12 October 2016 at 5:23 am #141323
Having scored a “new” frog for my first plane, there are now two functional #4’s in my shop. One slightly predates the built-in frog adjusters, the other is a war-era and therefore also does without the frog adjuster.
Having two, gives me some ability to test and compare. This is great, but isn’t helping me with my challenge. No doubt I’m missing something stupid and obvious, but need some help figuring out what this is.
I’m planing weathered rough-sawn cedar 2x4s for my workbench. They’re mostly solid and they’re free! Having a completed a couple, they look good. Getting to straight and square is easier than anticipated.
My problem is wood fibers clogging the mouth of the plane. Both planes experience this, one worse than the other. First cuts on a board are the worst, where the soft wood has worn away. The remaining tougher fibers trim off like stiff threads and are quick to clog. I estimate that this is tripling (or more) the time necessary to plane a board. With 18 of these to plane, its really slowing me down.
NOTE: the shavings aren’t caught between the cutting iron and the cap iron. Rather the mouth appears to be too narrow, and the area between the irons and the front of the mouth quickly fills up. Nonetheless, I’ve re-flattened the cap irons, and made sure that they are slightly undercut. The fit looks good and no light is visible between the irons. But the mouths continues to jam.
The plane which works best shows a little more room between the irons and the front of the mouth.
I tried moving the frogs back and forth, but come back to having the face of the frog in line with the plane at the back of its mouth. In other words, a straight, uninterrupted, line from the sole to the top of the frog.
As a side note, I’m not sure that much frog movement is useful or desirable. Too far back, and the iron bends over the base, thus pushing the cutting edge further to the front of the mouth. Too far forward, and there isn’t sufficient support under the lower (cutting) portion of the irons, and again the cutting edge is too far forward. Perhaps I’m missing something, but I tend to think that adjustable frogs may only be useful to correct for manufacturing tolerances.
Beyond the frog, I’ve resharpened my blades. Once past the wood’s outer surfaces, they cut full length shavings. The better plane can adjust to a fine cut giving the lace-like shavings that Paul demonstrates. However, instead of curling up, my shavings fold up accordion style. 🙁
My cap irons are close to the edge of the cutting iron. Varying distances have been attempted to accommodate the cedar. This has produced little to no difference in results.
Adjusting the mouth isn’t an appealing strategy, and it’s one that can’t be undone.
Should one blade be shaped in a crescent, more like a roughing plane? Then use this to clean off the the surfaces before changing to the other plane?
Is it the nature of Cedar to cause this sort of problems?
Or is there something more elegant, or at least straight forward, that I’m missing.
Looking forward to your input.
Rick G.12 October 2016 at 9:29 am #141326
I had similar problems on an old No 4 I bought from ebay.
This video was extremely helpful (Chris Tribe – Fettling The Chip Breaker) – see link below:
Basically, he argues that even though the cap iron looks flat it is not meeting the cutting iron at the right *angle*.
I flattened the cap iron and the problem has gone away. I now get long, even shavings.
Also, the cap iron had had the corners rounded off, I assume from a previous owner using it with a scrub iron, so flattening the cap iron also took a good chunk of that rounding away as well.
All in all, I don’t get the problem any more.
Darren.12 October 2016 at 1:24 pm #141327BrianJParticipant
cedar has the soft and harder grain that Paul talk about that naturally occurs with softwoods like pine, etc. Do you get the same result on a different type of wood? Are you planing with the grain? It sounds to me like you’re plane blade is not as sharp as you think it is, or that you are taking too much off with too deep a setting. I think in the plane re-hab videos Paul talks about moving the frog. I personally find very few occasions where i need to adjust. I dont know your experience level, however I had similar issues when i started and it usually comes down to truly sharp and well set plane once the plane frog position is established and the plane tuned/ fettled. Id watch Pauls rehab and set up videos.
Best of luck with it,
Ontario, Canada12 October 2016 at 1:30 pm #141328EdParticipant
Can you post a picture of the clogged plane, top and bottom?12 October 2016 at 3:57 pm #141344
Thanks i’ll watch the video.
Rick G.12 October 2016 at 4:01 pm #141351
Thanks. Let me try some other wood and report back. There do s seem to be a fine line between getting a cut and being too deep with the cedar. Maybe I need to double check the angle of the bevel.
Rick G.12 October 2016 at 4:02 pm #141352
Good idea. Will try to get them posted yet today
Rick G.12 October 2016 at 4:59 pm #141359
Just a quick update.
I tried some walnut. The cut was definitely too deep here. Also, after adjustment, it was the tough sledging, so I guess the blades aren’t as sharp as I thought.
Photographing the soles showed that one needs work – pitting around the mouth. So it back to work on that.
Chris Tribe advocates the cap iron “just under a millimeter” shy of the cutting edge. Paul suggest 1-3 mm back, which is what I’ve used. Moving the cap iron helped, albeit in a small degree.
I’ll do some more tuning and have another go at the cedar, after which I’ll post pix of the results, top &a bottom. In the meantime, here are some pictures documenting my current findings.12 October 2016 at 5:04 pm #141365
And here’s a shot of my material.12 October 2016 at 7:31 pm #141368
The sole of your plane doesn’t look any different to mine, nor does the mouth.
Where I see a difference is in the cap iron. I have ground and polished the curved end of the cap iron on my diamond stones, right down to where it meets the cutting iron, and stropped it to a mirror finish. It’s important that area is smooth so the shavings don’t catch on anything.
Darren.12 October 2016 at 9:36 pm #141369Dave RiendeauParticipant
With the blade and cap iron put together and tightened ready to install in the plane body, looking through the back of where the blade is touching the cap iron, can you see daylight between the two?
Blade projection from the cap iron isn’t going to cause problems unless of course the blade is completely covered by the cap iron.
-Canada13 October 2016 at 12:42 am #141373
I’ve uploaded a few photos of my No 4 plane for comparison against Richard’s, and with some shavings taken this evening with it.
The shavings aren’t perfect, but they are coming off reasonably evenly, and not folding up in the mouth of the plane.
I wonder if Richard’s cap iron is dragging at the shavings as they pass over it? On mine I have honed the end of the cap iron on diamond stones and a strop.
Darren.13 October 2016 at 1:01 am #141378EdParticipant
Sorry…I meant to ask if you had a photo of the plane actually clogged, showing what the shavings look like clogged in the plane, with photos from above and below.
One thing that comes to mind is whether you are drawing the plane back without breaking the shaving first so that the shaving is pulled back out the mouth from below a little bit. Then, when you go forward, it will be shoved back in and jammed.13 October 2016 at 7:28 pm #141395Hugo NottiParticipant
You said, you were planing rough boards. Does the problem persist, once you got the surface smooth? I think, you got a pretty good demonstration about the reason for a wider mouth on scrub planes.
And you said it yourself: “The plane which works best shows a little more room between the irons and the front of the mouth.”
I think, the only solution, apart from getting a scrub plane or making the mouth of one plane wider, is to take thinner shavings. Perhaps you should go as far as to retract the blade completely and then move it down, until you get the first shavings.
In fact, it seems, that the blade is very far down on the second picture.
I also think, that the blade is seated to far forward on the second picture. This might be the reason, why the shavings are folded. There is no space for the shaving to go up, and therefore it runs straight against the edge of the cap iron and breaks (so you really have a chip breaker 😀 ). It might be better to line up the frog with the rear of the opening.
But I am not an expert and this might be completely wrong.
Dieter13 October 2016 at 11:34 pm #141412
Thanks, but no light. And no wood fibers get stuck between.
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