Hand Tools

Subject:
Re: Followup Question from PPA

David Weaver
I was getting a little snippy with bill and you regarding this, and i'm sure we flex the plane a little bit. My point is just from experience and actually checking what causes problems and what doesn't, you cannot plane a board hollow or without ends falling away if you even have 2 thousandths of continuous hollow in a metal plane.

It's just a matter of what is. Supposing doesn't fit because there are all kinds of logical traps, just like there were for an engineer with a pallet furniture channel (no kidding, he was actually doing videos about pallet furniture, I'd guess hoping to catch on enough to sell plans) who supposed he could easily put the plane on two blocks of wood and measure more than 2 thousandths of flex. He could've pushed the center of the plane down a hundredth and if the plane was convex, he still would've gone to a piece of wood and planed the ends off. The thing he was lacking was sense to realize that you can't always guess your way through what will happen. But, he was making pallet furniture, so how would he know. Most of the issues I've had with people leaving comments without trying things have come from people who either worked as woodworkers (but never that much with planes) or engineers (who often believe that the rest of the society has no grasp on technical issues).

To actually measure a plane and then repeat what I tell people seems to be a bridge too far, and sometimes there's no opportunity. If it's the latter, it's generally better to defer to someone who generally provides proof of everything they say (I do).

If I had, perhaps, 5 total hollow planes out of 50 (i've had more than 50 metal planes, but don't know if it was 100), only one was visibly hollow (without a straight edge - you can see a hundredth of hollow in a plane sole), the rest show up in use. The average person who has ten planes may be exposed to one or two, cast off the plane and discard it.

Or make some stupid conclusion about the frog needing work or needing to buy a thicker blade and chipbreaker. I have addressed issues with exactly one frog out of all of those planes - a tiny booger of slag on one frog that was easily filed off. Someone used the frog with a dot of slag on enough to put significant wear on the plane, but I found it annoying because the iron teetered.

What drives me a little batty is 5 people will tell me they could plane a flat board with a plane like that. 5 years later one of the five will have come across a hollow plane and they'll return a comment like "you were right, I couldn't make a suitable edge joint with a plane that was a little hollow". What does it do for me? Nothing. I wasted my time the whole time. The only reason I have categorized what's a problem and what's not is because I make planes. Even if I'm making a metal plane for myself, I feel like there's no real benefit to making a plane and not spending 10% more time to do the little things that make it perform better than a plane I could buy, or at least as good.

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