I recently glued up a panel from pine boards. I decided to try
smoothing the end grain with my new Veritas low angle jack plane. Did
an okay job, but not as well as I hoped (probably my technique).
Anyways, when I was done I noticed a series of distinct scratches down
the sole of the plane that hadn't been there before, as well as a number
of nicks in my (newly honed) blade. A certain amount of foul language
Any ideas what might have caused this or how to avoid it in the future?
My current theory is an errant grain of something abrasive (sand?)
embedded in the wood.
sand is likely.
but it's not uncommon for a new blade to take a few sharpenings before
little nicks stop spontaneously appearing. weird, and I don't quite
know why, but I have seen it a number of times. 3rd or 4th sharpening
and it never happens again.
my best theory has to do with heat generated by the factory grinding
Oh, it would certainly be my fault.
I don't have proper supports for working panel edges, so it was sitting
on a 2x4 to keep it off the shop floor and clamped against the edge of
the bench. It's entirely possible that the 2x4 wasn't as clean as it
should have been.
If the scratches are behind the blade it may indicate that something
chipped the blade and that blade fragment then scored the plane.
It has been a long long time since I used a manual plane but isn't a
jack plane designed for very rough removal of wood ?
I always used a smoothing plane angled at about 30 -45 degrees from the
direction of stroke for planing end grain. A very fine shaving set and
more a slicing movement.
Traditionally, the jack followed the scrub and preceded the smooth. It was
for "good enough" surfaces which would not be seen. It's not common to make
Jack blades convex any more, so we call a plane of a certain length a jack.
You have steel in your blade, iron on the sole. Any piece of wire edge left
behind is potentially a scratch, as someone reminded you, as is any foreign
substance in the wood, including that bane of the hard maple industry,
"mineral stain." Calcium oxalate, the stuff of kidney stones precipitates
in slow flow areas like beneath branches, in injuries, &cetera. It can make
However, a betting man would go with something you picked up on the bench -
from putting the plane on it - like some sandpaper grit, or the odd bit of
metal. Unless you're going to wipe the plane before use all the time, get
used to some wear marks.
It was a *low-angle* jack, which is a bevel-up plane with an
adjustable mouth; basically an oversized block plane. My L-N
(equivalent to the old Stanley #62) is capable of very fine work, and
excels at end-grain work.
Ditto on the angled cut with a slicing motion.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.