: I've done a lot of google searching on this ng, and the old tools
: archive. From what I gather, the planes with thicker castings are
: considered better. It's not entirely clear to me how much of this is
: due to the increased rigidity this provides, and how much is due just
: to the increased mass.
Leuf raises some interesting points. Herewith something I wrote some time
ago (a summary of a posting made during what some people in the OldTools
group decided to call 'The Plane War':
'My wartime-quality Stanley 2in smoother weighs 3 lbs 8oz and my Norris
2-1/8in infill smoother weighs 3 lbs 12oz. Using a pair of bathroom scales,
I estimate that when working fairly hard I apply about 50lbs of my weight to
the plane, so the change of 4oz makes a difference of about 0.52%. At a
light 25lbs pressure the difference is 1%. Against this very small advantage
must be set the energy involved in overcoming the greater inertia and
lifting (or partially lifting) the plane at the end of the stroke. The
momentum might be useful at the end of a long stroke when one can lift the
forward hand and let the plane carry on and it can be very useful on a
shooting board where the weight is taken by the board.'
: This also leads into the question of infill planes, and I did see some
: mention of weight in talking about them. Most people seem to think
: that what makes an infill work better is a combination of rigidity yet
: the ability to absorb vibration in the infill, the blade, the size and
: tuning of the mouth, and the way the blade is clamped. The mass of it
: factors in, but to what degree is debatable.
I fear that there is a great deal of folklore about these planes, elegant
thought they might be.
: I looked at the prices on infills, and I wondered at why they were
: like that as they seemed pretty much like a Bailey with wood in the
: middle to my untrained eye.
Folklore and scarcity contributes to the high price, but a Bailey type can
be tuned to plane as well as the best of the infills (some with large
shaving apertures ain't much good for use as smoothers) and they have an
adjuster of ill-conceived design and less mechanically efficient than the
On my web site - Planing Notes - Fettling a Cast Iron Plane are some notes
that should demonstrate the validity of the claim about sheer planing
: .......................So this begs the question, is this modification
: actually doing anything at all besides adding weight and looking
In view of the above, the latter perhaps?
: ................................................ And if it does improve
performance and all it's doing is
: adding weight,
Possibly the principal aspect might be the morale of the user - a potent
Incidentally the said Norris lies on the shelf, unused (no it is not for
sale). I prefer my Stanley smoother or a newish tuned-up cheapest Record,
the SP (Special Production) 4.
Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
Email: username is amgron
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