Lowboy Build #4: planing the legs to size.

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Blog entry by JeremyPringle posted 02-08-2015 02:27 AM 4183 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: The things that must get done Part 4 of Lowboy Build series Part 5: gluing up the side panels »

Since getting the #7 tuned up and finally sharpening the blade for my jack plane I have spent quite a bit of time planning the legs. My max size is 2 15/16. I have to flatten one side, then square up an edge; then square up and dimension the other edge. From there I scribed the final thickness and started planning.

The #7 is pretty heavy, so I have been using the jack for most of the grunt work. I know this is a pretty boring operation and generally not one worth having an entry. But… I have a new smart phone and have been playing with the camera and video features. (I still prefer to take still photos with my Canon Rebel) I thought I would find something to post a video about and….

I was teaching a plane/chisel sharpening class the other night at my local LV store. One of the students finished sharpening a new plane blade and put it in the plane and started taking shavings. Even though he did a great job with the sharpening, I felt he was still trying too hard to push the plane. (it was set properly for a sub-thou shaving) I jumped in with my 5 cents (there are no pennies left here in Canada and the nickel is the lowest amount of money you can give someone) and told the class about…. Mutton tallow!!! (Some people use paraffin wax)

I decided to take a video of the before and after effects of using a lubricant on the sole of a plane…

View on YouTube

Hopefully you can see and hear the difference. If not I apologize. The difference is significant on the users end. If you have never used a lube on the sole of a plane I strongly suggest you try for yourself.

Now.. to ruffle some feathers… or wool in this case. The major reason why I use tallow and not wax..
I generally only use my smoothing plane for the final pass or two on a surface. I have it set to take ridiculously thin shavings, and when paraffin wax is first applied to the sole of the plane, I find the wax to be thicker than the shaving.. thus it takes a few swipes before the wax is spread enough to take a proper shaving. The tallow on the other hand applies much thinner and does not effect the shaving.

I also rub my planes down with tallow as I feel that prolonged use of the tallow protects the metal against rust. Of course I have no scientific evidence of this.. so this is up for debate.

Last in this post… if you do not follow Tom Fidgen, I highly recommend that you do. You can find his free content site at The Unplugged Woodshop, follow him on twitter, and if you like what you see, subscribe to his subscription site at An Unplugged Life.

Thanks for checking in!!

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