Wood planes

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mrgrimsdale
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Wood planes

Postby mrgrimsdale » Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:09 am

Another 99p ebay purchase thumped through the letter box the other day. I've collected a few out of interest; to see if they are worth working with, as they are very cheap.
I can get them working OK but they are never as good as my Record 5 1/2, which seems to be the best plane in the universe.
So can anyone tell me; obviously they are never going to be as convenient, but can they be made to cut as well as a metal plane?
Or is the best you can expect just a usable but inferior tool?

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Re: Wood planes

Postby mrspanton » Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:34 am

The wood ones I use most are the jack planes, and the rebate. The rebates are little crackers, it is astonishing how fast and efficient they are especially with a skew blade. I have 4 wood jack's set to scrub, coarse, medium, and fine, just pick whatever is required rather than alter blade depth each time. Plus a big heavy matheson oak jointer to shoot boards for made up seats if I need to. I havent had so much success with moulding planes.
PS re your quaestion, a lot depends on wether you want to work to charlesworth engineering tolerances or if you are happy to just plane some wood.... :lol:

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Re: Wood planes

Postby mrgrimsdale » Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:43 am

mrspanton wrote:The wood ones I use most are the jack planes, and the rebate. The rebates are little crackers, it is astonishing how fast and efficient they are especially with a skew blade. I have 4 wood jack's set to scrub, coarse, medium, and fine, just pick whatever is required rather than alter blade depth each time. Plus a big heavy matheson oak jointer to shoot boards for made up seats if I need to. I havent had so much success with moulding planes.
PS re your quaestion, a lot depends on wether you want to work to charlesworth engineering tolerances or if you are happy to just plane some wood.... :lol:

Oh yes I'd forgotten about the rebate planes. I borrowed Brian's Ulmia some time ago viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2814. Excellent tool.

Yes I take your point about having them to hand for different uses. Then the 5 1/2 or 4 1/2 just for smoothing and fine finishing.

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Re: Wood planes

Postby mtr1 » Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:20 am

I think the moulding planes are handy if you do a lot of restoration work or you just want to run small lengths of mouldings. I have found the wider the moulding plane the harder to control.

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Re: Wood planes

Postby engineerone » Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:41 am

wooden planes with hard soles are suggested to clean the wood better because of the way they rub the wood after the cut. however, the biggest problem with the older ones is adjusting the wedge properly so that it both holds the blade tightly, but does not push it too far down as you tighten it. the german ece planes with their adjustment are a decent modern compromise of the benefits of a wooden plane, and the easy set up.

because i find accurate wedging the blade difficult, i don't use my various ones as much as i should. :?

paul ;)

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Re: Wood planes

Postby derekcohen » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:25 pm

So can anyone tell me; obviously they are never going to be as convenient, but can they be made to cut as well as a metal plane?


Hi Jacob

I have had good luck recently with a bunch of woodies. OK, 2 out of the three I made, and the third I picked up on eBay.

The first two I have posted here already ...

Jack plane .... just fantastic user ...

Image

.. and small coffin smoother ...

Image

However, I had a recent win on eBay. The blade was nearly used up, but I honed it is and it has proved to be amazing in the edge it takes and holds. There is a nice story with this one. Here is a link ..

http://www.inthewoodshop.com/Commentary/APlanefromMatjiesfontein.html

Regards from Perth

Derek
www.inthewoodshop.com

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Re: Wood planes

Postby mrspanton » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:34 pm

mtr1 wrote:I think the moulding planes are handy if you do a lot of restoration work or you just want to run small lengths of mouldings. I have found the wider the moulding plane the harder to control.

I found that it helps greatly to use very good quality, clean, straight grained stock to make the muldings. Less problems with tearout from wild wavy grain, even when the plane is use "downhill" all the way along....when it does work sweetly though its very satisfying to see the moulding appear. I reckon a lot of the old moulding planes (ones with a shaped profile not standard hollows and rounds) are warped and stuff. Sharpening a profile is tricky too, without ruining it.

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Re: Wood planes

Postby mrgrimsdale » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:38 pm

The only disappointment is the blade. This is a well-used Scottish Alex Mathieson & Son. It is a puzzle for me that such a worn iron is fitted to this crispy plane.
Derek that's a brand-new modern style amateur-made plane with an old blade. Or I'll eat my hat! Like the story, sorry to be a party-pooper!

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Re: Wood planes

Postby mrspanton » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:40 pm

That is a beauty Derek. What is the handle (sorry tote) made of? Shame they laminated 2 boards to make the body...
I got 1 or 2 new old stock marples planes, its sort of weird to start off new with something so old (probably 40 to 50 years at least) :D

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Re: Wood planes

Postby derekcohen » Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:14 pm

Jacob, I'm pretty sure that the plane is new. The question is "when was it made, and where?". My guess is that it was made in South Africa and brought to Australia very recently. I think that it is genuine in terms of where it comes from, but that it was made fairly recently. It is inconceivable that someone went to all that trouble to fake a plane (which is pretty well made), and then sell it in Australia where it would draw a very small audience of those interested. Recall, I only paid $26 AUD (14 GBP).

The blade is 2 1/8" wide, which is an uncommon size. I would say that the plane was built arount the blade since it fits the mouth perfectly. A full length tapered blade would be too thick. I am on the look out for a suitable replacement, and will then need to open the mouth. Anyone have a decent 2 1/8" blade? I have honed the blade and it is fantastic - I would say that there is plenty of life in it in spite of its looks.

Shame they laminated 2 boards to make the body...


Actually, it makes sense. Steve Knight has been making planes this way for a while.

