I'm hand planeing a door frame, and I've quite a bit to get off. I'm
using an oldish (and cheapish I would imagine) plane made by AMN, which
I think was made in India. Problem is, the wood is jamming in the plane.
If I went and bought a brand new Stanley plane, would that jamming stop?
The new Stanley planes are not very tightly constructed, so there is a lot
of chance of wood catching.
I have some older ones, lovingly cleaned, fettled and tuned, and when I have
this problem I--
Open the mouth a little bit--slide the frog that holds the blade back.
Check the fit of the cap iron on the blade. If it isn't flat and tight, or
the edge of the iron isn't knife sharp and there is a spot that wood can
wedge into, it will.
Reduce the thickness of cut. (More passes needed, but less time spent
cleaning out the shavings.)
I think I fixed it.
By messing about I managed to increase the distance between the blade
and the front edge of the slot the blade goes thru. The distance was
obviously just to small to allow the shavings to clear. Also, I
sharpenned up the blade a bit. I seem fixed now and the current plane
ought to see the job done. Thanks.
Probably not. New Stanley production is almost as bad as the Anant /
An _old_ Stanley plane is a much better idea. Cheap too. If you get
the right one it'll work out of the box, but usual eBay shopping and
restoration isn't the best for people in a hurry.
If you're in a hurry, then buy a Lee-Valley plane. It's a bit more
than a cheap new Stanley, btu the quality is incomparably better. at
this level they do work fine straight out of the box. If money is
generous and you're in the mood to equip a toolbox, then don't miss
their low-angle block plane too -- incredibly useful tool.
Most people start with a #4, but for bench woodworking a #5 is more
use IMHO. #4s are dead common and you'll inevitably collect a few
If you're stuck on a desert island, read Jeff Gorman's pages
You can make these nasty planes work very well indeed, but it's a lot
of effort and easier to buy a better plane to start with.
No matter what plane you using, make sure the iron is sharp. Not "kinda"
sharp, but sharp. DAGS on Scary Sharp. It could also be that you're trying
to remove too much material in a single pass. Back off on the thickness of
the shavings. Adjust the frog if you still have problems getting the
shavings cleared. Finally, not really enough information from your post,
but, you say you have "quite a bit" of material to remove. When I hear this
it makes me want to reach for a scrub plane which is made for hogging wood
off in a hurry. The results aren't pretty, but then again, they aren't
meant to be. A new one from Lee Valley is only $60 or so, only a little
more than a new Stanley.
You have already figured out most of the issue, but you can also
releive the casting a bit inside (NOT THE MOUTH) at an angle which
allows chips to make it up into the plane.
You use a file inside the mouth, but not touching the sole portion of
the mouth. Work the front where the chipbreaker is very close the
casting being carfefull not the enlarge at the mouth opening. You are
making clearance for curlies to not get snagged on the rough casting.
Also polishing the chipbreaker can help.
Do a google search for planning notes, a british web page and also on
David Charlesworth. He can do amazing planing with Stanleys and new A2
This is a very good technique for finetuning a plane to try to turn
it into a "supersmoother". If you judiciously remove any burrs that
are at the corners of the leading edge of the mouth (but avoiding the
sole as you mention), you come away with a plane that can have the
mouth closed up very tightly, but will still pass the shaving.
I've even used this technique on a L-N #4-1/2, which comes out of
the box in about as close to "perfect" shape as any you can find. The
key word is "judiciously"; go slow and be careful.
Ironically, when I set up a plane for final smoothing, I back off
the cap-iron ("chipbreaker") so that it is between 1/8" and 1/4" away
from the edge of the blade. With a plane set with the mouth closed up
very tightly and the iron projecting just slightly, the cap-iron
doesn't break the chip anyway, and it can cause problems clogging the
For planes that are set up for coarser work, I do agree that
polishing the cap-iron and tweaking the fit between the leading-edge of
the cap-iron and the back of the iron can help.
I have been using one of the new Stanley-Bailey #4 bench planes from
Woodcraft and been getting fairly good results. I only had a few
problems from trying to imitate a low angle block plane. These planes
cost about $50 and the only tuning required was sharpening the iron and
adjusting the position of the chip breaker. The sole probably needs
truing but that takes time to go to the machine shop and use the
I can second this.... the week before last I bought a #4 from Blowe's,
and it was "only" $40. I did some very slight adjustments on the frog,
although it did not seem like it really needed it. Like you, I spent
nearly all the adjustment time on sharpening and the chipbreaker. It
fit very well on the iron as it came, so no adjustments there. I set
the lateral adjustment and off I went.
I checked the Blowe's web page, looking for a #5, but did not see one
there. I did see a Stanley low-angle block plane, so the next time I
am there I will see if they have one.
I have only used it a few times, but so far I am happy with it.
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