Hand Tools

Subject:
Re: Cap iron setback and shaving thickness

Sgian Dubh
This thread has become fascinatingly involved, and I have been highly entertained by all its twists and turns. However, the following quotation might be worth a read - perhaps knowledge of the use of a cap iron was never completely lost:

"All bench planes ... have double irons composed of the cutting iron proper and the cap-iron whose function is to stiffen the cutting edge and break up the shaving as it is raised so that, robbed of its stiffness, it does not tend to run ahead of the cut in a series of small splits in the surface of the timber. The closer the cap-iron is to the cutting edge the sooner the shaving is bent over and broken, therefore fine cuts or difficult timbers require a close-set cap-iron and a narrow mouth which, in the case of metal bench-planes, is easily adjustable. Practical experience will give the best setting of the cap-iron, which may vary from a hair's breadth for the final surfacing of difficult timbers to 1/16 in. (1.5 mm) for the first rough levelling. This use of the cap-iron means that the grinding bevel of the cutting iron must be underneath, therefore the cutting angle is dependent on the pitch or angle of the iron in the plane, irrespective of the grinding angle. Usually a compromise angle of 45º is used for bench planes, for raising the angle gives more of a scraping action and lowering more of a slicing action.” (Joyce E, page 28, (1970) The Technique of Furniture Making [third edition, 1980], Batsford, London.

My experience is that it can be rather time consuming even with a well set up plane as described by Joyce above to prep large a large square footage of a challenging wood surface polish ready, without recourse to alternative surface prep means, e.g., scrapers and sanding techniques. It’s time consuming because, in part, because it’s necessary to stop planing quite frequently, resharpen and set-up the tool which can get a bit old. Generally I’ve found speed is a priority in the work I’ve been involved with - there’s a customer and I’m working to a price and/or deadline - and a fair amount of the prepping I do involves a limited amount of plane work, and a higher proportion of the scraping and sanding options.

Having just said what I’ve said there will no doubt be those who conclude (as in the past) that I don’t know how to use a plane. I think I do know because I can make a plane work contrary wood pretty much flawlessly – not quite flawlessly usually because there’s nearly always something somewhere in a wood surface that wants to play silly buggers, so for anything but a smallish area attempted for a bit of entertainment it’s just too darned slow for my needs. Slainte.

Messages In This Thread

Cap iron setback and shaving thickness
Re: 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....
Re: Radius of cambered blade - some #'s *LINK*
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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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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Re: The most likely
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Jupiter Cakes
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No tear stained defense needed..
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Set-back distance and measurebation
Re: Set-back distance and measurebation
swingley thread
Blackburn
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Andrew Hunter
Japanese planes
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Re: Blackburn
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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
Re: Cap iron setback and shaving thickness
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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: Cap iron setback and shaving thickness
I knew *PIC*
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By the way, Mark..
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