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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Chip Breakers & Cap Irons

Cap iron or chip breaker, blade or iron - Some folks write treatises about which term is "correct". I use the one that comes to mind, they mean the same thing.

Chip Breaker Function

The chip breaker adds mass to the blade and adds stiffness to the blade, and with the lever cap pushing down, seats breaker & blade flat on the frog, creating more blade stiffness (cap iron). A very important, but lesser known, function of the chip breaker is to create a force down the wood fibers as they curl up from the cutting edge, down into the wood before the edge cuts it, reducing tear out. A steep bevel, 0.020"-0.030" tall, at an angle of 70°-80° to the blade, will achieve this. Typically chip breakers will have a bevel of 30°-45°, which does not turn the chip abruptly enough to create sufficient force down the fiber to prevent tear out. This doesn't make a standard 45° bevel down plane equal to a high angle smoother, but it is a definite performance improvement. Always remember a sharp blade is the first step to reducing tear out.

Another method of tear out reduction is to put a relatively high angle bevel (10°-20°) for the blade back bevel (on top of the blade). This works very well, but I find it a real pain to create and maintain that type of back bevel due to the difficulty of honing off the wire edges.

The chip breaker needs to seat to the blade along a single line at the tip of the breaker to prevent chips from getting under the breaker. Also, the lever cap should contact the chip breaker across the entire width so that clamping force is equal. The chip breaker also "carries" the blade, allowing depth of cut adjustments.
.

Wood Office equipment Shotgun Metal Fashion accessory

.
.
.
Get The Most From The Chip Breaker

If you have not looked at the research done on cap irons by Kawai and Kato please do. Here is a link to their video (translated)
, and a link to a good explanation with pictures and diagrams by David Weaver: http://www.woodcentral.com/articles/test/articles_935.shtml I put a 70°-80° bevel on the front of the chip breaker. Aftermarket chip breakers can benefit from this as well as thinner factory Stanley or other brands.

I observed far more effect in tear out reduction from a steep chip breaker bevel than a tight plane mouth. In the video, notice Kawai and Kato did not have anything holding the wood fibers down ahead of the blade. Closing up the mouth just frustrated me with clogging. With a steep breaker bevel, the frog will have to be moved back to open up the mouth more than the standard "about chip thickness". Something else to help clogging is to file an angle at the top front of the mouth - see Dwg 1 below. I use a small file from below, angled as far forward as possible without hitting the stiffening beam running across the plane body. I file down about 1/2 the casting thickness.

The chip breaker set distance from the blade edge is important. I set the chip breaker from ~0.005" to ~0.100", depending on the cut depth and wood grain. For more of a jack plane cut, it's far back. For very fine smoothing in tough grain, it is set as close as possible, 0.004-0.005", and depth is 0.001" - tissue thin. Typically softwoods do not require as close of a setting as hardwoods. Because of the force generated by turning the chip so sharply, more force is required to push the plane. For very fine smoothing (0.001") it's not really noticeable, but once you get to 0.004"-0.005" thick shavings it is very noticeable.

Shavings generated with this set up vary depending on breaker set distance and depth of cut. They can be fairly straight, wavy or wrinkly, or accordion. Straight is best as long as it controls tear out. Keep moving the breaker closer to the edge to prevent tear out. The shavings will start to get wrinkly and wavy, and eventually take on an accordion look as the breaker is moved closer. The change in the chip is caused by the chip having to change direction more and more abruptly, increasing the force through the shaving. The accordion look is caused by total failure of the wood fibers. This is the same look shavings from my 63° high angle smoother have. Get a piece of wood with changing amounts grain angle and test different settings planing against the grain.

Dwg 1 below shows the various features discussed.
.
Dwg 1
.
Slope Font Triangle Parallel Diagram

. Illustration by Ellis Walentine
.
.
.
Below is a pic of the setup I use to create the high bevel on the chip breaker. Make sure front of the breaker above the new bevel is smooth and burr free. Some light sanding after creating the bevel can take care of issues.
.
Wood Asphalt Hardwood Flooring Rectangle

.
.
The bottom surface of the breaker that contacts the blade needs to be flattened at an angle that will create line contact with the iron and prevent chips being driven under the breaker ("negative rake"). It only takes the slightest angle. Mine are about 5°. Remember that the breaker gets pushed down and flattened out on the blade, using up some of the angle. Here is a pic:
.
Output device Analog television Wood Rectangle Cameras & optics

.
.
The bottom of the lever cap that contacts the chip breaker needs to be flat where the chip breaker contacts. The top of the chip breaker needs to be flat across its width where the lever cap contacts. A lot of the thin Stanley style chip breakers are not flat after stamping, and uneven pressure will be applied to the blade possibly allowing chips underneath even if the bottom of the chip breaker contacting the blade is flat. Also, poor mating of the lever cap to the CB can allow the blade to vibrate (light cuts). The surface does not have to be perfectly flat or smooth - a straight file and hand sanding works.
.
Wood Office equipment Shotgun Metal Fashion accessory
 

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Chip Breakers & Cap Irons

Cap iron or chip breaker, blade or iron - Some folks write treatises about which term is "correct". I use the one that comes to mind, they mean the same thing.

Chip Breaker Function

The chip breaker adds mass to the blade and adds stiffness to the blade, and with the lever cap pushing down, seats breaker & blade flat on the frog, creating more blade stiffness (cap iron). A very important, but lesser known, function of the chip breaker is to create a force down the wood fibers as they curl up from the cutting edge, down into the wood before the edge cuts it, reducing tear out. A steep bevel, 0.020"-0.030" tall, at an angle of 70°-80° to the blade, will achieve this. Typically chip breakers will have a bevel of 30°-45°, which does not turn the chip abruptly enough to create sufficient force down the fiber to prevent tear out. This doesn't make a standard 45° bevel down plane equal to a high angle smoother, but it is a definite performance improvement. Always remember a sharp blade is the first step to reducing tear out.

Another method of tear out reduction is to put a relatively high angle bevel (10°-20°) for the blade back bevel (on top of the blade). This works very well, but I find it a real pain to create and maintain that type of back bevel due to the difficulty of honing off the wire edges.

The chip breaker needs to seat to the blade along a single line at the tip of the breaker to prevent chips from getting under the breaker. Also, the lever cap should contact the chip breaker across the entire width so that clamping force is equal. The chip breaker also "carries" the blade, allowing depth of cut adjustments.
.

Wood Office equipment Shotgun Metal Fashion accessory

.
.
.
Get The Most From The Chip Breaker

If you have not looked at the research done on cap irons by Kawai and Kato please do. Here is a link to their video (translated)
, and a link to a good explanation with pictures and diagrams by David Weaver: http://www.woodcentral.com/articles/test/articles_935.shtml I put a 70°-80° bevel on the front of the chip breaker. Aftermarket chip breakers can benefit from this as well as thinner factory Stanley or other brands.

I observed far more effect in tear out reduction from a steep chip breaker bevel than a tight plane mouth. In the video, notice Kawai and Kato did not have anything holding the wood fibers down ahead of the blade. Closing up the mouth just frustrated me with clogging. With a steep breaker bevel, the frog will have to be moved back to open up the mouth more than the standard "about chip thickness". Something else to help clogging is to file an angle at the top front of the mouth - see Dwg 1 below. I use a small file from below, angled as far forward as possible without hitting the stiffening beam running across the plane body. I file down about 1/2 the casting thickness.

The chip breaker set distance from the blade edge is important. I set the chip breaker from ~0.005" to ~0.100", depending on the cut depth and wood grain. For more of a jack plane cut, it's far back. For very fine smoothing in tough grain, it is set as close as possible, 0.004-0.005", and depth is 0.001" - tissue thin. Typically softwoods do not require as close of a setting as hardwoods. Because of the force generated by turning the chip so sharply, more force is required to push the plane. For very fine smoothing (0.001") it's not really noticeable, but once you get to 0.004"-0.005" thick shavings it is very noticeable.

Shavings generated with this set up vary depending on breaker set distance and depth of cut. They can be fairly straight, wavy or wrinkly, or accordion. Straight is best as long as it controls tear out. Keep moving the breaker closer to the edge to prevent tear out. The shavings will start to get wrinkly and wavy, and eventually take on an accordion look as the breaker is moved closer. The change in the chip is caused by the chip having to change direction more and more abruptly, increasing the force through the shaving. The accordion look is caused by total failure of the wood fibers. This is the same look shavings from my 63° high angle smoother have. Get a piece of wood with changing amounts grain angle and test different settings planing against the grain.

