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Can't get a straight edge with my no. 5

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Forum topic by jtruc34 posted 02-16-2020 09:26 AM 385 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jtruc34

31 posts in 213 days


02-16-2020 09:26 AM

I need to join two pieces about 600mm long, so I used my no. 5 (I think my no. 4 would’ve been long enough, but it looks like it is easier with a longer plane, but whatever). I could have two perfect meeting edges for the first 550mm, but the last 50mm were two low, there was a gap inbetween.

At first, I thought I did it poorly, and I thought I may have put too much pressure on the front of the plane at the end, or maybe the edge convex and the plane didn’t change that convexity without me being aware. So, I took shavings only in the middle until the plane didn’t cut anymore, and then took shavings on the entire lenght until I got continuons shavings. I also was extra careful lifting the weight of my left hand and only put the weight on the back of the plane on the end of the stroke.

But the problem remained, I checked with a straight edge and the edge was good for 550mm and then too low on the end.

After blaming my beginner skills, I thought maybe the plane wasn’t flat, but I didn’t know what to look at once I put a straight edge on it. There were low spot between the front and the mouth and between the mouth and the back, but I think it’s normal and it should be OK. Plus is that really possible that a new plane from a premium brand would need to be flattened?

I’m more confident that I made the mistake.


12 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

19549 posts in 3248 days


#1 posted 02-16-2020 12:32 PM

It is definitely possible it’s not flat. Take a straight edge and from corner to corner ( like an x) you want coplanar. You need a line in the front, the back, and behind the mouth.. Then do the same thing along both edges.

I posted a video recently to go with the blog about straightening on timetestedtools.

That being said. I don’t think that is your problem. It really sounds like your technique to me.

Use your straight edge (or a sting) to determine when you get the dip. Maybe you just need to forgo that last full length shavings. If it’s flat before you start that, you win.

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

View KYtoolsmith's profile

KYtoolsmith

134 posts in 541 days


#2 posted 02-16-2020 12:58 PM

Kinda guessing, but it sounds like the toe of the plane is dropping as it passes the end of your board. This may be due to trying to take too deep a cut. Adjust your plane as if it were a smoother. Chip breaker 1/32 from the edge of the iron, frog moved forward to allow the thinnest of shavings. You should be taking tissue paper, nearly transparent shavings. Of course, that means a super sharp iron. Work with scrap test pieces to perfect technique. What you are doing sounds right… Are you book pairing the two boards with matching edges together and jointing as a pair?
Just my thoughts from what you describe…
Regards, The Kentucky Toolsmith!

-- "Good enough" is just another way of saying "it could be better"...

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1965 posts in 2864 days


#3 posted 02-16-2020 05:23 PM

600mm = approx. 24 inches.

So +1 to Don’s advice to forgo the last full length shaving. Get a small hollow in the middle (very small), and use a spring joint. https://www.finewoodworking.com/2010/04/26/spring-joints-an-edge-glue-ups-best-friend

A spring joint is where you plane a shallow hollow in the middle, then clamp the pieces together to close up the gap. It allows you to put more force on the joint with fewer clamps. The edges act as cauls.

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

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jtruc34

31 posts in 213 days


#4 posted 02-16-2020 06:08 PM

@shampeon Well, that’s what I ended up doing, but I didn’t know that it was that much generalised.

But I think I haven’t fully understand what happened to me. Don said my plane could be out of flat, but it was almost certainly my technique. Oh… I was going to edit everything but I’ll let it to illustrate my Aha! moment, haha… I’ve just understood what KYtoolsmith meant and why it makes sense. I was indeed looking at a source of something that would have make the toe drop at the end of the stroke, but was blaming the tool by not knowing what I did wrong. I will try again with a finer cut.

@Don You said my technique could be wrong. What was your hypothesis?

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

25072 posts in 3364 days


#5 posted 02-16-2020 07:38 PM

At the start..push down on the front knob…..in the middle hold front and back equally…at the end, push down at the rear, until the iron is off the end of the board….

