Reply To: Plane problems


Do what Darren said above and:

1. Verify the blade is sharp. It should be easily able to slice computer paper/newspaper or if you are daring, arm hair.

2. If you use Paul’s method, you introduce a slight convex profile on the blade, the inverse of a hollow grind. Be sure that convexity is not resting on the wood before the sharpened edge of the iron does. If it does, you have too steep an angle on the iron. I did this to myself when I was starting.

3. Be sure that the iron is fully engaging the face of the frog and parallel to the mouth of the plane and doesn’t flex into a curve when you tighten the hold down bracket. This will exacerbate #2. It should be tight enough not to move when planing but loose enough to allow the blade to move with the adjuster.

4. If 1, 2, and 3 fail: Check to see if the plane is flat. Secure the iron in the plane as if you are going to use it, but leave it RETRACTED into the body of the plane. Get a plate of glass or a ceramic tile and place a piece of 150 to 300 grit sandpaper on it, abrasive up. Get a sharpie (permanent black marker) and draw some cross-marks about 3/4″ apart in a grid pattern on the whole plane bottom. Gently rub the bottom of the plane across the paper. The inked areas left behind are the low areas. Low areas are problematic at the front and rear of the plane mouth. Ideally, you should be able to put a good straight edge front to rear, and diagonally across the plane and not have room for more than a .003″ thickness gauge. If it is out of flat severely, go to the auto parts store and get a variety of wet/dry sand paper and start flattening. Do this with the iron secured in the body and retracted so the same stresses are applied as during use.