Hand Tools

Re: Bevel angle
Response To:
Bevel angle ()

david weaver
all of those figures give me clarity regarding why I'm choosing a 33 degree angle on most planes, and you're choosing slightly less.

Thanks for providing that detail.

My wooden planes are common pitch, plus or minus a degree for user-making. I am probably leaving them around 10 degrees of clearance, and 12 with stanley planes.

I tried something at one point years ago with seven degrees of clearance and it was problematic early on. I also tried 5 or 6 on a japanese plane after nicking an edge and getting irritated with the 8 to 10 minute process of heavy work that's involved to repair such a thing on a large japanese smoother, and that was also a very short lived cycle of work between sharpening, and also not very pleasing.

I often wonder how much (as definitively as larry stated his opinions) actual testing larry did to check his assertions. I don't think it was much. Like his claim that iron width in a double iron plane has to be limited to avoid the wedge fingers due to a "shaving trap", it took very little work from someone who didn't know that much about planes in general at the time (me) when I started making them to make a plane that didn't have any such issue. It took no time thereafter to diagnose and solve trapping problems in older planes and make them perform just like mine. In every trying plane that I've made, that is the last test before cambering the iron - leaving it straight, biasing a cut toward the fingers and inducing a clogs. It takes very little work to adjust the parts of the plane involved and eliminate the issue and ensure a very nice working plane for someone else to use. Time is not kind to the planes, and just pulling an old plane out where the cheeks have been adjusted or the wedge replaced with something that doesn't fit, or anything else that threatens the critical parts - of course the results will not be good.

It would be the same thing if I picked up a poorly fitted single iron plane with a large mouth and decried the shortcomings of all single iron planes. Single iron planes can be precisely made and work well for smoothing. They're just a factor of two behind a double iron plane for actual work in anything other than perfect wood, and they're still behind even in that.

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