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Kees Heiden
09-11-2014, 5:33 AM
This occupied a lot of my free time this year. Some new experiments to see if there is anything usefull in these chipbreaker thingies. I really hope Steve Elliott will get the article up on his website this weekend. Just to get some stoke going, here's a short videoclip.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1_KN_v_w98

Chris Griggs
09-11-2014, 6:31 AM
Wow. You've been busy. Looking forward to seeing the article.

george wilson
09-11-2014, 11:24 AM
Why is it necessary to make a machine to take a short stroke ??????????

Kees Heiden
09-11-2014, 12:40 PM
To be able to measure something. All in the name of science.

Tom Stenzel
09-11-2014, 12:43 PM
Why is it necessary to make a machine to take a short stroke ??????????



It insures 100% repeatability and removes all subjectivity from the tests. Also he's keeping the plane still so the camera doesn't have to move.

Manufacturers build all manner of testing machines, flip switches on and off, throw bowling balls. It's just not normally seen on the hobbyist level. Have to raise a toast for Team Kees on this!

-Tom

Winton Applegate
09-11-2014, 9:14 PM
I am being serious now. Slow mo and a bit closer would be fun to see. Is there any way to get it that way on my end or yours ? Thanks for doing this experiment. I realize the result is what is coming next but since we got this vid I figger'd I'd put my two dollars in.

Kees Heiden
09-12-2014, 4:22 AM
Here's the best I could do. It's not very sharp though.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MstQ3cf0AJY

Funny to see what happens to a shaving when there is no mouth. This hasn't been part of my investigations, but some Japanese scientist has looked into it and tried to find the most optimal mouth configuration to prevent clogging. A mouth shouldn't be too wide, because the initial curl of the shaving can't flow upwards out of the plane and jams the works.

I wonder if people see these kind of shavings with a chisel plane too?

Winton Applegate
09-14-2014, 5:56 PM
I was just curious but this seeing of the curl kind of opens up a can of worms for me and now I canít get them back in the can.

This tightly wrapped curl, as it were, . . . makes me finally realize why BDers are, or (see next comment) might be obsessed with a tightly set throat opening on the order of several thousandths. It isnít so much to prevent tear out, well it is indirectly, but to control the ejection of that jammer, jammer of a shaving. Iím scared just looking at it. I started looking for my pick to clear the jammed throat and then realized what I was doing.

I never understood that obssession with the narrow throat before because my BU or BD single iron cut as well with a 1/16th or even 3/32 mouth, I dare say 1/8th does not make tight culed shavings like that. Why the last time I had shavings like that was the little Japanese scraper plane I bought just for the heck of it . When I got it the throat jammed like crazy, jammed tight and sold. I picked it out clean and pulled the blade out and relaxed the angle on the . . . wear . . . is that what David called it ? and she works great now. By the way another blade I did not have to sharpen when I got it; it was plenty fine as it came.

and my next comment is . . . could a shaving like that win a planing contest ? Not the thinness, forget that I just mean the shape.
I donít know
The curls I have seen in videos are long and relaxed.
David mentions curls that are flat for the kind of curl he is talking about being correct.
?
Is this a NORMAL shaving then ?
If this is not a normal BD shaving does this draw into question the validity of the other data / conclusions ?
Heck I donít want to be a drag here but that is what went through my mind.

I very much appreciate this machine, all the effort you are going through to finally demonstrate the effect of the properly set up double iron plane, the close up and slow mo I asked for, your graphing of the data,, your clear and enlightening description of your findings, . . . there is probably some I am leaving out due to ignorance on my part.

Thanks for doing this


Winton

PS:
I wonder if people see these kind of shavings with a chisel plane too?

So you havenít got one ?
It doesnít relate to this vid. It is a BU. So no curls like that. The chisel planes are fun to have around for starting a cut in the middle of a table or other surface and taking off a slight knob and never really effecting the rest of the surface. Like for instance taking off a cured drip on a finish or a narrow ribbon left by a chipped blade or a French polish pad that has sprung a leak and left a positive line in the finish.

PPS: I donít know if I should add this. It agrees with David in a way . . .
First let me say I would have posted this last night but I had earlier, much earlier in the evening ate a dinner of Tortellini Gorgonzola (a la Gertrudeís with chicken). Queenmasteroftheuniverseandbabybunnytrainer used to be the head chef there for years and years after she quit her ďReal JobĒ.

Her ďReal JobĒ was making (well helping to make) weapons for the military. Computer chips in a fab when fabs where all the rage in America. Remember those days ? Before all of it was farmed out to the cheep labor countries ? It was Fab ! ! ! I had money back then because I had lots and lots of customers from the money they made in the fabs and related jobs. Things were good. Homes were affordable . . .
. . . Winton daydreaming . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . .
whaaaaaaaaa ? ? ? ? Hunh ?. . . . oh . . . yah . . . my point . . .

Well two actually :
first I can not handle my diary products, normally she doesnít even bother serving them to me but we had a celebratory dinner for her best friend who has just reached her lifeís goal and had become the department head and can pretty much write her own ticket now. Ahhhh you ambitious people . . .

Her friend's favorite meal that Q cooks is the one of cheese with cheese on it mentioned above.

I donít hold my dairy well at all you see . . . I go to pieces and then to sleep soon after. I fought it as long as I could to look at the new vid footage, well inchage anyway, and to type my response and to finish looking at the the data and other older link.
I fell asleep big time, before my normal three in the morning. Sorry I let the team down. It wasnít my fault, they made me eat cheese ! I didnít want to do it ! I didnít !
Alright . . . I like it ! Do you hear me ? I LIKED IT !
there . . .
and secondly :
Well Q worked for Honeywell and several other fabs making wafers (roughly speaking slabs of silicon with circuits etched into metal on them that are computer chips) and as supervisor.
She traveled around the country working for different fabs and figuring out where she liked to live and just generally taking advantage of the whole unbelievable situation. She worked with a whole passel of EEs over almost ten years.

