LumberJocks

Plane Sole - Not Even Close To Flat

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by MikeJ70 posted 02-28-2020 02:13 PM 627 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MikeJ70's profile

MikeJ70

10 posts in 629 days


02-28-2020 02:13 PM

I just picked up a 607 C for a good price, but when I got it I didn’t have the ability to check the sole for flatness. When I got it home and put a straight edge on it I discovered it is not even close. The straight edge rocks on the mouth from front to back and there has to be at least a 1/32” or more gap ( I haven’t actually measured yet ) at the toe when I rest the straight edge on the heel and mouth. To me it seems like it is so far off that it would be impossible to flatten by hand, but I don’t have very much experience with this so I wanted to see what you all think. I do have the option to return it so I am thinking I either have to do that or take it to a machine shop. I would think there is only so much that can be ground off before you run the risk of compromising the integrity of the plane so does anyone have any knowledge of this? Thanks.

Mike J


23 replies so far

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

4671 posts in 4416 days


#1 posted 02-28-2020 02:25 PM

Are you checking for a different measurement when assembled versus disassembled?

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

16555 posts in 3300 days


#2 posted 02-28-2020 02:34 PM

Hone the cutter, assemble the plane and try it out! Resist the urge to throw it out based on a straightedge and see it it effectively joints a long edge.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View MikeJ70's profile

MikeJ70

10 posts in 629 days


#3 posted 02-28-2020 02:55 PM

PK – The plane was assembled when checking.

Smitty – I’ve got zero experience with hand planes so all I know is what I’ve read so far and everything I’ve read says the sole must be perfectly flat in order to get the best performance. I appreciate your advice, but since I don’t have any experience with hand planes and I go and test it out and I don’t get good results, then I have to question is it the plane or is it my technique? So in your experience, you have found that you can get good results with a plane that isn’t perfectly tuned? So is that something that holds more true to jointing and flattening vs. smoothing?

View bandit571's profile (online now)

bandit571

25079 posts in 3365 days


#4 posted 02-28-2020 03:02 PM

Stanley didn’t even worry about “perfectly flat” soles…...
The toe (front part) the area around the opening for the iron (Mouth) and at the back end ( heel) do need to be co-planar. Beyond that….no burrs or other items sticking down that might scratch the wood, need to be gone.
Put the feeler gauges away, keep the straightedge for layout work. Sharpen the iron, and put the plane to work.

I have both a Stanley No. 7c, and an Ohio No. 0-7…..work just fine…..the Stanley is a Type 9, BTW….

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

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

12884 posts in 1820 days


#5 posted 02-28-2020 03:08 PM

I’ll take a different tact. I agree with Smitty and Bandit that not being flat does not necessarily ensure that the plane will not serve its intended function. However, with 1/32” gap at the toe, I would also caution against using that plane to learn to hand plane. A little out of flat isn’t a big deal. But that’s a pretty big gap to have between the mouth and the toe. It’s going to be hard for an inexperienced user to get consistent results IMHO.

I also wouldn’t recommend a #7 in general to learn to plane with. You have to have a pretty flat board to begin with to get results from a plane that long. Just my $.02 and worth at least twice that!

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

View MikeJ70's profile

MikeJ70

10 posts in 629 days


#6 posted 02-28-2020 03:13 PM

Bandit, so how do you check to see if the heel and toe are co-planer?

View MikeJ70's profile

MikeJ70

10 posts in 629 days


#7 posted 02-28-2020 03:25 PM

Hokie, Exactly my thoughts. A little out of flat is probably not a big deal, but the amount that the straight edge was rocking seemed like it was way out of tolerance. Again, I didn’t actually measure it, but that gap seemed huge. I’ll see if I can get some time this weekend and maybe take some pics to show what I’m seeing.

Regarding your last statement, if the board is already flat then why would I need a #7?

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

16555 posts in 3300 days


#8 posted 02-28-2020 03:45 PM

Yes, it’s totally realistic to expect a non-perfect Bench plane to perform. Seriously. Now a shoulder plane is a bit tighter re: flat and square. The No. 444 has to be damn near perfect. But we’re talking a No. 7 jointer. Confession: I have over 100 planes and have ‘flattened’ maybe 5 of them? Haven’t checked any of the others, I just use them. And they’re all vintage.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

12884 posts in 1820 days


#9 posted 02-28-2020 03:49 PM



...