Dwg 1 below shows the various features discussed.
.
Dwg 1
.
Slope Font Triangle Parallel Diagram

. Illustration by Ellis Walentine
.
.
.
Below is a pic of the setup I use to create the high bevel on the chip breaker. Make sure front of the breaker above the new bevel is smooth and burr free. Some light sanding after creating the bevel can take care of issues.
.
Wood Asphalt Hardwood Flooring Rectangle

.
.
The bottom surface of the breaker that contacts the blade needs to be flattened at an angle that will create line contact with the iron and prevent chips being driven under the breaker ("negative rake"). It only takes the slightest angle. Mine are about 5°. Remember that the breaker gets pushed down and flattened out on the blade, using up some of the angle. Here is a pic:
.
Output device Analog television Wood Rectangle Cameras & optics

.
.
The bottom of the lever cap that contacts the chip breaker needs to be flat where the chip breaker contacts. The top of the chip breaker needs to be flat across its width where the lever cap contacts. A lot of the thin Stanley style chip breakers are not flat after stamping, and uneven pressure will be applied to the blade possibly allowing chips underneath even if the bottom of the chip breaker contacting the blade is flat. Also, poor mating of the lever cap to the CB can allow the blade to vibrate (light cuts). The surface does not have to be perfectly flat or smooth - a straight file and hand sanding works.
.
Wood Office equipment Shotgun Metal Fashion accessory
You have a lot of information there my friend, but I can tell you we're never a professional joiner !

Three things I have observed since I first discovered woodworking forums on line (about five years ago)
1) cap IIrons are routinely called chip breakers (what's that about?)
2) grooves,gains and plows often referred to as dados , c'mon now
3) many actually call a cabinet component a gable,LOL

I think if your intention is to truly provide valuable information you may want to start with proper terminology
I see that as a little ironic, what with traveling that purist path using hand planes and all but not knowing the parts?!

enjoy Jb
 

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Chip Breakers & Cap Irons

Cap iron or chip breaker, blade or iron - Some folks write treatises about which term is "correct". I use the one that comes to mind, they mean the same thing.

Chip Breaker Function

The chip breaker adds mass to the blade and adds stiffness to the blade, and with the lever cap pushing down, seats breaker & blade flat on the frog, creating more blade stiffness (cap iron). A very important, but lesser known, function of the chip breaker is to create a force down the wood fibers as they curl up from the cutting edge, down into the wood before the edge cuts it, reducing tear out. A steep bevel, 0.020"-0.030" tall, at an angle of 70°-80° to the blade, will achieve this. Typically chip breakers will have a bevel of 30°-45°, which does not turn the chip abruptly enough to create sufficient force down the fiber to prevent tear out. This doesn't make a standard 45° bevel down plane equal to a high angle smoother, but it is a definite performance improvement. Always remember a sharp blade is the first step to reducing tear out.

Another method of tear out reduction is to put a relatively high angle bevel (10°-20°) for the blade back bevel (on top of the blade). This works very well, but I find it a real pain to create and maintain that type of back bevel due to the difficulty of honing off the wire edges.

The chip breaker needs to seat to the blade along a single line at the tip of the breaker to prevent chips from getting under the breaker. Also, the lever cap should contact the chip breaker across the entire width so that clamping force is equal. The chip breaker also "carries" the blade, allowing depth of cut adjustments.
.

Wood Office equipment Shotgun Metal Fashion accessory

.
.
.
Get The Most From The Chip Breaker

If you have not looked at the research done on cap irons by Kawai and Kato please do. Here is a link to their video (translated)
, and a link to a good explanation with pictures and diagrams by David Weaver: http://www.woodcentral.com/articles/test/articles_935.shtml I put a 70°-80° bevel on the front of the chip breaker. Aftermarket chip breakers can benefit from this as well as thinner factory Stanley or other brands.

I observed far more effect in tear out reduction from a steep chip breaker bevel than a tight plane mouth. In the video, notice Kawai and Kato did not have anything holding the wood fibers down ahead of the blade. Closing up the mouth just frustrated me with clogging. With a steep breaker bevel, the frog will have to be moved back to open up the mouth more than the standard "about chip thickness". Something else to help clogging is to file an angle at the top front of the mouth - see Dwg 1 below. I use a small file from below, angled as far forward as possible without hitting the stiffening beam running across the plane body. I file down about 1/2 the casting thickness.

The chip breaker set distance from the blade edge is important. I set the chip breaker from ~0.005" to ~0.100", depending on the cut depth and wood grain. For more of a jack plane cut, it's far back. For very fine smoothing in tough grain, it is set as close as possible, 0.004-0.005", and depth is 0.001" - tissue thin. Typically softwoods do not require as close of a setting as hardwoods. Because of the force generated by turning the chip so sharply, more force is required to push the plane. For very fine smoothing (0.001") it's not really noticeable, but once you get to 0.004"-0.005" thick shavings it is very noticeable.

Shavings generated with this set up vary depending on breaker set distance and depth of cut. They can be fairly straight, wavy or wrinkly, or accordion. Straight is best as long as it controls tear out. Keep moving the breaker closer to the edge to prevent tear out. The shavings will start to get wrinkly and wavy, and eventually take on an accordion look as the breaker is moved closer. The change in the chip is caused by the chip having to change direction more and more abruptly, increasing the force through the shaving. The accordion look is caused by total failure of the wood fibers. This is the same look shavings from my 63° high angle smoother have. Get a piece of wood with changing amounts grain angle and test different settings planing against the grain.

Dwg 1 below shows the various features discussed.
.
Dwg 1
.
Slope Font Triangle Parallel Diagram

. Illustration by Ellis Walentine
.
.
.
Below is a pic of the setup I use to create the high bevel on the chip breaker. Make sure front of the breaker above the new bevel is smooth and burr free. Some light sanding after creating the bevel can take care of issues.
.
Wood Asphalt Hardwood Flooring Rectangle

.
.
The bottom surface of the breaker that contacts the blade needs to be flattened at an angle that will create line contact with the iron and prevent chips being driven under the breaker ("negative rake"). It only takes the slightest angle. Mine are about 5°. Remember that the breaker gets pushed down and flattened out on the blade, using up some of the angle. Here is a pic:
.
Output device Analog television Wood Rectangle Cameras & optics

.
.
The bottom of the lever cap that contacts the chip breaker needs to be flat where the chip breaker contacts. The top of the chip breaker needs to be flat across its width where the lever cap contacts. A lot of the thin Stanley style chip breakers are not flat after stamping, and uneven pressure will be applied to the blade possibly allowing chips underneath even if the bottom of the chip breaker contacting the blade is flat. Also, poor mating of the lever cap to the CB can allow the blade to vibrate (light cuts). The surface does not have to be perfectly flat or smooth - a straight file and hand sanding works.
.
Wood Office equipment Shotgun Metal Fashion accessory
Depends where you are from…end gables is end gables, internal gables is internal gables. Things are different other places. I have noticed everything seems to get called dado on this site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Chip Breakers & Cap Irons

Cap iron or chip breaker, blade or iron - Some folks write treatises about which term is "correct". I use the one that comes to mind, they mean the same thing.

Chip Breaker Function

The chip breaker adds mass to the blade and adds stiffness to the blade, and with the lever cap pushing down, seats breaker & blade flat on the frog, creating more blade stiffness (cap iron). A very important, but lesser known, function of the chip breaker is to create a force down the wood fibers as they curl up from the cutting edge, down into the wood before the edge cuts it, reducing tear out. A steep bevel, 0.020"-0.030" tall, at an angle of 70°-80° to the blade, will achieve this. Typically chip breakers will have a bevel of 30°-45°, which does not turn the chip abruptly enough to create sufficient force down the fiber to prevent tear out. This doesn't make a standard 45° bevel down plane equal to a high angle smoother, but it is a definite performance improvement. Always remember a sharp blade is the first step to reducing tear out.

Another method of tear out reduction is to put a relatively high angle bevel (10°-20°) for the blade back bevel (on top of the blade). This works very well, but I find it a real pain to create and maintain that type of back bevel due to the difficulty of honing off the wire edges.

The chip breaker needs to seat to the blade along a single line at the tip of the breaker to prevent chips from getting under the breaker. Also, the lever cap should contact the chip breaker across the entire width so that clamping force is equal. The chip breaker also "carries" the blade, allowing depth of cut adjustments.
.

Wood Office equipment Shotgun Metal Fashion accessory

.
.
.
Get The Most From The Chip Breaker

If you have not looked at the research done on cap irons by Kawai and Kato please do. Here is a link to their video (translated)
, and a link to a good explanation with pictures and diagrams by David Weaver: http://www.woodcentral.com/articles/test/articles_935.shtml I put a 70°-80° bevel on the front of the chip breaker. Aftermarket chip breakers can benefit from this as well as thinner factory Stanley or other brands.

I observed far more effect in tear out reduction from a steep chip breaker bevel than a tight plane mouth. In the video, notice Kawai and Kato did not have anything holding the wood fibers down ahead of the blade. Closing up the mouth just frustrated me with clogging. With a steep breaker bevel, the frog will have to be moved back to open up the mouth more than the standard "about chip thickness". Something else to help clogging is to file an angle at the top front of the mouth - see Dwg 1 below. I use a small file from below, angled as far forward as possible without hitting the stiffening beam running across the plane body. I file down about 1/2 the casting thickness.