Before things got dire she had already bailed and was cheffing. She didnít like the military aspect being a peace nick hippy chick, but a smart one, and so she had enough of the scene and wanted to do some direct good. Sheís like that but she LOVES everything about great food so that was what she went into.

Yah . . . itís rough living with a chef but I makes the most of it and muddle through as best I can.

This morning when I mentioned the latest in the BUBD ďTALKSĒ she said ďElectrical Engineers, those guys are theorists not mechanical/gear headsĒ. Well she said a good deal more that I canít repeat here but that about boils it down.

Ha, ha, ha, hey . . . donít laser the messenger . . .

Andrew Pitonyak
09-15-2014, 4:24 PM
Why am I suddenly craving cheese? Winton?

Oh, and looking forward to more work on this.

Kees Heiden
09-16-2014, 3:40 AM
The curl. Yes, let's theorise a bit.

First, I am not alone. This phenomen is described in several Japanese articles. This one is from Akinoi Yamashita, Studies on mechanism of ortogonal cutting of wood with Japanese planes IV. Effects of capiron and chipguide on chip discharge and cutting resistance in cutting against the grain. 1979.

296829
The same curl can be seen in Kato's pictures too. Because of the enlargement of their pictures, it isn't immediately obvious, but can be clearly seen in the pictures in in this article:
http://planetuning.infillplane.com/html/chipbreaker_study.html

Now, I've never really witnessed this in a real handplane. Never paid much attention to it either. My wooden foreplane has a mouth at least 5mm wide and it makes normal shavings as far as I know. You should explain one thing to me though. Why would a bevel up plane behave differently? All the cutting takes place within a few tens of a mm. After that the shaving curls away from the steel. How is the shaving to know at that moment whether the bevel is up or down?

My jig doesn't have a planesole and it doesn't have a mouth. That's pretty standard thoughout the woodworking industry when they research cutting forces (I've read heaps of articles). So maybe we are all wrong, but for the moment I presume that I can get valid measurements with this.

David Weaver
09-16-2014, 7:00 AM
A mouth would only be useful if one of the planes experienced tearout. We don't need a tight one with the double iron, and if we had one with the single iron plane, it would add a required force, though I'm not sure which direction. My infill with a tiny (but effective) mouth suggests that.

Kees Heiden
09-16-2014, 8:06 AM
As soon as a tight mouth is tight enough to help against tearout, you can feel the extra resistance in pushing the plane.

ian maybury
09-16-2014, 9:55 AM
There's exceptions of course but experience here suggests that electronics attracts more of those of an intellectual/digital/left brain mind. Processors. Mechanical and the better electronics guys tend also to have a much more more holistic, intuitive, conceptual and blended way of thinking as well.

It's great to see the work being done Kees, and its fun to talk about. My personal instinct is that it might be helpful to think of this stuff from less of a tool based perspective - and more from a chip formation/handling one. I posted elsewhere the suggestion for example that a bevel down plane with chip breaker, scraper plane with a burnished and turned edge and back bevel, and also a bevel up all seek to employ a similar principle - to prevent the wood splitting ahead of the cutting edge by pushing the shaving down into the surface, and also back in the direction of movement of the edge. Also by forcing it up through a relatively tight radius bend. A tight mouth seems to reinforce the holding down principle - but it sounds like it may be possible to get enough effect and hence eliminate the need for it by correct configuration of the cutting edge.

The burnished and turned edge on a scraper seems analogous to the projection of the blade on a bevel down plane in front of a closely set chip breaker, and the chip breaker itself to the main body of the scraper blade. A bevel up blade approximates to similar effect using the face of the bevel/microbevel - maybe (or maybe not) at some cost in terms of this and the wider cutting edge angle and reduced back clearance.

The thought is that if experimental work could perhaps identify all of the significant variables in play (and there's probably lots e.g. the friction/gripping characteristics of the surface functioning as a chip breaker, and then there's the multitude of ways that different woods and pieces can behave) , and then figure out the critical ones and how they act we might possibly end up with a more universal template/set of objectives/rules for use in configuring cutting edges for minimal tear out. There's another set of variables in play too when we switch to a hand held tool - preferred/required handling characteristics in terms of the force required to drive the blade, and/or hold it down on the surface etc.

The experience with disposable carbide inserts used for machining metal for example has been that chipbreakers and the like are formed into the shape of a solid and one-piece edge. e.g. a U section groove on the top face behind the cutting edge. Probably not a runner in wood given the variability of the material - but who knows. How's about pre-sharpened solid drop in inserts for plane blades available ground in different profiles (e.g. a crosswise concave groove ground into the top surface just behind the cuttinge edge to create some optimum configuration of pitch angle and chip breaker) to suit different working situations? It could possibly open the way to using much harder and more wear resistant materials than at present.

I'd hate to see the craft and DIY dimension removed (because this is where this stuff may be headed - and it would concentrate knowledge into a very few hands), but a blade with a separate chip breaker like a bevel down plane amounts in effect to a user configurable cutting edge. Trouble is that we're still relying on experience/individual know how and black magic to determine how to set it up, and working with materials that deliver relatively a short working life between tune ups.

Pardon my coming in at cross purposes - I've been setting up a scraping plane for the last few evenings (having just done bevel up and down planes) and have had to conclude from searching the net that while there's broad agreement on major factors (it requires a sharp edge) that there's not much concensus/there's differing views on the detail of exactly how the blades and/or chip breakers on these tools should be set up...

