Hand Tools Archive
After the last discussion, I figured that I would go buy a plain bench smoother, cheapest i could find (a millers falls #9 for $11, same as a stanley 4), with a stock chipbreaker and give another whack at only using a double iron smoother (for a project that involved dimensioning some pedestrian cherry boards) so as to get faster at setting it.
I'm pretty pleased with it in cherry, it is as easy to stay out of trouble as it is with my single iron infill (in either direction on the wood - meaning I haven't searched for the grain direction on wood with a resultant gross tearout), and perhaps with an extra 30 seconds to fidget with the iron vs. the infill (including taking the iron apart and finding a screwdriver, etc).
It's not that I'm surprised by the performance, there are plenty of pictures to back up the effect of the second iron properly set, but with the design in general of the basic stanley plane when used with the iron properly set.
The only thing I haven't favored it on so far was a very curly piece of cherry that somehow slipped into my lot. There was no resultant tearout, but a bit rough going where the infill glided through (difference in weight i guess). Same with beech and maple, the infill still works far more nicely in heavier woods.
I am less pleased with late 19th century wooden smoothers, because the ones I have (ohio tool smoothers - admittedly junkers that I purchased to get the irons cheaply) will not feed with the second iron properly set, despite significant work to get the second iron in shape to fit properly.
So I may not have my entire foot in my mouth, but maybe a toe!
(of course, warren, this is directed to you, because most people have said little about double ironed planes, and I have complained a lot in the past about how much of a nuisance it is to set them when you're in a hurry).