Flat Reference Surface To Tuning Wooden Planes

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Hi,
I need a hard flat surface about 6" x 12+" for tuning my wooden planes. Heavy glass is commonly used but I haven't found a source (just outside Boston). Japan Woodworker sells a granite block for this purpose but at $100 seems too expensive.
Can someone suggest an alternative material or source? One possibility is a granite scrap from a countertop but it might not be flat enough. (How flat is flat enough?)
Thanks, Gary
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Check Grizzly. They have a 2" thick 9x12 for 20 bucks plus shipping. They offer a 3" thick for the same money, but shipping costs are the biggest expense anyway. I got a 2" thick one some years ago, but can't recall what the shipping cost was.
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wrote:

dining room table tops at yard sales. you can get 1/2" to 3/4" tops 4'x4' for maybe $20. just tell them you don't want the 4 chairs that go along with them. :)
regards, charlie http://glassartists.org/chaniarts
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abby wrote:

Grizzly Tools
http://grizzly.com/products/9-x-12-Granite-Plate-No-Ledge-2-Thick/G9649
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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Mon, Feb 4, 2008, 4:47pm snipped-for-privacy@charter.net (abby) doth mumbleth: Hi, I need a hard flat surface about 6" x 12+" for tuning my wooden planes. Heavy glass is commonly used but I haven't found a source (just outside Boston). <snip>
You telling us they don't have glass places around there? I got thee pieces from a local glass place just the other day, one for a light box, two for Scary Sharp (TM), and I live just outside a small town.
JOAT - who does not welcome thread question e-mails..
10 Out Of 10 Terrorists Prefer Hillary For President - Bumper Sticker I don't have a problem with a woman president - except for Hillary.
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J T wrote:

I did the same. I didn't use heavy glass, per se, but backed it with a piece of plywood. Mounted the the whole thing in a frame, and it's very solid and very safe.
--
Tanus

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For tuning your wooden planes I would be astonished if a 12" x 12" , or larger granite or marble tile bought at home depot were not flat enough.
I'd seal a piece of mdf with shellac and then stick the tile on top with mastic or silicone rubber.
--
FF

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Do you have a cabinet saw? Shaper? Any quality stationary tool with a cast-iron top will likely be flat enough.
scott
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abby wrote:

I got a couple of granite slabs from my son.....one of which is 2ft by 3ft( I like the size).....seems flat enough to me as my chisels and plane irons have a strong affinity for shaving hair....I'd think a simple 12 inch by 12 inch granite tile would do nearly as well. Maybe a counter person will wade in on how flat is flat enough....Rod
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I saved a few pieces of granite tile from a bathroom I did and they were not very flat. Probably ok for putting edges on blades, but definitely not flat enough for lapping plane bottoms, IMO. Some tiles might be ok, but not the ones I had.
JP
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<<snippage about surface plates>>
I saved a few pieces of granite tile from a bathroom I did and they were not very flat. Probably ok for putting edges on blades, but definitely not flat enough for lapping plane bottoms, IMO. Some tiles might be ok, but not the ones I had.
JP
If you have 3 of said plates, get some loose silicon carbide abrasive powder and lap them together and they will be flatter than any woodworkers needs anything.
Mix the abrasive with light oil...I use cheap olive oil or vegetable oil...until you have a thin paste. Label the plates A, B and C or 1, 2 and 3 or whatever it takes.
Smear a coating of paste on plate A, place plate B on top of it and move around in a figure 8. The pattern shouldn't be big...no more than 1/4 of the plate size and smaller than that is better.
Turn plate B 1/4 turn and continue until both plates have been cleaned up some...about half the surface...you should be able to see where it's cutting and where it hasn't. Oh...be sure to keep the plates wet with the paste.
Clean off the plates, saving as much of the paste as possible.
Now put plate B down, cover with paste and lap plate C on it, using the same pattern.
Clean.
Now plate C goes down and plate A goes on top. Continue.
Yes, you are seeing a pattern develop here and it should continue until all the plates have a uniform surface on them.
Store 2 of the plates somewhere safe...if you ever need to touch up your working plate, it'll go LOTS faster having those two plate rather than starting over.
Mike
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sink cutout from granite countertop job
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The simplest way to describe how flat those black granite surface plates are is to call them PERFECTLY flat at least for woodworking purposes. the Black Granite Surface plates that are imported by companies like Grizzly Enco or others are usually flat to within 0.0001 across the entire face
yes that was ONE TEN THOUSANDTH of an inch. and thats usually the "cheap" part grade they call them grade B plates
almost all tiles and machine tables are flat to within at least the hundredths of an inch.
the natural makeup of wooden plane will have more natural error in it due to the nature of the wood fibres than any solid well maintained cast iron machine table, or pane of glass, or tile, or surface plate.
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I went by stone fabricator, the guys that make the granite countertops and asked if they had a few pieces of scraps I could buy, they sent me out back and said pick out what I needed, I was able to find a 20X16" piece that was as flat as I could measure, it was win win for both of us...
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abby wrote:

If you can't find a source closer, Ed Steben Glass in Hartford should be able to fix you up.
Look in the phone book under "plate glass" and if it's not there then just "glass" and find a "plate glass" supplier. They should be able to cut you a piece whatever size you need for a reasonable price.
--
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--John
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wrote:

http://www.wttool.com/product-exec/product_id/16729?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=froog
Starret has bigger ones, too. Shipping 's a bitch, though.
-Zz
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How about a polished marble tile for about three bucks?
Bob

http://www.wttool.com/product-exec/product_id/16729?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=froog
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Yeah, but would it meet ISO and ASTM Standards for 'Flat'? :o)
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wrote:

Does a wooden plane ever come close to "flat" for more than a few minutes or a few percent of humidity or a few degrees of temperature?
The OP was talking about truing a wooden plane after all
Brent Ottawa Canada
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Oh dear, perhaps you missed my smiley?
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