David Weaver
09-16-2014, 10:31 AM
I'd hate to see the craft and DIY dimension removed (because this is where this stuff is headed - and it would concentrate knowledge into a very few hands), but a blade with a separate chip breaker like a bevel down plane amounts in effect to a user configurable cutting edge. Trouble is that we're still relying on experience/individual know how and black magic to determine how to set it up, and working with materials that deliver relatively a short working life between tune ups.



To set up a cap iron or to set up a scraper? The cap iron is quick to set up, probably 15 seconds of extra time in setting the plane up before putting it together (sunday I had to take a plane apart to move the cap iron back, the first time I have had to do that in 6 months, and then I remember - it was a try plane - and I had been fiddling with the cap iron to play with the plane with it set close - something I normally wouldn't do), and the time and effort it saves once being set up over not using a cap iron is measured in minutes. It's a good trade off.

It does require a little bit of experience to get good results, but not much. A couple of weeks, I guess, and then after that you should expect excellent results all the time.

If you're concerned about scraper setup, see david charlesworth's articles and discussions on setting up hard-ironed scrapers (like the scraper plane, etc). It makes a good setup with a good strong burr guaranteed every single time.

Sean Hughto
09-16-2014, 10:38 AM
Do be careful, boys. From here it looks as though you are teetering on the brinks of your navel's event horizons. I worry that you may fall in. ;-)

Kees Heiden
09-16-2014, 10:53 AM
Ian, a cutting edge with an integral chipbreaker allready exists is woodworking. You can get something like that for these super surfacers. Disposal blades grinded in a special way to povide a chipbreaking function, just like in metal working carbide inserts. That's still a long way of from handtools I guess, but who knows? Warren certainly wouldn't aprove, optimal surface quality needs finetuning of the chipbreaker.

http://thecarpentryway.blogspot.nl/2014/09/a-square-deal-13.html

Kees Heiden
09-16-2014, 10:53 AM
Do be careful, boys. From here it looks as though you are teetering on the brinks of your navel's event horizons. I worry that you may fall in. ;-)

Ooh, I feel so vulnerable!

Sean Hughto
09-16-2014, 11:05 AM
More seriously, is this science for science sake, or is there a goal? What problem is being addressed or hypothesis tested?

Kees Heiden
09-16-2014, 11:15 AM
For science sake.

And when you decide to read it you will have to make up your own mind if it is usefull for you or not.

David Weaver
09-16-2014, 11:23 AM
More seriously, is this science for science sake, or is there a goal? What problem is being addressed or hypothesis tested?

It's an examination of whether the cap iron saves the user physical work over a high angle plane (which includes pushing the plane forward, holding it down once it begins to dull, and potentially how often you have to sharpen).

At least that's what I've gotten from reading it.

Sean Hughto
09-16-2014, 11:24 AM
I've decided: I will read "it." Can you direct me to "it?" Danke schoen!

Sean Hughto
09-16-2014, 11:32 AM
That sounds interesting, though I think it would be more useful to put it into a real world woodworking context as far as specifying the task being undertaken and specific wood being worked.

David Weaver
09-16-2014, 11:36 AM
Cherry, dimensioning from rough, hitting a thickness mark or jointing a face side of a board with the penultimate step (which is where you both try to hit your mark and reduce tearout to something that can be removed with a smoother pass).

That's my real-world situation, and why I am a complete chipbreaker militant (I am dressed like fidel castro every day with a shirt that says leonard on one pocket and bailey on the other). You can jack without it fairly effectively, you can smooth with just about anything, but that interim step really benefits from the cap iron and the ability to work a heavier flat (or close to flat) shaving.

Sean Hughto
09-16-2014, 11:42 AM
Is the cherry curly? Kiln or air dried? Flat or quarter sawn? ;-)

Assuming that it is just plain cherry cut through and through, I don't think I would ever think to use a high angle plane for this work. Maybe I've been missing something.

ian maybury
09-16-2014, 11:46 AM
Just speculating Sean, but did try to set out one possible objective near the bottom of my last.

I seem to be doing fine David, all three formats of tool. (scraping plane, bevel down and bevel up planes are all performing beautifully - or well enough/on the wood i have to await contact with a real job for finer tuning) What i was getting at was more that there's an awful lot of conflicting views on how to set each up out there, and it takes a fair amount of digging to filter out an option to run with. Several possibilities i guess - either not everybody has the same requirements, or some of these settings are not awfully critical or the only possible solution.

I'd no idea such a machine existed Kees - it doesn't matter what we think somebody has got there already. :) A quick skim on YouTube brought up this clip of a Marunaka supersurfacing machine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmCbqg--Qe0

No doubt it has its pros and cons, but my guess is that we may see more of that ground in chip breaker idea in future - perhaps in varying configurations… (Sorry Warren…)

David Weaver
09-16-2014, 11:49 AM
Any, of course, as long as there's no tearout. My cherry (locally here) always has some curl in it, I'd attribute that to the fact that it's poor quality compared to what you'd expect in an area where fabulous cherry grows. I use quartered cherry when I can get it, but that's also not often, usually a local sawyer.

Curly and quartered both do have some ability to tear IME, at dimensioning cuts, and what's downhill can be a bit obscure. (FWIW, I find curly cherry with something like a 7 or 8 thousandth shaving - the penultimate step- to be a bit of a pain in the butt to plane if it's tearing)

Pretty much moot if you use a power jointer and planer, as both handle most cherry pretty well, and anything they leave behind can be removed with any smoother.

I agree that a nice flatsawn board that was sawn straight up the tree (relative to the direction of growth) doesn't take much, sometimes not even if you plane back into the grain.

