Hand Tools

I re-read the articles on COE
Response To:
Patience ... ()

David Weaver
I do intend to see what the 62 will do in various woods (same plane size as the 5) vs. a BD plane with a different orientation.

I agree with your assessment in your article that if you can "Get under and behind" the plane, you can push it forward instead of pushing down. In fact, for anyone using a stanley plane, it's important to not get tired and start learning on the plane more.

But dimensioning on a high bench height is absolutely terrible and unworkable, and the handle orientation on old wooden planes (the rake of the handle and where it is in relation to the mouth) is extremely important. Your troubles with a wooden plane were due to a combination of things - an unsuitably high angle iron for a wooden bench plane, but more importantly, the bed angle allowed you to move the handle very close to the mouth and thus the mouth is far back (it needed to be further forward) and the only accommodation for it is to either remake the plane or try to change things.

All of these concessions make for a bad plane for heavy work because you're losing the supplemental downforce (which is what keeps the plane in the cut especially in early and middle work before the plane is in continuous wood - and this is where dullness shows up first - if the plane goes through a cut that's interrupted 6 times, then it has to enter the cut 6 times. If you lose the downforce, you've shortened the sharpening interval).

This moves us on to handle angle. I agree with your assessment in separate discussions where you show people who think their arm is at an angle with their arm nearly parallel or parallel to the bench. They're not doing what they think they're doing. It's a lot like golf - what you feel like you're doing and what you're doing are often different, so you can't rely on verbal instruction from someone about what they're doing without video evidence. But the top rotation of the handle keeps you from having to bear down with your front hand to dimension. Moving the mouth of a plane back (e.g., the veritas custom plane) spoils the feel of the plane, especially for dimensioning work or planing end grain panels, as does eliminating a rake of around 65 degrees or so. The rake is made that way on all of the older planes for a reason - it initiates contact with the web of the hand first (downward rotation) and the hold when the handle gets in the palm should be a little loose. In dimensioning, if you try to emphasize pressure on the low side of the handle, you will end up with a bruised palm. If you make the handle upright instead, and the bench isn't really high, then the wrist position is really unnatural and only if the plane is used for very light work will someone not walk away hurting. The option then goes back to modifying the handle, but all of the sudden, the center of gravity is low, and effort is high.

The body mechanics of a bench around 35 degrees vs. 42 are important - the latter is completely unsuitable for dimensioning where extension and upper bodyweight are used to push the plane at the end of the stroke. This can't be improved by removing the core force of leaning down into the stroke and replacing it with pushing forward. That's not how we generate power, and we're tippy if we think we'll ignore the core and just push the plane standing straight up. Boxers are a lot the same - when they are generating a power punch and not just a jab, the power comes from the shoulder and extension. punching with the shoulder requires a different stance, one that's lower and leaned forward. I saw mike tyson once explaining to people that you don't throw a punch with your fist, you throw it with your shoulder.

What I came to learn making planes is that the orientation of the wooden planes is optimal (the euro type) and straying form their layout causes efficiency problems. The LV setup with a high bench is OK for smoothing and if you handicap yourself from being able to lean forward and down, then it will seem more efficient to push the plane from a lower point, but the dilemma is created for no reason. If such a plane is used for anything other than light work and on a high bench, it fails to work well and leaves the plane pusher in pain (that's my personal experience from using the BU jack with a low cutting angle to trim a maple countertop - your hand wants to be on a handle around 65 degrees, but the handle is more upright, so the wrist resists....

if the work gets heavy, then the high bench is unsuitable, and this turns out to be not just heavy work, but also productive early smoothing work where you're taking 5 thousandths instead of 2. I don't think your case is made for most of the work we do, but it may be made in a situation where someone is using a high bench and that's what they want (because they don't do heavy work).

I tried both. I had an infill panel plane with a more upright handle at one point, too - intentionally. I thought if I could get behind it and push it forward, it would work better, but it lost its focus at the front of the plane without rotation and it felt like it always needed to be at the end of the hands to stay behind it - it just didn't work well for heavy work, which is what I wanted it for.

If there was some recoverable gain from the BU planes, I'd still have them.

The point about the stanley block plane is that if it weren't oriented the way it is, you wouldn't be able to keep it in the cut. The round cap is shaped to be half in the cut, half pushing forward. If body orientation is right, you can get a huge cut without issue. If you try to get behind it or past it, then the lever cap comes off.

I'm open to seeing what the LN is capable of - I know what typical thicknesses I get in various woods just from measuring them once in a great while (it's not part of regular work- you set the plane to feel and just go with it when dimensioning). Part of the response above is that with a range of shavings already taken (some in the pile on the video that I posted), I've covered about 1-4 thousandth. It's unlikely that tearout free planing of any kind will occur much thicker with any plane - the wood is just too dense, even before considering the handicap of the 62 degree effective bevel (which quickly exacerbates problems as soon as the shaving has appreciable bending strength).

Messages In This Thread

Creating a mini-ura with buffing wheel?
Re: Creating a mini-ura with buffing wheel?
Re: Creating a mini-ura with buffing wheel?
finger pressure...
Side sharpening
Re: Side sharpening
Re: Side sharpening
Ruler trick
in plane iron testing, I found two options..
Re: in plane iron testing, I found two options..
testing high angles..
side comment about planing in general..
I'll demonstrate thick sometime ..
Re: I'll demonstrate thick sometime ..
Re: I'll demonstrate thick sometime ..
Patience ...
I re-read the articles on COE
High benches and low benches
Re: High benches and low benches
This isn't a snarky response, by the way
Others who do ..
Re: Others who do ..
Re: Others who do ..
Re: Others who do ..
Where I am going....
by the way...
I risk offending a lot of people...
Re: Others who do ..
on the last bit...
One other case for effort...
Something precise.
Re: Initially flat
Rotary tool?
Re: Rotary tool?
Some context
Re: Some context
Re: Some context
A failed attempt *PIC*
Re: A failed attempt
Re: A failed attempt
this is a lie nielsen iron?
Stanley iron
Re: Stanley iron
Re: Stanley iron
Re: Stanley iron
Re: Stanley iron
That pretty much covers it...
Success with applying extra pressure near the edge *PIC*
Directed pressure and progressive work
Re: Success with applying extra pressure near the
Wear bevel *PIC*
Visual difference at the back edge of..
Re: Visual difference at the back edge of..
Sorry, I should've been more precise...
Mini-ura on a new Veritas blade *PIC*
Re: Mini-ura on a new Veritas blade
Re: Mini-ura on a new Veritas blade
Re: Mini-ura on a new Veritas blade
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