Setting up a handplane

//Setting up a handplane
Setting up a handplane 2015-12-09T14:07:46+00:00
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  • #2028104

    Tomas B
    Participant
    Post count: 8

    My awesome wife has watched YouTube video after YouTube video learning the ins and outs of vintage tools with me because she loves working on projects as well, and she wants to get me a couple awesome Christmas presents this year. So I pretty much know I will be getting a vintage Stanley plane to restore this 25th… here is my problem – I wanted to get a head start on the world of plane use so i bought one of those cheapo “Windsor #33” planes from harbor freight for $7 after a coupon. My thought was worst case I waste $7. So I get it home and it is NOTHING like the stanley/bailey planes i have spent so much time learning how to work on. The frog is built in and doesn’t move, and the cap iron is this short little thing that doesn’t get close to the cutting edge. So i spent some time flattening the sole, sharpening the blade (and flattening and polishing the back), and i made sure i put it in bevel down. But no matter how much i fiddle with the blade depth adjustments i can’t get a decent shaving. It catches and tears up the boards i am working on. but when i look at others experiences on line on forums and stuff, people say it works fine (they are not going to use it regularly, but it works). I have never used a planer before so i am sure i am doing something wrong, any ideas?

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  • James Wright
    Participant
    Post count: 108

    If you are getting tare out you may be going the wrong direction on the board. When I started I got the same plane and after using something better that cheap beast sat on the shelf. I recently turned it into a roughing fore plane. but with tuning and sharpening I could get it to make a good curl. The two big pieces of advice I would give is 1. Sharp blade. can you shave with it. (give it a try and cut some, just not skin!) 2. set the blade as shallow as it can go try and make the finest shaving you can.

    To me it sounds like sharpness or grain direction. do you have pictures of the tare out and or iron?

  • Tomas B
    Participant
    Post count: 8

    I can probably get some pics on here soon. I know sharpness is not a factor, Ive been sharpening knives and tools since my teens. I tried turning the board both ways, and got some shavings, but not consistently. I don’t know if the lumber itself could be to blame? I don’t see how, but I’m just using free scraps from the scrap pile at home depot. Maybe it’s just my technique? Like I said i have never done this before.

    Thanks!

  • James Wright
    Participant
    Post count: 108

    Here is a good video on how the cap iron affects tare out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bhh6kxXZOQ

     

  • Mike in TN
    Participant
    Post count: 261

    Hi folks,

    I bought one of those ( I actually bought one of each of the types of bench planes Harbor freight sells) just for fun and was able to get it to pull some decent shavings. Of course the quality of the shavings don’t matter much compared to the quality of the finished piece. They are light and are definitely not what  anyone would ever consider to be a good plane, but they can do some good work in the hands of an experienced woodworker. My opinion is that they can easily be tuned  as a scrub plane and that that would probably be the best use for that particular tool. I like to pull it out and show it off to visitors to the shop who like to discuss the superiority of older, and considerably more expensive hand planes. They can definitely have value in the shop and are an inexpensive way to get some experience fetteling. The adjustment mechanism really isn’t all that sensitive. I usually pull the blade back slightly, snug the blade down, disengage the adjustment screws and tap the blade down just as you would with a wooden bodied plane. After I get a desirable shaving I snug the adjustment knobs down just to help ensure he blade doesn’t back out in use. That ensures a light cut.

    Have fun.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFBnTOGc-2w

     

     

     

  • James Wright
    Participant
    Post count: 108

    I found this video and love it! it is one of the best explanations of tareout and what the cap iron does. it is a bit dry as it is old but extremely good info.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56DpxEOpxz0

  • Charlie
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    I thought that planes that come without a chip breaker had their bevels up…

  • James Wright
    Participant
    Post count: 108

    Not always. The old wooden single iron planes and Japanese planes do not have a chip breaker and they still run with the bevle up. Some Low angle planes often have the bevel up and because of the low angle do not have a chip breaker

    1 user thanked author for this post.
  • Mike in TN
    Participant
    Post count: 261

    Kunz and Anant both made planes similar to the Harbor Freight  #33 and share a #33 as part of the model designation. The Harbor Freight plane is most certainly a clone of the Kunz. The blade adjustment mechanism is similar to the Stanley 151 spoke shave. It is my belief that this design was adopted because of reduced cost of machining and fewer parts when compared to most traditional metal planes.

    A chip breaker (or cap iron) performs three functions. In a thin blade it introduces tension that helps prevent chatter, when properly set, can help reduce tear out by forcing the chip, in conjunction with a tight mouth, to sharply curl up against itself effectively snapping the chip so that leverage doesn’t pull up fibers  before the edge slices them off, and it allows the depth adjustment mechanism to act upon the blade in most metal planes. In most cases, the cap iron is not set close enough to the blade edge to really be effective at affecting tear out. Using a blade bevel up would prevent the cap iron from being effective at preventing tear out simply because there is no way to set it close enough to the edge,  and in fact, bevel up planes tend to be worse for tear out unless the cutting angle has been increased specifically to force the resulting chip up more sharply, thus imitating the action of a high angle frog and/or a properly set cap iron. Bevel up planes have lower bed angles so that the resulting cutting angle will be similar to, or lower than, bevel up planes. That is why properly set up bevel up planes are usually more effective at cutting end grain. If you simply took a blade and turned it bevel up in a standard bench plane you would increase the cutting angle to a very high pitch, effective at preventing tear out when used with a tight mouth but extremely hard to push (there would likely be interference with other parts of the plane also). Lowering of the sharpening angle would then make it easier to use, and would make the edge very fragile and easy to dull. The action of the blade of the #33 design is somewhat similar to any single iron bevel down plane with the “lever cap” holding the blade in the tool and seeming to dampen the vibration (chatter) of using the tool. It is my belief that cap irons first became popular as chip breakers and chatter reducers, became more popular as chatter reducers when thinner blades started to find their way into the market and became almost universally accepted when tool designers started to use them for engaging adjustment mechanisms. Traditional style wooden planes with thick blades often forgo cap irons.

    Use of higher cutting angles to prevent tear out is why Lie-Nielsen offers higher pitch frogs for their hand planes, why the low angle bench planes can be adapted for use to prevent tear out and why there has been so much internet buzz on back angles for standard bench planes. For most standard planning “it don’t matter”, but they are all possible solutions for difficult grained woods.

    Have fun

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