Plane skidding

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  • #556702
    Alexander Kasper
    Participant

    Hi all!

    Sometimes I have a weird issue when planing wood. Just recently I was planing a pine board and everything went as normal, but all of a sudden on one end, the plane did not make any shavings anymore, but felt like it was skidding over the wood (like when you pull the blade back in all the way). No matter what I do (sharpen blade, change blade depth, different directions, even different plane) I can’t seem to get past this point. The wood feels like along the growth rings every second layer is harder and almost like glass.

    Anyone ever experience this? Any tips on how to deal with this? I’m grateful for any hints on what is going on 🙂

    #556703
    Stijn Bossuyt
    Participant

    Hi Alexander,
    here’s my guess. It might be that your bevel angle is too steep. Anything close to 45°, and the plane will ride the bevel instead of presenting the cutting edge to the wood. I would start by checking the bevel. If it seems steep, try resharpening to a less steep bevel (around 30°). If that doesn’t solve the problem, we’ll start thinking about other causes.

    #556706
    Alexander Kasper
    Participant

    Pretty sure I’ve sharpened to 30° (I’m using a honing guide), but I’ll double check! Thanks for the suggestion!

    #556720
    deanbecker
    Participant

    It kind of sounds like you have planed a low spot in the piece. Try moving over to the edges and move in and see if doing the whole piece makes the skipping part shorter with each pass over the whole face. You might also put pencil marks on the board to follow your progress

    #556731
    Benoît Van Noten
    Participant

    – Usually skidding appears when there is no relief angle.
    But if you have sharpened at 30°, with a 45° frog, you should have a 15° relief angle…
    unless you have curled the very tip of the edge while stropping.
    If you are not sure, look again at how Paul is doing: while he is doing a curved movement while hand sharpening, he insists the blade angle must be kept constant while stropping.

    -or try what Deanbecker suggest.

    #556774
    Peter Gaffney
    Participant

    Alex,
    I do have this happen on occasion. The clue I would lock in on is the fact that it happens at the far end of the board. I would guess that during the first part of the board you’re building up friction and the wood/plane is reacting differently during the cutting action here. Try adding some lubrication to the bottom of the plane and start at the trouble area and work back to the already smoothed part. Keep the set shallow so there is no scalloping and blend the two surfaces together. Hope this helps.

    PR

    #556866
    sanford
    Participant

    I sometimes get this too but oddly, it only happens with one plane, a Veritas. It has no number on it, but I guess it would be a 4 1/2 size. I have other planes (a few Stanley #4 planes, a Stanley number 3, a Stanley number 5, a Sargent, and a number 7 Record). None behave in this way. Just the Veritas. One moment it is planing nicely, and then the next moment it is skittering over the surface. When that happens, I shift to a different plane and everything is fine. I tried figuring out what I was doing wrong with it (e.g., the sharpening angle) but it was not worth the effort any more. Nowadays I do not use that Veritas very often.

    #556925
    Sven-Olof Jansson
    Participant

    Assuming that your other planes have not had their blades replaced, they will have O1 steel (traditional one) blades, while the Veritas probably has an A2 or PMV-11 blade.

    /Sven-Olof

    Sven-Olof Jansson
    London, UK; Boston, MA

    #556971
    sanford
    Participant

    Hi Sven-Olof, you are right. My Veritas has A2 steel while my other planes have O1 steel. I have wondered whether that is part of the issue. Maybe I just do not have the hang of sharpening A2 steel, though the veritas seems to sharpen well, and sometimes behaves well, till suddenly it does not. (Interestingly, it never gives me any problems when planing edges of boards. It only has problems planing the front and back of boards.) As an aside, I did buy one chisel from Veritas with PMV-11 steel and quite like it, though I am not sure it is worth the extra money, at least at my level of woodworking.

    #557042
    Peter Gaffney
    Participant

    As an addendum: Aside from the lubrication check to make sure that you have the set fine enough. If the blade is too deep and proper technique, i.e. putting more pressure on the tote at the end of the stroke, is used then the plane might be riding on the bevel of the blade near the end of the stroke. If all else fails I have found that skewing the plane more than normal presents the blade at a shallower angle and that helps. I have had to do that with some birch that had some swirly grain and it made a huge difference.

    #557061
    Alexander Kasper
    Participant

    So many great tips! Unfortunately I won’t be able to put them all into practice very soon. But I’ll post some results as soon as I can! Thanks everyone!

    #557064
    Sven-Olof Jansson
    Participant

    Hej Sanford,

    Being at best acceptably mediocre as a woodworker, I stick to tools that are ready-to-use straight from the box, because that limits the culprit of all shortcomings to me; who – hopefully – can improve.

    “Seduced by the dark side of the force”, I succumbed to a 1/8” Veritas mortice chisel with PMV-11 blade, and I think it pretty much highlights the problems with (cryogenically treated) A2 or PMV-11 steel. It is simply much more complicated to get a really sharp edge out of them. Without a honing guide, and the special holder for mortice chisels, how on earth am I to keep the measly little surface of secondary bevel of this chisel parallel to the surface of the sharpening stone?

    It is probably just too easy – particularly with the strop – to induce a minute round-over of the edges of A2 and PMV-11 blades.

    Sven-Olof Jansson
    London, UK; Boston, MA

    #557079
    Ed
    Participant

    If this is A2 and you are honing at 30 degrees, perhaps the problem is that the bevel angle is too small. At 30 degrees, O1 might be fine while A2 crumbles. When chopping across the grain with a chisel, my O1 chisels are happy at 30 ish degrees, maybe a hair steeper, but the few A2 chisels need to be more like 35 or they crumble after a couple whacks. You mentioned pine with hard growth rings and a 30 degree bevel. It seems like a stretch, but maybe the A2 is crumbling in the hard rings and is dull by the time it reaches the far side. (You’re not saying you can take pass after pass with shavings near you but skidding at the far side, right? You’re saying that you take a pass and, by the time you get to the far side, it is skidding and skids forever after that, yes?)

    Anyway, try 35 degrees.

    If you are only having the skidding at the far end and the near/middle always cut well, even when the far end doesn’t, maybe you are rounding off the far end by putting too much pressure on the toe after it goes past the end. Hold a straight edge to the work and see if the end is rounded off.

    #557108
    Benoît Van Noten
    Participant

    Assuming one plane from right to left, (reverse left and right if you are lefty)
    Try planing starting first at the left end and going progressively backwards.
    If when starting at the left end you experience skidding, suspect an absence of relief angle.
    The cutting edge is probably rounded (if the sharpening angle was correct).

    This rounded edge will not manifest itself if you start at the right edge of the board because you start with the sole (before the mouth) flat on the board and the cutting edge being below the face of the board will grab it when moving forward.

    Rounding causes?
    – incorrect stropping
    – dragging the plane backwards (improbable as this would take some time unless the iron is soft)

    #578877
    GfB
    Participant

    Being at best acceptably mediocre as a woodworker, I stick to tools that are ready-to-use straight from the box, because that limits the culprit of all shortcomings to me; who – hopefully – can improve.



    @sojansson
    , that’s a very curious statement.

    I would also consider myself at best acceptably mediocre. But I’ve not met a new tool yet that didn’t need fettling before it played nice. And that includes my Veritas #4 plane.

    And yes, I think we can all improve! That’s what we’re all here for … to become better tomorrow than we are today. 🙂

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