Precision scraping applied to a lutanist's tools.
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    Default Precision scraping applied to a lutanist's tools.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvZFOyo63Ks

    Here's a video made by a guy who spent many hours "gold plating" a Stanley block plane. I don't wholely approva of all his methods nor the efficacy of his results. However, the fellow spent a lot of time and thought to determine his course of action. His narration detailed each step and his reasoning behind it.

    I have some experience detailing hand planes to make them perform better. Under contract to local guitar maker, I accurized his Stanley #7 jointer plane to his specifications: he wanted it flat and perfect. I balked at lapping on glass but instead scraped all surfaces flat to 30 spots per square inch, detailing the mouth, bluing in the frog, making a number of thick plane irons (before the days of Hock and clones). The plane was perfect on the granite surface plate but unmanageble in practice. Once started in a chip it was almost impossible to disengage. You were committed for the length of the board: the chip curling up through the mouth anchored the tool in its cut. Since then I've cooked up a number of theories about how to profile and contour hand plane soles for efficient woodwork and I think I can show that dead flat AINT best.

    I'm sure this video will excite some comment and controversy. But remember this fellow's objective is the perfect hand plane for wood musical instruments and he may have legitimate reason to depart slightly from scraping traditions as understood by us cool guys. Therefore, make allowances.

    BTW, look carefully at what he's using for a surface plate. A stove lid? Whatever works so long as it's FLAT.
    Last edited by Forrest Addy; 03-08-2015 at 07:55 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forrest Addy View Post
    You were committed for the length of the board: the chip curling up through the mouth anchored the tool in its cut. Since then I've cooked up a number of theories about how to profile and contour hand plane soles for efficient woodwork and I think I can show that dead flat AINT best.

    ..
    intersting view Forrest, I'd like to hear more on it. I've done plane soles and liked the result. My theory is this. Flatness in manufacturing is expensive so planes arrive from the factory quite a bit out. The human touch is quite sensitive easily able to differentiate down to a thou....so to develop the skills to plane a board flat square and to dimension (no small feat imo), it makes sense that the main feedback mechanism, the feel of the plane, isn't lying to you.

    Obviously every craftsmen who can square and dimension a board didn't use a scraped plane....but its got to be a lot easier to from here to there with an accurate contact with the work, without twist or curves of many thou.

    That plus they look nice



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    Watched part of it, don't have the patience to sit through that in one sitting.
    I did go through the process of flattening a low angle block plane years ago (befor I really dived into machine tools) so it was done on a granite tile with wet abrasive paper, so I'm sure it's not really flat if I check it against a surface plate.
    Anyway, the question is why bother with flatness on the sides? Squareness makes some sense if you push the plane hard against a side surface (so now the base which you worked so hard on is not really contacting the work). But flatness of the sides seems to make no difference - on a low angle block plane that's where you grab it...

    Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulM View Post
    Anyway, the question is why bother with flatness on the sides? Squareness makes some sense if you push the plane hard against a side surface (so now the base which you worked so hard on is not really contacting the work). But flatness of the sides seems to make no difference
    for use with a shooting board would be one reason, ie low angle block plane on end grain

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    That makes sense to have it square - perpendicular to the bottom, gives you a nice right angle. Still seems like flatness of the side should make no real difference? If the side is perpendicular to the base but wavy your still at a right angle to the base, if you contact points are at waves it will angle of attack of the blade a tiny bit but it's still square?

    I may be missing something I don't do much woodwork.
    Paul

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    Just tossing in my two cents as the discussion proceeds:

    I have surface ground a few smaller planes, one being a 9 1/2 as shown in the video. The larger ones I scraped dead flat preferring scraping as the planes exceeded my SG capacity for a single-pass setup. So, it was easier to just scrape them. Whether some other configuration of the plane like that used for Japanese planes which are intentionally not flat lengthwise, might perform better I cannot say. But, I can definitely say, that taking out the lengthwise undulations and the twists of a common new or used plane does greatly improve their performance. I have not experienced problems with being "locked into" a fulll length cut as mentioned in the OP. Perhaps that is due to the fact that I am usually taking very fine cuts like those shown in the video.

    There is a lot more to consider with respect to the chip breaker and its fit on the plane iron if the plane is equiped with a chip breaker. But, one thing is for sure, taking the time to nicely tune up a plane so it performs well answers the question as to what the fuss is all about.

    High-end planes currently produced for the Western European market and North America are produced with surface ground soles and well-fitted chip breakers and attention to bedding of the plane iron. They are reputed to perfom beautifully out of the box.

