Hand Tools Archive

Smoothing things helped *PIC*
Response To:
Re: mouth question ()

Jim Matthews
The reason for getting this plane working was to manage mostly edge planing smaller pieces.

It's about 11" long and feather weight - ideal for use when my hands tire.

Thanks to all who chimed in, the plane is now usable.

As it turns out each was correct in some aspect. The plane wasn't built by me and now I see much of why it wasn't finished. This was a laminated assembly that had a subtle skew induced in the bed and wear sections during glue up. I still can't figure how this happened, it's doweled for alignment but somehow the front section was offline.

This left the mouth a trapezoid, with uneven presentation of the blade.

* The bedding angle was not constant - being a pinned design the dowel was tight to the bed on one side and wedging made the blade twist and this was enough to cause constriction above the mouth, against the wear.*

Like I said - lotsa Itty bitty problems in a plane that looked fine.

Cautiously scraping the wear above the mouth gave the shaving enough wiggle room to clear the throat. This was tedious but I didn't want to overdo it..

The plane works best at a brisk pace. Used slowly, the shaving curls tight enough to roll up under the dowel cross pin.


Smoothing the cap iron made a HUGE difference, which lead me to seek out other rough surfaces. The wedge was undersized, and too close to the shaving.

A replacement wedge, with a polished and rounded surface helped a little more.

The exposed dowel, wedge and wear were coated with Slippit - care taken not to apply wax to the mating surfaces.


The sole also had a minute twist, probably from the same misalignment. This made full width shavings impossible.

Scraping helped remove the "proud" areas, including behind the mouth. This deformation from wedging surprised me, but examination showed it clearly enough.

Gentle sanding on a (relatively) flat surface got alignment close enough to pull it all together.
A little shaping makes it comfortable, although I would prefer it about half again wider.

The original kit comes with a flatsawn sole of some harder species, but I think I'll leave well enough alone.

Thanks to everyone for illumination.


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