Hand Tools Archive

by the early 19th century
Response To:
Re: Calling BS ()

David Weaver
..there were a few makes like my 1820s or so JT brown jointer. Someone managed not to use mine and I think it may have been entirely unused. I thought I'd found something really great once I was able to free the iron.

When you mill lumber that is less than perfect by hand (which probably started pretty early), and even wood that is perfect, you can at least double your productivity with double iron planes.

I can mill lumber flat and to size ready for final use never taking a shaving thinner than about 4 thousandths of an inch (with a smoother) and regardless of grain direction, plane almost without tearout (that's important, as that's the most productive try plane setting - not with, not without - allowing only as much as will be smoothed out) with a trying plane at something like 8 thousandths to a hundredth and a little more than 2/3rds that in ash.

Sharpening occurs about 1/8th as much per volume of wood with the same iron from the same maker as it was with the single iron jointer (which in my case is about the same weight as my 24" trying plane).

In jack planes, you can probably get away with not having a cap iron (Though it's useful for plane fitting and solidity, and sometimes wood is bad enough that you can make use of it - I usually go to the trying plane at that point instead).

If effort and economy has anything to say (and this would have converted to making a living, it would've been undeniable), I would bet that the double iron try plane almost immediately obsoleted the single iron try plane, the smoother shortly thereafter or at the same time, and economy-minded buyers would've hung on a little bit longer with a jack plane.

I had a single iron jack plane when first started - one of the inexpensive makes. It's terrible compared to a double iron jack, but you could get by with it. If you used mostly perfect wood, then it may have been no issue at all.

Once you get to a double iron plane, the chatter ceased, seasonal fitting is almost eliminated, work is faster with less demand on wood quality and sharpening per volume of wood is significantly reduced. In a group of tradespeople who were never rich to begin with, the economic value would've been apparent within a week.

This started in the late 1700s as far as I know, and news of it (due to shrewd marketing) couldn't have taken that long to spread.

It goes back to my prior statement - I doubt larry ever did much dimensioning by hand. I doubt he even does much now by hand on his planes, but in his moulding plane video, he triangulates his plane around to avoid tearout on quartered wood. With a double iron plane, you don't have to do it. I recall larry at one point saying early on that all of us had no idea how smoothing was actually done, that double iron plane fingers clog, that anything larger than a small smoother is pointless and he was all wet on all of those.

Even if it was some kind of other ideological preference existed, the economics of what was going on would've eliminated single iron planes for anything other than very rough work.

it exists in moulding planes because there's no easy way to economically make those with a double iron. it can be done, but the cost would've been astronomical for a plane where the economic benefit afterwards (you can always scrape mouldings, and save stock for them) wouldn't have made up for it.

Further into history (the early-mid 1800s when the first casted infill planes came along), infill planes were made in droves and none of those would've been used up, as you say. I've never seen any reputable (intended for professional use) infill plane with a single iron and the early norris planes are painstakingly made so that the cap iron can be set all the way to the tip of the iron without causing feeding problems. If there had been some usefulness of single iron bench planes, there would be examples of wedged infills with them as they could've been made far more easily than a slotted iron and cap iron.

Messages In This Thread

Light vs Heavy planes
Re: Light vs Heavy planes
I like tools from Brooklyn
Re: I like tools from Brooklyn *NM*
Infills in the UK
I'm glad you commented.
Weight Comparison
more infill weights
Re: more infill weights
initial fitting...
one more follow-up comment.
Re: one more follow-up comment.
Re: rosewood
Re: more infill weights
now there is a pearl of wisdom
Re: I'm glad you commented.
what I've found...
Re: what I've found...
Re: Calling BS
Re: Calling BS
Re: Can't argue
Re: Calling BS
by the early 19th century
Re: by the early 19th century
It's not offered as ball court...
Re: It's not offered as ball court...
I'm guessing on parts here...
I miss Todd Hughes' contributions too *NM*
Re: Calling BS
Re: Calling BS
I think we're agreeing...
Re: I think we're agreeing...
Re: Me too
Wood isn't indefinitely stable, either
Re: Facts, not assertions
Re: Facts, not assertions
I haven't seen it....
Re: I haven't seen it....
Truing Kanna
expanding on what jim said
Re: expanding on what jim said
Re: expanding on what jim said
Coupla thoughts
different methods of lapping and the bump
Re: I haven't seen it....
Re: I haven't seen it....
Re: I haven't seen it....
interesting that...
Note on a modern infill
konrad's planes...
new vs. old planes...
Re: Light vs Heavy planes
Turnover, newbies and FAQ
comment on teaching
If you get my drift...
finding out who to listen to...
Re: finding out who to listen to...
Re: finding out who to listen to...
I agree...
Re: Same
Old history
Re: Misprint?
cultural thing...
Shops using mostly hand tools..
Re: Shops using mostly hand tools..
Don felder's guitar...
Re: Light vs Heavy planes
Not a positive contribution to the discussion
Re: Light vs Heavy planes
Inertia and figured wood
Re: Jim, what is Osae-gani? *NM*
Re: Osae-gani
Note on fitting
biases for the maker...
Re:wedge fitting
Re:wedge fitting
Re: funny...
At some point..
The experiment and conclusion are both confusing
Re: Heavy and light
another factor
If you're trimming furniture...
The best case for heavy planes...
Re: reframing the issue
Friction, and more
Re: reframing the issue
not the direction I went *PIC*
5 1/4
Re: Light vs Heavy planes
Re: Light vs Heavy planes
Re: Light vs Heavy planes
Re: Light vs Heavy planes
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