The chip breaker set distance from the blade edge is important. I set the chip breaker from ~0.005" to ~0.100", depending on the cut depth and wood grain. For more of a jack plane cut, it's far back. For very fine smoothing in tough grain, it is set as close as possible, 0.004-0.005", and depth is 0.001" - tissue thin. Typically softwoods do not require as close of a setting as hardwoods. Because of the force generated by turning the chip so sharply, more force is required to push the plane. For very fine smoothing (0.001") it's not really noticeable, but once you get to 0.004"-0.005" thick shavings it is very noticeable.

Shavings generated with this set up vary depending on breaker set distance and depth of cut. They can be fairly straight, wavy or wrinkly, or accordion. Straight is best as long as it controls tear out. Keep moving the breaker closer to the edge to prevent tear out. The shavings will start to get wrinkly and wavy, and eventually take on an accordion look as the breaker is moved closer. The change in the chip is caused by the chip having to change direction more and more abruptly, increasing the force through the shaving. The accordion look is caused by total failure of the wood fibers. This is the same look shavings from my 63° high angle smoother have. Get a piece of wood with changing amounts grain angle and test different settings planing against the grain.

Dwg 1 below shows the various features discussed.
.
Dwg 1
.
Slope Font Triangle Parallel Diagram

. Illustration by Ellis Walentine
.
.
.
Below is a pic of the setup I use to create the high bevel on the chip breaker. Make sure front of the breaker above the new bevel is smooth and burr free. Some light sanding after creating the bevel can take care of issues.
.
Wood Asphalt Hardwood Flooring Rectangle

.
.
The bottom surface of the breaker that contacts the blade needs to be flattened at an angle that will create line contact with the iron and prevent chips being driven under the breaker ("negative rake"). It only takes the slightest angle. Mine are about 5°. Remember that the breaker gets pushed down and flattened out on the blade, using up some of the angle. Here is a pic:
.
Output device Analog television Wood Rectangle Cameras & optics

.
.
The bottom of the lever cap that contacts the chip breaker needs to be flat where the chip breaker contacts. The top of the chip breaker needs to be flat across its width where the lever cap contacts. A lot of the thin Stanley style chip breakers are not flat after stamping, and uneven pressure will be applied to the blade possibly allowing chips underneath even if the bottom of the chip breaker contacting the blade is flat. Also, poor mating of the lever cap to the CB can allow the blade to vibrate (light cuts). The surface does not have to be perfectly flat or smooth - a straight file and hand sanding works.
.
Wood Office equipment Shotgun Metal Fashion accessory
Appears I've found two of the village idiots that exist in this community
 

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31 Posts
Chip Breakers & Cap Irons

Cap iron or chip breaker, blade or iron - Some folks write treatises about which term is "correct". I use the one that comes to mind, they mean the same thing.

Chip Breaker Function

The chip breaker adds mass to the blade and adds stiffness to the blade, and with the lever cap pushing down, seats breaker & blade flat on the frog, creating more blade stiffness (cap iron). A very important, but lesser known, function of the chip breaker is to create a force down the wood fibers as they curl up from the cutting edge, down into the wood before the edge cuts it, reducing tear out. A steep bevel, 0.020"-0.030" tall, at an angle of 70°-80° to the blade, will achieve this. Typically chip breakers will have a bevel of 30°-45°, which does not turn the chip abruptly enough to create sufficient force down the fiber to prevent tear out. This doesn't make a standard 45° bevel down plane equal to a high angle smoother, but it is a definite performance improvement. Always remember a sharp blade is the first step to reducing tear out.

Another method of tear out reduction is to put a relatively high angle bevel (10°-20°) for the blade back bevel (on top of the blade). This works very well, but I find it a real pain to create and maintain that type of back bevel due to the difficulty of honing off the wire edges.

The chip breaker needs to seat to the blade along a single line at the tip of the breaker to prevent chips from getting under the breaker. Also, the lever cap should contact the chip breaker across the entire width so that clamping force is equal. The chip breaker also "carries" the blade, allowing depth of cut adjustments.
.

Wood Office equipment Shotgun Metal Fashion accessory

.
.
.
Get The Most From The Chip Breaker

If you have not looked at the research done on cap irons by Kawai and Kato please do. Here is a link to their video (translated)
, and a link to a good explanation with pictures and diagrams by David Weaver: http://www.woodcentral.com/articles/test/articles_935.shtml I put a 70°-80° bevel on the front of the chip breaker. Aftermarket chip breakers can benefit from this as well as thinner factory Stanley or other brands.

I observed far more effect in tear out reduction from a steep chip breaker bevel than a tight plane mouth. In the video, notice Kawai and Kato did not have anything holding the wood fibers down ahead of the blade. Closing up the mouth just frustrated me with clogging. With a steep breaker bevel, the frog will have to be moved back to open up the mouth more than the standard "about chip thickness". Something else to help clogging is to file an angle at the top front of the mouth - see Dwg 1 below. I use a small file from below, angled as far forward as possible without hitting the stiffening beam running across the plane body. I file down about 1/2 the casting thickness.

The chip breaker set distance from the blade edge is important. I set the chip breaker from ~0.005" to ~0.100", depending on the cut depth and wood grain. For more of a jack plane cut, it's far back. For very fine smoothing in tough grain, it is set as close as possible, 0.004-0.005", and depth is 0.001" - tissue thin. Typically softwoods do not require as close of a setting as hardwoods. Because of the force generated by turning the chip so sharply, more force is required to push the plane. For very fine smoothing (0.001") it's not really noticeable, but once you get to 0.004"-0.005" thick shavings it is very noticeable.

Shavings generated with this set up vary depending on breaker set distance and depth of cut. They can be fairly straight, wavy or wrinkly, or accordion. Straight is best as long as it controls tear out. Keep moving the breaker closer to the edge to prevent tear out. The shavings will start to get wrinkly and wavy, and eventually take on an accordion look as the breaker is moved closer. The change in the chip is caused by the chip having to change direction more and more abruptly, increasing the force through the shaving. The accordion look is caused by total failure of the wood fibers. This is the same look shavings from my 63° high angle smoother have. Get a piece of wood with changing amounts grain angle and test different settings planing against the grain.

Dwg 1 below shows the various features discussed.
.
Dwg 1
.
Slope Font Triangle Parallel Diagram

. Illustration by Ellis Walentine
.
.
.
Below is a pic of the setup I use to create the high bevel on the chip breaker. Make sure front of the breaker above the new bevel is smooth and burr free. Some light sanding after creating the bevel can take care of issues.
.
Wood Asphalt Hardwood Flooring Rectangle

.
.
The bottom surface of the breaker that contacts the blade needs to be flattened at an angle that will create line contact with the iron and prevent chips being driven under the breaker ("negative rake"). It only takes the slightest angle. Mine are about 5°. Remember that the breaker gets pushed down and flattened out on the blade, using up some of the angle. Here is a pic:
.
Output device Analog television Wood Rectangle Cameras & optics

.
.
The bottom of the lever cap that contacts the chip breaker needs to be flat where the chip breaker contacts. The top of the chip breaker needs to be flat across its width where the lever cap contacts. A lot of the thin Stanley style chip breakers are not flat after stamping, and uneven pressure will be applied to the blade possibly allowing chips underneath even if the bottom of the chip breaker contacting the blade is flat. Also, poor mating of the lever cap to the CB can allow the blade to vibrate (light cuts). The surface does not have to be perfectly flat or smooth - a straight file and hand sanding works.
.
Wood Office equipment Shotgun Metal Fashion accessory
Nitpicking aside, I enjoyed your article. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Chip Breakers & Cap Irons

Cap iron or chip breaker, blade or iron - Some folks write treatises about which term is "correct". I use the one that comes to mind, they mean the same thing.

Chip Breaker Function

The chip breaker adds mass to the blade and adds stiffness to the blade, and with the lever cap pushing down, seats breaker & blade flat on the frog, creating more blade stiffness (cap iron). A very important, but lesser known, function of the chip breaker is to create a force down the wood fibers as they curl up from the cutting edge, down into the wood before the edge cuts it, reducing tear out. A steep bevel, 0.020"-0.030" tall, at an angle of 70°-80° to the blade, will achieve this. Typically chip breakers will have a bevel of 30°-45°, which does not turn the chip abruptly enough to create sufficient force down the fiber to prevent tear out. This doesn't make a standard 45° bevel down plane equal to a high angle smoother, but it is a definite performance improvement. Always remember a sharp blade is the first step to reducing tear out.

Another method of tear out reduction is to put a relatively high angle bevel (10°-20°) for the blade back bevel (on top of the blade). This works very well, but I find it a real pain to create and maintain that type of back bevel due to the difficulty of honing off the wire edges.

The chip breaker needs to seat to the blade along a single line at the tip of the breaker to prevent chips from getting under the breaker. Also, the lever cap should contact the chip breaker across the entire width so that clamping force is equal. The chip breaker also "carries" the blade, allowing depth of cut adjustments.
.

