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Thread: Interesting Adam Cherubini blog post

  1. #1
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    Interesting Adam Cherubini blog post

    Adam recently wrote about some advantages wooden planes have over metal ones, especially when one has to remove a lot of stock. He has issued a challenge for us to find an old woodie and put it to use.

    I have a couple of working wooden planes (a smoother and a skew rabbet), but my experience has been pretty limited. I've been inspired to pull out an old wooden fore plane that I had lying around. It looks a little rough, and I've hesitated to do much with it, but I'm going to give it a try. The blade and chip breaker are sitting in Evaporust as we speak. The wedge will definitely need some work, but hopefully not replacement.... The mouth is big enough to drive a city bus through, which is really perfect for this experiment.

    Anyway, I thought it was a great post and I hope it will spark some debate over here.

    Jim
    Last edited by Keith Outten; 01-28-2010 at 6:40 AM.

  2. #2
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    I use Woodies and/or Wood bottomed Transitionals depending on which shop I am working in, and they are sharpened the way the old timers did them,

    Often on old furniture on the back where no one sees you will find the shallow grooves where the cambered fore plane was the last plane used to thickness plane the back boards or panels. And a Jack Woodie (14in. long) was used like a scrub and it was called a Bench plane because it was used to quickly rough material to thickness, then the Fore to smooth out the deeper grooves and then a Trying or Jointer before using the Smooth to finish. Most old Woodies or others you pick up usually have been sharpened with no Camber by the Unknowing mostly modern WWers.

    I usually go for 1/16 on the jack, 1/32 on the Fore and just a tad on the Trying, with the Jointer and Smooth straight across with the edges slightly rounded.
    Last edited by harry strasil; 01-26-2010 at 10:56 PM.
    Jr.
    Hand tools are very modern- they are all cordless
    NORMAL is just a setting on the washing machine.
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  3. #3
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    Ooops, I make the BooBoo, I camber the irons 1/8, 1/16, and 1/32 inch, at a 45 the blade will take half the camber in thickness off each swipe of the tool.
    Jr.
    Hand tools are very modern- they are all cordless
    NORMAL is just a setting on the washing machine.
    Be who you are and say what you feel... because those that matter... don't mind...and those that mind...don't matter!
    By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand

  4. #4
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    I saw Adam's post and it is sure interesting. I liket he woodies a lot, for the same resons he said. I just made my self a scrub plane with a Ulmia woodie I have and it work like a dream, I can take shavings at least 3/64 thick and it is easy! On face grane or on edges, you realy have to be carful at first not to remove to much material!! The wooden planes are much lighter and glide way more easily on the surface of stuff than a metal body plane even with a waxed sole! I would love to get rid of my metal planes and replace them with good wooden ones. But since I,m in canada, and most buyers are in the states and it cost a lot of $ to ship to the states, I,m kind of stock with my metal planes for now!!

  5. #5
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    Jr., when you say 1/8, do you meen you get 1/8 of an incheat the corner of the iron when put under a straight edge?

  6. #6
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    1/8 is how far the center of the iron sticks out when you put a square across even with the corners.
    Jr.
    Hand tools are very modern- they are all cordless
    NORMAL is just a setting on the washing machine.
    Be who you are and say what you feel... because those that matter... don't mind...and those that mind...don't matter!
    By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand

  7. #7
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    Thank you!

  8. #8
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    Just for fun (thank you SketchUp) the radii of Harry's cambers on a 2" iron are:

    1/8 = 4"

    1/16 = 8"

    1/32 = 16"

    more or less.

    Ken
    Last edited by Ken Whitney; 01-27-2010 at 6:48 AM.

  9. #9
    One of the major misconceptions that modern hand tool woodworkers have is that all planes must have tight mouths. I often use my G-G-G-Grandfathers Union by Chapin fore plane and jointer planes, 22" and 28" respectively. Both have fairly wide open mouths. Both are capable of both coarse and fine shavings without tearout when the irons are sharp. My point is simply that often the mouth can be fairly wide and still give excellent results.
    Dave Anderson
    Chester Toolworks LLC
    Chester, NH

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Anderson NH View Post
    One of the major misconceptions that modern hand tool woodworkers have is that all planes must have tight mouths. I often use my G-G-G-Grandfathers Union by Chapin fore plane and jointer planes, 22" and 28" respectively. Both have fairly wide open mouths. Both are capable of both coarse and fine shavings without tearout when the irons are sharp. My point is simply that often the mouth can be fairly wide and still give excellent results.
    Yes, there are a lot of misconceptions about hand planes and they are not limited to mouth sizing.

    A sharp blade with an open mouth will leave a better surface than a dull blade with a tight mouth.

    There is a lot taking place when a blade takes a shaving from the surface of a piece of wood.

    A sharp blade shears the shaving as it lifts, a dull blade will do more lifting than shearing, which means tear out. Depending on the wood, a tight mouth can help if a wood is prone to tear out even with a sharp blade.

    With metal or wood planes if the blade is not supported close to the sole there can be vibration, aka chatter. This bouncing of the blade can leave its mark on the surface no matter how tight the mouth. Moving the frog forward to tighten the mouth may cause the blade to be unsupported and causing less smoothness of the planed surface.

