Hand Tools

Subject:
Re:cap iron sharpness and maintenance
Response To:
Re: Worn Through ()

steve voigt
Some thoughts on maintaining the cap iron (not directed to anyone in particular):

I use my main three bench planes daily, and has probably been a couple years since I did anything to the cap irons. Once they've been prepared properly, they should stay that way for a long time.

However, it depends on the type of cap iron, and on how they're prepared. Early on, I would prep my cap irons so that they were truly sharp, and the fragile edge would need occasional maintenance. Later, I found that a very slight dulling of the edge, just as part of the process of removing the burr, made maintenance unnecessary. It's important not to overdo this--you don't want a really blunt edge. I do this dulling by stropping (on leather) the crap out of the cap iron edge, in exactly the way that you're not supposed to strop a cutting tool--using lots of pressure and overshooting the angle on both sides.

It's interesting that Holzapffel (1850-ish) and Denning (1880-ish) refer to the cap iron as "moderately sharp" or "the dull iron." I think the above is what they were getting at.

This depends on the type of cap iron, though. A vintage woodie cap iron puts a lot of pressure on the tip, and I think an OEM Stanley does too. So there's no need for tricks like raising a burr with a burnisher. But a so-called "improved" modern cap iron hardly puts any pressure on the tip, so I can see why the burr would be necessary. But that traps you in an unending maintenance cycle. Some improvement.

Regarding resin: When I plane hardwoods, and I plane them almost every day, I don't get any resin build-up. The tip of the cap iron gets tarnished and discolored, but I don't care. When I am planing SYP for any length of time, the resin does build up, but a rag and some mineral spirits or acetone removes the resin easily; there is no need for honing.

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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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Re: And a quote....
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Re: Radius of cambered blade - some #'s
Re: Cap iron setback and shaving thickness
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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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The Virtue
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"Planecraft"
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My apologies
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The big difference
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Jupiter Cakes
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No tear stained defense needed..
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Set-back distance and measurebation
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swingley thread
Blackburn
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Andrew Hunter
Japanese planes
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Re: No tear stained defense needed..
Cap iron sharpening
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Re: Worn Through
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Re:cap iron sharpness and maintenance
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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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planing
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Consumables vs skilled labor
Actually, you've fed right into..
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Re: Good Work
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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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