Wood Office equipment Shotgun Metal Fashion accessory

.
.
.
Get The Most From The Chip Breaker

If you have not looked at the research done on cap irons by Kawai and Kato please do. Here is a link to their video (translated)
, and a link to a good explanation with pictures and diagrams by David Weaver: http://www.woodcentral.com/articles/test/articles_935.shtml I put a 70°-80° bevel on the front of the chip breaker. Aftermarket chip breakers can benefit from this as well as thinner factory Stanley or other brands.

I observed far more effect in tear out reduction from a steep chip breaker bevel than a tight plane mouth. In the video, notice Kawai and Kato did not have anything holding the wood fibers down ahead of the blade. Closing up the mouth just frustrated me with clogging. With a steep breaker bevel, the frog will have to be moved back to open up the mouth more than the standard "about chip thickness". Something else to help clogging is to file an angle at the top front of the mouth - see Dwg 1 below. I use a small file from below, angled as far forward as possible without hitting the stiffening beam running across the plane body. I file down about 1/2 the casting thickness.

The chip breaker set distance from the blade edge is important. I set the chip breaker from ~0.005" to ~0.100", depending on the cut depth and wood grain. For more of a jack plane cut, it's far back. For very fine smoothing in tough grain, it is set as close as possible, 0.004-0.005", and depth is 0.001" - tissue thin. Typically softwoods do not require as close of a setting as hardwoods. Because of the force generated by turning the chip so sharply, more force is required to push the plane. For very fine smoothing (0.001") it's not really noticeable, but once you get to 0.004"-0.005" thick shavings it is very noticeable.

Shavings generated with this set up vary depending on breaker set distance and depth of cut. They can be fairly straight, wavy or wrinkly, or accordion. Straight is best as long as it controls tear out. Keep moving the breaker closer to the edge to prevent tear out. The shavings will start to get wrinkly and wavy, and eventually take on an accordion look as the breaker is moved closer. The change in the chip is caused by the chip having to change direction more and more abruptly, increasing the force through the shaving. The accordion look is caused by total failure of the wood fibers. This is the same look shavings from my 63° high angle smoother have. Get a piece of wood with changing amounts grain angle and test different settings planing against the grain.

Dwg 1 below shows the various features discussed.
.
Dwg 1
.
Slope Font Triangle Parallel Diagram

. Illustration by Ellis Walentine
.
.
.
Below is a pic of the setup I use to create the high bevel on the chip breaker. Make sure front of the breaker above the new bevel is smooth and burr free. Some light sanding after creating the bevel can take care of issues.
.
Wood Asphalt Hardwood Flooring Rectangle

.
.
The bottom surface of the breaker that contacts the blade needs to be flattened at an angle that will create line contact with the iron and prevent chips being driven under the breaker ("negative rake"). It only takes the slightest angle. Mine are about 5°. Remember that the breaker gets pushed down and flattened out on the blade, using up some of the angle. Here is a pic:
.
Output device Analog television Wood Rectangle Cameras & optics

.
.
The bottom of the lever cap that contacts the chip breaker needs to be flat where the chip breaker contacts. The top of the chip breaker needs to be flat across its width where the lever cap contacts. A lot of the thin Stanley style chip breakers are not flat after stamping, and uneven pressure will be applied to the blade possibly allowing chips underneath even if the bottom of the chip breaker contacting the blade is flat. Also, poor mating of the lever cap to the CB can allow the blade to vibrate (light cuts). The surface does not have to be perfectly flat or smooth - a straight file and hand sanding works.
.
Wood Office equipment Shotgun Metal Fashion accessory
If it's something of substance I don't mind at all - I'm always open to other thoughts & ideas.
 

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Registered
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7,447 Posts
Chip Breakers & Cap Irons

Cap iron or chip breaker, blade or iron - Some folks write treatises about which term is "correct". I use the one that comes to mind, they mean the same thing.

Chip Breaker Function

The chip breaker adds mass to the blade and adds stiffness to the blade, and with the lever cap pushing down, seats breaker & blade flat on the frog, creating more blade stiffness (cap iron). A very important, but lesser known, function of the chip breaker is to create a force down the wood fibers as they curl up from the cutting edge, down into the wood before the edge cuts it, reducing tear out. A steep bevel, 0.020"-0.030" tall, at an angle of 70°-80° to the blade, will achieve this. Typically chip breakers will have a bevel of 30°-45°, which does not turn the chip abruptly enough to create sufficient force down the fiber to prevent tear out. This doesn't make a standard 45° bevel down plane equal to a high angle smoother, but it is a definite performance improvement. Always remember a sharp blade is the first step to reducing tear out.

Another method of tear out reduction is to put a relatively high angle bevel (10°-20°) for the blade back bevel (on top of the blade). This works very well, but I find it a real pain to create and maintain that type of back bevel due to the difficulty of honing off the wire edges.

The chip breaker needs to seat to the blade along a single line at the tip of the breaker to prevent chips from getting under the breaker. Also, the lever cap should contact the chip breaker across the entire width so that clamping force is equal. The chip breaker also "carries" the blade, allowing depth of cut adjustments.
.

Wood Office equipment Shotgun Metal Fashion accessory

.
.
.
Get The Most From The Chip Breaker

If you have not looked at the research done on cap irons by Kawai and Kato please do. Here is a link to their video (translated)
, and a link to a good explanation with pictures and diagrams by David Weaver: http://www.woodcentral.com/articles/test/articles_935.shtml I put a 70°-80° bevel on the front of the chip breaker. Aftermarket chip breakers can benefit from this as well as thinner factory Stanley or other brands.

I observed far more effect in tear out reduction from a steep chip breaker bevel than a tight plane mouth. In the video, notice Kawai and Kato did not have anything holding the wood fibers down ahead of the blade. Closing up the mouth just frustrated me with clogging. With a steep breaker bevel, the frog will have to be moved back to open up the mouth more than the standard "about chip thickness". Something else to help clogging is to file an angle at the top front of the mouth - see Dwg 1 below. I use a small file from below, angled as far forward as possible without hitting the stiffening beam running across the plane body. I file down about 1/2 the casting thickness.

The chip breaker set distance from the blade edge is important. I set the chip breaker from ~0.005" to ~0.100", depending on the cut depth and wood grain. For more of a jack plane cut, it's far back. For very fine smoothing in tough grain, it is set as close as possible, 0.004-0.005", and depth is 0.001" - tissue thin. Typically softwoods do not require as close of a setting as hardwoods. Because of the force generated by turning the chip so sharply, more force is required to push the plane. For very fine smoothing (0.001") it's not really noticeable, but once you get to 0.004"-0.005" thick shavings it is very noticeable.

Shavings generated with this set up vary depending on breaker set distance and depth of cut. They can be fairly straight, wavy or wrinkly, or accordion. Straight is best as long as it controls tear out. Keep moving the breaker closer to the edge to prevent tear out. The shavings will start to get wrinkly and wavy, and eventually take on an accordion look as the breaker is moved closer. The change in the chip is caused by the chip having to change direction more and more abruptly, increasing the force through the shaving. The accordion look is caused by total failure of the wood fibers. This is the same look shavings from my 63° high angle smoother have. Get a piece of wood with changing amounts grain angle and test different settings planing against the grain.

Dwg 1 below shows the various features discussed.
.
Dwg 1
.
Slope Font Triangle Parallel Diagram

. Illustration by Ellis Walentine
.
.
.
Below is a pic of the setup I use to create the high bevel on the chip breaker. Make sure front of the breaker above the new bevel is smooth and burr free. Some light sanding after creating the bevel can take care of issues.
.
Wood Asphalt Hardwood Flooring Rectangle

.
.
The bottom surface of the breaker that contacts the blade needs to be flattened at an angle that will create line contact with the iron and prevent chips being driven under the breaker ("negative rake"). It only takes the slightest angle. Mine are about 5°. Remember that the breaker gets pushed down and flattened out on the blade, using up some of the angle. Here is a pic:
.
Output device Analog television Wood Rectangle Cameras & optics

.
.
The bottom of the lever cap that contacts the chip breaker needs to be flat where the chip breaker contacts. The top of the chip breaker needs to be flat across its width where the lever cap contacts. A lot of the thin Stanley style chip breakers are not flat after stamping, and uneven pressure will be applied to the blade possibly allowing chips underneath even if the bottom of the chip breaker contacting the blade is flat. Also, poor mating of the lever cap to the CB can allow the blade to vibrate (light cuts). The surface does not have to be perfectly flat or smooth - a straight file and hand sanding works.
.
Wood Office equipment Shotgun Metal Fashion accessory
Shavings were getting caught between the chip breaker and blade and I worked the chip breaker on the Atoma stone
and got it to work but then messed it up so I checked out OSU55s' fine blog and fixed it. So….......

Thank you OSU55 .!!!

To get to the 5 degrees I used painters masking tape reassembled everything and now I'm making shavings instead of removing debris from the blade and chip breaker. 2 cool
Wood Rectangle Gadget Flooring Gas


Plane Smoothing plane Scrub plane Hand tool Block plane
 

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746 Posts
Chip Breakers & Cap Irons

Cap iron or chip breaker, blade or iron - Some folks write treatises about which term is "correct". I use the one that comes to mind, they mean the same thing.

