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My #4 Stanley Bailey Plane Builds Up Static

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 53 total)
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  • #554990
    Gary Mercer
    Participant

    I am hoping someone may have a answer to something that drives me nuts!
    I have used the techniques learned here to tune, lube and sharpen my plane…but as I use it the shavings stick to the plane, my hands and arm from static build up. In the past (before stropping to a keen edge), when I was just adequate at sharpening, and before using the rag in a can, I remember just merely turning my plane over and the wood shavings would just fall off the plane as I used it. I haven’t notice this static issue with any of Paul’s videos. It does not seem to matter whether it’s in the winter or summer, static only seems to occur when I use my #4 plane.
    Can anyone enlighten me as to why this occurs? Or better yet how to stop it.

    #554992
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    Stopping it is easy. Oil or very lightly mist the strop and touch the plane to electrical ground (earth) before you use it.

    Also, the finer shavings you are getting now might be dryer.

    Benjamin Franklin experimented with static electricity by rubbing objects on leather. Glass on leather and amber on cloth were both used in a machine he invented to create high voltage charges. If you are wearing rubber soled shoes or standing on a rubber mat you could be a capacitor.

    Do your totes on the #4 have a finish the others don’t?

    #554993
    Gary Mercer
    Participant

    Larry. Ok I’ll bite, I stand on one of those interlocking foam anti fatigue mats. I wear either running shoes or house slippers. At this time of the year I usually wear a flannel shirt and jeans, and in the summer I wear a cotton tee shirt. Now that I think of it, yesterday I made a handle for a veneer scraper on my bench lathe and the static built up on my tools and hands also. I will remove the mat, stand on the concrete floor barefooted, ground my plane against my table saw and try again tomorrow. That should tell me one way or another. My planes all have the original finishes on the totes. What’s funny is I can use my #60 union veneer scraper with no static produced…but using it I hold the wooden handle and generally not touching the casting of the tool. You gave me something to think about, Thanks, Gary.

    #555000
    Gary Mercer
    Participant

    I decided to test Larry’s theory this morning about static. I removed the mat from the floor and stood bare footed on the concrete floor, then touched my plane and my finger to my table saw (which I know is grounded) then planed a few shavings from a piece of pine and still it builds up static, and the shavings cling to the plane and my hands. Next I stripped naked and using the same procedure I still get the same results…the shavings stick like it’s magnetized. I then tried using the same procedure with my #3 plane and my #5 plane with the same results. I am still frustrated and would like to know why this occurs. Does anyone else notice this occurring when you use your plane? I mean the shavings are so charged I have to pick them from the plane…and give a hard flick to rid them from my hand.

    #555001
    Jeremy Smith
    Participant

    Do you have any type of air handler in your shop? A dryer, dehumidifier, air filtration system, furnace with a fan? One of these could be your culprit.

    #555002
    deanbecker
    Participant

    try a dryer sheet , wipe it across the bottom of the plane and see if that helps .

    if it does you might wipe the sole with oil when done , i do not know whats in a dryer sheet.

    #555003
    Ed
    Participant

    Yes, shavings will sometimes cling to me. I don’t think about it much any more and just scoop shavings from the mouth and flick them aside, often on each (return) stroke. With a good flick, they just fall to the floor, but sometimes one will be especially clingy, especially it seems with light shavings. I’d develop your flick rather than anything else. My electrostatics is a bit withered, but if you develop a static charge on the shaving, which seems somewhere between reasonable and unavoidable, I think it’s going to cling no matter what. Scoop and flick. Scoop and flick.

    #555004
    Gary Mercer
    Participant

    To answer your question Jeremie, There is a whole house gas furnace with ducting, no dehumidifier…but static throughout my home is not evident anywhere.

    Deanbecker, I would try it, but it seems that dryer sheets use silicone oil…which is a big no no for wood finishes.

    Ed, the static holds the shavings fast to the plane…where trying to dump them off the plane never works and picking them off generally makes them cling to my fingers…and required a hardy flick or shake of the hand to rid them. The small shavings are especially annoying, but the long shavings also cling.

    #555005
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    Jeremy and Dean May be on to something.

    I’m not sure I wanted to know the naked part, but the more you describe it, it sounds like humidity/ moisture is the culprit. Try misting the area or adding a humidifier to the area. I have a whole house humidifier added to my heating system but just blowing a fan over a pan of water will help.

    That’s why I mentioned misting the strop, but you might have to experiment with a wider area.

    From Wikipedia:

    Low humidity may occur in hot, dry desert climates, or indoors in artificially heated spaces. In winter, especially when cold outside air is heated indoors, the humidity may drop to as low as 10–20%. This low humidity can cause adverse health effects, by drying out mucous membranes such as the lining of the nose and throat, and can cause respiratory distress.[1] The low humidity also can affect wooden furniture, causing shrinkage and loose joints or cracking of pieces.[2] Books, papers, and artworks may shrink or warp and become brittle in very low humidity.[3]

    In addition, static electricity may become a problem in conditions of low humidity, destroying semiconductor devices, causing static cling of textiles, and causing dust and small particles to stick stubbornly to electrically charged surfaces.[4]

    You want to try for humidity in the 30-50% range

    #555006
    Gary Mercer
    Participant

    Larry, I live in Michigan USA (surrounded by the Great Lakes), not exactly a dry area. Although I don’t have a humidistat, I can say getting static shocks anywhere in my home is non existent. I mentioned the strop in my opening statement only to indicate my proficiency at sharpening. I honestly don’t think with my shop in the basement that it is too dry, although maybe I should get a humidistat to find out. The other thing is that it doesn’t seem to matter when…it happens all year round.

    #555007
    Gary Mercer
    Participant

    Larry, About the naked part…Anything is worth a try…Did I say this is driving me nuts?!

    #555072
    deanbecker
    Participant

    If you were to wipe the top with the dryer sheet the shaveings you take are not part of the finished work so should not affect the finishing properties

    #555073
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    Larry, About the naked part…Anything is worth a try…Did I say this is driving me nuts?!

    Yeah, well ….just be careful with sharp objects around the ummm…waist.

    #555074
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    Larry, About the naked part…Anything is worth a try…Did I say this is driving me nuts?!

    Yeah, well ….just be careful with sharp objects around that area.

    #555083
    Tim Ridolfi
    Participant

    Is there a coating on the plane? The reason I wonder about this is wood and steel are right next to each other on the triboelectric scale so should not develop much static charge when rubbed together. As you have noted, only the one plane behaves this way.

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