Planes

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Couple of questions about planes:
I have a #5 plane that works ok until a little wax is applied to the sole. After that, it works great. The effects of the wax last only last for about 5 minutes. If I was to sand the sole (basically scary sharp process) to about 1500 or even 3000 grit, would it naturally keep that smooth slickness?
When I try to flatten a board, one of things I've seen people do is go across the grain. When doing this, what am I looking for as a stopping point?
Puckdropper
--
Make it to fit, don't make it fit.

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On 2/20/2013 9:06 AM, Puckdropper wrote:

Certainly helps...a plane needs be "tuned" just as a chisel back to be true and flat and polished its entire surface. And, of course, the blade sharpened the same way that the back should be perfectly flattened so the edge is pure. The wax is probably making up for the otherwise rough surface by being an interface until it's worn away. If the surface is slick the need for help is reduced, obviously.

It's normally done w/ a scrub plane--has two purposes; one to remove high spots selectively to bring the board into plane surface and secondly to ease the plane force required by slicing partially across grain just as skewing a plane slight when going with the grain...
You're looking only to hit the high spots--when the marks disappear, revert to longitudinal finish strokes. Again, it will work better w/ a scrub plane or if you have only the one, a blade that is sharpened to have a very slight convex shape so the corners don't bite and leave any gouge marks will suffice.
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On 2/20/2013 7:15 AM, dpb wrote: > On 2/20/2013 9:06 AM, Puckdropper wrote: >> Couple of questions about planes: > >> When I try to flatten a board, one of things I've seen people do is go >> across the grain. When doing this, what am I looking for as a stopping >> point? > > It's normally done w/ a scrub plane--has two purposes; one to remove > high spots selectively to bring the board into plane surface and > secondly to ease the plane force required by slicing partially across > grain just as skewing a plane slight when going with the grain... > > You're looking only to hit the high spots--when the marks disappear, > revert to longitudinal finish strokes. Again, it will work better w/ a > scrub plane or if you have only the one, a blade that is sharpened to > have a very slight convex shape so the corners don't bite and leave any > gouge marks will suffice.
A real scrub plane would be cool, but they are often expensive. I converted a cheapo smoothing plane into a "scrub" plane by honing a rather tight arc into the blade. Setting the blade with a good bite and planing across the grain I can remove lots of wood and old paint quickly. And I don't care too much about dirt, paint, and old staples because it was a $2 plane that I expect to abuse. A very useful tool, especially if you like to recycle wood (like the 15"-wide vertical-grain redwood shelf I got from my grandmother's house).
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On 2/20/2013 10:20 AM, scritch wrote:

Indeed...a reasonable solution.
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A narrower iron can take out a heavier shaving for the same push. A #4 is ideal for setting up as a scrub.
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On 2/20/2013 10:06 AM, Puckdropper wrote:

I did the scary sharp process on a small block plane. What can I say? The blade looked so good I got carried away and did the sole of the plane too. Fortunately, the sole was pretty flat to begin with and it didn't take long. I went to 2000 grit and it is like a mirror. It could be my imagination, but it seems a lot easier to control now.

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I agree with others. The finer sanding of the sole will make it smoother p laning. I often use 2000 and finer to polish metal, my planes' soles inclu ded.
Cross grain planing was done on my shaving horse project, after splitting t he log into appropriate boards. Not only perpendicular to the grain, but d iagonal to it at times. That kind of rough planing cuts down greatly on th e along-the-grain planing, later. That cross planing gouges out greater sh avings, than does the finer smoothening of along-the-grain planing.
Not only will cross planing knock down the high spots faster, but if you wa nt to reduce the overall thickness of a board, say by 1/8", cross planing i s the fastest way to accomplish the task, to nearly your mark, before fine planing along the grain to your mark, when hand planing only.
Sonny
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I shall acquire some sheets of fine paper and report back. The sole looked pretty flat when checked with my straight edge, so I can probably start at 400.
Puckdropper
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On 2/20/2013 10:42 AM, Puckdropper wrote:

The way to tell when is enough is when you have a uniform scratch pattern over the entire sole--then you can begin to polish. Be certain, however, that the reference surface you use is flat or you'll be grinding in curvature you definitely don't want.
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"Puckdropper" wrote in message