I guess another realistic application where there is benefit is in maple and beech, where the wood is fairly hard (by our standards) and planes nicely without tearout and is a nuisance if there is tearout.

Sean Hughto
09-16-2014, 12:13 PM
Where do you think the fabulous cherry grows? Michigan? Cause I've had a good bit of what I considered excellent quality MI cherry, as well as stuff from PA and elsewhere I thought was top shelf, and pretty much all cherry has reversals even when it looks straight. It's a challenging wood for planes in many cases.

Tear out has only really bugged me with super curly things likes birdeye maple, fiddleback, and quilted sort of plum pudding cherry and mahogany. Sharp blades are half the battle, but toothed blades and scrapers usually come to the rescue if necessary.

David Weaver
09-16-2014, 12:29 PM
When you say it bothered you with super curly things, like in smoothing or elsewhere?

I noticed in getting the cap iron set up correctly on my panel plane (a plane where you're really wasting your time if you take thin shavings) that the plane just works much more nicely in a heavy cut (curly maple, cherry, or whatever) if it's not tearing. Every stroke is a smooth one, on the diagonal or straight through from end to end.

Same is true for a stanley plane, I guess.

Cherry that I'd consider to be "good" is stuff that has fairly tight grain, that is from a wide tree and that has what seems like fruitwood density (that's not a very good term, but wood that works very smoothly and the wood itself has a more dense type of texture, like just below what apple has). If I get cherry from a local sawyer here, it often seems a lot like that. My go-to hardwood dealer here has, instead, the pre-sorted type stuff from a mill where the trees appear to be somewhat narrow, there's a fair amount of sap and the boards are all about the same width (due to those coin-sorter type mills that sort boards by width). I guess I'm indicting myself a little bit for being too lazy to arrange something with the local sawyers every time I get wood - my easy source (a guy who delivers) has retired, but there are other local one man operations here who do good work and who will saw a tree through and through.

I don't know, I guess the bottom line of all of it is whether it's beech or maple or cherry (curly or not), you can set your cap iron for the type of work the plane is going to do and just get after it. If you errantly plane back into the grain, of course the stroke isn't as smooth, but little damage is done. You can take off large amounts and hit a depth mark without having to worry about whether or not you'll need to smooth past your mark, and without breaking out things like toothed irons. I like that, it's satisfying.

There's a lot of talk on forums about scrubs/jacking and smoothing, and I guess that's because most people use scrubs/jacks to prepare boards for a jointer or planer, and power-do the in-betweens, but the most satisfying bit of the whole process to me is the try plane, and the cap iron makes the whole bit nearly automatic until you get into the stratospheric really nasty woods that are just really undesirable to plane (like quartered cocobolo or something of the sort). I don't think any of those stratosphere woods are really nice to work with any tools - they are a task to get through.

Sean Hughto
09-16-2014, 3:01 PM
When you say it bothered you with super curly things, like in smoothing or elsewhere?

With challenging swirling or reversing grains, tearout happens on most planing operations, but absent deep gouging, I don't care much until smoothing. When thicknessing, I tend to work across or at angles to the grain anyway.

Next time I prep a slab or other wide board where my 12 planer is of no use, maybe I'll make a video so that folks like you can tell me where I might change my habits to make my life easier.

David Weaver
09-16-2014, 3:34 PM
maybe I'll make a video so that folks like you can tell me where I might change my habits to make my life easier.

...you know, the first response is going to be "you should get a wider planer"

Kees Heiden
09-17-2014, 3:24 AM
You do have a good point Sean. What's the relevance?

For the old guys who were doing everything by hand and had to furnish the Versailles and all those places, i think it was very relevant. And they sure didn't need my measurements, because I believe they intuitively knew all I took so much pain to invest. But they didn't write it down, which shows that you always should document your knowledge.

But what is the relevance for us? When you use planers and thicknessers to dimension your wood, I think it won't matter too much if your final smoothing strokes are a little heavy handed or your blade wears faster (at the same time, A2 and PMV11 are populair because it wears slower). For the few of us who only use handplanes the efficiency is as valid as ever.

I am a hack. I've made a few projects with handtools, the dining table was the largest. I get plenty of tearout with the wood I use, which might be second choice. Using my humble set of vintage planes, the chipbreaker is the only viable way to get good results.

ian maybury
09-17-2014, 4:36 AM
Re. set ups to suit different hand planing situations Kees. 'But they didn't write it down…'

Sounds like it could be a really interesting project to interview Warren (with samples and tools to hand - in a demo context) and a few more of his ilk who have so much information - to attempt a 'brain dump', and try to get it written down. Chances are of course it'd very quickly run into stuff he knows or just intuitively does - without necessarily having a rationale worked out for doing so. If nothing else it could provide all sorts of insights and leads for experimental work.

It seems like leaving it to the user to figure out the details is a bit of generic issue in woodworking, even in terms of machine usage. There's for example so many standard tasks involved in using a table saw. The detail of blade selection, cutting accurately to a mark, squaring a fence etc etc. It's almost never actually written about except very superficially, much less reduced to a set of rules or principles. Trouble is differing machines and shops often use very different set ups for the same task....

PS This more modern version of the Marunaka machine is impressive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpWoGKwCqk4 Look at the full width shavings coming off… Shop sized version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8phndWW2qQ (look at the shine on the planed surface at the end) It seems likely that some of the factories making these machines have done a lot of work on these topics too.

David Weaver
09-17-2014, 7:41 AM
Ian, I believe the super surfacer was somewhat behind the kato and kawai. The usefulness for hand tools was just an offshoot (a different abstract) that was less precise.

