Hand Tools Archive

Re: What Actually Happened on the Forums

david weaver
I don't post here much, anymore, but a cap iron thread is worth a post.

I vividly recall all of this, because the thread warren linked I vehemently defended the ease of using a single iron plane set with a tight mouth, or a back bevel. I didn't know how technically superior a common pitch stanley bailey or vintage wooden plane was at the time - because I didn't know how to use it, and also because I wasn't working wood from rough exclusively using hand tools as I often do now (the interim step is maybe the step where the double iron distances itself from the inferior single iron design the most).

I'm embarrassed about how wrong I was about the double iron - but I'm more than willing to admit how wrong because most people were wrong about it. The plane I made and referred to in that discussion with warren is at the end of this video (last five minutes or so). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOQ_fXPzosc

(someone requested I make this video, or I wouldn't have ever shown a video of infill planes with a long drawn out warning not to buy them if you're just looking for capability. Warren's long ago comment of playing ping pong with a cast iron pan is dead right).

Warren was right (about infills and the double iron...both) - clearly, and what's not in debate is that Warren has for more than a decade described the double iron as the complete solution that it is. Nobody else did. Nobody, and I don't even remember *anyone* else suggesting that it was a better alternative for tearout reduction or elimination. I still see people saying they know how to set the cap iron, and then suggesting other methods for difficult wood when the cap iron doesn't work. Which of these woods would someone actually make furniture out of? I suspect it's just advice from people who don't actually know as much about setting the cap iron as they think they do - which is strange itself, because it's not very difficult after a week or two.

Perhaps there were people using the double iron before then, (I'd gather stephen was), most of us didn't know enough to pick up anything from a comment like stephen's. Warren's very straight up comments like "I haven't had tearout since 1977" (pardon Warren if I didn't do a perfect job with the paraphrasing there) are more thought provoking, and even then many accused warren of trolling. I probably did it, too.

The rest of the folks talking about how well it was known and how widely it was known need to bring up a reference where they didn't leave Warren hanging out to dry while he was getting insulted by contemporary makers, bloggers, etc. There must be something out there.

I have seen more inaccurate discussion about this and what was actually going on on the forum than almost any other topic (I can't think of one, but I'm sure I could given time). From being told that I only started talking about it after seeing the video Bill put up, to the assertion that I or Bill or anyone claim to have discovered something (the very first post I put up after learning to use the iron was something like "warren, you were right", not the kind of thing someone claiming they "discovered something" would post).

So, the rest of you folks other than Warren can surely on some forum (there are several with archives) pull up a historical post where you actually suggested using the cap iron when someone was requesting information on buying an expensive plane just to plane some relatively pedestrian wood like curly maple. I never saw it, aside from the folks who say "make the shaving very thin and sharpen often". That is not a very practical solution to actually getting something done, especially from rough lumber when a cap iron set plane can eliminate the tearout with any shaving thickness all the way until the clearance is gone and it won't stick in the cut.

I DID assail one group as not being honest, and that's the bloggers and folks who hit the road "teaching" classes who dug up the K&K stuff and started suggesting it without crediting where the discussion originated (the forums) - all the while decrying the forums as troll ponds. They did not credit where the discussion bloomed, I never once saw any of them say "warren" (the only one carrying the torch long term) or "bill tindall" or "steve elliot" (who actually did the leg work to find the video that would actually convince people who can't do anything with their own two hands. And not a single one of them apologized for misleading people and wasting their money with bad advice.

I probably could find an email to Bill Tindall from three years ago where we were pointing fingers at each other saying someone should write an article (and I refused to write one for a print magazine because that should be professionals doing it). In it, both of us said that we knew that as soon as one of us wrote an article, there'd be a gaggle of people who said "I already knew that, you're not saying anyone anything new", even though those folks can't seem to produce anything in support of Warren in print - which would've been awfully easy.

So, someone other than warren go to the archives and show us. There was no shortage of opportunities where people were advised to buy infills, high frogs, steep angle planes, etc.

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