Planes body not square to sole

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  • #739693
    Kestutis Alsauskas
    Participant

    Hi, new hear, i have two planes whit body not square to sole. Is there any good videos for squaring it?
    First one is no7 and second is no4. I am using them white shooting board. Pls help.
    Big fan of your work Paul Seller.

    #739703
    Matt Mahan
    Participant

    Hi Kestutis. Welcome to the site. I’m obviously not Paul, but you’ll find the members here are a wealth of information (I can’t promise I will be, though :)).

    As they say in these parts, “hold your horses.” By your picture, looks like you’re dealing with a plane that is indeed not-square. But the funny thing I’ve found about squareness is that it’s more of a cultural ideal than a pragmatic necessity. First thing you should do is see if, with a sharp blade and clear mind, you can compensate for that “out of squareness” simply by adjusting the lateral lever. In other words, purposely skew the blade in the plane to counteract the tilt. Shoot the end of an appropriately thick board, and then check THE BOARD for square, not the plane.

    At the end of the day, I think you’ll find obsession over squareness and flatness are more distraction than anything else. I have a 120 year old No. 8 that has a large belly in the sole. But darned if that fella doesn’t make the prettiest, flattest, straightest board you ever did see.

    Now, you may not be able to make up for the skew that way. In which case, get hold of a flat slab of granite or other stone (or float glass), procure some decent course sandpaper, lay the paper down on the stone, and get to rubbing that plane across that paper until the cows come home. Keep the plane assembled. Make sure the blade isn’t sticking out. Use a sharpie to draw diagonal lines on the sole bottom occasionally to check your progress. This is a tool restorer’s right of passage.

    #739706
    Matt Mahan
    Participant

    Oh, and looks like the wings on your plane flare OUT from the sole? I almost always see them bent inward, the opposite direction. Heck, chuck that guy into your vise and see if you can squeeze him back into shape.

    #739710
    Ed
    Participant

    In my opinion, that plane is not suitable for a shooting board. That is too much to rectify by hand, and in my opinion, I don’t want that much unsupported blade if I try to correct by using the lateral adjustment lever. One of my planes is a modern, hyper-engineered plane that is perfectly square and another plane is a WWI Stanley #8 that is also perfectly square. It is my favorite shooting board plane. If I needed a shooting plane, I would either buy a modern plane (and return it upon receipt if not square) or I would buy an old plane, but only if I could see it in person and test it with a square and select a suitable one. I don’t agree with others who say to use the lateral adjustment lever. You might do that for very tiny corrections, but I wouldn’t want to do that for anything else. In fact, for tiny corrections, I keep the blade uniform across the mouth and put a shaving under my work to make the correction. That’s just me, though. Also, I want my shooting plane to have both cheeks square to the sole, not just one.

    #739712
    Matt Mahan
    Participant

    Ed, love the debate. But why not try to correct first (or at least evaluate whether it needs to be corrected in the first place) to see if results support the must-be-square theory? Hey, they might. But particularly for someone new to the craft, why not experiment? That “buy something else” mentality is a slippery slope…

    #739718
    Ken Kilby
    Participant

    You have two planes that are both out of square the same amount in the same direction.
    Have you verified it’s not your square that’s off?

    #739723
    Ed
    Participant

    Matt, it was just my impression that the plane in question was out by a great deal. The plane is in hand so, sure, go ahead and try. There is a corresponding slippery slope related to frustration and uncertainty. Looking over my learning experience, I think I wasted a lot of time trying to save old tools that weren’t worth saving, especially saws and chisels, but also a few planes. (To be clear: This plane is probably perfectly fine for lots of other work. As you say, it might even work for shooting, even if it isn’t the plane I would choose for that task.)

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Ed.
    #739739
    Matt Mahan
    Participant

    Fair points, Ed. Couldn’t agree more on saws. I’ve begrudgingly parted out a few vintage Disstons due to bent plates. Have rarely come across a Bailey/record plane that was beyond help but they do exist.

    #739750
    Kestutis Alsauskas
    Participant

    Oh, and looks like the wings on your plane flare OUT from the sole? I almost always see them bent inward, the opposite direction. Heck, chuck that guy into your vise and see if you can squeeze him back into shape.

    Are this iron can handle bending?

