Hand Tools Archive

I'm guessing on parts here...

David Weaver
..larry stated definitively (at least based on his statement) that the full width of an iron isn't usable and that the fingers of a double iron plane are a clog point and that a single iron plane well fitted will either not clog or generally clear its clog on the next shaving.

That part about the single iron planes is true. Sometimes they won't clear a clog in poor wood, but there's not much to put back together.

The statement about the fingers is actually not true. It is true on a plane that's poorly fitted with another plane's wedge, etc, or the off chance that a wedge is flatsawn and has shrunk (most are quartered or rift). I didn't set out to prove larry wrong on that rather experimented with a few planes to see where they would clog or not clog. When you first start planemaking, until you figure out the relationship of everything, you get some pretty planes but they clog and it's really annoying. I took my lumps figuring it all out (First finding the point where my first plane fed nicely, and then I made my second one - I'm still using it as my try plane. For some reason, the same wear angle and setup didn't work. I turned out to be due to the geometry of the cap iron (it's rounder - it didn't need more room for the cap iron, it needed a different wear angle. I was cautious about this as I didn't want a vertical wear - it's unsightly - not functionally problematic, but i'm trying to build a good plane.....

why am I trying to build a good plane? I couldn't tell you. Those are larry's arguments, not larry the guy down the street (I've never met larry, but I did get a few drive by shots from larry when I was advocating an inexpensive white steel japanese plane to someone. I didn't know larry, but he posted a picture of someone on the floor and demanded I go back to the stone age and work on the floor. That was probably 2007 or 2006. I was surprised, but he's enthusiastic and someone else may have set him off. It was on woodnet - apologies sometimes for having a good memory. I wish it was always the case).

At any rate, I wanted to learn how to make planes from larry, so I didn't care that much. When I asked him questions about floats or DVDs or when he was making a bench plane video, he mentioned that he shouldn't have been telling his life's work or providing the iron width details with the DVD - as I do, larry sometimes answered your question and 5 others. The idea of not sharing what you know is foreign to me, but that's a decision that everyone needs to make for themselves.

The relationship with the top of the cap iron, the side of the plane and the shape and end of the fingers is important, but it's not that much of a secret. I'd guessed if I could eliminate the ends of the fingers being away from the side of the plane (larry would need to do that), the overhang over the cap iron curve (larry probably wouldn't have that luxury on a single iron plane as there's no cap iron to extend the influence of the fingers) and trimmed the fingers so that shavings would get caught on them, I couldn't see where anything would get caught. I mentioned this to larry, but I don't recall him responding. I have to guess why larry couldn't figure this out:
1) he didn't want to
2) his customer was CW early on (I learned this later, not at the time I was challenging him on what he wrote), they wouldn't have allowed him to make double iron planes for them, and building your own cap irons is a challenge on something that's already fairly difficult to make profitably

Given what he went through with moulding planes and single iron bench planes, it's unlikely that he looked at this really hard and was never able to figure it out. After I chanced into those things (mentioned above) likely removing any pinch points in a plane, I kept buying good English planes and they were all made that way. In fact, it was shocking how nearly identically all were made. This would've been easily accessible to anyone willing to buy a dozen planes from England.

What strikes me is how firm larry was in denying these things - but never curious once they were brought up (at least outwardly). I would've been curious. I've gone back once in a while to use my single iron planes - not often. I think when I haven't used them for a while that maybe I will have learned something (neural) about planing and maybe it was me, but learn this quickly.

Guessing on the part about can't - I mentioned that I think it's unlikely (all of this is different than can't) that Larry had done a lot of dimensioning by hand or continued to. I don't know larry, so I have no idea if he can or can't. he makes moulding planes by hand on his video. I say it's unlikely not as a shot at larry - it's unlikely based on the arguments that he's made. I'm not sure if you've ever dimensioned a couple of hundred feet of wood in a year (this is always taken the wrong way - it's not a challenge, it's understanding context), but the point where the economy (And thus the comment about unlikely) becomes stark is in the middle of dimensioning a lot. I can't imagine more than 1 out of 10 people missing this.

When joel said earlier that he'd found (Sorry joel if this is butchering what you meant) that everything sort of gets to the same point and he'd used planes heavily, until he stated that the heavy dimensioning was for a couple of days, I was suspicious of the pattern of things.

I don't know Larry, you do. I believe that he's a pleasant guy if you're not talking about something he's drawn conclusions on and put his flag in the ground about. I'm focused on the bad advice, and you're focused on the fact that i'm attributing it to larry (it's not generalized, it's larry's advice). There's not a lot I can do about that - the group of people who have really gotten into the small bits on planes is too small to talk about many generalities.

There's another person who built a lot of these planes and had never really used a double iron correctly. George. I brought the same things up to George "how didn't anyone notice this?" and george pretty flatly said "if you say that's better, I have to believe you. We used single iron planes because we didn't have a choice, so I don't know anything about it". George is a nice guy, too, but I separate George is a nice guy and how good I've found his advice. One of the reasons we get along so well (I think) is because he knows I want his advice, I don't want him to worry about whether or not I'll see him as being friendly or not if he tells me I'm off the mark.

This isn't an online issue, either. I am not good in real life at "letting it slide" when someone (who I am friends with) says something incorrect and then asks for my consensus. I can't control how someone perceives that, but I can tell you that I wouldn't bring up larry if there were 10 sources. How can we tell that there's pretty much one?



it's hard to attribute the whole style to anyone else. Those are undeniably copies or near copies of larry's planes, not of English planes in general:

I think he should be proud of that and the folks making planes per his instructions without looking around and taking style cues from some other historically significant planes should be pretty happy that larry doesn't request that they come up with something of their own.

I guess a question at the end of this is how to you ponder what's likely or not likely or speculate on context to solve a question if the source is a single person?I know it can be done sacrificing precision, but as long as someone can be identified as providing the argument, another will make the connection and we get to the same point.

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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