Hand Tools

Subject:
Clearance

Patrick Chase
You're right that a BD plane with a 20 deg bed is impractical, and that was certainly a typo on David's part. He's far too knowledgeable to actually think that.

With that said, you don't need anything like 12 deg of clearance for most woods. Hardwoods can go down into the low/mid single digits, and many softwoods can as well.

A bit of food for thought: Bevel-up spokeshaves typically have only a few degrees of clearance (difference between angle of the toe and the back of the iron) and yet they work quite well on most species.

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