Transitional Plane Problems

//Transitional Plane Problems
Transitional Plane Problems2016-06-03T16:02:31+00:00
  • Creator
  • #2028896

    Post count: 12

    I purchased a transitional plane online, but having problems setting the iron to cut.  The adjustment mechanism works both back and forth, but in the forward position (i.e. setting the cut depth) it does not go forward far enough across the mouth of the plane to really do any cutting.  The action of the adjusting wheel is smooth and does not offer any obvious signs of malfunction, it just does not go forward enough.  I have watched the action of the little tab that pushes the iron forward and when you have the wheel advanced as far as it will go, the tab is sitting in about the middle of the little opening that is the chip breaker slot.  I was thinking that if something was placed in this little slot to fill the opening between the tab and the chip breaker it would engage sooner and it would push the blade farther forward.  But I cannot think of anything to put in there that will not also get in the way of the cap iron closing.  Well I am putting this out there for the hand tool brain  trust to work on.  I hope I have described this well enough that you know what it is doing.  All help appreciated.


  • Author
  • James Wright
    Post count: 108

    The other thing you can do is back the chip breaker off of the tip of the iron a bit that will allow the iron to go farther forward. Some plans are just not set up to put the chip breaker really close to the edge of the iron

  • Mike in TN
    Post count: 284

    Hi Don.

    You don’t mention the size of transition plane you have. Like James indicated, the old timers used jacks and fore planes to do roughing work which requires pulling the cap iron away from the edge because of the fair amount of camber on the blade. Some of the old wooden jacks and fore planes, like one I have just restored, don’t have a cap iron at all and work perfectly well for rough work. If the plane is to be used for more of smoothing or really fine work  you can make a replacement cap iron with the additional length you need. I really like my transition planes but they do require a little more maintenance than metal bodied planes, but no more than the old woodies. They were very popular with carpenters because they offered the adjustment advantages of metal planes but the lighter weight made it easier to pack them up and move between jobs. They don’t get as much attention as the metal planes nor do they command as money (in my area anyway) but they can be used to do great work.

    Have fun

  • Don
    Post count: 12

    Transitional Plane Problem Solved

    One piece of information I left out of the original topic was the length of the plane, it is 9″ and was listed as a smoother.  Well I took James and Mike’s advice and checked out the chip breaker distance from the blade edge.  I had it set as if I was doing one of my all metal Stanley planes.  I moved the chip breaker back and now the tab can engage the chip breaker/blade and be adjusted to cut wood.  I guess my mind was focused too much on the Stanley planes and adjusting the chip breaker on those.  Thanks to those that posted as it has made me just a little wiser with these hand tools.


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