A member of another forum (who sells them) gave us the run down on their chipbreaker setup, which answered the question a lot of us had about them - that being how they take such a large thick shaving with no tearout.

ian maybury
09-17-2014, 8:22 AM
Ta David. It seemed likely that they had done a bit of work on the process. That the machines existed at all was news to me. I guess their data may or may not be applicable to the hand tool situation - where a lot hangs on getting acceptable forces, characteristics and feedback as well as a clean cut.

Don't let me confuse the flow of discussion by lobbing the odd comment into the mix - it's intended only to help spark thoughts. Feel free to ignore if the ground is already covered - i've certainly not been down the road you guys have.

David Weaver
09-17-2014, 8:28 AM
Feel free to ignore if it repeats territory already covered - i've certainly not been down the road you guys have.

No problem at all, I personally thought it was interesting that the work done by K&K was to find a way to make a machine eliminate tearout - it's one that works a lot the same as kees' contraption.

When I first started woodworking, a buddy and I saw videos of it and puzzled about it for a while (as in how can it plane with no tearout reliably), and I can't remember what we concluded - probably that they were using good stock. I'm trying to remember the name of the other user who runs solid wood machinery (a marunaka dealer - among other things) - mark something (edit: hennebury, I could've just looked at the video text) - but he was nice enough to give us a rundown on how the double iron on the machine works and how it's set. It's pretty interesting.

If I had to bet at lloyds, I'd say that the whole study itself was for the benefit of marunaka, but I don't keep good enough mental records of the translated stuff that came out in april or may of 2012.

The hand tool paper that was written after the industry study type stuff was done said something about it not being that easy to be prescriptive about the cap iron, and IIRC, concluded that users should watch the shaving to see if it's set close enough to be doing anything. I think maybe it was written separately for technical schools or something. Warren always said something along the lines of "use is subtle", and the paper seemed to agree somewhat. The japanese planes are not nearly as convenient to set, and take a little more finesse to set and adjust the planes' depth of cut with the cap iron set close, which may have led to some of their trouble coming up with something prescriptive (experience in use is more important than prescription or jigging, anyway).

Sean Hughto
09-17-2014, 9:24 AM
the chipbreaker is the only viable way to get good results.

Scrapers and sandpaper can help a lot too. ;-)

I guess my problem is that my output is not held back by my tools. Maybe when I catch up to their present capabilities, I'll be more interested in squeezing just a little more out them!

Part of what I don't like about some aspects of power tool work is the fiddliness of measuring and setting and jigging. I'm too impatient and frankly not that good at that sort of anal retentive stuff. I resist bringing that sort of thing to my hand tools. I'd rather be more intuitive, on-the-fly empirical, and reacting to immediate actual situations. My perversion in this regard is no doubt holding me back, but I yam what I yam.

David Weaver
09-17-2014, 9:41 AM
Scrapers and sandpaper can help a lot too. ;-)

I guess my problem is that my output is not held back by my tools. Maybe when I catch up to their present capabilities, I'll be more interested in squeezing just a little more out them!

Part of what I don't like about some aspects of power tool work is the fiddliness of measuring and setting and jigging. I'm too impatient and frankly not that good at that sort of anal retentive stuff. I resist bringing that sort of thing to my hand tools. I'd rather be more intuitive, on-the-fly empirical, and reacting to immediate actual situations. My perversion in this regard is no doubt holding me back, but I yam what I yam.

Sean, I think you're exactly right. The use of the cap iron is less fiddly, and less time consuming than the fiddly you describe with power tools (and I agree with that, it's the reason I'm using hand tools, despite the person who taught me woodworking relying on machines unless it was unavoidable not to). The talk about the cap iron is very specific, but the use is subtle and unobtrusive and "unfiddly".

I don't think you need to get more from your tools, personally, I've seen your work. Whether you fiddle the cap iron for 15 seconds after each sharpening is up to you.

Dare I say it, I've been slowly making kitchen cabinets and final sanding the surfaces. If they were a piece of material that I could take with me when I leave the house, I wouldn't do that - I would finish plane them. I have final smoothed these cabinets, including all of their junctions, with a smooth plane. Some of the wood is quartered, but I want them to look factory, and what using the cap iron has allowed is for me to sand with 220 and 320 on a power sander and that's it.

If I'm honest (I try to be), using hand tools in general hasn't sped things up vs having a better complement of power tools, but I don't have a better complement of power tools (don't have a power jointer at all), but using the cap iron has expedited the amount of time I am creating dust, and has allowed the use of the plane until it's literally dull if chosen without having much effect on anything other than the surface brightness (which is immediately obliterated by the sander, anyway).

Sean Hughto
09-17-2014, 9:56 AM
FWIW, I have paid more attention to the cap iron based on your and Warren and Kees, etc. insights and it definitely helps. I'm not suggesting that using the cap iron is fiddily. Angsting about blade angles and bed down to the half a degree and so forth is not something I anticipate ever doing though.

David Weaver
09-17-2014, 10:17 AM
Angsting about blade angles and bed down to the half a degree and so forth is not something I anticipate ever doing though.

I agree with that, too. I hope if anyone is a newbie that the takeaway that they get is that the stock plane (whatever it may be) as it is will do the trick without measuring anything, etc, and that the cap iron set generally is just out of the range of working a shaving or just barely working it on the heaviest one you're likely to take. That's the subtle part, I guess, that's better done with experience. It could be inferred that a super close set is something that some people use all the time, but that's not a practical thing, either, it limits how fast you can remove wood.

