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Bevel up or bevel down ?

1756 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  RyanShervill
I purchased a new inexpensive Stanley #4 plane the other day. Reading the directions it said "NOTE: bevel side down". All the planes that I have been in contact with have been bevel side up. So what is the straight skinny on this subject? The way this plane is designed the blade could be installed either way. Once I cleaned the burrs off the edge and placed the blabe "bevel side down" and adjusted the cutting depth it seemed to do the job well enough.
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Most traditional planes (standard angle) are bevel down, with the cutting angle being determined solely by the plane bed. The newer planes (Such as those offered by Veritas…my personal favorites :) ) are offered in a bevel-up configuration. The advantage to the bevel up planes is that the effective presentation angle of the blade is determined not only by the bed angle, but the bevel grind angle as well. In short, with a single bevel-up bench plane, you can go from a 25 degree low-angle plane, to a 38 degree normal plane, to a 50 degree high-angle plane simply by switching blades. With a bevel down plane you are limited to whetever they set the bed angle at.

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