Hand Tools

Re: Practical relevance of surface appearance

David Weaver
If you don't have a power jointer, sooner or later you'll end up planing pine knots to square up something. Well, unless you never use the wood.

As far as notching of irons, etc, what's not well understood is that it's not more efficient to just let the notches accumulate and ignore them. It halves or thirds what the plane removes and makes the material removal less even.

It also expedites your turn to the stones, so if you have an iron that's twice as wear resistant but notches twice as easy, it will probably only last about as long in use as the iron that's more notch resistant, but it'll take twice as long to sharpen and grind (or a reasonable fraction of two).

I may not have fully understood this without running two plane iron tests and actually weighing the shavings.

I'm sure there would be assertions that I'm just going for a favorite by putting carbon steel irons back in my metal jointers, but I'm not. I'm going for the easiest, least effort. The longevity wasn't there with V11 jointing rough boards and then rather than routine sharpening following, I had to stop and remove all of the nicking.

(it's fair to say that when folks usually talk about trying to build something nice and they're mentioning bulling through knots, I think "spend the money for better wood" as if you're dimensioning wood by hand or doing a lot of the work by hand, the lower level of effort for straight clean wood becomes immediately evident - but that wasn't a practical option for me for "dumpy bed" because the chance of being thrown away was about 50/50 (due to a sleep walking daughter).

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