tuning sides of a plane

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Forum topic by DannyThunder posted 09-21-2012 05:02 PM 1361 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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24 posts in 3124 days

09-21-2012 05:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plane side tuning

I usually find the answers I need just by lurking here, but I haven’t found what I needed yet, so here it goes.

I have a Wood River #6 that I really like. It is the second version, not the V3. I am finally getting around to making a shooting board, and would love to use the #6 with the shooting board. However, the side that would rest on the board is not 90 degrees to the sole. Am I a fool for event thinking about trying to do this with sand paper and my surface plate? The plate is big enough to have the whole plane sitting on it. What is the best way to go about this?

13 replies so far

View Mosquito's profile


9858 posts in 2800 days

#1 posted 09-21-2012 05:06 PM

Definitely not a fool. That’s the way I do it too.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View DannyThunder's profile


24 posts in 3124 days

#2 posted 09-21-2012 05:18 PM

Thanks. Do you you have any tips for taking off more material closer to the sole but being less aggressive the top of the side? Looking from behind the plane, the right side tilts in slightly like this |_\ .

View ksSlim's profile


1302 posts in 3398 days

#3 posted 09-21-2012 05:25 PM

Plastic tapered shims. Stick shims to sanding surface so that sole is perpendicular to board.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View bandit571's profile


23777 posts in 3191 days

#4 posted 09-21-2012 05:26 PM

Go out and get a decent “Speed square”. Clamp it to the sole. Leave it just a hair off the sandpaper surace. Use it as a guide to check when square. Repeat for other side. Most irwin brand speed squares ( Orange plastic ones) are less than $5 each. Grab two, one for each end. Just a “C” clamp to hold them in place. Take along a GOOD square, and check each speed square, before you buy it. Sometimes, I will go through half a rack of them, just to find a “true” one. Forgot the square? Grab a framing square to check the speedos, simple.

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

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4156 days

#5 posted 09-21-2012 05:26 PM

You might glue a piece of aluminum to the side of the plane
and shape that. You could actually glue the aluminum to
the plane and cut it square on the table saw.

View Robert Brown's profile

Robert Brown

151 posts in 3199 days

#6 posted 09-21-2012 05:31 PM

If the plane has a lateral lever, use that to get the blade at a 90 degree angle.

View DannyThunder's profile


24 posts in 3124 days

#7 posted 09-21-2012 05:48 PM

Thanks, those are some good ideas!

View Bertha's profile


13567 posts in 3201 days

#8 posted 09-21-2012 05:51 PM

I glued some sandpaper on my shooting board itself and just ran it until it was a perfect meet. This plane is dedicated to that shooting board (which is square), so I figured that even if it wasn’t perfect, it would work. Mine is a lowly #5, dime a dozen. I wouldn’t do such a thing to my beloved #6, lol :)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Brett's profile


669 posts in 3191 days

#9 posted 09-21-2012 05:53 PM

As Robert said, it’s important mainly that the cutting iron be at the right angle, not necessarily the sidewall of the plane.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View DannyThunder's profile


24 posts in 3124 days

#10 posted 09-24-2012 08:00 PM

Thanks again for all the ideas. I did some thinking over the weekend. While I would really like to be able to set the plane in the shooting board and know that everything is square, time is something that is scarce these days. Therefore, for the time being, I think I’ll just adjust the blades so that it square (I tested it, and it will work). It adds an extra step to the process, but it’s not one that takes long.

However, I’ve had my eye on a #4, so I guess I’ll check them in the store for square before I buy. Thanks for all the help.

View Brett's profile


669 posts in 3191 days

#11 posted 09-24-2012 09:45 PM

Danny, I bought an old No. 6 that I intend to use specifically as a shooting plane. All of the rest of my planes have cambered edges (however slight), but a shooting plane’s iron needs to be straight, which is why I’m dedicating one specifically to shooting. I chose a No. 6 because it’s heavy, not too long, and relatively affordable on eBay (due in part to reviews like this )

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View DannyThunder's profile


24 posts in 3124 days

#12 posted 09-24-2012 10:51 PM

I love my 6. I use it primarily for flattening guitar neck blanks, and it does that quite well. I keep the iron pretty much dead flat as I prefer to leave a flat surface for gluing on fretboards.

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 3460 days

#13 posted 09-25-2012 12:20 AM

Agree with all above who say the only critical part of the plane for shooting is a straight blade (no camber) and setting it straight across the mouth in the plane. I have a Record T-5 that I use for shooting and it is not 100% square, but because of how it is set up, it makes perfect 90 degree faces. Save your time and don’t worry about sanding down that plane. Spend your time on the blade and set up (which will take much less time).

-- Mike

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