(I think it's not fiddly, I'd imagine warren thinks its not fiddly, and maybe not kees either. But if one tried to measure all of the stuff on a regular basis and duplicate a video intended to test a setup for a commercial machine (supersurfacer), it would definitely be fiddly).

ian maybury
09-17-2014, 10:26 AM
I'd say David judging by what gets written in many pieces on setting up woodworking tools is that the core bit of information coming through from this work is that correctly adjusted close set chip breakers of an appropriate shape are (all else like sharpness and edge geometry being equal) a key means of preventing tear out. There's of course more detailed considerations in terms of precisely how to set them up - but even the basic point seems not to be widely appreciated. e.g. there's experts writing that talk of stuff like setting chipbreakers back by 1/8in as a generally applicable setting etc.

My guess is that scale effects i.e. depth of cut, and it's relationship to optimium placement of the chip breaker may be significant. i.e. a thick chip seeems likely to respond to a breaker set further back in a similar way as a thin smoother type chip does to a close set breaker? i.e. the likelihood is that truly optimum settings probably depend on chip thickness and wood type. Against that workable solutions need to be able to handle a wide enough range of requirements to be practicable - it wouldn't do (short of the adjustable on the fly chip breaker somebody mentioned?) to have to reset for every cut.

I guess Sean that the so called 'scientific' approach tends to be about extracting generally applicable rules that everybody can apply. That's not at all the same as getting to an optimum or the absolutely best possible solution. Standardised rules (and laws) tend by definition to focus on achieveing 'desirable' conditions in respect of a narrow few variables. It's possible to write more complex rules that take account of more and subtler variables, but they quickly become so complex as to be unworkable. Which means that the price of stock rules is inevitably a 'good enough' result (we like to think), and a dumbing down effect because people just blindly apply the rules without understanding the underlying process. e.g. 90% of the people that get lifted for 'speeding' were most likely doing nothing dangerous - a situation exacerbated by the tendency of enforcement to set up in places that provide a ready supply of sitting ducks.

:) I guess the point of the highly expert craftsman is that the possibility is there for them to use their intuition and expertise to get into the space that standardised manufacturing processes cannot. If that craftsman can get close enough to the testing that underpins the above rules (before it's been simplified in the blender to produce them) then maybe the improved understanding can help him/her too in delivering a solution tuned much more precisely to the situation and piece of wood at hand - by taking account of far more variables, and in a more considered way. Having a successful business in this area requires finding people that will pay for this capability.

It's probably wiser (as many doing kitchens and the like have done here) not to end up competing with CNC machines to find who can cut up sheets of particle board most cheaply...

Which is fine - but there's still times that the power tools as David's comment about wide belt sanders are a very attractive proposition...

David Weaver
09-17-2014, 10:36 AM
My guess is that scale effects i.e. depth of cut, and it's relationship to optimium placement of the chip breaker may be significant. i.e. a thick chip seeems likely to respond to a breaker set further back in a similar way as a thin smoother type chip does to a close set breaker?


This is true, but there is a point that shavings don't really have enough strength to do any or much damage, so the super close set (.004" or whatever for anyone that ever has or could measure such a thing) is rarely needed. It's best to set further back so that only the thickest chip you could work would be just straightened. It's pretty are to get in any trouble doing that - it's the thick chips that lift, the thin ones really don't. So you can take a thick shaving or whatever, and finish with a thin one without changing anything. The latter set that you describe is what I aim to achieve on every plane I put a cap iron on - and it's just something you do by experience ("right about there looks pretty good" kind of thing). In two years, I have needed the super close set exactly once - on cocoblo - but that's it.

My tearout bugaboo in the past was a matter of patience, or as the term always comes up, workmanship of risk - wanting to take a bigger and bigger shaving, even on wood that didn't seem to tolerate it. It's not practical to finish trouble wood only with thin shavings if you have to do it in any quantity, and if you're experiencing a little trouble with a shaving and then you ramp it up a little to try to flatten something uneven or whatever, you can get a whopper here or there that takes several more careful strokes to remove. It's nice to eliminate that - those are the things that shoot you past a thickness mark, etc. Everything else disappears just by reducing the shaving thickness on the last couple of passes.

Chris Fournier
09-17-2014, 9:05 PM
That seems like a lot of work to evaluate a control surface, albeit a very small control surface. A surface that has little practical application in any real project which invloves larger surfaces. Repeatability of the cutting interface controlled by a human over many strokes is where its at. The degrade of the cutting edge while planing a practical project surface over many strokes is more important than the "absolutes" that this scientific rig coughs out.

The take away? Make sure that your tool is sharp as can be and make sure that you resharpen when that tool is not as sharp as can be.

Me, I like to have two irons ready to go because when the shavings are flying I am in the moment and don't want to hit the stones. Results are the ultimate validity of any tool/craftsman combo.

ian maybury
09-18-2014, 11:55 AM
Ta David - that reduces it to practicality. Setting up and testing a scrub plane for the first time a few nights ago demonstrated from the other end how chip breakers can only operate up to a certain depth of cut anyway. It's amazing how they glide through the wood at a scary depths - while requiring (relatively speaking) pretty minimal force. :) Adding a chip breaker would likely get interesting/stop it dead….

The problem for sure Chris is always the design of the experiment - how do we know which variables to take account of, and which to discard. It gets complicated: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_of_experiments

For all the theory my personal experience around PhD research suggests that there's an awful lot of (quietly unstated - but subtlety ignoring) simplification goes on in statistical research in an effort to reduce the problem to a more manageable one - with the result that the conclusions can be very iffy. That's even in engineering topics - when it gets into medicine, social science and the like where the functioning of the systems being is not understood or is subject to a gazillion variables it becomes a bit of a joke. I'm much happier at the thought of the case study based research which is an alternative - that's where a specific scenario is investigated to a very high degree of detail. It's then (it goes) a much more open question whether or not the result is generally applicable, but it beats building the castles in the air that (and this is of course a controversial view in some quarters) characterise so much modern population based statistical 'scientific research'.