Chip Breaker Function

The chip breaker adds mass to the blade and adds stiffness to the blade, and with the lever cap pushing down, seats breaker & blade flat on the frog, creating more blade stiffness (cap iron). A very important, but lesser known, function of the chip breaker is to create a force down the wood fibers as they curl up from the cutting edge, down into the wood before the edge cuts it, reducing tear out. A steep bevel, 0.020"-0.030" tall, at an angle of 70°-80° to the blade, will achieve this. Typically chip breakers will have a bevel of 30°-45°, which does not turn the chip abruptly enough to create sufficient force down the fiber to prevent tear out. This doesn't make a standard 45° bevel down plane equal to a high angle smoother, but it is a definite performance improvement. Always remember a sharp blade is the first step to reducing tear out.

Another method of tear out reduction is to put a relatively high angle bevel (10°-20°) for the blade back bevel (on top of the blade). This works very well, but I find it a real pain to create and maintain that type of back bevel due to the difficulty of honing off the wire edges.

The chip breaker needs to seat to the blade along a single line at the tip of the breaker to prevent chips from getting under the breaker. Also, the lever cap should contact the chip breaker across the entire width so that clamping force is equal. The chip breaker also "carries" the blade, allowing depth of cut adjustments.
.

Wood Office equipment Shotgun Metal Fashion accessory

.
.
.
Get The Most From The Chip Breaker

If you have not looked at the research done on cap irons by Kawai and Kato please do. Here is a link to their video (translated)
, and a link to a good explanation with pictures and diagrams by David Weaver: http://www.woodcentral.com/articles/test/articles_935.shtml I put a 70°-80° bevel on the front of the chip breaker. Aftermarket chip breakers can benefit from this as well as thinner factory Stanley or other brands.

I observed far more effect in tear out reduction from a steep chip breaker bevel than a tight plane mouth. In the video, notice Kawai and Kato did not have anything holding the wood fibers down ahead of the blade. Closing up the mouth just frustrated me with clogging. With a steep breaker bevel, the frog will have to be moved back to open up the mouth more than the standard "about chip thickness". Something else to help clogging is to file an angle at the top front of the mouth - see Dwg 1 below. I use a small file from below, angled as far forward as possible without hitting the stiffening beam running across the plane body. I file down about 1/2 the casting thickness.

The chip breaker set distance from the blade edge is important. I set the chip breaker from ~0.005" to ~0.100", depending on the cut depth and wood grain. For more of a jack plane cut, it's far back. For very fine smoothing in tough grain, it is set as close as possible, 0.004-0.005", and depth is 0.001" - tissue thin. Typically softwoods do not require as close of a setting as hardwoods. Because of the force generated by turning the chip so sharply, more force is required to push the plane. For very fine smoothing (0.001") it's not really noticeable, but once you get to 0.004"-0.005" thick shavings it is very noticeable.

Shavings generated with this set up vary depending on breaker set distance and depth of cut. They can be fairly straight, wavy or wrinkly, or accordion. Straight is best as long as it controls tear out. Keep moving the breaker closer to the edge to prevent tear out. The shavings will start to get wrinkly and wavy, and eventually take on an accordion look as the breaker is moved closer. The change in the chip is caused by the chip having to change direction more and more abruptly, increasing the force through the shaving. The accordion look is caused by total failure of the wood fibers. This is the same look shavings from my 63° high angle smoother have. Get a piece of wood with changing amounts grain angle and test different settings planing against the grain.

Dwg 1 below shows the various features discussed.
.
Dwg 1
.
Slope Font Triangle Parallel Diagram

. Illustration by Ellis Walentine
.
.
.
Below is a pic of the setup I use to create the high bevel on the chip breaker. Make sure front of the breaker above the new bevel is smooth and burr free. Some light sanding after creating the bevel can take care of issues.
.
Wood Asphalt Hardwood Flooring Rectangle

.
.
The bottom surface of the breaker that contacts the blade needs to be flattened at an angle that will create line contact with the iron and prevent chips being driven under the breaker ("negative rake"). It only takes the slightest angle. Mine are about 5°. Remember that the breaker gets pushed down and flattened out on the blade, using up some of the angle. Here is a pic:
.
Output device Analog television Wood Rectangle Cameras & optics

.
.
The bottom of the lever cap that contacts the chip breaker needs to be flat where the chip breaker contacts. The top of the chip breaker needs to be flat across its width where the lever cap contacts. A lot of the thin Stanley style chip breakers are not flat after stamping, and uneven pressure will be applied to the blade possibly allowing chips underneath even if the bottom of the chip breaker contacting the blade is flat. Also, poor mating of the lever cap to the CB can allow the blade to vibrate (light cuts). The surface does not have to be perfectly flat or smooth - a straight file and hand sanding works.
.
Wood Office equipment Shotgun Metal Fashion accessory
I never would have thought of this on my own.
I'm getting ready to restore a couple of old Stanley Bailey No 5's. This is great information to have.
Thank you very much!
 

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7 Posts
Chip Breakers & Cap Irons

Cap iron or chip breaker, blade or iron - Some folks write treatises about which term is "correct". I use the one that comes to mind, they mean the same thing.

Chip Breaker Function

The chip breaker adds mass to the blade and adds stiffness to the blade, and with the lever cap pushing down, seats breaker & blade flat on the frog, creating more blade stiffness (cap iron). A very important, but lesser known, function of the chip breaker is to create a force down the wood fibers as they curl up from the cutting edge, down into the wood before the edge cuts it, reducing tear out. A steep bevel, 0.020"-0.030" tall, at an angle of 70°-80° to the blade, will achieve this. Typically chip breakers will have a bevel of 30°-45°, which does not turn the chip abruptly enough to create sufficient force down the fiber to prevent tear out. This doesn't make a standard 45° bevel down plane equal to a high angle smoother, but it is a definite performance improvement. Always remember a sharp blade is the first step to reducing tear out.

Another method of tear out reduction is to put a relatively high angle bevel (10°-20°) for the blade back bevel (on top of the blade). This works very well, but I find it a real pain to create and maintain that type of back bevel due to the difficulty of honing off the wire edges.

The chip breaker needs to seat to the blade along a single line at the tip of the breaker to prevent chips from getting under the breaker. Also, the lever cap should contact the chip breaker across the entire width so that clamping force is equal. The chip breaker also "carries" the blade, allowing depth of cut adjustments.
.

Wood Office equipment Shotgun Metal Fashion accessory

.
.
.
Get The Most From The Chip Breaker

If you have not looked at the research done on cap irons by Kawai and Kato please do. Here is a link to their video (translated)
, and a link to a good explanation with pictures and diagrams by David Weaver: http://www.woodcentral.com/articles/test/articles_935.shtml I put a 70°-80° bevel on the front of the chip breaker. Aftermarket chip breakers can benefit from this as well as thinner factory Stanley or other brands.

I observed far more effect in tear out reduction from a steep chip breaker bevel than a tight plane mouth. In the video, notice Kawai and Kato did not have anything holding the wood fibers down ahead of the blade. Closing up the mouth just frustrated me with clogging. With a steep breaker bevel, the frog will have to be moved back to open up the mouth more than the standard "about chip thickness". Something else to help clogging is to file an angle at the top front of the mouth - see Dwg 1 below. I use a small file from below, angled as far forward as possible without hitting the stiffening beam running across the plane body. I file down about 1/2 the casting thickness.

The chip breaker set distance from the blade edge is important. I set the chip breaker from ~0.005" to ~0.100", depending on the cut depth and wood grain. For more of a jack plane cut, it's far back. For very fine smoothing in tough grain, it is set as close as possible, 0.004-0.005", and depth is 0.001" - tissue thin. Typically softwoods do not require as close of a setting as hardwoods. Because of the force generated by turning the chip so sharply, more force is required to push the plane. For very fine smoothing (0.001") it's not really noticeable, but once you get to 0.004"-0.005" thick shavings it is very noticeable.

Shavings generated with this set up vary depending on breaker set distance and depth of cut. They can be fairly straight, wavy or wrinkly, or accordion. Straight is best as long as it controls tear out. Keep moving the breaker closer to the edge to prevent tear out. The shavings will start to get wrinkly and wavy, and eventually take on an accordion look as the breaker is moved closer. The change in the chip is caused by the chip having to change direction more and more abruptly, increasing the force through the shaving. The accordion look is caused by total failure of the wood fibers. This is the same look shavings from my 63° high angle smoother have. Get a piece of wood with changing amounts grain angle and test different settings planing against the grain.

