Wooden Hand Plane Question

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Forum topic by mikeber posted 08-13-2018 01:40 AM 826 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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30 posts in 1465 days

08-13-2018 01:40 AM

Topic tags/keywords: plane

About a year ago, I purchased an old wooden plane. It is a regular bevel down plane, probably German. However despite all my efforts I was unable to set it up. I flattened the sole and everything looks OK. At first, I though the original blade was damaged so I installed a new (sharp and honed) Stanley blade (of similar size). I still cannot get it working. The question is maybe I’m missing something. It has the wooden wedge but came without chip breaker. Do these planes require chip breakers?

Here’s a similar plane:

5 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8812 posts in 3182 days

#1 posted 08-13-2018 01:43 AM

There seems to be one from the images you posted so there could very well be a chip breaker
needed to make it work:

View Don W's profile

Don W

19424 posts in 3172 days

#2 posted 08-13-2018 09:13 AM

A chip breaker is going to help with tear out, but it still should work with out it and if the wedge is original and fits correctly, it probably never had one

We could probably help better if we knew how it didn’t work. That can mean a lot of different things.

Also some pictures of your plane and pictures of what it is doing wrong will help.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View mikeber's profile


30 posts in 1465 days

#3 posted 08-13-2018 08:43 PM

Thank you.
Even after fiddling much with the iron and the wedge, I used it on poplar, pine and on oak. My other planes worked well on the same boards. This one isn’t catching and mostly skids over the wood. After a few passes, it gets jammed with small wood chips and dust. At some points it starts “digging in”, but then loses grip and skids to the next point. It doesn’t remove shavings. Don’t know if my description makes sense, but that’s what I see.
Coincidently, I visited a woodworking store and they had a few old wooden planes on display. They were different models but all of them had chip breakers installed. It may be just a coincidence, but that’s where I thought the problem may be…

View OSU55's profile


2500 posts in 2594 days

#4 posted 08-13-2018 09:00 PM

Have you checked the blade bed to the back of the blade contact, the lower 1/4” or so needs almost 100% contact so the iron doesnt flex. Check the wedge contact with the iron and the cross pin pad. If the wedge is holding the iron tightly and not extended into the mouth, the plane should work without a breaker, but will chatter more easily and cause more tear out. It could be a not so sharp edge, but you say its sharp.

Ive had big improvements with wooden planes when the iron is bedded well vs not. I got a lot of what you describe when it wasnt. As for clearing chips, I would have to see the front of the mouth and exit, and how the wedge fits. Sometimes a little trimming and smoothing is required.

View mikeber's profile


30 posts in 1465 days

#5 posted 08-24-2018 12:00 AM

1) Installed a chip-breaker.
2) Slightly adjusted the wedge and the bed, where they come in contact with the blade. Not 100%, but better than before.
The result – a plane that works. Perfectly? Not yet, it still needs some tuning, but at least it works as the plane was intended.
Being my first wooden plane, I compared it to my regular planes. Beyond the obvious difference in setup and adjustment, the main difference is in the feeling. The metal planes have a lower center of gravity and they feel different when planing.

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