Part of the problem is that statistical research is much more academically respectable (especially in the US) - basically because it generates population based results that can likely be used to justify the development and sale of mass market products. It suits the egg heads too because it's so maths based. Pharmaceutical research is a clear case in point.

All that said the knowledge of guys like yourself, and David and Warren is the result of lots of personal experiments - informed by lots more done by others. It's hard to set up tests rigs that mimic the hand tool scenario - but it's all grist to the mill.

As in even if the only consequence of work like Kees' is that it adds some info and gets us talking and thinking and clarifying our ideas so that they can be communicated (for use in designing a machine, or for use by a hand tool user) - that has to be hugely positive. It has to beat the hell out of crusty old master carpenters hoarding knowledge and dribbling it out in return for cheap labour from apprentices - and in doing so turning it into the 'word' (to be pronounced and worshipped, so that hands power to the priesthood, and so that heretics that might threaten this power can be denounced and burned) rather than just a staging point on the never ending road of improvement...

Kees Heiden
09-19-2014, 3:21 AM
Wise words Ian.

My bit of research is limited in scope. Of course. Influences on blade wear, apart from bedding angle and capiron setting, are woodspecies, density, humidity, grain angle, cutting depth etc. I've only tested one set of all these variables. I thought that the results were distinct enough to warant a publication, but we shouldn't forget the probability that for example grain angle, which is a large factor, could seriously change the results, one way or the other.

It is very hard to draw definitive conclusions from the experience of woodworkers. Psychology is an extra factor in research like that. How impartial are they when they report their experience? And I don't say that in a negative way. We human beings are easilly impressed, we are vulnerable to influences from our environment, advertising for example, or things we heard from collegues. Research into this would have to deal with these social and phychologic factors too.

Doing research like I did is more precise, but is also always limited in scope. Huge amounts of data are necessary to get the full picture.

That said, I am pretty confident about one thing. High cutting angles reduce the negative normal force a lot quicker then planes with a capiron. In other words, the cutting edge is being pulled down into the wood more with the capiron planes. This is something you can also conclude when you combine other studies like the ones from Kato and the one from Walker, as mentioned in my study.

What's not so obvious, is what this normal force (the vertical force acting on the cutting edge) means for the cutting of a handplane. Any insights why more or less negative or even positive values would be good or bad, would be appreciated.

David Weaver
09-19-2014, 8:24 AM
Kees, I'll comment on the normal force, but I have not set up experiments or any such thing, these are just my observations about driving a plane further with the cap iron set. I don't think the normal force is that big of a deal for someone who is not tired, you lean on a plane a little bit, it continues to cut. As long as the work is marked, if the plane doesn't take an identical cut each pass, no big deal.

When you get tired, though, or at least when I get tired, I tend to focus in making sure I'm not leaning on the plane - which is something you can do as a plane seems to be dulling or losing a bit of clearance. Doing so ads a multiple to the amount of work that you have to do just to make the plane work. A plane that is staying in the work by itself will be easier to push and stay off of leaning vs one that needs some additional downforce from the user to stay in the cut. The harder the wood, the bigger the effect is on the user.

It's preferable from a fatigue standpoint to have to apply less downforce, and when applying it becomes a nuisance, that's when I usually go back to the stones. In the flow of work, it may be an even match with an easily set single iron plane, though, in terms of being able to quickly sharpen a plane if one has a very fast routine. Not because it takes a long time to set a cap iron, but because there is some time added to a sharpening cycle for taking a cap iron apart and putting the assembly back together.

Kees Heiden
09-20-2014, 3:43 AM
When you think about it. There are two sides to the normal force. It is the shaving pushing down from above and the convex wear bevel pushing from below. The first is best measured with a sharp blade. The second develops when the plane is used.

I have measured the pressure from the shaving. At 45 degrees this was decidedly negative. I think this tells something about the way the blade cuts. In this setting the edge cuts the shaving, and the shaving is pushed away. This is close to a pure cutting action. At 60 degrees (in the setting I tested, 0.05 mm cutting depth, a few degrees with the grain) the normal force is almost zero. That means that there is only a horizontal force on the edge. The blade pushes the wood forwards, not upwards. I think that this means that the wood is failing in compression.

Now of course it is not black and white like that. I think you always have a combination of cutting and compressing, just differing combinations.

Warren Mickley
09-20-2014, 7:59 AM
Ta David - that reduces it to practicality. Setting up and testing a scrub plane for the first time a few nights ago demonstrated from the other end how chip breakers can only operate up to a certain depth of cut anyway. It's amazing how they glide through the wood at a scary depths - while requiring (relatively speaking) pretty minimal force. :) Adding a chip breaker would likely get interesting/stop it dead….



The term scrub plane is relatively recent. Stanley tools used it as a corruption of the German schrupp hobel. In the English and American traditions a jack plane has been used for rough work. Even the Pennsylvania Dutch used jack planes. Double iron jack planes have been in use since the 18th century.

ian maybury
09-20-2014, 9:39 AM
You're way ahead of me on the history Warren, and on practicalities. My surmise (which could be wrong) was just that it was the absence of a chip breaker/cap iron that led to what felt like the low force required to push the scrub. They are however relatively narrow and with the heavy camber maybe don't cut over as much area as might seem to be the case.

Against that I guess there's no reason not to push the cap iron right back if using a jack plane as a scrub if that helps….

