Pitting on hand planes vs logic

//Pitting on hand planes vs logic
Pitting on hand planes vs logic 2015-10-23T20:42:12+00:00
  • Creator
    Topic
  • #2027458

    theolithic71
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    I’ve been refurbishing some old stanley planes over the past few months.  I always reference YouTube whenever I’m entering into new activites.  On the videos I view on the topic, I keep hearing that pitting is a deal-breaker for hand plane restoration.

    This is not logical to me when I think of corrugated planes.  I mean, if the bearing surface of the plane is generally intact, is this really any different functionally than a corrugation?  Granted, pitting is unsightly, and could cause damage if the corner is sharp.  Otherwise, I can see no reason to let a $5 bargain slip.  Am I missing something here?

    Thanks for any input.

  • Author
    Replies
  • James Wright
    Participant
    Post count: 108

    I was wondering the same thing

    I was wondering the same thing. my Stanley 4 1/2 has some pitting in the middle. I was still able to flatten it. I have never noticed any issue or marks from it. I say not half bad for $8.

  • Joshua Farnsworth
    Keymaster
    Post count: 54

    Pitting is okay

    Hey guys,

    Pitting on a plane sole is usually okay, as long as it’s not really close to the mouth. You don’t want anything to interfere with the shaving ejection. But if you’re using a #5 jack plane for scrubbing (rough removal) it won’t matter at all. Pitting on the iron or on chisels is what will cause problems. But you can purchase replacement plane irons. But pass on pitted chisels. Pitting is unsightly, which puts a lot of people off, but it can offer a great price. Just don’t pay much for it. People will start to think that pitted tools are more valuable than they really are…let’s keep prices low!

    • Mike in TN
      Participant
      Post count: 253

      If you have two planes of exactly the same type, one pitted and one not, for the same price, then buy the un-pitted one. Truthfully, I own both and if you are looking at smoothers then pitted soles at the plane mouth edge could potentially make a  small difference in the final surface. Chances are though that you would never notice the difference.

      Pitting on any blade can be another matter entirely. Any situation that interferes with having a pristine edge affects the type of finish the blade leaves behind. If the blade is used in a situation where the surface finish really matters then you have to have that pristine edge. Because of the need to have a flat back on chisels you can’t eliminate the pitting on the back without taking material off of the entire back. Plane blades can often be salvaged though by using a back bevel, many times by just using the “ruler trick”

      Blades used in any situation where the surface will gone over again, such as when you go back over the surface with a smoothing plane, does not require as pristine an edge on the blade. Likewise, surfaces such as tenon cheeks, drawer bottoms, etc. don’t require the same quality of finished surfaces that more visible surfaces do. Save the super-tuned tools for the work that requires the resulting finish.

      Other edged tools such as drawknives can still be used with some pitting if the edge itself can be established to a pristine state or if the user can avoid the pitted area during use. Many a tool has been ground past the point of no return trying to get the perfect edge when the work it was intended for didn’t require it.

  • theolithic71
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    Price fixing

    Agreed on keeping prices low.

    Thanks for the expert feedback.

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