Dwg 1 below shows the various features discussed.
.
Dwg 1
.
Slope Font Triangle Parallel Diagram

. Illustration by Ellis Walentine
.
.
.
Below is a pic of the setup I use to create the high bevel on the chip breaker. Make sure front of the breaker above the new bevel is smooth and burr free. Some light sanding after creating the bevel can take care of issues.
.
Wood Asphalt Hardwood Flooring Rectangle

.
.
The bottom surface of the breaker that contacts the blade needs to be flattened at an angle that will create line contact with the iron and prevent chips being driven under the breaker ("negative rake"). It only takes the slightest angle. Mine are about 5°. Remember that the breaker gets pushed down and flattened out on the blade, using up some of the angle. Here is a pic:
.
Output device Analog television Wood Rectangle Cameras & optics

.
.
The bottom of the lever cap that contacts the chip breaker needs to be flat where the chip breaker contacts. The top of the chip breaker needs to be flat across its width where the lever cap contacts. A lot of the thin Stanley style chip breakers are not flat after stamping, and uneven pressure will be applied to the blade possibly allowing chips underneath even if the bottom of the chip breaker contacting the blade is flat. Also, poor mating of the lever cap to the CB can allow the blade to vibrate (light cuts). The surface does not have to be perfectly flat or smooth - a straight file and hand sanding works.
.
Wood Office equipment Shotgun Metal Fashion accessory
Awesome video on the chipbreaker influence on a plane and preventing tearout.
This is the one mentioned in the writeup but with a current link.
Also, another web site with a lot of chipbreaker information is
http://planetuning.infillplane.com/index.html
 

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3,050 Posts
Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Frog / Lever Cap

The lever cap, chip breaker, blade, frog, and main casting all need to be held together well to act more or less as a single mass. Major sources of chatter are the frog not seated to the bed well, and the blade not seated on the frog well:
.
. • The blade needs to seat flat against the lower 1/3rd of the frog
. • The frog needs to seat well into the main bed
. • The chip breaker needs to seat well to the blade
. • The lever cap needs to seat well to the top of the chip breaker
.
Wood Office equipment Shotgun Metal Fashion accessory

.
Frog
.
It is not difficult to get the lower 1/3rd of the frog very flat, so strive for 90% contact. I use a file initially, stroking in all directions to create a flatter surface. I then use sandpaper on glass to flatten and smooth further. In the pictures below I've used red layout fluid to enhance contrast. Magic marker works well too.
.
Here is the blade seating area with just a few file passes. The center portion of the frog is high.
Wood Red Art Font Artifact

.
.
Blade seating area after file work. Notice the top of the seating are is untouched. Only the lower 1/3 needs to be flat. In this case, a good 90% of the whole surface is flat - it just worked out that way.
Wood Artifact Font Art Metal

.
.
Blade seating area after a few passes on P120 sandpaper on glass. Picture is a bit fuzzy, but all is very flat and smooth now.
Black Wood Headgear Artifact Art


The better the frog seats into the plane bed the better to resist vibration and distortion when tightening everything up and in use. Below is a picture of the frog bottom at the start. I rubbed the frog on the plane bed support points. The small areas of contact show up faintly in the picture.
White Light Black Rectangle Bumper

.
Here they are after a few minutes work with a file
Material property Art Wood Gas Auto part

.
.
To get the best frog seating, the frog should be lapped to the bed. I use automotive valve grinding compound, available for ~$4 at parts stores. Just place some on the pad areas and move the frog around over the areas. It only takes a few minutes to get the parts lapped together. All the pad surfaces were covered with layout fluid before lapping. The frog is upside down at the bottom of the picture.
Gas Wood Machine Carmine Audio equipment

.
.
Lever Cap
.
It's debatable how much flattening the seating area of the lever cap helps, but it certainly doesn't hurt and is quick and easy to do. If you have dressed the top and bottom of the chip breaker as described previously, and have issues with chips getting under the chip breaker or maybe some vibration, this is worth trying. Here is a cap with a few light file passes. You can see there's not much contact.
Brown Wood Artifact Tints and shades Art

.
.
Here is the same cap after a few minutes work with a file and a few passes on P120 sandpaper.
Wood Sculpture Artifact Art Rectangle

.
.
If you follow the performance tuning tips presented through this blog, you will be able to get just about any old plane to work pretty well. Make sure nothing is cracked and no bolt holes are stripped. Thanks for taking the time to read this series, and good luck!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,447 Posts
Frog / Lever Cap

The lever cap, chip breaker, blade, frog, and main casting all need to be held together well to act more or less as a single mass. Major sources of chatter are the frog not seated to the bed well, and the blade not seated on the frog well:
.
. • The blade needs to seat flat against the lower 1/3rd of the frog
. • The frog needs to seat well into the main bed
. • The chip breaker needs to seat well to the blade
. • The lever cap needs to seat well to the top of the chip breaker
.
Wood Office equipment Shotgun Metal Fashion accessory

.
Frog
.
It is not difficult to get the lower 1/3rd of the frog very flat, so strive for 90% contact. I use a file initially, stroking in all directions to create a flatter surface. I then use sandpaper on glass to flatten and smooth further. In the pictures below I've used red layout fluid to enhance contrast. Magic marker works well too.
.
Here is the blade seating area with just a few file passes. The center portion of the frog is high.
Wood Red Art Font Artifact

.
.
Blade seating area after file work. Notice the top of the seating are is untouched. Only the lower 1/3 needs to be flat. In this case, a good 90% of the whole surface is flat - it just worked out that way.
Wood Artifact Font Art Metal

.
.
Blade seating area after a few passes on P120 sandpaper on glass. Picture is a bit fuzzy, but all is very flat and smooth now.
Black Wood Headgear Artifact Art


The better the frog seats into the plane bed the better to resist vibration and distortion when tightening everything up and in use. Below is a picture of the frog bottom at the start. I rubbed the frog on the plane bed support points. The small areas of contact show up faintly in the picture.
White Light Black Rectangle Bumper

.
Here they are after a few minutes work with a file
Material property Art Wood Gas Auto part

.
.
To get the best frog seating, the frog should be lapped to the bed. I use automotive valve grinding compound, available for ~$4 at parts stores. Just place some on the pad areas and move the frog around over the areas. It only takes a few minutes to get the parts lapped together. All the pad surfaces were covered with layout fluid before lapping. The frog is upside down at the bottom of the picture.
Gas Wood Machine Carmine Audio equipment

.
.
Lever Cap
.
It's debatable how much flattening the seating area of the lever cap helps, but it certainly doesn't hurt and is quick and easy to do. If you have dressed the top and bottom of the chip breaker as described previously, and have issues with chips getting under the chip breaker or maybe some vibration, this is worth trying. Here is a cap with a few light file passes. You can see there's not much contact.
Brown Wood Artifact Tints and shades Art

.
.
Here is the same cap after a few minutes work with a file and a few passes on P120 sandpaper.
Wood Sculpture Artifact Art Rectangle

.
.
If you follow the performance tuning tips presented through this blog, you will be able to get just about any old plane to work pretty well. Make sure nothing is cracked and no bolt holes are stripped. Thanks for taking the time to read this series, and good luck!
Great blog.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
Frog / Lever Cap

The lever cap, chip breaker, blade, frog, and main casting all need to be held together well to act more or less as a single mass. Major sources of chatter are the frog not seated to the bed well, and the blade not seated on the frog well:
.
. • The blade needs to seat flat against the lower 1/3rd of the frog
. • The frog needs to seat well into the main bed
. • The chip breaker needs to seat well to the blade
. • The lever cap needs to seat well to the top of the chip breaker
.
Wood Office equipment Shotgun Metal Fashion accessory

.
Frog
.
It is not difficult to get the lower 1/3rd of the frog very flat, so strive for 90% contact. I use a file initially, stroking in all directions to create a flatter surface. I then use sandpaper on glass to flatten and smooth further. In the pictures below I've used red layout fluid to enhance contrast. Magic marker works well too.
.
Here is the blade seating area with just a few file passes. The center portion of the frog is high.
Wood Red Art Font Artifact

.
.
Blade seating area after file work. Notice the top of the seating are is untouched. Only the lower 1/3 needs to be flat. In this case, a good 90% of the whole surface is flat - it just worked out that way.
Wood Artifact Font Art Metal

.
.
Blade seating area after a few passes on P120 sandpaper on glass. Picture is a bit fuzzy, but all is very flat and smooth now.
Black Wood Headgear Artifact Art


The better the frog seats into the plane bed the better to resist vibration and distortion when tightening everything up and in use. Below is a picture of the frog bottom at the start. I rubbed the frog on the plane bed support points. The small areas of contact show up faintly in the picture.
White Light Black Rectangle Bumper

.
Here they are after a few minutes work with a file
Material property Art Wood Gas Auto part

.
.
To get the best frog seating, the frog should be lapped to the bed. I use automotive valve grinding compound, available for ~$4 at parts stores. Just place some on the pad areas and move the frog around over the areas. It only takes a few minutes to get the parts lapped together. All the pad surfaces were covered with layout fluid before lapping. The frog is upside down at the bottom of the picture.
Gas Wood Machine Carmine Audio equipment

.
.
Lever Cap
.
It's debatable how much flattening the seating area of the lever cap helps, but it certainly doesn't hurt and is quick and easy to do. If you have dressed the top and bottom of the chip breaker as described previously, and have issues with chips getting under the chip breaker or maybe some vibration, this is worth trying. Here is a cap with a few light file passes. You can see there's not much contact.
Brown Wood Artifact Tints and shades Art

.
.
Here is the same cap after a few minutes work with a file and a few passes on P120 sandpaper.
Wood Sculpture Artifact Art Rectangle

.
.
If you follow the performance tuning tips presented through this blog, you will be able to get just about any old plane to work pretty well. Make sure nothing is cracked and no bolt holes are stripped. Thanks for taking the time to read this series, and good luck!
Keep it coming, great information very clearly presented.
thanks!
 

