we machine casting made in Wisconsin. They can be cast on Tuesday morning, cleaned and painted in the afternoon, shipped out that night for a twelve hour ride to SE Michigan, where we might start machining as the first pallet is taken from the truck.

I'd have to believe the foundry your using employs some method of stress relief? Certainly not the old "age them outside for 2 years" approach, but perhaps vibratory stress relief?

Castings stay in the sand while they cool. I am not sure how long that is before they get to the end of the cooling line, certainly no more than an hour, probably less. At that point they fall into a pan of sorts where most of the sand comes off. An operator will pick up the casting with a machine that looks similar to a backhoe, knocks some gates or risers off and then sets it in a 'tumbleblast'. This is essentially an incline tunnel with an auger in it that shakes like the dickens. The castings put their left foot in , their right foot in and shake it all about. This mostly removes the sand from outside and inside the casting, if there is an inside. The vibration is for removing sand and any stress relieving is inconsequential. Often, other parts are hung on racks and blasted with steel pellets to remove sand. These processes can relieve stress or, if done unequally can induce stress.

As a general rule, industry does not rely on specific stress relieving in iron castings. That is more the domain of steel machining that will also involve other heat treating process. That said, it is very possible that LN stress relieves their castings and I would not want to make a blanket statement about their techniques as I just don't know. Plane bodies are quite thin wall castings and that introduces complications that I would suspect dictates very tightly controlled cooling and the distinct possibility of additional steps to insure stability. I would not be surprised to learn they have a secondary heating and cooling step to help relieve stresses in lieu of aging for a couple years. The true effects of stress relieving through aging is probably more anecdotal that factual anyway.

I'm also curious what tolerances you have to hold the finished machined castings to?
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 3724
Re: LN jack plane warped. Grrrrr
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2017, 02:38 PM »
Interestingly enough, I was sifting through some old Atlas lathe brochures and came upon this old factory photo of the Atlas Press Company in Kalamazoo Michigan. It is an unheated room in the Atlas factory that housed lathe beds that were left for 12-18 months for "seasoning" or stress relieving.

Even more interesting is I also came upon another photo years & years ago that showed South Bend lathe beds neatly piled on top of each other and "stickered", like lumber being dried, and then left to season. I mean, it just looked like a pile of lumber until you looked closely and noticed that they were actually grey iron lathe beds.  [cool]

The second photo I just thought was cool because it shows how power was transferred to machine tools way back when. Multiple rows of horizontal shafting mounted from the ceiling with power to each machine tool using flat leather belting. No guards, no protection no OSHA... [big grin] [popcorn]
« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 09:34 AM by Cheese »

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3402
Re: LN jack plane warped. Grrrrr
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2017, 03:25 PM »
Beware loose clothing!

Interestingly enough, I was sifting through some old Atlas lathe brochures and came upon this old factory photo of the Atlas Press Company in Kalamazoo Michigan. It is an unheated room in the Atlas factory that housed lathe beds that were left for 12-18 months for "seasoning" or stress relieving.

Even more interesting is I also came upon another photo years & years ago that showed lathe beds neatly piled on top of each other and "stickered", like lumber being dried, and then left to season. I mean, it just looked like a pile of lumber until you looked closely and noticed that they were actually lathe beds.  [cool]

The second photo I just thought was cool because it shows how power was transferred to machine tools way back when. Multiple rows of horizontal shafting mounted from the ceiling with power to each machine tool using flat leather belting. No guards, no protection no OSHA... [big grin] [popcorn]
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/Long-Life Bag • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 3724
Re: LN jack plane warped. Grrrrr
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2017, 03:33 PM »
Beware loose clothing!

And these guys at the time were wearing long sleeve shirts and ties while smoking a cigarette. No wonder the average life span back then was so short...the cause wasn't cancer...it was flat leather belting and dress ties.  [eek]

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 1973
Re: LN jack plane warped. Grrrrr
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2017, 02:40 PM »
Interestingly enough, I was sifting through some old Atlas lathe brochures and came upon this old factory photo of the Atlas Press Company in Kalamazoo Michigan. It is an unheated room in the Atlas factory that housed lathe beds that were left for 12-18 months for "seasoning" or stress relieving.

Even more interesting is I also came upon another photo years & years ago that showed South Bend lathe beds neatly piled on top of each other and "stickered", like lumber being dried, and then left to season. I mean, it just looked like a pile of lumber until you looked closely and noticed that they were actually grey iron lathe beds.  [cool]

The second photo I just thought was cool because it shows how power was transferred to machine tools way back when. Multiple rows of horizontal shafting mounted from the ceiling with power to each machine tool using flat leather belting. No guards, no protection no OSHA... [big grin] [popcorn]
  No ear muffs for the people standing around the guy who got caught up in one of those belts either....Ah, the screams of a by-gone era.... [wink][ I'm kidding of course]
 I worked with a few converted Line Belt Machines[ almost always Drill Presses] that had been given their own electric motors over the years, but still had flat pulleys.  [smile]
  Usually had Babbit Bearings, ran slow, but torque equipped for slow speed drilling
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....