Hand Tools Archive

Re: Birthday gift to myself *PIC*

David Weaver
You'll be rewarded once everything is fitted. I know most blog posts would have you believe you'll be taking three ten thousandth of an inch shavings in figured petrified wood, but when you've got lots of time on your favorite plane, nothing else will match without learning quirks.

I fitted a spiers plane tonight, one that i have that's almost identical to yours that I never set up before. It has the same quirk that a lot of other adjuster-free infills have. I can set it at zero with the lever cap slightly loose. Give it a tap and tighten the screw and it's taking an idea smoother shaving, but the cap screw turns the adjustment to the right a little bit. One light tap on the top of the iron to the left and it's centered. With a cambered iron, 90% of the time, that's it. If it's cutting a slight amount too deep, loosen the lever cap screw slightly while you're using it and the iron should go right back to zero and just as it does, tighten the cap screw again and you're right back at it.

With all of my less pretentious infill planes (as in, no late model or older overweight planes), the results are similar to a perfectly performing stanley 4, but the feel is just a little better.

The 6 pound smoothers give people the impression that the plane is smoother and doing better surface work, but it's just the weight masking feel from you, and there's no great virtue in that.

The infill irons were usually on the harder side, similar to modern irons in hardness (modern boutique), but finer steel. Like the best domestic O1 steel that you can get now (which is a step up from the hock high carbon irons I've tried).

The inside of the mouth, as i mentioned in another post. The front of the mouth is filed toward the bun, very intentionally to allow room for chip escapement with the cap set close. The mouth is useful for a novice user, but only makes the surface a little better. The cap iron is much more useful. I'd imagine the mouth on this plane is probably a hundredth or slightly less. It's wide enough that it doesn't cause much resistance.

I have a self-made infill with a 4 thousandth mouth (single iron, I made it back in 2010 before I knew what I was doing). Much more than 2 thousandths of chip and it becomes like a car with the emergency brake on.

As an aside, I think something might be off with your scale. I measured two mid century stanley 4s (one a little later than that). One with a stock iron was 3 lbs. 8oz, and one with a replacement iron that I made is 3 pounds 10 ounces.

The spiers here is 3 lbs 14 ounces (at the upper end of the range I suspected in a prior post). I've got three planes of this style - one a norris 2, one an unmarked gunmetal plane and this. They're about the same in weight. I'd make a remark about there not being bloated old planes back then, but I also have a 15 1/2 inch norris A13 (an uncommon plane) and it's got a thick cast sole and weighs about 8 1/2 or 9 pounds. I want to copy the pattern, but not the weight.

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