    #739752
    Kestutis Alsauskas
    Participant

    Matt, it was just my impression that the plane in question was out by a great deal. The plane is in hand so, sure, go ahead and try. There is a corresponding slippery slope related to frustration and uncertainty. Looking over my learning experience, I think I wasted a lot of time trying to save old tools that weren’t worth saving, especially saws and chisels, but also a few planes. (To be clear: This plane is probably perfectly fine for lots of other work. As you say, it might even work for shooting, even if it isn’t the plane I would choose for that task.)

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Ed.

    It’s new plane. Not terribly expensive, but can’t go any more and hear in Lithuania only type of plane that i can get. 😀
    Yeah, no7 maybe not the best, but no4 has same problem, maybe a bit smaller.

    #739758
    Colin Scowen
    Participant

    Ken makes a good point about the square. What do your eyes tell you?
    Have you tried these on a shooting board and checked the result? Shoot two short pieces cut from a shop bought piece of wood, so you can use the same faces against the base and fence of the shooting board, then lay them down on the bench and bring the shot ends together. Check to see if there are any gaps top and bottom. Or you could lay two pieces of man made board, flat on top of each other, and slide the top one away so that there is room for your test shot piece. Bring it in to contact with the top piece and check for a gap.
    The first method will show twice the error that the second will, so may be easier to see, but it does rely on you having a good flat reference surface to lay them on. The second method uses the lower board as a reference surface for both the upper board and the test piece.

    Colin, Czech Rep.

    #739805
    Benoît Van Noten
    Participant

    Ken Kilby question is a good one.
    First check your square. The knurled nut must be well tightened; verify that the rule can not wiggle. Paul has shown how to check a square.
    Otherwise, a “CD jewel box” is a good reference to check a square up to 12 cm.
    If it is not square, In the bottom of the groove where the rule slides, there are normally two little blobs of metal. By very very carefully lightly ( I insist very very carefully and lightly) file one of them, it is possible to correct the squareness.

    I wouldn’t try to squeeze a plane in a vise; it might snap it.

    If there is much material to remove, start with a metal file before using sand paper.
    One generally only needs to make one side perpendicular to the sole.

    #739812
    Colin Scowen
    Participant

    This also assumes that the sole of the plane is flat. That too needs to be checked. Matt mentioned it above, and I can understand how his bellied plane does indeed work well. But in the interests of finding out what’s going on with your planes, try putting them on a flat surface with the blade retracted, and pushing gently sideways in to the handle to see if it rocks at all. If it does, that may explain why the sides look out of square the way they do. It would probably also mean that you could still use the plane on a shooting board. You would just need to make sure that the blade was perpendicular to the side that you run on the base of the shooting board, and maybe raise the bed of the shooting board to move the work piece closer to the middle of the plane if you only have one blade for the plane and have sharpened it with a bit of a curve.

    Colin, Czech Rep.

    #739818
    Matt Mahan
    Participant

    Yeah you’re not going to be bending cast iron to any great degree, but I’ve corrected small distortions in cheaper planes and tools using a vise (lined) in the past without cracking them. That’s certainly an “at your own risk” kind of a thing.

    #739824
    Ed
    Participant

    Since the cheeks flare outwards, you may have the option of bringing the plane to a machinist and asking for the sole to be lapped and the cheeks then lapped square. Make sure the machinist understands not to open the mouth (minimal removal from the sole) and make sure the frog is installed and tensioned with a blade, I think, too. I wonder how much this would cost? If the plane cuts well now, but just isn’t what you want for shooting, this might be a very reasonable thing to do. If I had to choose between a #7 and and a #4 for a shooting board, I’d do the #7, no questions asked. This could be expensive, so if the plane doesn’t do routine planing well, I’d not want to put too much money into this. Ask the machinist whether he / she thinks the plane will retain alignment after the work. I ask because, in the photo, the plane doesn’t appear to be a single, monolithic casting.

    Since the cheeks flare outwards, I almost wonder if you could glue a strip of thin wood at the base of the cheek, maybe 0.5 cm wide and running the length of the cheek. Then, work that down until you have a shim that is exactly what you need for the plane to lay square, as desired. The wood is going to wear. You’ll need to keep an eye on it, but this may be a quick and dirty way to deal with this. The strip will likely wear your shooting board, too. The wider you can make the shim, the better, but that’s also more work and more fussing.

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