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Subject:
Re: Double Iron vs. Thick Iron

david weaver
Just in general (I built "thick iron" single iron planes before I saw Warren's double iron light):

Thick Iron:
Advantages:
* no chatter with long unsupported span (good for planes with wedges that terminate high on the iron or planes with lever caps). A plane of most designs with a 1/8th single iron will chatter. Maybe not in smoothing, but in most other things. The curators at Williamsburg concluded that chatter was just part of planing.
* stable in planes that aren't bedded perfectly - might be an advantage in a plane that moves
* really "solid" feel. they add to the weight of the plane, too - so the "feel" is probably a combination of two things.
* some people really like the aesthetic

Disadvantages (this is for single iron only):
* longer to grind (this eventually becomes annoying when you get used to thin irons)
* no practical way to maintain them only by hand if you want to do that (if we're talking about something like Knight's irons or Brese irons - which are both superb irons, by the way - Steve doesn't get as much press as he should for just how excellent his O1 irons were. They were hard without being brittle like the hocks.
* hard to profile if you want to do that
* tearout control requires high angle or tight mouth (mouth has to be really tight to really be effective - like 2x chip size, which may mean 4 thousandths or so for a smoother). Planes tend to be one-dimensional (e.g., a fine cutting high angle smoother with a very tight mouth or an open mouthed roughing plane)

(when you get the double irons that are a quarter thick and have a cap iron on them, they are solid feeling, but they feel really awkward at the same time - not important I guess)

Thin Double Iron

Advantages:
* quick to grind the iron and the iron can be ground by hand easily if you'd like
* generally cheaper to buy
* easily profiled
* gives a plane a very wide range of working capabilities (fine or coarse with the same plane). I single plane can literally smooth anything once you learn the function of the cap
* adding an adjuster can be done cheaply
* excellent tearout control with a cap iron, as good as anything short of a card scraper and sandpaper. Chatter free in all but the very heaviest cuts (you may still get a tiny bit of it if you set a plane up as a fore and really horse it, but it's the kind of chatter that doesn't matter, and it might actually help make the cut easier. I'd define bad chatter on a heavy cut as the kind that keeps the plane from staying in the cut).
* a bit more forgiveness in plane setup. If the iron is held firmly at the back of the bevel, the top of the cap iron and the top of the iron at a point, it will probably work well and without tearout. The same is true of single irons, but it's a bit harder to hold them close to the point of cut (in terms of plane design)

Disadvantages
* fitting and learning the double iron
* any deep pitting in an iron can be the end of it (hopefully that doesn't occur)
* Not forgiving of major fit problems with a plane, and the plane design still needs to support the cap iron relatively close to the mouth (e.g, where the lever cap meets the hump on a stanley cap iron)

Messages In This Thread

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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Re: And a quote....
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Contrariness
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Kato and Kawai
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Remarkable restraint
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Re: Cap iron setback and shaving thickness
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Not really lighting it up
Correction
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This seems pointless
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Maguire
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Jupiter Cakes
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No tear stained defense needed..
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swingley thread
Blackburn
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Andrew Hunter
Japanese planes
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Cap iron sharpening
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Pictures *PIC*
Cap iron sharpness
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Cut depth, species, and wear
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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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Double Iron vs. Thick Iron
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Re: Cap iron setback and shaving thickness
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Actually, you've fed right into..
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Re: Cap iron setback and shaving thickness
I knew *PIC*
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By the way, Mark..
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