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Thread: corrugated or not

  1. #1
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    corrugated or not

    I'm purchasing a new LN 4 . I know the theory, but what's your preference? corrugated or not?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    I'd save the few bucks and go smooth.

  3. #3
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    I've used a lot of different sorts of planes for a good many years, and I can't remember ever once thinking to myself: "@#$*^%$, If only this thing had furrows carved into its sole!!"

  4. #4
    What Sean said. And, if I feel things are sticking, I just scribble some parafin wax on the sole. (what Sean said, except for the "...good many years.." I don't have that many years under my belt, only a few years, but several different plans).
    “Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway”
    - John Wayne (1907-1979)

  5. #5
    My theory has always been that the corrugations are just one more place for rust to hide! Go smmmooooooth!!

  6. #6


    It's about cool. If you think it looks cool, then enjoy. Otherwise I can't find a real function for them. I do think they are cool however, and prefer them when I buy planes.

    Are corrugated soles in older planes easier to flatten? Doubtful. Where they need to be flat, there are no corrugations. The same applies to friction....where a sole needs to be flat is also where the sole rubs hardest against the workpiece, so corrugations don't help much there, either.

    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 10-06-2009 at 6:00 PM.
    “Perhaps then, you will say, ‘But where can one have a boat like that built today?’ And I will tell you that there are still some honest men who can sharpen a saw, plane, or adze...men (who) live and work in out of the way places, but that is lucky, for they can acquire materials for one third of city prices. Best, some of these gentlemen’s boatshops are in places where nothing but the occasional honk of a wild goose will distract them from their work.” -- L Francis Herreshoff

  7. #7
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    The only reason I have several corrugated planes is that they were the size I was shopping for and at a price I could live with. I have found they can be a bit of a pain in certain applications where the grooves want to track on an edge. It's not too much to skew the plane a little so the corrugations don't line up with the edge, but when I buy new I buy flat soles.

    All in all it's not a huge deal one way or the other to me, but why spend the extra dough?

    .
    Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.
    - Churchill

  8. #8
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    Excellent responses, thanks for the input. I had several non corrugated Record Planes, which haven't been a problem push,but I thought I'd ask.

  9. #9
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    Like Bob says; to each their own.

    I have mostly smooth planes, but my LN #7 is corrugated. If I had it to do all over, I think I'd go smooth. I haven't had any problems with rust in the grooves, but wax does sometimes build up in them. Not that this has actually caused any problems, it's just a minor annoyance that I wouldn't have if the sole were smooth.
    "History is strewn with the wrecks of nations which have gained a little progressiveness at the cost of a great deal of hard manliness, and have thus prepared themselves for destruction as soon as the movements of the world gave a chance for it." -Walter Bagehot

  10. #10
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    Wink

    Go flat, especially if you are looking at a no. 4 which does not have that much sole surface to warrant the corrugated bottom. Keep it well tuned, the blade sharp and the sole waxed and it should glide over the wood surface.

  11. #11
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    Welcome to the Creek Mark.

    Guess adding my 2¢ doesn't change anything. All my planes are flat soled. Owned a Bedrock that was corrugated and sold it. Have a flat bottomed Bedrock that actually has me thinking about keeping it and selling an extra Bailey of the same size.

    jim
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  12. #12
    I bought a bunch of corrugated planes for the same reason as Bob S. - I just thought they looked trick. But now that I used them for a while, I don't care and will generally buy a smooth bottom.

    I don't know why they were made - probably a marketing "feature". A reason to charge a few dollars more.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  13. #13
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    Apr 2006
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    You have to pay more for corrugated soles? I thought that was a cheapening step like the open web tablesaw wings. I guess my #7 is a flagship model instead of the junker I thought it was.

  14. Extra cost for new is obviously the extra machining step. Extra cost for vintage is supply and demand, less "C" versions were made. About half of my vintage bench planes are C, and I never experienced any additional rust or other issues with them; properly tuned, a flat will work exactly like a C. That being said, I consistently tend to reach for my 605C over its non-C brother. Plus, as tool porn goes, the Cs are a bit more sexy.....

    That being said, the LN bench planes I purchased new were all flat.

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