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Ahhhh, therein lies another story Gary!! I’ve spent a large part of this afternoon lapping the sole of my recently acquired (old, bought from eBay) Stanley No.4. As I mentioned in an earlier message, you could have limbo danced through the ‘smile’ on the sole. Heaven only knows how the guy that owned it before me ever flattened anything with it. Anyway, it’s now 90% there, the base is flat, but there is a little bit of pitting in the sole that I’d like to get rid of. I think I’ll just have to keep on working on it over the weeks until I’ve got it totally clean.

I did have a serious go at sharpening the plane iron and also flattening the back iron so that it fits flush against the cutting iron. I’m not quite sure what I’ve done, but I’ve gone from having a plane that was so out of true that it was a joke, but which took decent shavings, to have a plane which looks to be completely square, but is a complete bitch. The iron is now square, sharp and clamped tightly against the back iron, but is now almost impossible to get a clean shaving with. It’s either scraping the surface of the wood or seriously digging in, depending upon the depth I set it to – I would describe it as ‘snagging’. I’ve made sure it’s not an issue with the stock I’m testing it on or the direction of the grain. I’ve also sharpened the blade on my block plane and the shavings I’m getting on this same piece test stock are almost obscenely good, so it’s definitely a problem with the number 4. I’m guessing that it’s the angle that the iron is protruding from the sole that’s the problem, although I’m not sure. I think the first job tomorrow might be to move the frog back a touch to see if that alters the angle of the edge meeting the wood. Other than that I’m not sure what else it can be. Suggestions anyone?


Yorkshireman currently living in Hampshire