I shall acquire some sheets of fine paper and report back. The sole looked pretty flat when checked with my straight edge, so I can probably start at 400. ==========================================================================Smooth it all up like that and you will not notice much difference other than it will be shinier. Still going to need the wax for really smooth going.
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Agreed. At any level of "shine", wax will make the plane slide easier. If you can see yourself in the sole you are increasing friction as there is more complete surface contact. Kind of like the way gauge blocks stick together when wrung. I polished one #6 plane like that, and have seen small pieces of wood lift with the plane at the end of a stroke.
Whatever you lube a plane with will wear off quickly. A candle or a chunk of paraffin is fine for small jobs. For extended planing sessions I use a wick soaked in mineral spirits. I made the wick from an old cloth belt, rolled tightly and held by a chunk of scrap lumber with a 1.5" hole drilled deep enough so that the edge of the belt roll sticks out about a quarter inch. A couple swipes of the plane backwards over the wick lubes the sole nicely without needing to stop or change hand positions. A better holder can be made using a metal or plastic container with a lid to reduce evaporation, but I made this one as a trial, and then ran out of roundtoits.
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Puckdropper <puckdropper(at)yahoo(dot)com> wrote in

Reporting back...
The plane might have been flat, but it wasn't smooth and flat. The normal oxidation on the plane sole caused excessive drag which made it hard to use. As I started to sand it, it started to get really shiny. I had started out with 320 grit, but it didn't last long at all. So, I dropped down to 150 grit.
The 150 grit has left a smooth and flat surface that works properly without lubrication. Where the plane rarely took a full width shaving before, it did so with little hesitation.
I haven't decided whether I need to do anything about the plane sides (I don't see myself using it in a shooting board), but maybe I'll sand them down some and put some paste wax on them.
Puckdropper
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On Thursday, February 21, 2013 11:51:44 AM UTC-6, Puckdropper wrote:

Just make sure there are no burrs on the side edges, adjacent to the sole. If the bottom was pitted, even slightly, there may be a few burrs on the bottom-side edges.
Sonny
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"Puckdropper" wrote in message

If you are using this as a jack plane, with a relatively heavy camber on the iron, I don't think I'd bother polishing the sole... Jack planes are typically the first plane to touch the wood (unless you have a scrub) and you are likely to have dust, dirt, pebbles, etc. on or embedded in the surface that will quickly scratch up the sole. Those scratches will negate all your efforts to polish the sole. Unless you have noticeable corrosion or damage on the sole I'd stick with the wax or risk frustrating yourself as the new scratches quickly appear! In the cases of corrosion or damage taking it to 600 grit or so should be fine enough.
In use, the initial strokes are typically diagonally across the board to flatten. Go diagonally from both directions and once all the diagonal plane tracks are even then take a pass with the grain and move on to the jointer plane. If you are thicknessing the board continue the diagonal passes until you are approaching the desired thickness and then go with the grain. You do not want to go so far that the low points of the cuts end up below the surface of the desired thickness unless this is "class C" work where only thickness and not appearance matters.
John
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Puckdropper wrote:

You've received some great advice, and I don't disagree with any of it.
First, however, scary sharp the blade. A very, very sharp blade will make a HUGE difference.
My $0.02
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On 2/20/2013 10:06 AM, Puckdropper wrote:

And yes they wear off quickly.
No having a totally smooth bottom devoid of scratches won't help. The problem is that you are experiencing like a hydraulic lock. Where the surfaces suck together. Think of the corrugated bottom planes that tried to eliminate this.
Across the grain is much easier to plane than with the grain. Get the high spots first.I chamfer the edge to prevent blowing it out (tear out).
I keep candle wax handy and just hit it with a little every now and then. Some use oil (Frank Klauz for example).
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Jeff

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Remerber the U-Tube presentation where the guy took an elcheapo HF plane (Like $10 maybe) and with some sweat equity added, made a jack plane?
Lew
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wrote:

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On 2/20/2013 9:27 PM, woodchucker wrote: ...

Certainly not until one has already reached a nearly perfect surface--and OP's talking about flattening where he doesn't even yet have twist/cup/etc., out...the likelihood of that being his problem is minimal at best methinks.
The corrugated soles help simply by reducing surface area.
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On Feb 20, 3:45 pm, snipped-for-privacy@rahul.net (Edward A. Falk) wrote:

Which the plane removes. You'll have more problems staining carpenter's glue lines, which, because they dry water resistant, resist stain, as well.
If you can find mutton tallow, its residues, if any, are supposed not to interfere with gluing or finishing.
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