Regards from Perth

Derek
www.inthewoodshop.com

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Re: Wood planes

Postby mtr1 » Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:51 pm

derekcohen wrote:Jacob, I'm pretty sure that the plane is new. The question is "when was it made, and where?". My guess is that it was made in South Africa and brought to Australia very recently. I think that it is genuine in terms of where it comes from, but that it was made fairly recently. It is inconceivable that someone went to all that trouble to fake a plane (which is pretty well made), and then sell it in Australia where it would draw a very small audience of those interested. Recall, I only paid $26 AUD (14 GBP).

The blade is 2 1/8" wide, which is an uncommon size. I would say that the plane was built arount the blade since it fits the mouth perfectly. A full length tapered blade would be too thick. I am on the look out for a suitable replacement, and will then need to open the mouth. Anyone have a decent 2 1/8" blade? I have honed the blade and it is fantastic - I would say that there is plenty of life in it in spite of its looks.

Shame they laminated 2 boards to make the body...


Actually, it makes sense. Steve Knight has been making planes this way for a while.



Regards from Perth

Derek


The one i have is 2 1/4",its 4.25mm thick and on it it is marked I.SORBY any good to you. pm if prefer

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Re: Wood planes

Postby mrspanton » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:26 pm

derekcohen wrote:
Shame they laminated 2 boards to make the body...


Actually, it makes sense. Steve Knight has been making planes this way for a while.

Regards from Perth

Derek


whop de doo, Steve knight is the plane god :roll: why did nt they make laminated planes traditionally then, if its so good a method? I cant think of any old makers as used that method. Apart frtom obviously easier to fashion the bed for the iron etc?

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Re: Wood planes

Postby mrgrimsdale » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:49 pm

mrspanton wrote:... why did nt they make laminated planes traditionally then, if its so good a method? ...
They didn't have modern glue.
Also they had a well established tradition for making single-piece bodies so there would have been no reason to change, until the traditional chain was broken.

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Re: Wood planes

Postby mrspanton » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:53 pm

well at least one modern (american) plane builder doesnt buy that concept. I forget their name but they produce smoothers and jacks etc that look exactly like traditional old beech ones-one piece bodies carved with floats etc ;)

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Re: Wood planes

Postby derekcohen » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:57 pm

You are referring to Clark & Williams. They make one-piece traditional woodies.

Then, again, Jim Krenov inspired a generation of laminated planes, and managed to make them work reasonably well. :D

Regards from Perth

Derek
www.inthewoodshop.com

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Re: Wood planes

Postby mrgrimsdale » Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:00 pm

Old Jim hasn't inspired me yet. I'm still waiting! :lol: :lol:

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Re: Wood planes

Postby mrspanton » Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:05 pm

well you'd need to have a seaence now Jacob.... :shock:

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Re: Wood planes

Postby mrspanton » Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:09 pm

clark and williams those are the ones with the tried and tested traditional design. If it aint broke dont fix it. I notice they use plain old boring old beech, no fannying about with rosewood paduak and such.... :lol:

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Re: Wood planes

Postby mrgrimsdale » Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:45 am

Latest ebay purchase. £0.99p, plus p&p

Now sharpened, linseed oiled, sole planed flat.

Image

Image

Salmen 404. 2 1/4". 1944. Same age as me - must be good!
Didn't seem to have done much (another coincidence!) but may have spent part of it's life in a pond, to judge by the dried out appearance and the badly pitted (Tyzack hardly used) blade.
Flattening the face by hand is very tedious so I thought it was time to invent the Grimsdale Mk II honing guide, details of which I've posted here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=3686&p=47992#p47992

It works OK but however I try to improve my wooden planes' performance, they just aren't as good as metal planes. Which of course is why they have largely been abandoned and are available on ebay for 99p.

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Re: Wood planes

Postby mrspanton » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:18 pm

Have a look on the clark and williams site, there is a explanation as to why mass produced wooden planes are not so god (as metal or older hand made wood ones)

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Re: Wood planes

Postby mrgrimsdale » Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:59 pm

mrspanton wrote:Have a look on the clark and williams site, there is a explanation as to why mass produced wooden planes are not so god (as metal or older hand made wood ones)
Had a look - it's not entirely clear why old ones were better. More a case of better ones are better.
BTW re my 99p plane appearing to be little used. I've met this before with old planes and the reason was the same - it was simply unusable :roll: .
In this case the mouth was too tight (relieved by planing the bottom) and the cap iron had a square end which meant shavings compacted against it instead of gliding past. A quick filing did the trick.

I've been using it this morning. It's improving. They do - it's almost like training them up. You bash away with a hammer or a mallet to get the set right until eventually everything settles in and needs less bashing.

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Re: Wood planes

Postby jake » Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:13 pm

mrgrimsdale wrote: it's not entirely clear why old ones were better. More a case of better ones are better.


Twas ever thus (and still is!)

it's almost like training them up. You bash away with a hammer or a mallet to get the set right until eventually everything settles in and needs less bashing.


Mistreated as a lad, then Grim? Bashing you up that chimney?

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Re: Wood planes

Postby mrspanton » Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:34 pm

Because they were made by hand until the indusrtial revolution, the machines couldnt work as accurately

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Re: Wood planes

Postby mrgrimsdale » Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:08 am

jake wrote:
mrgrimsdale wrote: it's not entirely clear why old ones were better. More a case of better ones are better.


Twas ever thus (and still is!)

it's almost like training them up. You bash away with a hammer or a mallet to get the set right until eventually everything settles in and needs less bashing.


Mistreated as a lad, then Grim? Bashing you up that chimney?
Never did me any harm (except for the brain damage and the scars).

And the sole needs training up too. I think newly planed surfaces are softer. It's only with use, linseeed oil and occasional fine smoothing, that the sole eventually becomes flat and stable, but never as flat and stable as a steel plane.


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