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3,050 Posts
Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Schwarz On Honing - Guides vs Freehand

The Church of 'Leave me Alone, Please'

By: Christopher Schwarz | May 1, 2014

During the last 17 years that I have been using a honing guide to sharpen, I've been approached (sometimes nearly assaulted) by people who want to teach me to sharpen freehand.

My response: "I sharpen freehand all the time."

They don't believe me, and so they spend an hour or so to show me how they hone their edges. Then they want me to try their technique and say: "That's fantastic! I'm throwing away my guide."

So far, that hasn't happened.

Some backstory: When I first learned to sharpen in 1993, instructor Lynn Sweet insisted we learn to do it freehand. He didn't even tell us that honing guides existed. Later, when I joined the magazine staff in 1996, I asked then-Associate Editor Jim Stuard to show me his sharpening regimen. It was freehand. And so that's how I learned how to do it.

After reading Leonard Lee's book "The Complete Guide to Sharpening" (Taunton Press), I decided to try an inexpensive Eclipse guide (what we now call the side-clamp honing guide). It gave me edges that were consistent, less-prone to error and (with apologies to the freehanders) faster.

And so during the last 10 years, I have taught both freehand sharpening and sharpening with a guide. I think it's useful to know both techniques. I like to use a side-clamp jig for edges that are straight or slightly curved. And I like to sharpen freehand for edges that are skewed, curved, V-shaped or weirder.

I've also spent a lot of time observing the sharpening routines and edges produced by freehanders, both professional and amateur. While they tell me they can produce a good edge from a completely dull edge in less than a minute, I have yet to see someone do this before my eyes and let me use their edge. Either it takes them five or six minutes, or the finished edge is sub-optimal compared to what I use.

But these are just my observations. I'm sure there are people out there who can do this; I just haven't encountered them yet.

So I'm going to ask you one last time: Please don't try to convert me, and I won't try to convert you. And why are we discussing something that is as enjoyable as taking out the garbage? Making tools dull is far more fun than making them sharp.

- Christopher Schwarz
 

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Schwarz On Honing - Guides vs Freehand

The Church of 'Leave me Alone, Please'

By: Christopher Schwarz | May 1, 2014

During the last 17 years that I have been using a honing guide to sharpen, I've been approached (sometimes nearly assaulted) by people who want to teach me to sharpen freehand.

My response: "I sharpen freehand all the time."

They don't believe me, and so they spend an hour or so to show me how they hone their edges. Then they want me to try their technique and say: "That's fantastic! I'm throwing away my guide."

So far, that hasn't happened.

Some backstory: When I first learned to sharpen in 1993, instructor Lynn Sweet insisted we learn to do it freehand. He didn't even tell us that honing guides existed. Later, when I joined the magazine staff in 1996, I asked then-Associate Editor Jim Stuard to show me his sharpening regimen. It was freehand. And so that's how I learned how to do it.

After reading Leonard Lee's book "The Complete Guide to Sharpening" (Taunton Press), I decided to try an inexpensive Eclipse guide (what we now call the side-clamp honing guide). It gave me edges that were consistent, less-prone to error and (with apologies to the freehanders) faster.

And so during the last 10 years, I have taught both freehand sharpening and sharpening with a guide. I think it's useful to know both techniques. I like to use a side-clamp jig for edges that are straight or slightly curved. And I like to sharpen freehand for edges that are skewed, curved, V-shaped or weirder.

I've also spent a lot of time observing the sharpening routines and edges produced by freehanders, both professional and amateur. While they tell me they can produce a good edge from a completely dull edge in less than a minute, I have yet to see someone do this before my eyes and let me use their edge. Either it takes them five or six minutes, or the finished edge is sub-optimal compared to what I use.

But these are just my observations. I'm sure there are people out there who can do this; I just haven't encountered them yet.

So I'm going to ask you one last time: Please don't try to convert me, and I won't try to convert you. And why are we discussing something that is as enjoyable as taking out the garbage? Making tools dull is far more fun than making them sharp.

- Christopher Schwarz
All I can say to that is …..

Amen!
 

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Schwarz On Honing - Guides vs Freehand

The Church of 'Leave me Alone, Please'

By: Christopher Schwarz | May 1, 2014

During the last 17 years that I have been using a honing guide to sharpen, I've been approached (sometimes nearly assaulted) by people who want to teach me to sharpen freehand.

My response: "I sharpen freehand all the time."

They don't believe me, and so they spend an hour or so to show me how they hone their edges. Then they want me to try their technique and say: "That's fantastic! I'm throwing away my guide."

So far, that hasn't happened.

Some backstory: When I first learned to sharpen in 1993, instructor Lynn Sweet insisted we learn to do it freehand. He didn't even tell us that honing guides existed. Later, when I joined the magazine staff in 1996, I asked then-Associate Editor Jim Stuard to show me his sharpening regimen. It was freehand. And so that's how I learned how to do it.

After reading Leonard Lee's book "The Complete Guide to Sharpening" (Taunton Press), I decided to try an inexpensive Eclipse guide (what we now call the side-clamp honing guide). It gave me edges that were consistent, less-prone to error and (with apologies to the freehanders) faster.

And so during the last 10 years, I have taught both freehand sharpening and sharpening with a guide. I think it's useful to know both techniques. I like to use a side-clamp jig for edges that are straight or slightly curved. And I like to sharpen freehand for edges that are skewed, curved, V-shaped or weirder.

I've also spent a lot of time observing the sharpening routines and edges produced by freehanders, both professional and amateur. While they tell me they can produce a good edge from a completely dull edge in less than a minute, I have yet to see someone do this before my eyes and let me use their edge. Either it takes them five or six minutes, or the finished edge is sub-optimal compared to what I use.

But these are just my observations. I'm sure there are people out there who can do this; I just haven't encountered them yet.

So I'm going to ask you one last time: Please don't try to convert me, and I won't try to convert you. And why are we discussing something that is as enjoyable as taking out the garbage? Making tools dull is far more fun than making them sharp.

- Christopher Schwarz
I agree, but it's not fair to copy his whole article. A link to it or reasonable size excerpts is better.
 

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Schwarz On Honing - Guides vs Freehand

The Church of 'Leave me Alone, Please'

By: Christopher Schwarz | May 1, 2014

During the last 17 years that I have been using a honing guide to sharpen, I've been approached (sometimes nearly assaulted) by people who want to teach me to sharpen freehand.

My response: "I sharpen freehand all the time."

They don't believe me, and so they spend an hour or so to show me how they hone their edges. Then they want me to try their technique and say: "That's fantastic! I'm throwing away my guide."

So far, that hasn't happened.

Some backstory: When I first learned to sharpen in 1993, instructor Lynn Sweet insisted we learn to do it freehand. He didn't even tell us that honing guides existed. Later, when I joined the magazine staff in 1996, I asked then-Associate Editor Jim Stuard to show me his sharpening regimen. It was freehand. And so that's how I learned how to do it.

After reading Leonard Lee's book "The Complete Guide to Sharpening" (Taunton Press), I decided to try an inexpensive Eclipse guide (what we now call the side-clamp honing guide). It gave me edges that were consistent, less-prone to error and (with apologies to the freehanders) faster.

And so during the last 10 years, I have taught both freehand sharpening and sharpening with a guide. I think it's useful to know both techniques. I like to use a side-clamp jig for edges that are straight or slightly curved. And I like to sharpen freehand for edges that are skewed, curved, V-shaped or weirder.

I've also spent a lot of time observing the sharpening routines and edges produced by freehanders, both professional and amateur. While they tell me they can produce a good edge from a completely dull edge in less than a minute, I have yet to see someone do this before my eyes and let me use their edge. Either it takes them five or six minutes, or the finished edge is sub-optimal compared to what I use.

But these are just my observations. I'm sure there are people out there who can do this; I just haven't encountered them yet.

So I'm going to ask you one last time: Please don't try to convert me, and I won't try to convert you. And why are we discussing something that is as enjoyable as taking out the garbage? Making tools dull is far more fun than making them sharp.

- Christopher Schwarz
Totally agree. I started out using a honing guide and later learned to hone by hand. Now I usually hone by hand because all I'm doing is refreshing the edge. But when a edge needs significant work, I use a guide. To each his own.
 

