Fore Plane leaving small scratches

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Forum topic by DannyThunder posted 03-29-2011 06:44 AM 1505 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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24 posts in 3122 days

03-29-2011 06:44 AM

Topic tags/keywords: plane question

Hello Lumberjocks,
I’ve been lurking here for a while, and have finally registered. I did a search but didn’t find the answer. I have a question that I hope you guys can help me with. I’ve been making guitars for a while, and have gotten really interested in using more hand tools, and reveived a #6 from my wife as a wedding present. It’s a WoodRiver and I have an IBC blade in there right now. The bottom has been lapped on a surface plate (.0001 tolerance) with 600 grit wet/dry paper.

However, when I plane, it seems like I’m getting tiny little scratches at the cutting edge, or near there. I have stopped planing mid-stroke to see where the origen is, and it seems to be either the blade or mouth. The funny thing is that the blade is sharp and straight (no nicks or anything) and the edges of the mouth have been lightly hit with 600 paper being pulled through the mouth. There are no nicks or burrs on the mouth. I tried to take a picture but couldn’t get the camera to pick it up.

These scratches are very light, and not deep, but I’m trying to get as smooth a finish as possible. I’m planing lightly figured maple. Am I doing something wrong? Am I expecting too much? Thank you very much for any help you can give me!

21 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117721 posts in 4083 days

#1 posted 03-29-2011 06:51 AM

How about the sides of the plane have they been tuned in flat.

View drewnahant's profile


222 posts in 3595 days

#2 posted 03-29-2011 06:57 AM

is it at the edges of the blade? it is a good idea to ease the corners of the iron, just by a couple thousandths, otherwise the corners can leave visible lines that appear as scratches.

View bubinga's profile


861 posts in 3173 days

#3 posted 03-29-2011 08:44 AM

After lapping,Lightly file or sand edges of sole ,sides ,front, back,and or camber the blade a little,as drewnahant ,said
Make sure you hold you mouth right when planing !!!!

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View wb8nbs's profile


164 posts in 3198 days

#4 posted 03-29-2011 04:09 PM

Usually a #6 would be used to flatten a board or fine tune the flattening done by a bigger plane. As such, the blade is usually ground straight across and yes, you get a line at the corners of the blade. You would normally follow with a surfacing pass on the board using a smoothing plane (#4) that has a cambered blade, sharpened with a slight radius at the edge. This lets you adjust the smoother so only the center of the blade is cutting a few thousanths, the shaving tapers off to nothing at the edges. If you only have the #6, than slightly round off the corners of the blade on the sandpaper, should help.

-- The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.

View dbray45's profile


3320 posts in 3282 days

#5 posted 03-29-2011 04:17 PM

To not get the edges, as stated above putting a very slight bevel on the edges helps. You can also adjust the blade left or right so the blade is straight to the material. You may also want to reduce the cut of the blade.

I also go over a planed surface with a hand scraper. When using a hand scraper, the blade has an arch to it and will remove the edges.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View DannyThunder's profile


24 posts in 3122 days

#6 posted 03-29-2011 07:45 PM

Thanks for all the replies.

The scratches are not at the sides of the blade. The blade does have a very slight bevel to it, and the cut that I’m taking is very light.

The scrathes seem to be happening across the width of the plane, and are within centimeters of each other. Any thoughts?

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3797 days

#7 posted 03-29-2011 07:56 PM

Take out the iron and run the body along a smooth board. Then you’ll at least know whether the scratches are from body or iron.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View Broglea's profile


687 posts in 3596 days

#8 posted 03-29-2011 07:57 PM

I know you stated there were no nicks in the blade, but I would go back and check it again. What grit did you go up to when you sharpened the blade. I normally go up to 2000.

View DannyThunder's profile


24 posts in 3122 days

#9 posted 03-29-2011 08:05 PM

Thats a good idea, I’ll have to try that tonight.

The iron has been sharpened up to 1500. The marks I’m getting are not deep, but wider than I would get using 1500 paper…

View Broglea's profile


687 posts in 3596 days

#10 posted 03-29-2011 08:10 PM

1500 should be OK. If your using the scary sharp method, you may want see if any debris got trapped between the paper and your flat surface. Just a thought. Let us know how you make out.

View chrisstef's profile


17960 posts in 3512 days

#11 posted 03-29-2011 08:33 PM

Are any small shavings getting trapped under the iron?

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View drewnahant's profile


222 posts in 3595 days

#12 posted 03-30-2011 01:23 AM

good point from chrisstef, ive had shavings cought behind the blade before and they do leave nice little compression lines, definitely could be the culprit, but I suspect you would have noticed that if you have been troubleshooting this for a while now. I think that you probably had some larger grit from previous steps contaminating your 1500 when you sharpened, if you determine that it is not the plane body, resharpen and take extra precautions to clean the iron, your paper, and your surface between steps.

View TJU's profile


72 posts in 3162 days

#13 posted 03-30-2011 01:37 AM

Did you hone the back of you blade?

-- Although the voices aren't real they have some pretty good ideas.

View DannyThunder's profile


24 posts in 3122 days

#14 posted 03-30-2011 02:10 AM

I don’t think it is shavings, but I’m not going to rule out anything yet.

I did hone the back of the blade (I wasn’t expecting the IBC to be perfectly flat, but it was way more hollow than I expected, and did NOT shave hair out of the box). The back was honed to 1500 too, which is pretty much a mirror now.

You guys have given me some things to check, so hopefully I can make some progress on this one.

View rivendale34's profile


12 posts in 3363 days

#15 posted 03-30-2011 02:22 AM

I was getting the same thing for a while on a woodriver #5. After honing and cleaning, checking the sole and mouth, couldn’t find any reason. Then after doing more test run I notice tiny shaving/spinters getting trapped between the blade and chipbreaker… The blade was already flattened so I had to flatten the chipbreaker too… as it was not flat out of the box.

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