Regarding your last statement, if the board is already flat then why would I need a #7?

- MikeJ70

It has to be “pretty” flat before you use the #7. My point is that is if you start out with a rough-sawn board and a #7 plane, it’s going to take a LONG time to clean that board up. A plane basically shaves off the high spots on a board. The sole of the plane sort of determines how big of an area is “averaged out” to determine what is a high spot. So as the plane gets smaller, the amount of material removed goes up. That’s why scrub planes are short and jointers are long. When you get a full length shaving with a #7, that board is flat.

Hopefully that makes sense…

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

View bandit571's profile (online now)

bandit571

25079 posts in 3365 days


#10 posted 02-28-2020 03:55 PM

I use a 2 Finger Test.

Place the assembled plane on a nice flat spot, with the iron fully retracted ( and out of the way)
Place a finger tip on each end of the plane, first along the centerline, then at the diagonals

Press down with either fingertip, and see IF the plane moves any. If no movement up or down…put the plane to work. It is just fine for the work it will be doing. Test might take…5 minutes.

I use a #7 mainly as a jointer. I use it as a “smoother” only IF the glued up panel is long enough, and only to level the glue joints….

To flatten a board, the plane needs to go first across the grain ( #5 works great) then as a Try Plane, go at the diagonals to the grain, leveling the scallops left by the fore/jack plane. The Try Plane can be either a No. 5-1/2, or a #6. When the try plane makes a full width shaving all the way across…STOP. Then a nice, light, nibble Smooth plane can do the last few strokes WITH the grain. Nibble? can move around any knots, and follow any contrary grain areas ( usually around said knots). Besides, after moving those heavy planes around, the small smoothers ( #3 or #4) gives your arms ( and shoulders) a rest.

BTW: rub the soles with a plain candle, before you slide the plane around….just a few squiggles across the sole.

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

View MikeJ70's profile

MikeJ70

10 posts in 629 days


#11 posted 02-28-2020 04:40 PM

Sounds good guys. I appreciate all of your responses. I do have a nice Miller Falls #4 for smoothing and an ok older Stanley #5 that I am going to setup as a jack plane. Hopefully I can get some time this weekend to play around with the 607. I think its in really nice shape so I would hate to return it. The lever cap appears to be a replacement and there is not much life left in the blade so I will most likely pick up a Hock or Veritas at some point, but for now it should be fine.

Mike J

View Mr_Pink's profile

Mr_Pink

191 posts in 1053 days


#12 posted 02-28-2020 05:19 PM

To add another data point, my jointer plane (#7 size) is only flat for the first 19-20 inches. But it flattens boards just fine.

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

637 posts in 2331 days


#13 posted 02-28-2020 05:28 PM

A bit of wet/dry on a flat surface, like a granite floor tile, your table saw etc, and you can get it better. Enough so to make you feel good about it. THen get a Hock iron as it it the iron that does the cutting. Search the internet for videos on how to use one. Most of us start out incorrectly.

FWIW, I have Bailey, Stanley and old copy cat planes from block to planer and they are all better than a 64th. A couple I made perfect, but it does not really matter. I am sure the folks who sell $500 planes will argue, but they need some reason. My biggest mistake was not understand a scrub plane.

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1971 posts in 2865 days


#14 posted 02-28-2020 05:37 PM

Ubiquitous precision instruments are generally a good thing, but can really trip you up when it comes to woodworking. I spent hours and hours grinding my first big box store plane sole flat (it’s now my scrub plane), blowing black metal shavings out of my nose, and being miserable. If I saw any bit of sharpie left on the sole, I kept lapping.

It was a waste of time for a lot of reasons (Buck Bros. planes are crappy). My ah-ha moment was when I was looking at all these old wooden planes whose soles were not ground to micron tolerances, but worked totally fine. A plane is a jig for a blade, that’s it. Does the jig function? If so, don’t worry about the precision of the tools, worry about the accuracy of the results.

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

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

16555 posts in 3300 days


#15 posted 02-28-2020 07:08 PM

^ Like.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

showing 1 through 15 of 23 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com