    For those not familiar with the shaping of traditional Japanese planes here is what one maker reports:
    "To reduce friction, the soles of traditional Japanese planes are planed slightly concave. On most smoothing planes, the sole contacts the wood at the toe of the plane and just in front of the mouth. In those areas, a strip of wood about 1 - 1,5 cm is left in place and the rest of the sole is planed or scraped away slightly, to about the thickness of a piece of paper. This is easiest to do with a traditional plane, called "dai-naoshi-ganna" (literally, a plane to tune plane stocks”). With these planes, the iron is set at almost a right angle to the sole, similar to our toothing or scraper planes."

    Thanks for the post of the video which was interesting and was accompanied by rather soothing music as opposed to the clangy techno music so common in machining vieos.

    Denis

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    I will add one other observation related to this discussion. I found that a standard sharp cabide hand scraper is a very handy tool for precise removal of wood in refining wood planes. After scraping some of my CI planes, I decided on a whim to try scraping one of my Krenov-like woooden hand plane soles which had worn out of trueness over the years. I used a surface plate and Dykem blue to mark the sole and then used the scraper. The advantage was that the scraper allowed excellent visualization and localization of wood removal. Getting the sole very flat took only minutes. The scraper produced the wispy shavings commonly seen using a card scraper but was much easier to apply precisely than the card scraper. And it also proved very useful for bedding the plane iron/chp breaker combo in the throat of the plane---a task often relegated to floats or chisels. Using the scraper allowed better observation of progress as wood was scraped off high spots compared to a "blinder" approach using a float or file.

    FWIW

    Denis
    Last edited by dgfoster; 03-08-2015 at 07:20 PM. Reason: typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulM View Post
    That makes sense to have it square - perpendicular to the bottom, gives you a nice right angle. Still seems like flatness of the side should make no real difference? If the side is perpendicular to the base but wavy your still at a right angle to the base, if you contact points are at waves it will angle of attack of the blade a tiny bit but it's still square?

    I may be missing something I don't do much woodwork.
    Paul
    it was the only reason i could come up with....I didn't bother doing the sides of mine

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    That makes sense to have it square - perpendicular to the bottom, gives you a nice right angle. Still seems like flatness of the side should make no real difference? If the side is perpendicular to the base but wavy your still at a right angle to the base, if you contact points are at waves it will angle of attack of the blade a tiny bit but it's still square?

    I may be missing something I don't do much woodwork.
    Paul, I scraped one square, for fun, mostly. but follow-ons, it is more the "look" than function to do the sides.

    Years ago my wife gave me a wonderful 1869 Auburn Metallic jointer size plane. At the time they were manufactured, they were more popular than Stanley. But the business faded with the death of the owner and Stanley always had a better marketing organization. One early owner liked it so well he engine-turned the sides. Possibly the same guy then letter stamped his name all over it. (One type later, ~1870, this model was almost certainly the first and quite probably the only production plane to include every practical feature in one unit: depth adjustment, lateral adjustment, adjustable throat, and adjustable blade angle; along with quick setting blade control and optional, on or off cap iron for coarse or fine work.)

    Denis- I use a 1/2" wide chisel ground and shaped like a metal scraper (radius, obtuse, but dead sharp) to blue and scrape the wooden beds of my infills (the "frog" area on an infill plane)

    Forest, I've scraped plenty flat and never experienced a downside. Which type was the Stanley? The bench planes before type 9 had overhung frogs that will tip when engaging the chip. I have found that solidly scrape fitting the frog to the sole before scraping the sole, and then scraping the face of the frog flat, helps immensely. Nevertheless, that type (pre-type 9) have the overhung frog and they will tend to "overbite" a little in a heavy cut, immediately going even heavier. The types after that, Stanley addressed the issue, and in various iterations, the frog or some extended supports thereof extends to the very back of the throat. They still need to be scrape fit. Sometimes the factory machining, dirt, rust, or "acclimation" of the castings causes the better designs to fail in the event of production pace. A frog that is not scrape fitted to the bed allows the iron to vibrate and deflect in ways that are not ideal for the best, tearout free cutting action. Scraping the sole should be the last scraping operation.

    Then you have to verify that the iron is bedded at the correct points to the sole and the frog. Stanley's lever cap is brilliant in this respect. It can swivel on the center post and adapt to conform. However, Miller's Falls patented 3 point lever cap is even better (Not all MF planes have them, but the better ones do). I solve the same problem with a shorter lever cap, and a reverse camber cap iron on my planes.

    smt

    PS, you guys are in luck - the drop box seems to be down, so I can't impose yet one more round of all the scraped plane soles and how well they work against the grain.
    Maybe tomorrow.