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Schwarz On Honing - Guides vs Freehand

The Church of 'Leave me Alone, Please'

By: Christopher Schwarz | May 1, 2014

During the last 17 years that I have been using a honing guide to sharpen, I've been approached (sometimes nearly assaulted) by people who want to teach me to sharpen freehand.

My response: "I sharpen freehand all the time."

They don't believe me, and so they spend an hour or so to show me how they hone their edges. Then they want me to try their technique and say: "That's fantastic! I'm throwing away my guide."

So far, that hasn't happened.

Some backstory: When I first learned to sharpen in 1993, instructor Lynn Sweet insisted we learn to do it freehand. He didn't even tell us that honing guides existed. Later, when I joined the magazine staff in 1996, I asked then-Associate Editor Jim Stuard to show me his sharpening regimen. It was freehand. And so that's how I learned how to do it.

After reading Leonard Lee's book "The Complete Guide to Sharpening" (Taunton Press), I decided to try an inexpensive Eclipse guide (what we now call the side-clamp honing guide). It gave me edges that were consistent, less-prone to error and (with apologies to the freehanders) faster.

And so during the last 10 years, I have taught both freehand sharpening and sharpening with a guide. I think it's useful to know both techniques. I like to use a side-clamp jig for edges that are straight or slightly curved. And I like to sharpen freehand for edges that are skewed, curved, V-shaped or weirder.

I've also spent a lot of time observing the sharpening routines and edges produced by freehanders, both professional and amateur. While they tell me they can produce a good edge from a completely dull edge in less than a minute, I have yet to see someone do this before my eyes and let me use their edge. Either it takes them five or six minutes, or the finished edge is sub-optimal compared to what I use.

But these are just my observations. I'm sure there are people out there who can do this; I just haven't encountered them yet.

So I'm going to ask you one last time: Please don't try to convert me, and I won't try to convert you. And why are we discussing something that is as enjoyable as taking out the garbage? Making tools dull is far more fun than making them sharp.

- Christopher Schwarz
I originally started off with a honing guide as Jim Tolpin teaches at the Port Townsend school of working but since taking a handtool workshop from Rob Cosman I've converted to free hand (for most things). I've always thought it would be interesting to have a bake off of recognized woodworkers results of sharping (it's definitely something that's measurable). Hard to argue with science.

But as you said, sharpening is something tedious and whichever system is the least unpleasant is personal preference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Schwarz On Honing - Guides vs Freehand

The Church of 'Leave me Alone, Please'

By: Christopher Schwarz | May 1, 2014

During the last 17 years that I have been using a honing guide to sharpen, I've been approached (sometimes nearly assaulted) by people who want to teach me to sharpen freehand.

My response: "I sharpen freehand all the time."

They don't believe me, and so they spend an hour or so to show me how they hone their edges. Then they want me to try their technique and say: "That's fantastic! I'm throwing away my guide."

So far, that hasn't happened.

Some backstory: When I first learned to sharpen in 1993, instructor Lynn Sweet insisted we learn to do it freehand. He didn't even tell us that honing guides existed. Later, when I joined the magazine staff in 1996, I asked then-Associate Editor Jim Stuard to show me his sharpening regimen. It was freehand. And so that's how I learned how to do it.

After reading Leonard Lee's book "The Complete Guide to Sharpening" (Taunton Press), I decided to try an inexpensive Eclipse guide (what we now call the side-clamp honing guide). It gave me edges that were consistent, less-prone to error and (with apologies to the freehanders) faster.

And so during the last 10 years, I have taught both freehand sharpening and sharpening with a guide. I think it's useful to know both techniques. I like to use a side-clamp jig for edges that are straight or slightly curved. And I like to sharpen freehand for edges that are skewed, curved, V-shaped or weirder.

I've also spent a lot of time observing the sharpening routines and edges produced by freehanders, both professional and amateur. While they tell me they can produce a good edge from a completely dull edge in less than a minute, I have yet to see someone do this before my eyes and let me use their edge. Either it takes them five or six minutes, or the finished edge is sub-optimal compared to what I use.

But these are just my observations. I'm sure there are people out there who can do this; I just haven't encountered them yet.

So I'm going to ask you one last time: Please don't try to convert me, and I won't try to convert you. And why are we discussing something that is as enjoyable as taking out the garbage? Making tools dull is far more fun than making them sharp.

- Christopher Schwarz
Well, I gave full and complete credit to the author for an article that is in the public domain (subscription not required), so I don't believe it's an issue. PM me if you have a problem. It's a short article that I thought folks might find interesting and otherwise might miss.

My personal position on sharpening: use a jig if at all possible. I agree with Schwarz that freehand can't provide as good an edge as jigs. Also, I don't debate the issue because science proves one is better than the other.
 

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Schwarz On Honing - Guides vs Freehand

The Church of 'Leave me Alone, Please'

By: Christopher Schwarz | May 1, 2014

During the last 17 years that I have been using a honing guide to sharpen, I've been approached (sometimes nearly assaulted) by people who want to teach me to sharpen freehand.

My response: "I sharpen freehand all the time."

They don't believe me, and so they spend an hour or so to show me how they hone their edges. Then they want me to try their technique and say: "That's fantastic! I'm throwing away my guide."

So far, that hasn't happened.

Some backstory: When I first learned to sharpen in 1993, instructor Lynn Sweet insisted we learn to do it freehand. He didn't even tell us that honing guides existed. Later, when I joined the magazine staff in 1996, I asked then-Associate Editor Jim Stuard to show me his sharpening regimen. It was freehand. And so that's how I learned how to do it.

After reading Leonard Lee's book "The Complete Guide to Sharpening" (Taunton Press), I decided to try an inexpensive Eclipse guide (what we now call the side-clamp honing guide). It gave me edges that were consistent, less-prone to error and (with apologies to the freehanders) faster.

And so during the last 10 years, I have taught both freehand sharpening and sharpening with a guide. I think it's useful to know both techniques. I like to use a side-clamp jig for edges that are straight or slightly curved. And I like to sharpen freehand for edges that are skewed, curved, V-shaped or weirder.

I've also spent a lot of time observing the sharpening routines and edges produced by freehanders, both professional and amateur. While they tell me they can produce a good edge from a completely dull edge in less than a minute, I have yet to see someone do this before my eyes and let me use their edge. Either it takes them five or six minutes, or the finished edge is sub-optimal compared to what I use.

But these are just my observations. I'm sure there are people out there who can do this; I just haven't encountered them yet.

So I'm going to ask you one last time: Please don't try to convert me, and I won't try to convert you. And why are we discussing something that is as enjoyable as taking out the garbage? Making tools dull is far more fun than making them sharp.

- Christopher Schwarz
It sure sounds like he trying to convert free handers to me.
 

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Schwarz On Honing - Guides vs Freehand

The Church of 'Leave me Alone, Please'

By: Christopher Schwarz | May 1, 2014

During the last 17 years that I have been using a honing guide to sharpen, I've been approached (sometimes nearly assaulted) by people who want to teach me to sharpen freehand.

My response: "I sharpen freehand all the time."

They don't believe me, and so they spend an hour or so to show me how they hone their edges. Then they want me to try their technique and say: "That's fantastic! I'm throwing away my guide."

So far, that hasn't happened.

Some backstory: When I first learned to sharpen in 1993, instructor Lynn Sweet insisted we learn to do it freehand. He didn't even tell us that honing guides existed. Later, when I joined the magazine staff in 1996, I asked then-Associate Editor Jim Stuard to show me his sharpening regimen. It was freehand. And so that's how I learned how to do it.

After reading Leonard Lee's book "The Complete Guide to Sharpening" (Taunton Press), I decided to try an inexpensive Eclipse guide (what we now call the side-clamp honing guide). It gave me edges that were consistent, less-prone to error and (with apologies to the freehanders) faster.

And so during the last 10 years, I have taught both freehand sharpening and sharpening with a guide. I think it's useful to know both techniques. I like to use a side-clamp jig for edges that are straight or slightly curved. And I like to sharpen freehand for edges that are skewed, curved, V-shaped or weirder.

I've also spent a lot of time observing the sharpening routines and edges produced by freehanders, both professional and amateur. While they tell me they can produce a good edge from a completely dull edge in less than a minute, I have yet to see someone do this before my eyes and let me use their edge. Either it takes them five or six minutes, or the finished edge is sub-optimal compared to what I use.

But these are just my observations. I'm sure there are people out there who can do this; I just haven't encountered them yet.

So I'm going to ask you one last time: Please don't try to convert me, and I won't try to convert you. And why are we discussing something that is as enjoyable as taking out the garbage? Making tools dull is far more fun than making them sharp.

- Christopher Schwarz
I read this a while back on their site and totally agreed. It's weird to me that people do this. I was at the woodworking shop last year buying a honing guide. While I was standing in the aisle talking to the owner about which guide to buy - veritas vs. eclispse style - a random shopper walked up and said "real woodworker's sharpen freehand…" I chose to ignore him and continued my convo. There's an old saying about opinions that came to mind.
 
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