Reply by JayT

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Posted on Making Hand planes- what type of steel too use for sides and soles??

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6411 posts in 3057 days

#1 posted 12-28-2018 11:06 AM

You guys are a trying to approach woodworking from a machinist perspective. A surface grinder is not necessary to get a plane flat enough to work at an extremely high level. Using a surface grinder on an infilled plane would also cause a lot more problems than it solves with the coolant getting everywhere. Many, if not most, of the best plane makers out there do not use a surface grinder for that very reason.

With a very flat surface, some sandpaper and good technique, you can get a plane sole flat enough to produce see through shavings and reflective surfaces. My most recent plane build was flattened in this manner and I can take shavings that barely register on a caliper with half a thou resolution. If you don’t want to take my word and examples, Young Je, which the OP mentions, gets results without a surface grinder and for further proof, please check out Konrad Sauer’s work. He shows many of his process on Instagram and they don’t involve machinist’s equipment.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

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