David Weaver
09-20-2014, 9:50 AM
I think the point about the scrub is that it's a bit of a novelty - in my opinion it sells well because it's on the far extreme of the setups and people get enamored with it on a test board. It's not as nice to use to thickness a board, in my opinion, as a rank set (larger footprint) jack plane, and I don't like it any better for adjusting the width of a board. My rank set jack is radius 4" or so, so take that with a grain of salt. It's wider than a scrub plane, which makes it a bit nicer to use in my opinion.

In terms of setting a cap iron, on the really cambered irons, there's not a whole lot to do - you try to plane downhill or across the grain if you have to. It's the next step of work where you really gain with a cap iron, especially in terms of not having to push a plane that thumps is way through the board as it's bouncing in and out of the cut, and not moving past a marked line to eliminate unexpected tearout. I still keep a cap iron down close to the edge on a jack, but close is a relative term - there could be an eighth of iron sticking below it and if you ever actually get a chip an eigth thick in a medium hardwood, you get the man award!

Sean Hughto
09-20-2014, 10:26 AM
I think the point about the scrub is that it's a bit of a novelty - in my opinion it sells well because it's on the far extreme of the setups and people get enamored with it on a test board. It's not as nice to use to thickness a board, in my opinion, as a rank set (larger footprint) jack plane, and I don't like it any better for adjusting the width of a board. My rank set jack is radius 4" or so, so take that with a grain of salt. It's wider than a scrub plane, which makes it a bit nicer to use in my opinion.


jack is to smooth as scrub is to jack

jack will get you there, but in twice the time and effort, just like a smooth plane might get a jack's work done

I find efficiency more fun.

David Weaver
09-20-2014, 10:42 AM
jack is to smooth as scrub is to jack

jack will get you there, but in twice the time and effort, just like a smooth plane might get a jack's work done

I find efficiency more fun.

That last bit is my line!

A rank set jack should get you there in the same amount of time, and maybe a bit faster if it's wooden.

I never measured the radius on my planes until someone mentioned numbers a few months ago. My stuff is set more rank than the numbers other people gave. It may be that someone who sets their planes with fairly flat radius would have more of a place for them than me.

I do like a converted continental smooth plane better than a real scrub, though. That makes for a true two-handed plane.

Sean Hughto
09-20-2014, 10:45 AM
Yeah, the radius issue may be the key. I have some well cambered try and jack set ups, but nothing even vaguely approaching the fingernail that is the scrub blade.

Warren Mickley
09-20-2014, 11:07 AM
jack is to smooth as scrub is to jack

jack will get you there, but in twice the time and effort, just like a smooth plane might get a jack's work done

I find efficiency more fun.

Sounds like your jack plane doesn't work very well. A lot of guys have thought that with all their education they knew more than 18th century woodworkers.

ian maybury
09-20-2014, 11:29 AM
Guess i'm in the space that bought a scrub because having to make some calls without the benefit of experience (i've used planes since childhood, but in effect as a general purpose do everything sort of tool sharpened straight across) the ability to rip off a lot of material on stuff that's too wide or twisted for the jointer sounded useful. (still think it is)

That a jack could be set up to do a similar job didn't even cross my mind - my instinctive response would have been that there was no way it would be practical set one up to take such a heavy cut. Which is probably true - until your 4in radius camber (which presumably doesn't project across the full width of the mouth) and the extra momentum kicks in.

The surprise for me was just that the scrub has proved to cut so deep with such ease. I'd expected a wrestling match.....

Sean Hughto
09-20-2014, 12:54 PM
A few things, Warren:
1. I completely suck and no one should listen to me.
2. I never said anything about 18th century wood workers or, heaven forbid, that I knew better than any of them. I claim no education whatsoever in woodworking. I ain't on no high horse, you?
3. I grow tired of writing " in my experience" or "when I am working in my shop" but please assume all such qualifiers when reading any of my posts.
4. I try to only write from direct experience - not conjecture or theory or what I read somewhere. You can call my experience crap, and that's fine, but were back to my first point.
5. Given my general crappitude, they will have to pry my scrub from my cold dead hands.

i always find it odd how people on forums are offended when others do things differently from them or prefer different tools than the ones they prefer. It's as though in making a different choice I am disrespecting them. I'm not. I'll always tell people the straight dope about what I see in my shop and what works for me. It's likely that they will have to try things themselves and figure out what is best for them.

David Weaver
09-20-2014, 1:19 PM
Sean, do you want to borrow my school picture?

Here's my jack plane, for reference of what I'm talking about. In my true piggish history, I had both the LN and LV scrubs at different times, you know, looking for true happiness and stuff. I landed on this because I got enamored with the mujingfang continental smoothers (they are great, but they are high speed steel and don't love washitas).

I got this on ebay, it's some german brand with 4 letters that I can't remember, and it has a pugeot freres iron (which is half the reason I wanted to try it, I'm assuming that's french and the french had a pretty good grasp on carbon steel, even though they seem to like it a bit soft.). It may look beat...because it is. I can tolerate that as long as it's beat price.

So, anyway, I can make hay with this plane a bit faster than I could with the "real scrubs". The iron is a freehanders dream. It grinds fast and easy, it raises a wire edge easy, it lets it go easily and it's tough and doesn't chip.

297039



297040

ian maybury
09-20-2014, 1:38 PM
To be fair we're all caught in our own thought and experience bubble - it's just the way it is. Even the very experienced. It's always hard to cross reference between bubbles, and equally there's no best or worst where reality is concerned. (Zen mind = beginner's mind and all that) The bit that matters I think Sean is that we each do our best to speak from our own experience - no more, no less. We never truly pull it off...

:) Wonder if there's room for a pre-distressed option in the veritas' new custom line of planes? No doubt there's a market...

Warren Mickley
09-20-2014, 8:09 PM
My apologies, Sean. I did not understand the tone of your post. Thanks to David for efforts to help.