Reply by tywalt

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Posted on New bench plane...doing something wrong

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107 posts in 1076 days

#1 posted 04-18-2019 07:41 PM

I’m with Smirak here in as polite a way as possible :) If your lateral adjustment is cranked all the way over, and the blade’s cutting edge is still not parallel with the plane sole, that would cause tracks. The internet has a way of blowing things out of proportion as people share their “opinions” of the best way to do things. A micro bevel and cambering the edges are fine… but PLEASE do not think that either of those is necessary. I use a handplane on every project and never use a micro bevel or camber any of my irons (with the exception of my scrub plane).

I would recommend checking your cutting edge is parallel with the sole first. Remove your iron from the plane, reset your lat adjustment lever to the center(ish) of the frog. Reinstall your iron and – by eye – get an even amount of daylight on either side of the blade so it is as centered as you can get it before you lock it down. It is easiest to do this with a light background underneath your plane so you can actually see the gaps. To check alignment, back your blade all the way back so it is not taking a shaving at all. Then take a thin piece of wood on either the left or right edge and progress your blade forward until it JUST starts to take a shaving. Then move that thin piece of wood to the opposite side of the blade and see if it is taking a deeper shaving or none at all. Use your lateral adjustment lever to adjust the blade until it is barely taking a shaving evenly from both sides of the blade’s cutting edge.

Regarding the finish you are getting. I’d be curious to know what kind of wood you are testing on. If your test piece has grain running in both directions it can cause “tear out” regardless of how sharp your cutting edge is. Most people liken this to petting a cat: you want to pet in the direction of the hair, not against… if your cat has a cowlick in it’s hair though, all bets are off! I’d recommend testing on a nice straight grain piece of wood before you give up!

Hopefully all that makes sense. Stick with it, hand planing a piece of wood is one of my favorite things in the world and is oddly satisfying once you get the hang of it. There is a bit of a learning curve.

-- Tyler - Central TX

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