Hand Tools Archive

Re: Birthday gift to myself

David Weaver
I didn't read all of the other replies, and apologize if I'm repeating anything.

Most of those planes (I've got some mathiesons, but not sure that I have a plane exactly like that one, but I do for sure have some spiers and norris) have the front of the mouth filed away from the bed (similar in angle to the back side of the bun).

They are very certainly filed that way so that the cap iron can be set tightly while still leaving a tight mouth. If someone is married to a tight mouth on a stanley plane and wants to use the cap set close, you can file a stanley similarly.

I believe the makers were trying to accommodate everyone by making the mouth tight, but more importantly, getting a tight mouth on an infill is a display of skill on a plane that would've been very expensive back when they were made. Some don't have a tight mouth, but the early planes generally do.

All that said, unless the mouth is 4 thousandths (and none that I have are close to that), the tight mouth limits damage but doesn't eliminate tearout.

So, set the cap close, and examine the angle of the back of the mouth (on the sole) and see if it sort of goes with the bun. If someone has replaced a cap iron from the original plane or bungled one up, it might not work properly. I'd imagine nearly every one of these planes left the makers', though, able to set the cap close without clogging.

None of mine clog or have issues with the cap set closely.

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