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Jack plane smoother than smoothing plane

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Forum topic by jtruc34 posted 02-14-2020 01:34 AM 572 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jtruc34

31 posts in 173 days


02-14-2020 01:34 AM

I found myself a piece of mahogany to discover what it is to work with it, and so far it hasn’t been that nice. A lot of dust, not particularly nice shavings.

But what I had the most trouble with was smoothing. I figured out I would need to the set the chip breaker as close as possible and the mouth as tight as possible. I also tried to take very fine paths.The results were ok.

Then I took my no. 5 (because I’m not particularly logical), I didn’t set anything precisely, the chip breaker was close but not that close, the mouth was mediumly open. I took what seemed to be medium shavings, at least the sound wasn’t pleasing at all. To my greatest surprise, the results were better (almost perfect). Well, there were some tear out, but very little, but the texture was smoother (not much, but a little bit).

What variable didn’t I think about? How could it be that my results with my no. 4 weren’t that great?


21 replies so far

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corelz125

1040 posts in 1617 days


#1 posted 02-14-2020 01:45 AM

How sharp is the iron?

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jtruc34

31 posts in 173 days


#2 posted 02-14-2020 02:12 AM

Enough to cut my hairs

View Walker's profile

Walker

234 posts in 1113 days


#3 posted 02-14-2020 03:21 AM

could it be the radius/camber of the irons are different?

-- ~Walker

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shampeon

1915 posts in 2824 days


#4 posted 02-14-2020 04:03 AM

If you closed off the mouth too much, you’ll just get dust because there isn’t enough room for the shaving.

The tightness of the mouth is the least important aspect of getting a smooth surface, in my opinion. The critical factors:
  • sharp blade
  • zero gap between chip breaker and blade
  • even amount of blade exposed
  • proper extension of blade
  • waxed sole of the plane
  • proper chip ejection (just enough of an opening)

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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SMP

1800 posts in 546 days


#5 posted 02-14-2020 04:05 AM

Well you aren’t giving much detail. When you say smoother and hack, are you saying a Stanley Bailey #4 and 5? Or is one wooden? Coffin? Bevel up? Bevel down? Assuming its the 4 and 5 then my guess is sharpness and bevel angle.

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Don W

19500 posts in 3208 days


#6 posted 02-14-2020 10:35 AM

Sounds like either the #4 isn’t tuned or isn’t sharp. My guess is a little of both.

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

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jtruc34

31 posts in 173 days


#7 posted 02-14-2020 11:16 AM

Both planes are bedrock pattern bevel down. There were about the same camber on both plane (which, by the way, was waay too much. The chip breaker was closer on the no. 4 than on the no. 5. Maybe the mouth was too tight, but it wasn’t as tight as on a video I watched where the plane worked perfectly.

I’ll try to correct the camber and try again. Maybe it’s indeed just sharpness. But what I can’t understand is how it could be that the results were good with the no. 5 with a chip breaker not so close and with blade projection not that small.

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jtruc34

31 posts in 173 days


#8 posted 02-14-2020 11:20 AM

@Don W

Isn’t sharp is really possible.

Why do you think it isn’t tuned? What could I do to tune it better? Because I don’t really see what I could adjust, that I didn’t adjust. Or maybe, I adjusted it poorly, which is very possible.

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HokieKen

12323 posts in 1779 days


#9 posted 02-14-2020 03:25 PM

Having the blade set to take an even cut across the full width jtruc. Also, be sure the iron is fully supported on the frog. Personally, I don’t care about the mouth opening. Never seen that a tight mouth makes a big difference for me. I prefer to set the frog flush with the back of the mouth. This way, the blade is supported closer to the cut. (A thicker iron like a Hock can make this a non-issue). Finally, like Ian said, ZERO gap between the the chip breaker and the back of the iron. And that’s the leading edge of the chipbreaker. Having the back edge perfectly contacting doesn’t help if shavings can still slip under the front edge. To me, having proper contact between the chip breaker and a polished nose on the chip breaker are even more important than how close it is set to the edge when it comes to smoothers.

YMMV of course.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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jtruc34

31 posts in 173 days


#10 posted 02-14-2020 05:09 PM

Well, after resharpening it, and bit of flattening of the back of the iron (where the cap iron contacts it, I mean), which, by the way, is strange that I needed to, cause it’s a new iron from Clifton (they sent it to me for free because of something which isn’t important), everything’s fine. Thank you very much for your help.

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corelz125

1040 posts in 1617 days


#11 posted 02-15-2020 02:04 AM

No that’s not strange some new irons need touching up or polishing or even flattening the back.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

4907 posts in 1215 days


#12 posted 02-15-2020 06:30 AM



To my greatest surprise, the results were better (almost perfect). Well, there were some tear out, but very little, but the texture was smoother (not much, but a little bit).

- jtruc34

That says not adjusted correctly, shouldn’t be any tear out. If you are getting tearout, then it’s either not sharp, and consistently sharp across the leading edge. And or, its too big a bite, or not adjusted correctly, and we can’t even see the plane, or the wood. What should be coming out of a smoothing plane, should look like this.

Plenty of set up videos out there, look for ones by Chris Schwarz, Deneb Puchalski, Chris Gochnour, for a few names. They should have set up videos at U tube.

-- Think safe, be safe

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Rich

5259 posts in 1230 days


#13 posted 02-15-2020 05:20 PM

Tear out can be an issue even with a perfectly tuned plane, particularly when you have a highly figured wood where the grain direction changes. With a very straight grain, you can plane down the grain and minimize any tear out (of course, if you plane up the grain, you’ll get a rougher result that may include tear out).

With wood where the grain direction changes along a single stroke of the plane, you are going down and up in one stroke and tear out is a real possibility—actually a likelihood.

There are ways to minimize it. One is to increase the blade angle (make it more upright) so it’s less likely to dig in when the grain is running up towards it. LN sells 50 and 55 degree frogs for their bench planes to achieve that. Another option is using a low angle plane with a blade that’s sharpened at a higher angle. For example, if your low angle plane blade is bedded at 12º, and you sharpen the blade at 43º, then you will have the equivalent of a No. 4 smoother with a 55º frog.

That’s the beauty of the low angle plane. By using multiple blades, you can easily switch from low angle, to high angle and even have a blade sharpened at a higher angle so the plane can be used as a scraper.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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therealSteveN

4907 posts in 1215 days


#14 posted 02-15-2020 06:37 PM

He just said it was Mahogany, mentioned nothing about heavily figured. One of the main reasons for it’s huge popularity is how easily it works, with all tools.

-- Think safe, be safe

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Rich

5259 posts in 1230 days


#15 posted 02-15-2020 07:15 PM

I was correcting the misstatement that a properly tuned plane will not cause tear out, and explained that grain direction is a factor. I also pointed out some ways to mitigate the risk. Anyone who thinks that the grain direction on a piece of mahogany can’t change along its length hasn’t worked with it.

Understanding the importance of grain direction (which hadn’t been mentioned previously in the thread), whether using a hand plane or a power tool (like a jointer or planer), is essential to getting good results. So is getting advice from reliable sources.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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