Couple of neander questions ...


Hi folks,
A couple of neander questions for you, please ...
1. Does anyone use a backbevel on a standard Stanley plane blade (e.g., a 10 degree backbevel to increase the effective cutting angle for figured woods)?
2. Has anyone had personal experience with the ECE Primus reform smoothers? What do you think of them?
Thanks in advance, Nate
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Really gnarly woods are why I bought one of Steve Knight's smoothers. And a high angle blade on last year's Veritas bevel up Smoother.
The Stanley 4 is used for routine tasks, and the 4.5 for tasks where the weight is an asset. Mostly, it takes up a slot in the tool shrine these days.
To redo an old Sweetheart blade wouldn't take too long, though, and it certainly would do no lasting damage.

I have not. Sorry.

You're welcome.
Patriarch
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Hi Patriarch,
I have shied away from Steve's smoothers because I am not partial to adjustments on a wedged iron. I've never quite got the hang of it. I recall in a post a couple of weeks back you mentioned that Steve might be coming up with a plane that uses a more conventional adjust, but I searched the archive and his website and couldn't find the reference.
I've been thinking about a bevel up smoother but I haven't reached the point of coughing up the cash yet.

I guess you're right. What the heck, I'll give it a try.

Thanks again, guys.
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<snip>

Try this:
http://www.knight-toolworks.com/web_temp_pics/cocobolobrass.jpg
Patriarch, really _not_ a paid Steve Knight endorser, as though he needed one...
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(snip)

Thanks, Patriarch. That's a nice looking plane.

Yep, I noticed the big Steve Knight fan club ... He must be doing something right!
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wrote:

Nope. If I'm planing something awkward, I want a thicker and heavier iron than a Stanley. I use my Norris, or else an ancient wooden coffin with a thick iron in it.

They're a nice combination of wooden lightweight and a good adjuster. Lovely bench planes, or for framing work where you're working on some awkward beam on trestles, not a piece lying flat on a bench.
However for smoothers I'd want some extra weight, and as I adjust it carefully once then leave it alone, then the nice adjuster is of less benefit to me.
--
Cats have nine lives, which is why they rarely post to Usenet.

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wrote:

Right, I was thinking about doing it on a Hock blade. For some reason I've become really attached to an old Stanley #3 I have that is fitted with a Hock. I love its size, weight, and feel. The only problem I have is occasionally with figured woods.
I got a scraper plane but I've been disappointed with it. It's very tricky to make an edge that cuts the fibers rather than tearing them, and even then it's prone to chattering.
I've thought about a Knight, but my experience with using wedged irons has been mixed at best. I haven't figured out how to finick them accurately.
I gather not much stands up to a Norris, although I haven't used one.

I hate to ask a stupid question here, but why is lots of weight desirable in a smoother?
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The back bevel does help on a standard stanley blade, but a thicker iron is, as you have found, a great help as well. I finally got around to flattening the back of my veritas A2 2" blade and replaced a flaking SW era blade. When working with some purpleheart with two reversing streaks in it, both will still tear it out. Neither will make it perfectly smooth. It takes a scraper to finish it off.
I also have a Steve Knight smoother, it takes only a few minutes to get it figured out, they are awesome to use. I learned the fingertip method Steve talks about, I even got to meet Steve in his shop and feel what he was teaching.
With my finger tips keeping the blade just a touch inside the body, I set the wedge. This causes the blade to drop down just a bit below the surface. A couple of tries and I have it set. Although I don't own one, a small brass blade adjusting hammer would be beneficial. I currently use a hard plastic hammer which I have to whack pretty hard.
There is a second blade I have with a back bevel I bought from Steve (I put the back bevel on it), but I have not tried it yet on that piece of purpleheart. Might give it a go today.
After the smoother I bought the scrub plane. The chips can really FLY out of that one!
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arw01 said: "I also have a Steve Knight smoother, it takes only a few minutes to get it figured out, they are awesome to use. I learned the fingertip method Steve talks about, I even got to meet Steve in his shop and feel what he was teaching. "
I'll concur with arw01 on the Steve Knight smoother - I love mine and adjusting it is fairly easy. I have not had the proveledge of meeting Steve in his shop....."
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wrote:

Fashion - everyone seems to think that it's a good idea, hence the fetish for English infills like the Norris and the way Stanley went from a #4 to a #4 1/2, supposedly more to make it heavier than to make it wider.
Personally I find a heavier smoother helpful and I think it's to do with increased inertia, rather than weight. There's a "flywheel" effect - when it's moving, then it carries on moving, even if you hit a tougher knotty bit. This can be useful on irregular or figured timbers. If you do get tearout, this is normally associated with a point where the plane "stuttered" and you stopped moving it so smoothly for a moment - whether this is because of the speed changing, or the angle tilting, I don't know..
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wrote:

I see. Thanks, Andy. I am learning :-)
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You might find that the Norris adjuster can be as difficult as some wedged planes. Combining the lateral adjuster and the feed is not a good idea. Change one and you can find that the other has shifted.
For the results obtainable from a bog standard, relatively inexpensive cast iron smoother, you might like to try my web site - Planing Notes - Coping With Gnarly Grain.
Jeff G
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wrote:

Or maybe not.

I've never found this. Not with Norrii, with Lee Valley planes, or with Bristol Designs planes, using either pattern of Norris adjuster (single or differential thread). It's the thing I like most about this design.
It's possible that lateral adjustment will affect the depth setting - this is pretty much inevitable, given the geometry, but if depth adjustment is affecting the lateral shift, then something is sticking or wobbling where it shouldn't.
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wrote

Hi Jeff,
I've read your site many times, for many different topics ... handcut dovetails, chopping mortises by hand, tuning planes, etc. It is an excellent site and a great resource for the rest of us. Much appreciated. Following the instructions there (and elsewhere) have gotten me most of the way there, but I still have trouble from time to time on the most highly figured woods.
Looking again at your website, there are some things on there that I can still try. I have not filed the upper lip of the inside of the mouth, and my minimum mouth opening has been limited by clogging. The minimum mouth opening I've been using is wider than in your photos (I'd guess mine is somewhere around three quarters of a mm).
The other place where I've been remiss is that I've not lapped the sole of the plane. It "seemed" close enough by straightedge and I hesitated to scrub off all that nice patina (it's a very good condition #3, probably good enough to collect). I guess I ought to just bite the bullet and lap it.
Regards, Nate
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Try moving the cap iron backwards a little. Though it helps to have it as close as possible, I've found that the position is not as critical as is somethime made out.
Jeff G
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Jeff Gorman wrote:

One of my best smoothers (C&W woodie) doesn't have a cap-iron at all. And on my #4-1/2 I've set the cap iron back at least 1/8". With the leading edge of the mouth filed to remove any burrs, you can really close up the mouth. When the mouth is closed up that much, I suspect the cap-iron serves no function besides lending support to the iron (and clogging the mouth with shavings if it's set too close).
I haven't looked at your site for a while, but didn't you put forth the position that on a plane with an extremely tight mouth, the leading edge of the mouth/sole actually functions as the chipbreaker?
Chuck Vance
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Sorry, not guilty of this one!
My view is that principally the cap iron serves as a deflector. Of course it is an essential part of the Stanley/Record system (and Norris also) and might possibly act as a dampening device.
Jeff G
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