Bought an inexpensive Stanley block plane since poor planning on my part
necessitated the emergency purchase. Been reading that the suggestion is
that it "needs honing" before use.
You "hone" the iron (blade), correct?
And you "lap" the sole???
Do I have my terms correct?
And - chances are that, given the price/quality of this plane, that both
honing and lapping should be done, right?
my dog "laps" up her water.
A "lap" dance can get you in trouble with the missus, if it isn't her on
Laplanders live where it's way too cold for a visit from this CA spoiled
Coach will send you out for 10 "laps" if you miss that tackle again.
hone the blade; lap the sole.
"Lapping" is the process of leveling by rubbing one item against another.
The principle is simple - random motion will make the softer flat even if
the harder isn't, because the errors will be progressively diminished by the
rubbing. Often a loose abrasive and lubricant is used, but you may also
use a piece of abrasive paper on a glass surface.
That URL I gave you has good information under "fettling"
http://www.amgron.clara.net follow on determining and flattening the sole.
Just be careful not to rub it the wrong way....
Whatever they call it, you want to flatten the sole, flatten and
polish the "flat" side of the blade, and sharpen the bevel side of the
Sharpening the blade will have the most immediate effect.
Here is some info on tuning a bench plane:
Just ignore the part about "chip breakers" as a block plane does not
You lap the sole, then you lap the back of the blade, then you hone the
If it was an emergency purchase (say you're trimming a few doors or
something) then you might get it to work somewhat out of the box for a
If it's the current bottom of the line el-cheapo Stanley block plane, I'd
use it stock for the emergency job and then throw it away. I bought that
same plane a few years ago under similar circumstances (trimming doors).
No depth adjustment, badly-made aluminum body. I got the iron sharp, but
once I got started lapping the sole, I just exposed a lot of raw aluminum,
and the thing left horrible black streaks everywhere. It was pretty
hopless trying to do anything with it. I decided to keep the iron as a
glue scraper, and I threw the body away.
I'm not an elitist here. I make do with a lot of stuff that many folks here
sneer at. Even so, if you have the plane I'm thinking of, that particular
plane is all but completely useless.
Oh, also, if you *are* trimming doors or something along those lines, a $6
sur-form plane will do a much better job IMHO, and it's a no fuss, no muss
way to go.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < email@example.com>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
Not always. Some months ago, I got an E.C.E. jointer plane--741P, I think. Took
it out of the box, set depth and jointed about 4 red oak boards for a bookcase.
My first shot at that much planing in a long, long time. Superior plane.
Shortly before that, I'd gotten a Veritas 4-1/2 for some door work, and that
came directly out of the box and got used on some panelled oak doors. Same
They both might have operated better with a half hour or 45 minutes work, but
it honestly was hard to see how.
I don't think so. It's also much easier to rock and screw up the surface.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas J. Watson
The Stanley has several problems. The iron metallurgy isn't wonderful,
but the worst is a general lack of accuracy and rigidity around the
adjustments. Given this, it's just not worth the effort to try and
tune something that will never reward the investment.
Irons are moderately sharp on arrival, but don't hold it. You'll need
to re-hone fairly regularly.
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
Depends on what you're planning to do with it, I guess. You gonna kiss it
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss
: Bought an inexpensive Stanley block plane since poor planning on my part
: necessitated the emergency purchase. Been reading that the suggestion is
: that it "needs honing" before use.
: You "hone" the iron (blade), correct?
: And you "lap" the sole???
: Do I have my terms correct?
: And - chances are that, given the price/quality of this plane, that both
: honing and lapping should be done, right?
On my web site there's some information about tuning a plane, though mostly
relevant to smoothing/jack planes (which would have been a better buy).
Anyway, please try 'Planing Notes' - 'Fettling a Cast Iron Plane' and go on
Lapping involves a mobile grinding medium on a retentive surface. Using
coated abrasive papers is not lapping - presumably it is best called
Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
Email address is username@ISP
username is amgron
ISP is clara.co.uk
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