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    Here are a few of the reasons for having the sides of a plane perpendicular to the sole:

    1) Using the plane on a shooting board to plane end grain 90 degrees to the surface of the board. This would typically be done with a bench plane with a blade ground and honed flat across and set for a very light cut, although one of the newer low-angle jack planes (or the new Veritas shooting plane) would probably be better. A low angle block plane is kind of light for this task although it is ideal for trimming end grain freehand;

    2) Planing the end grain of a board held flat on the bench top with a spacer or bench-hook under it, to adjust the fit of a butt or miter - unless the blade is a true 90 degrees to the side of the plane, the fit will be off. This is similar to using a shooting board but is a little more freehand in practice;

    3) Jointing long boards with the aid of a fence c-clamped to the side of the plane. I have a Bailey #8 jointer plane with a corrugated sole that has annoyed me for many years because I have to use several layers of tape as a shim to get the fence perpendicular to the sole. My newer Veritas bevel-up Jack plane has sides that are 90 degrees to the sole and the fence can be clamped on without messing with shims. Machining the sides and then scraping the sole and sides of the Bailey is on my list of tasks for this summer;

    4) An expert woodworker, while planing a board flat, may also uses his or her jointer plane as a straight edge, and will use either the corner where the sole meets the side or perhaps the entire side of the plane in order to test if the board is concave or convex in length, width, and diagonally, similarly to how Richard King teaches us to "hinge" on a surface plate. Obviously this does not require that the side is truly perpendicular to the sole, but it does require that both sole and side be reasonably flat in order to try the surface of the board.

    I am puzzled by Forrest's problems with the tuned #7 plane and his conclusion that a flat sole is not ideal for a CI plane. A jointer plane with a very sharp blade that is ground and honed flat across should be taking very thin shavings and not digging in, especially if the throat is narrow. What Forrest describes sounds like a deeper cut which would normally be made with a smaller plane (Jack) and a slightly curved blade and with the throat opened up. Stanley and Bailey type planes do not have easily adjustable throats, which is one reason why it is typical to have one plane set up for jointing (thin shavings) and another plane set up for deeper more preliminary planing. In any event, I hope Forrest will serve up his theories on this topic either here or on the woodworking forum.

    Douglas

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    Can anybody explain to me what the best method is of scraping around the (edge of the )front of the mouth?
    I keep scraping too much around the edge which makes the 1-2mm before the front edge of the mouth every so slightly concave. How can I avoid this?

    Thanks

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    Addressing Flatman's question and related points involving scraping close to the edge of critical openings.

    Avoid scraping right up to the very edge. Stone the slender margin of raised metal immediatly before printing. There's a balance to be held between stoning and scraping. You learn to strike this balance scraping near the ports of hydraulic pump swash plates and steam tight joints.

    If you do it right, the over-all spot density is uniform right up to the hole/port/plane mouth margin. The opening's edge bears crisp, that is no roll-off, no raised metal bearing. As I said, it take a careful balance so work vigilantly.

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    Lutanist?
    I thought it were the Luthier.

    The tools of a lutanist (lutenist) are simple as a lute! or another string along will do.

    The luthier would make or repair the instrument, but not make or repair the lutenist, no matter how broken. Though, both could be all the same man (or woe-man) ;-)

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    Yes, as the sole gets near to being finished, don't scrape the dots along the front of the throat, and be circumspect about scraping the ones behind it. Well, I actually sort of move the blue off the ones at front, but mostly let the burr stone keep polishing them.

    There is something of a differential fade on an effective smoother. The front of the throat on any plane should hit first and always.









    planing against the grain in brash QS white oak



    smt

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forrest Addy View Post
    Addressing Flatman's question and related points involving scraping close to the edge of critical openings.

    Avoid scraping right up to the very edge. Stone the slender margin of raised metal immediatly before printing. There's a balance to be held between stoning and scraping. You learn to strike this balance scraping near the ports of hydraulic pump swash plates and steam tight joints.

    If you do it right, the over-all spot density is uniform right up to the hole/port/plane mouth margin. The opening's edge bears crisp, that is no roll-off, no raised metal bearing. As I said, it take a careful balance so work vigilantly.
    Thanks for answer Forrest en Stephen. I had already thought about stoning. I guess a pull scraper with a flat edge could work as well.

    Stephen I thought that the back of the mouth was not important. Is this wrong?

    Flatman

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    HAH! Cal got it. A lutanist is the lute player not a lute (and other plucked string instrements) maker. Mine was a despicable troll smoked out at once by a friend as soon as I posted but went weeks on PM without a peep.

    Want to hear a pretty good lutanist and soloist? Check out Joel Fredericksen on YouTube. Caution: Rennaissance music - very cool but not to everyone's taste

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    Stephen I thought that the back of the mouth was not important. Is this wrong?
    No, You are correct. (back of throat is of minimal importance) and since the pressure of the heel of the blade bearing in that area is constant, it is probably good to be slightly relieved. But there are lots of "little" details that keep a blade from chattering, (at a level the user does not sense tactically) and having good bearing "everywhere" is one of them. To your point, that area would be better relieved, than contacting first, say.

