Hand Tools Archive

Plane mortising bevel up

Hi all,

yesterday I started roughing the mortise for a try plane I´ve been meaning to make for a long time. Billet was already prepared.

Some time ago, I had an exchange on roughing plane mortises with Steve Voigt, I dont remember where, and he argued that incannel gouges are effective, even more so than outcannel since the mallet impact goes straight to the edge and into the wood. (Sorry Steve if I misremember some detail here and now).

Not having any incannel gouges suitable for such rough work I tried doing the same thing with my usual bench chisels, using them bevel up and it worked very well. Until now I have always used them bevel down, riding the bevel, as this was communicated as the best and usual way to do it.

Now I'm not so sure. It felt more effective (as in more material removed per blow). And it was (for me) easier to get straight and true blows with the mallet and less bending/wiggling at the tip - therefore possibly less edge damage. Pretty comfortable, sitting on the bench behind the blank and mortising in the direction of the bed.

Taking too fat bites, the chisel wants to dive and get stuck, but this is avoided making thinner chips. I do not think I make bigger chips when chopping bevel down. About 1-2 mm thick chips in beech.

Possibly, when getting close to the layout lines I will go back to bevel down for control.

Just an observation. Maybe I was wasting my time, but it was a great time. Did anyone else try this?

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