Hand Tools

Subject:
Re: Cap iron setback and shaving thickness

david weaver
beginning of your write up, is it 5.7 or 5.4? guessing 5.4 based on the 3.8 number.

That would put a shaving equal to the sole at 3.82/0.85 = 4.5 (about).

You mentioned that at 4, you started to notice significant resistance. At that point, surface improvement will stop, and it's also at that point where you don't want to advance the cap iron closer or the iron deeper into the cut because the effort won't be less (and that counts if you're going to dimension 20 board feet of something before you take a break - and if you were to work all day - it would really count).

If even with the sole is 4.5 and 4 is where you'd practically stop, that pretty much matches what I'd see. I would guess (by shaving thicknesses and resistance) that I never really set the cap iron closer than that. If there is still a problem with tearout, I take one full bore shaving (which would be equivalent to your 4 mil, potentially a couple of more until the surface is as good as it will get at that setting), and then back off the thickness and finish the work.

It's a very rare case that doing what I just mentioned will not finish a surface appropriately, and when it occurs, it's something like dead quartered cocobolo, which has a very soft earlywood and hard late wood. Even then, it's a fraction of those pieces of cocobolo that are quartered that cause a problem. The early wood crushes to dust or tears out easily. the former causes the wood surface to crush and break out under a close set cap iron, and the latter causes it to break without a close set cap iron.

You plane it as well as you can and then scrape it, and only if it's showing. In my case, it was showing (the side of a plane). Sanding is a reasonable option in that case, too - nobody would build furniture from it because that kind of early wood is fragile and the surface of the furniture would sustain very uneven wear over time.

Brian's plane also had that sort of behavior, but in beech, it's manageable. You just have to remember on something of that sort that you can't take a hogging shaving on the first pass unless you want to spend a lot of time cleaning it up.

Side comment in all of this, too, regarding cap iron engagement. The surface quality on harder woods actually improves with a less than perfect iron when the cap is engaged. As in, if I were to sharpen an iron with a 1k diamond hone, set the cap at 5.7, and then take two shavings - one at a shaving thickness of 4 and one at 2, the surface quality from the thickness of 4 would be better than the one of thickness 2. That can be handy once in a great while if you're working with an iron that's sustained a tiny nick.

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Cap iron setback and shaving thickness
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Redoing the test
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If you're a beginner...
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Contrariness
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Kato and Kawai
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Remarkable restraint
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Not really lighting it up
Correction
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This seems pointless
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No tear stained defense needed..
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swingley thread
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Simple concept, easy 'splanation
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Tried this again today
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Double Iron vs. Thick Iron
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Re: Cap iron setback and shaving thickness
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By the way, Mark..
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