Hand Tools Archive

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

david weaver
Hi Derek - I agree 100% on the planes. Eons ago when I built the spiers/shepherd kit, I had assumed that if I put a mouth of a hundredth on it, it would do good panel plane work (the cap iron they supplied really wasn't very good, and I didn't know how to use it). I set the plane aside, just as I have my JT Brown single iron jointer (a tight mouthed wooden plane, but it just doesn't last long in wood and it's not very capable with a single iron at 50 degrees. Not that you can't work wood with it - you can - it's just miles behind a slightly later plane with a double iron).

I had to refile the top of the mouth on the spiers kit in order to not open the mouth itself further (which I eventually did just a little) but make room for the cap iron. It was an entirely different plane after that - a hammer - any direction in anything, very easy to dimension with because the shaving stays together and is equivalent depth in all cuts - you can just take overlapping cuts and do little to threaten the flatness of a board (as opposed to no cap iron mode where there is moderate tearout - nothing major with a mouth of a hundredth, but the shavings are not coming off as consistently and the last-bit-of-thicknessing type of work that you would do with a panel plane or a jointer is less accurate). But with the norris type two screw adjuster - an extremely fast adjuster that ...I have no idea what they were thinking when they put it in planes. I won't build another plane with an adjuster.

The norris (as opposed to the spiers with the similar adjuster) that I have is fast, but not as fast as that one was. Still waiting on the other two planes to see how they compare - the panel plane's adjuster should have no traffic on it. I'm not getting to the point...

... the LV adjuster is fine and crisp, and it's very uniform metal on metal contact for all of the parts its moving, vs metal on wood for the bed of an infill. The norris adjusters are not as smooth to adjust as the LV and you can do the adjustment with the lever cap partially tensions and not damage them, but there is still some play in them that's not there in the LV planes. From what I can tell, it's better to have the lever cap tighter in use and just loosen it some to make adjustments. The trouble ends up being that once you retighten the lever cap, it moves just a little. If it was slower and all contact surfaces were metal and more predictable, it would probably work better and move around less when tightened.

Setting an adjusterless plane for a fine shaving is just so much less trouble.

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