Hand Tools Archive

Yes on the boards

david weaver
I have two boards that are reasonable to plane. I wonder if its uniformity causes it to overheat edges. I chose it because:
1) I don't use it for anything, but have it
2) it's relatively uniform, at least in the boards that I have, and it doesn't have the same variance in density that I seem to find in cherry

I'm intending to cut about 200 feet of shavings, then change the blade to another plane, and do that until I'm through with all of the blades, then start over for feet 200-400.

I am not rushing the plane through the work, but i am moving it briskly so that it's similar to the pace one would use planing. Years ago, you summarized it as "just not a very nice wood to work with hand tools". That's a short statement that pretty much nails it.

I made a couple of planes out of it before I had beech. It really turned me off compared to beech. For its hardness, it resists chisels and doesn't pare well, etc, whereas beech is very smooth.

If I complete round 1 here with the first 50 strokes (200 shavings) and everything looks terrible, I'm going to be forced to do something else. Change sharpening media or change wood. I've got a lot of 5/4 beech that's quartered so that the edge is flatsawn. It would be a good second option. I hate to waste it, but it wasn't dear to get (about $3 a board foot, and I'll probably never use it all).

FWIW, I did use hard maple when I tested A2 irons, and LN's went long on it without too much defect. I no longer have that iron, but a different one, so we'll see if it manages to do the same again. I gave up on the last iron at 1100 strokes on a 20 inch board. It was horrid to plane the last several strokes, but I didn't know enough at the time and was trying to get to the point that it was impossible to get shaving at all. The shavings were like suede. This time, I will shut it off when I have to help the plane stay in the cut, which is subjective, but not that inaccurate - combined with a final edge picture, it should be pretty usable.

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