Reply by Bill_Steele

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Posted on New bench plane...doing something wrong

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733 posts in 2647 days

#1 posted 04-18-2019 03:55 PM

I would make sure the back of the plane iron (the first 1” from the cutting edge) is flat. Work that flat with all your stones—use a sharpie to gauge your progress.

To get rid of the tracks you want to camber the plane iron a little. I was never really successful doing this by hand—but I know it can be done. I have a Tormek now and that is how I apply the camber. Maybe you can slightly round the corners off the cutting edge—that may help lessen the tracks.

It sounds like the plane iron is not straight in the opening. I don’t think you should have the lateral adjustment all the way to one side. Maybe you can check to see if the frog is approximately square to the opening and check to make sure that you sharpened the blade so that the cutting edge is 90 degrees to the edge of the iron.

If you know that the projection you used will result in a 30 degree bevel then great! I saw something a while back where the person checked the angle using one of those Wixey angle guides—that seems like a good idea.
The micro bevel I apply is only 1 or 2 degrees more than the primary and only on the bevel side not the back side of the plane iron.

Make sure that the chip breaker is tight against the plane iron and very close to the cutting edge. I try to set mine no more than 1/32” away.

Try to adjust the frog so that the opening between the cutting edge and the sole of the plane is less. This is equivalent to an adjustable mouth mechanism.

I keep a chunk of paraffin close when I’m using a hand plane and frequently “wipe down” the bottom of the plane. It’s amazing how much easier it slides when waxed.

I always fine-tune the plane after sharpening and adjusting. Using a scrap of wood in the vise I try to plane the wood and I make adjustments until I am happy with the shaving: (1) plane iron projection from the sole of the plane (2) lateral adjustment to cut the full width of the plane iron (3) adjust the frog to close the mouth

When I can get a full width shaving thin enough to read through—I feel like I’m ready to use it on my work piece

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