Hand Tools Archive

Re: Norris Vs. Stanley
Response To:
Norris Vs. Stanley ()

Derek Cohen (in Perth, Australia)
I'm looking for tips for anyone who has really thought about fine adjustment on those planes. For coarse adjustment, I just loosen the lever cap and turn the adjuster. Leaving the cap tight creates several problems (above and beyond the fact that it's known that it can damage the adjuster eventually). When you loosen it, the adjustment changes slightly once you tighten it - not a big deal for coarse adjustment.

Hi David

I do not have a Norris similar to yours; in fact, the closest I have is a Spier which I refurbished, and it comes without an adjuster. However, I was thinking about your issue with the Norris adjuster and lever cap. What I do have plenty experience with is the Norris-type adjusters on the Veritas BU and BD planes. As you noted, it is possible to damage the adjuster if the lever cap is tight. I find that with the Veritas planes there is a point when the lever cap is firm enough, yet adjustment is still possible. I think that many tighten too much when they start out with these planes. Can you use your Norris with less lever cap tension?

The second factor is one I discovered with the Spier smoother. When I restored it (literally from a shell, and building all the infills), it was a time pre-chipbreaker (for me). The mouth was tight with the thick replacement iron. The bed is exactly 47 1/2 degrees, as per the original. Still, it was just not capable of controlling tearout as I needed, and it wound u on the shelf. Years later, after I learned to use the chipbreaker, I returned to this plane to see if the new technique would ring improvements. I was concerned that the escapement would become blocked by the leading edge of the chipbreaker. Happily, all worked pretty well. Perhaps the escapement angle I built is not as steep as the original? All-in-all, this has turned out to be a nice smoother.

Regards from Perth


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