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how to adjust a block plane

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Forum topic by Karda posted 10-15-2019 03:27 AM 560 views 2 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Karda

1765 posts in 1089 days


10-15-2019 03:27 AM

i inherited this block but how do you adjust it, I either have to much blade out and it wont cut or it won’t clear the shavings and don’t say get a better plane. i don’t use planes But i had this one and i wanted to use it to flaten a piece for spoon carving


20 replies so far

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

4079 posts in 1109 days


#1 posted 10-15-2019 05:36 AM

So many types of “block plane” do you know the type? Lacking that a pic would probably bring you the best info. Many of them have different adjusters.

If it’s simply blade projection, turn it so you are looking down the sole of the plane, you barely want to see a projection of the blade. Mostly the first time will be moving the blade, and checking, take baby steps, no big changes. Once you get the ribbon you want, take pics of every angle you can of the amount of projection. Pretty quick you won’t need to reference the pics.

Looking down the sole I like to have the blade facing me, many look from behind the iron, whatever works for you. Once you become familiar, you hardly need to look, you just go to close, check, move as needed.

If it has a moveable mouth, then later you can move it to see how that affects your use.

Patricks blood and gore is a quick place to see most of the block planes Stanley made. Most out there are close approximations of their line. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and read descriptions, they aren’t all in one place. Knowing what you have will get you on the correct path pretty quick

-- Think safe, be safe

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Karda

1765 posts in 1089 days


#2 posted 10-15-2019 05:41 AM

sorry forgot the pics thats a bad habit of mine

View Don W's profile

Don W

19365 posts in 3103 days


#3 posted 10-15-2019 09:29 AM

How are you adjusting it? How sharp is it? How thick of a shaving are you trying to take?

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

279 posts in 137 days


#4 posted 10-15-2019 10:29 AM

I would say that step one is to sharpen first than adjust the blade.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

4080 posts in 1923 days


#5 posted 10-15-2019 12:00 PM

I picked up one of those at garage sale. I think it was in a $2 bag with other stuff I wanted. I was not expecting it to be be any good but, even though it still has the factory edge on it, it works okay. First thing to check is to make sure that the bevel is up, not down towards the wood. The blade should just barely be visible as you site down the sole of the plane. Too much and it will just hang. Start with as little as possible and then advance if it doesn’t take a shaving. Make sure that it is straight compared to the mouth. Of course, sharpening will make even the cheapest plane work better.

EDIT: I would do the setup testing on the edge of a piece of pine or other soft wood. It will be easier to tell if you are getting a thin shaving as you are trying to get it set. Then try the edge of the hardwood and finally try it on the face.

Having said all that, it is not going to the best kind of plane for smoothing the surface of a hardwood blank, especially if the blank is wider than the plane. You can try pulling instead of pushing the plane to see if that helps. It can also help to skew the plane so that it cuts at an angle. Also look at the direction of the grain from the sides. You want to go with the grain. In other words, if when looking from the side, the grain leans from right to left, you want to move the plane from right to left.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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Axis39

80 posts in 132 days


#6 posted 10-15-2019 01:16 PM

I have a really old, rough one of those. There are certain steps to setting up any plane… My little block plane, like yours, took a bit longer than I expected for such a small pane! LOL

A flat sole and sharp blade are key. I use sandpaper on a flat surface for both, it’;s the method I’ve used for years. For blades I usually go to 3k wet/dry paper, then a leather strop. For soles, I usually stop around 1k. Then I hit it with a little wax every few uses.

Then, it’s just a case of getting that blade just right. Of course adjustment on these can be fiddly. But, with a bti of use it becomes simple enough. Just keep trying.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

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BlasterStumps

1446 posts in 975 days


#7 posted 10-15-2019 01:25 PM

I use a tap method to advance or retract the blade on those. By tap I mean I tap the toe on my bench or tap the heel depending on what I need. It doesn’t take much of a tap to do the job. I also use a little hammer or the handle of a screwdriver to get the lateral adjustment.

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado

View Chenier's profile

Chenier

11 posts in 242 days


#8 posted 10-17-2019 12:22 AM



I use a tap method to advance or retract the blade on those. By tap I mean I tap the toe on my bench or tap the heel depending on what I need. It doesn t take much of a tap to do the job. I also use a little hammer or the handle of a screwdriver to get the lateral adjustment.

This.

I have one of those block planes and use it more than my fancier planes. Keep the blade sharp.

You cannot adjust it by feel or by eye. Get it as close as you can by eye and then tighten it up. Not Popeye muscle-bulging tight, but tight. Then use a scrap piece of wood for tests and the the “tap method” to dial it in. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can get it set up that way.

View TravisH's profile

TravisH

686 posts in 2470 days


#9 posted 10-17-2019 04:07 AM

I have one of those planes. I typically just lay it flat on my workbench and set blade until it hits the table, apply a little pressure, then tighten. Rarely do I have to do any other adjustments.

View Karda's profile

Karda

1765 posts in 1089 days


#10 posted 10-17-2019 04:36 AM

thanks for the suggestions I’ll try them, explain the tap method i don’t know the names of plan parts

View Axis39's profile

Axis39

80 posts in 132 days


#11 posted 10-18-2019 12:20 AM

The toe is the front, leading edge – Tap here to move the blade further forward (heavier cut)
The heel is the back, or trailing edge of the plane – Tap here to move the blade back into the body of the plane (shallower cut)

I do a similar thing, but I usually use a small hammer… I tap on the back of the blade to push it out (heavier cut) and tap on the back of the body to move the blade back into the body of the plane (shallower cut).

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

4079 posts in 1109 days


#12 posted 10-18-2019 05:09 AM

To start, use the suggestion to lay it flat on a flat surface, with the knob off tension, and just wiggle it, the blade will level out at ground level. Once it is right to the edge of the mouth (opening where the blade comes out) your adjustment will be very slight from that point.

Something I think that gets many people starting with hand planes off kilter, is any board can look flat, and not be. Running a correctly adjusted plane across the surface, may not appear to take a shaving, or the shaving will be sparse, tiny. Most peoples initial movement then is the blade isn’t out far enough, and they advance the blade WAYYYY too far, and are taking a very rough cut, if the plane will move at all.

So after you have it flat to the table, make 9 or 10 pushes, keep the plane as flat as you can, and see if after a few strokes you aren’t starting to see some wood coming up. Each time you move it just a very small amount, take several passes before you move it again. Be patient, and go slowly on advancing the blade, soon enough you will get there.

-- Think safe, be safe

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

23959 posts in 3219 days


#13 posted 10-18-2019 05:36 AM

One last tip nobody has mentioned…..the bevel on that plane goes up.

That blob/tab on the rearend of the plane….was made to be hit, to adjust the plane. Also, side of the blade/ iron can be tapped to correct any tilt….so that the edge will come out of the mouth opening evenly across the width of the iron.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Karda's profile

Karda

1765 posts in 1089 days


#14 posted 10-18-2019 06:15 AM

ok thanks I’ll try your suggestions and see what happens

View Bill_Steele's profile

Bill_Steele

591 posts in 2267 days


#15 posted 10-18-2019 04:19 PM

I have this same plane. The instructions on the box it came in identify tapping the toe or heal to adjust plane iron projection. It actually works very well. You might have to play with how much you tighten the wheel. This plane works well if it is sharp.

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