    Many of my scraped planes are longer, and too much relief in that area can influence the ease of shooting a sprung joint one essays to develop for glue joints with a jointer plane. For a smoother with a sole that overall is never concave, slight relief is fine and probably advantageous.

    Forrest, like many intelligent people, you tend to play with words and sometimes modify or create new versions. I think most of us rejected your term for the application, but perhaps appreciated the spin and were mostly tolerant or even curious of where it might lead. Less so your technical analysis of the subject.

    smt

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    Quote Originally Posted by stephen thomas View Post
    No, You are correct. (back of throat is of minimal importance) and since the pressure of the heel of the blade bearing in that area is constant, it is probably good to be slightly relieved. But there are lots of "little" details that keep a blade from chattering, (at a level the user does not sense tactically) and having good bearing "everywhere" is one of them. To your point, that area would be better relieved, than contacting first, say.

    Many of my scraped planes are longer, and too much relief in that area can influence the ease of shooting a sprung joint one essays to develop for glue joints with a jointer plane. For a smoother with a sole that overall is never concave, slight relief is fine and probably advantageous.

    Forrest, like many intelligent people, you tend to play with words and sometimes modify or create new versions. I think most of us rejected your term for the application, but perhaps appreciated the spin and were mostly tolerant or even curious of where it might lead. Less so your technical analysis of the subject.

    smt
    Thanks Stephen for the answer.

    One more question. I was under the impression that only a medium to fine natural stone could be used to
    remove burrs after scraping. Now I read that synthetic aluminium oxide or silicone carbide(medium india)stones
    are used as well. I never used a synthetic stone because I thought the grit particles might embed in the piece you
    are lapping and then might up scratching the lapping plate. Can you shed some light on this?

    This might be very important because the edge of the front of the mouth of the plane that I am scraping now is slightly concave
    and I have been trying to correct that by scraping away the high spots and stoning a little bit more around the mouth. I have
    been using a fine natural stones, but that the edge of the mouth is still remaing concave. If I had used a synthetic let's say
    1000 grit stone, this probably would have corrected much easier.

    Flatman

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    I mostly use natural stones. But some are hard arkansas, and some are more abrasive.
    The stone is for removing burrs, you should not be polishing much with it, but the polishing effect does occur gradually over a high area that is being left high for one reason or another. Say because one is biasing the direction of scraping to create or to eliminate a taper or wedge condition.

    I don't understand how you are going to fix a concave condition by stoning or scraping harder?

    If you mean the toe of the plane is now lower than the front edge of the throat, is there still some marking? Just kind of faded out and not so dense?

    That's not a bad condition for a smoother. May have some slight effect on a jointer.

    smt

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    Quote Originally Posted by stephen thomas View Post
    I mostly use natural stones. But some are hard arkansas, and some are more abrasive.
    The stone is for removing burrs, you should not be polishing much with it, but the polishing effect does occur gradually over a high area that is being left high for one reason or another. Say because one is biasing the direction of scraping to create or to eliminate a taper or wedge condition.

    I don't understand how you are going to fix a concave condition by stoning or scraping harder?

    If you mean the toe of the plane is now lower than the front edge of the throat, is there still some marking? Just kind of faded out and not so dense?

    That's not a bad condition for a smoother. May have some slight effect on a jointer.

    smt
    Thanks for the reply Stephen. The problem I have/had, is that as I scrape the edge of the front of the mouth(the important part!) I tend to scrape too much right at the edge, so that edge ends up lower. What I am doing now is, what I think Forrest recommended, I try to scrape only up to 1-2 mm in front of that edge and then by stoning I am trying to get the 1-2mm strip in front of the mouth (which is a tiny bit lower because of my imprecise scraping as I explained)to be flat/coplanar again with the rest of the plane. Damn english is not my mother tongue.

    I have noticed by doing this and using a hard and fine natural stone, I was not getting results. Well maybe if I did a lot more I would get there. Now I am using a 500 grit oil stone(synthetic) and this stone is removing more material and I have almost accomplished in getting that front edge coplanar again. I am scraping a no 6 plane and doing about 5 seconds of stoning after scraping. Then I use the hard natural stone a few seconds to remove any possible embedding of grit from the synthetic stone. Not sure if that is needed or helpful.

    Stephen, do you use any abrasive paper when you have finished scraping? I was thinking of doing a few passes after finishing the scraping. Not sure if that is a good idea as it leads to convexity.

    Flatman


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