Hand Tools Archive

Re: plane stiffness
Response To:
plane stiffness *PIC* ()

Bruce Mack
Bill - Last night I was sitting in my basement shop with a couple of cats (no, I'm not a productive woodworker) thinking of how little force it took you to deform a cast iron plane. I took 2 narrow pieces of cherry I use to check blade sharpness and placed their edges together. I could see light. Then, I pressed them together with my thumbs and forefingers. No light.
I remember the 1990's when I was building furniture for the home with a circular saw, Japanese pull saw, and a handplane, amazed at the concept of edge-gluing narrow boards to make a tabletop. I used the match edge method, taking thin shavings to try to eliminate the light leaks I could see while resting the edge of one board on another. Then, using pipe clamps and PVA glue and a mallet to persuade bowed boards to flatten, I made my first tabletop. The final flattening was awkward, crappy planing technique with a jack plane whose blade I could not sharpen adequately followed by belt sanding to remove the tear-out. The top of this credenza which I still have looks pretty good to me, with acceptable if not invisible glue lines.
My point - wood is forgiving and to me, then and now, my concern is does it look good rather than is it perfect. This is simply my musing and is not meant to disparage the better skills of many participating in this forum or to detract from this fascinating discussion of sharpness and tooling in which I have participated.

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