Pop-pop's Plane Update

Wreckers,
First up, the Stanley Bench Plane dating page marks this as a #4 Smoother, Type 9, made between 1902 and 1907. Two patent dates, plus the lack of a frog adjustment screw.
Pop was born in 1899, so my guess is that this was HIS father's plane. I'll ask Mom and see if she remembers whether or not her Grandfather was a woodworker.
I reground the iron straight--its bevel was crooked and rounded--managing not to turn anything blue. Scary sharped the iron.
Here's how I set it up:
I have the cap iron set back the width of a screwdriver tip--this should probably be set closer, it's closer to 1/16th than 1/32nd.
I'm not sure about the frog adjustment. I put it back on the original marks showed it was. I tried moving it further forward but that proved too far forward to allow the blade to move. If anyone knows how best to set the frog on this plane, I'd love to hear it.
Finally, it's tending to dig in. Is there any good way to reduce the backlash in the iron adjuster? I'm finding it difficult to strike the best balance between too shallow and too deep a cut.
Meanwhile, I'm making shavings, trying to get them nice and wispy . . . though I'm occasionally tempted to get out the sandpaper . . I'm practicing on Piney wood, plus some oak and maple offcuts I've lying around.
Stay tuned.
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On Wed, 15 Sep 2004 18:50:23 GMT, "U-CDK_CHARLES\\Charles" <"Charles

It all depends. You don't tune planes, you tune them _for_ something. What are you doing with this thing ? Smoother ? Smoother for gnarly stuff ? Bench plane ? Scrub plane ?
Baileys aren't accurate enough you can use them for everything, flipping from one to the other with a small twist of the adjuster. They can perform well, but you're best leaving them set for one task.

Set it as far back as it _should_ go, which is actually as far _forward_ as it looks like it ought to go. The frog edge should be aligned with the mouth edge.
If you set the frog further back, the risk is that the iron only rests on the mouth edge and is unsupported by the frog. There's no point in putting the frog further back. With a thin sole and a long bevel you _might_ get away with it, but generally you should avoid it.
Now with the frog right back, do a trial assembly with the iron etc. This will give you some idea of what the max mouth width is. A Bailey won't always adjust to a zero mouth (the cap iron hits first), but it should go small enough for most purposes. You can chamfer off the front edge of the mouth if needed (ON A USER PLANE).
You may also be trying to fit a better iron, like a Clifton / Victor. These are much thicker, and the best irons around for bench planes based on Baileys. In this case it's almost guaranteed that the iron won't fit the mouth, no matter where the frog sits. Your only option is to file the mouth open a little (ON A USER PLANE).
When mouth filing, I begin (if this will be enough) by filing the front edge to a chamfer to clear the cap iron and improve chip clearance. I then file the rear edge to roughly match the frog angle, if this will improve the use of the frog travel. If this isn't enough (and it won't be for a Clifton iron) then I start opening the mouth up from the front edge. Scribe a square line across the mouth, slight ahead (1/2mm) of the existing mouth. Wince in horror at the inaccuracy of the cast mouth! File to this line, using a file with two safe edges.

Backlash comes from two places, lash in the nut and lash where the fork enters the iron. It's basically an inaccurate design, so swap it for a Norris !
There have been zero-backlash multipart nuts, which might sell well enough if some enterprising toolshop were to recreate them as add-ons for Stanleys. http://www.supertool.com/etcetera/deadends/bailey.htm
Mainly though, it's a question of technique. The screw holding down the cap iron is a crucial adjustment, because it controls the friction that locates the iron (and it's _only_ this friction that holds it). Think of the adjusting fork as a "poke" to shift the iron along in either direction, not as the nut representing the actual position of the iron.
If you really have dig-in problems, think about the crowning, corners and the overall sharpness of the iron.
--
Smert' spamionam

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On Wed, 15 Sep 2004 21:58:18 +0100, Andy Dingley wrote:

Listen to the man. My Baileys behave themselves much better after I understood this point. You also want to always end your adjustment by bringing the blade forward. If you don't, the blade will slide back up; more slop.
Thoughts on using some loktite on the cap lever screw, once the best position is found?
--
"Keep your ass behind you"


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Fussing with the adjustment is at least half the fun! ;-)
Seriously, what Andy said in another post, about having more than one plane, is the direction I've been sliding recently. Some old 'Handyman' relics, swiped from my father's toolbox 20 years ago, a Record #4 that refuses to be a precision device, a Stanley low-angle block, set up for softwoods - these are my traveling kit. If they get lost or forgotten, it's not the end of the world. Along with some Ace Hardware chisels (which are surprisingly good), a couple of handsaws, and whatever power tools seem appropriate to the challenge. The good stuff stays at home, but seems to get new company regularly...
Patriarch
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On Wed, 15 Sep 2004 21:58:18 +0100, Andy Dingley

I'd like to use it for smoothing. Yes, I've been winding the adjuster back, say half a turn, then winding out the backlash in the screw, then advancing it by eighth turns.
This is definitely a user. The iron is original as far as I can tell.
It also helps if I make sure there are no old shavings caught between the cap iron and the iron when I reassemble...
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Have you reshaped the underside of the cap iron edge, so that it fits more tightly? Helps a lot.
Patriarch
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On Thu, 16 Sep 2004 17:32:12 GMT, "U-CDK_CHARLES\\Charles" <"Charles

Don't forget to grind the cap iron so that the toe fits accurately with no gaps. Stanleys are often poor for this.
--
Smert' spamionam

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: : I'm not sure about the frog adjustment. I put it back on the original : marks showed it was. I tried moving it further forward but that proved : too far forward to allow the blade to move. If anyone knows how best to : set the frog on this plane, I'd love to hear it.
You might care to try my web site - Planing Notes - Fettling a Cast Iron Plane and scroll down to The Frog. : : Finally, it's tending to dig in. Is there any good way to reduce the : backlash in the iron adjuster?
Very difficult to do without spoiling the plane - in any event some backlash appears to be required by the plane design (consider the operation of the yoke's spigot in the cap-iron aperture).
: ................................ I'm finding it difficult to strike the : best balance between too shallow and too deep a cut.
Is the lever cap set so tight as you can only just manage to release it with a finger? Otherwise you'll get very erratic settings.
Jeff G
--
Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
Email: username is amgron
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On Wed, 15 Sep 2004 18:50:23 GMT, U-CDK_CHARLES\Charles <Charles

Thanks for all the suggestions and links . . even the one's I'd already caught.
Started making shavings on red oak last night. Is it normal to spend an hour marveling over the texture of a planed surface?
At what point do I start sucking?
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On Fri, 17 Sep 2004 14:45:54 GMT, "U-CDK_CHARLES\\Charles" <"Charles

_Only_ an hour? No, that's not normal. 8-)
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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