Just got a Lee Valley low angle block plane. Very nice plane. I am
curious, however, if anyone has tried various angles other than the
standard blade angles. I think Steve Knight has tested some
non-standard angles. I wonder what he has found about the performance
and characteristics of non-standard angles. Anyone else ever tested
what a standard block plane can do that a low angle block plane cannot
I keep two low angled block planes on the bench. One is ground at 25
degrees, giving it an effective angle of 37 degrees for cutting end
grain. It's also easier to push than one with a higher angle so I use
it for cooperative straight grain. The other is ground at 38 degrees,
giving a 50 degree angle which is nice for getting to small areas of
squirrelly grain the smoother can't reach.
You could buy an extra iron and experiment.
Scott Post email@example.com http://home.insightbb.com/~sepost /
I've a standard and a low. In my case, the standard is relegated to rougher
work, as it seems better at breaking a chip running with the grain than the
I would imagine other angles have been tried in the evolution of the two
varieties commonly available, and what is left has been deemed "the
firstname.lastname@example.org (Eric Anderson) wrote in message
"Non-standard" bedding angles have been used since wooden planes
were first used. The higher the effective planing angle (read: the
angle of the bevel plus the bedding angle on a bevel-up plane or
simply the angle of bedding on a bevel-down plane), the more the plane
approaches a scraping action. This can be very helpful for planing
tricky grain without tearout.
I currently own two planes with high angles, a Clark & Williams
coffin smoother at 55 degrees and a Knight coffin at 50 degrees. I
also play around with my low-angle smoothers by putting a
"macro-bevel" that's higher than the standard grind.
I own a couple of standard angle block planes, and find I don't
reach for them very often. In theory, the higher angle should make
them better on face grain, but since I don't use a block plane for
smoothing, I don't find they offer any advantage. I'm more likely to
use my block planes in endgrain, and that's where the lower angle is
But the cool thing about bevel-up planes is that all you have to do
to test out how they perform at various angles is to grind the bevel
higher or lower. You could even buy two irons for the same plane and
swap them out for different types of planing.
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