What Schwarz calls “taking a scoop of ice cream”.....pushing down on the front at the end of the stroke, you wind up with a “banana shape” curve…high in the middle, low at the ends.

press down on the front right at the start of the stoke, to get things started…after that, the “front hand merely guides the plane, does not need any downward pressure.

One little trick I use when jointing an edge: Instead of wrapping the hand around the front knob in a death grip…I hook my thumb onto the edge of the plane, about where the knob is….the other 4 fingers are under the plane, acting as a fence. I find this helps steady the plane, and does not allow any tipping to one side or the other.
Try a few times…

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

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jtruc34

31 posts in 213 days


#6 posted 02-16-2020 08:12 PM

@bandit571

These are all things I already do. As I said in my first post, when I saw that the last few inches were too low, I exagerated that movement and only put pressure on my rear hand on the end of the stroke.

As of what KYtoolsmith said, I’m starting to wonder if that really makes sense. Even if the toe doesn’t contact the board at the end of the stroke, the back of the plane still serves as a reference and should prevent the plane to drop towards the front if enough pressure is applied on the back to compensate the torque created by the pushing force on the top of the handle. Hope that makes sense.

Anyway, I should try it next time, but that will be next weekend, as I’m not lucky enough to have access at my bench in the week :(

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

12867 posts in 1819 days


#7 posted 02-17-2020 04:47 PM

Well, if your board only drops off on one end, you’re 1/2 way there! If I try to take an even shaving down the length, I get a drop at both ends. So, I do like Bandit mentioned “scooping” ice cream. It simply takes practice. You’ll get there. Sometimes it helps to pencil a straight line just below the edge you’re jointing and look at the edge compared to the line after every couple of passes. You’ll see the progression of where you’re removing the most material. And unless you’re actively trying to “scoop out” the center, smart money is on the ends getting closer to the pencil line faster.

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

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jtruc34

31 posts in 213 days


#8 posted 02-17-2020 07:34 PM

So, as I understand, I just need to do what I already try to do, but it will work when I’ll control it better. What about the hypothesis from KYtoolsmith? After having thought a bit about it, I thought that maybe he meant that the deeper cut would increase the resistance and thus increasing the torque on the plane, the force that makes it lean forwards. And to my understanding, it should possible to compensate for it by putting more force downward on the rear of the plane, is that right?

If so, I will be able to do it with a bit of practice, I think.

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therealSteveN

5200 posts in 1255 days


#9 posted 02-17-2020 07:39 PM

” it helps to pencil a straight line just below the edge you’re jointing and look at the edge compared to the line after every couple of passes. You’ll see the progression of where you’re removing the most material. And unless you’re actively trying to “scoop out” the center, smart money is on the ends getting closer to the pencil line faster.”

Note I removed the sometimes part. It always does for me. Either flattening a sole of a plane, or taking off wood to an exact amount, hardly anything can beat a penciled/crayon squiggle across the face to show how you are progressing.

-- Think safe, be safe

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

12867 posts in 1819 days


#10 posted 02-17-2020 07:47 PM

I think depth of cut is irrelevant to the root issue which is inconsistent depth along the full cut.

Something else to try which helped me greatly when I started using hand planes is to physically force yourself to “scoop out” the center of the cut. I learned to do this by using only 2 fingers to pinch the tote at the beginning of the cut until the tote was on the edge of the board and then at the other end, as soon as the knob reaches the far edge of the board, completely remove your hand from the knob finishing the cut with nothing but one hand on the tote.

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

19549 posts in 3248 days


#11 posted 02-17-2020 10:05 PM

thinking out loud:
Keep in mind the tote and plane is designed to have downward pressure, even from the back of the plane.
the board is less then 2” long, but I don’t know where you stand. Try a step forward.
Also try holding the plane different. Instead of holding the knob, hold your left hand over the cap. If it solves the problem (or changes it in any way) you know it has to do with your technique.

And sometimes practice just makes these issues go away and you never know why.

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

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

12867 posts in 1819 days


#12 posted 02-17-2020 10:28 PM


And sometimes practice just makes these issues go away and you never know why.

- Don W

Yep!

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

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