    There is a lot going on and this is just some of it.

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

  11. #11
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    I think ebed angle is also something that can be hard to understand, I meen by that, again if you have adull blade, even with a 55* iron, wont help you much! Interesting what Larry Williams had to say on an other post on plane irons, that the highter the bed angle the more trouble you get with a " double iron" assembly like in metal plane?!?!

  12. #12
    For all of the collective thinking we've done on this subject, the magazine science projects, the endless forum discussions, it seems to me we're little better off for it. When I encounter woodworkers, they tend not to have planes that work well in my opinion. They fiddle with brass knobs and struggle to produce a shaving (which is always teh exactly width of the iron).

    I think we've done ourselves no favors discussing the merits of chip breakers and bed angles. To work effectively by hand, you need at least one plane that can quickly remove wood. And you need a bench and a technique that always you to do that. Maybe we need to think about planes from the work we need them to do instead of analyzing their designs.

    Don't mean to be a curmudgeon. I'm asking this question sincerely. (The question is, have we focused our super powers, and we do have super powers, on teh right things for the past 10 years). Seems to me we would have been better off to take a non-innovative approach, simply copy old tools accurately and focus on the work.

    Adam

  13. #13
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    Yup, they worked for generations before us, the design was worked out by Woodworkers, the good engineers just copied the user made tools.

    Some Humor: or a can of worms: some will not agree with, from an olde man who uses olde tools.LOL

    Feddle=misspronunciation of fiddle with.

    Polish=make purdy, mirror like, cosmetics

    Flatten= a reason to fiddle with cosmetic polishing

    Jig, Honing= a must have gadget for those without hand/eye coordination

    Fancy blades= a means of disposing of excess income

    Tuning=sharpen the blade, wax the sole

    Lap=where the shop cat sets while you are setting down fiddling(playing) with your new found toy

    .0005 shaving = removing excess material the slow way,actually, bio-degradable, environmentally friendly, renewable scratch paper for narrow minded people, with time to waste

    20,000 grit=brown paper bag material

    plane bag=see above, also a storage means for a tool too expensive to use or leave in the open air for fear it may actually get used, investment portfolio

    Let the Ranting and Raving begin!
    Jr.
    Hand tools are very modern- they are all cordless
    NORMAL is just a setting on the washing machine.
    Be who you are and say what you feel... because those that matter... don't mind...and those that mind...don't matter!
    By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand

  14. Quote Originally Posted by Adam Cherubini View Post
    Maybe we need to think about planes from the work we need them to do instead of analyzing their designs.

    Don't mean to be a curmudgeon. I'm asking this question sincerely. (The question is, have we focused our super powers, and we do have super powers, on teh right things for the past 10 years). Seems to me we would have been better off to take a non-innovative approach, simply copy old tools accurately and focus on the work.

    Adam
    I don't think you are being a curmudgeon, Adam, I think you have a very valid point. But I don't think the tools are 100% of the problem. I think some of the metal bench planes can be set up to remove stock in a hurry, if that's what people wanted them to do. My old Bailey #5 was set up to do so. I agree with you, that we need to think more in terms of what we want the tools to do rather than their design, but I think the problem is that a lot of folks (especially if they are new to the craft) don't know what they want the tools to do.

    Unfortunately, new hand tools are mostly made for and marketed to those of us that don't use them exclusively. Instead, they are designed for the woodworker who does most of their stock prep with machines and uses planes only for trimming and smoothing, because that is how the vast majority of people work. This means that the effort goes into making planes with really tight mouths that are only suitable for taking thin shavings.

    I think the reason you see so many planes that are not set up properly to do hand work (other than finish smoothing) in the classes you teach is because of the demand of the majority. Let's face it, very few of us actually do all of our stock prep using hand planes. So the emphasis in all of the magazine articles and message board discussions is on super-tuning every plane to take a sub-thou shaving.

    IMO, the use of a dial indicator to measure the thickness of a plane shaving has hurt more than helped the cause (who came up with that idea anyway ). I think it has caused a kind of unintended challenge to see who can tune all of their planes to take the absolute atom splitting thinnest shaving possible. Then, because taking these sub-atomic shavings requires a plane flattened and tuned to NASA tolerances, that is where the manufacturing dollars go. After all, if the buyer wants a jointer plane with a sole flat to a 0.00000001" tolerance, sides perfectly square to the sole (really, why is that necessary again?), that can take a sub-atomic thin shaving, and they are willing to pay $1000 for said plane, then that's what the manufacturers are going to make. Remember, the customer is always right, no matter how little sense it makes, because that's who pays the bills. The down side is, it makes working by hand seem like a slow, difficult and arduous task, even though those of us who do it regularly know it really isn't and doesn't have to be.

    I agree with you that we need to start by looking at tasks rather than tools. If I want to remove stock in a hurry, I want a light weight plane, with a wide open mouth and a thick, heavily cambered iron (and no, not a scrub plane either; I don't know what to do with those short little things). So I'm not going to go out and buy a LN jack plane, not because it isn't a high quality tool, but because it simply can't do what I want it to do without altering it in a way that will destroy its resale value (hey, everyone wants a tight mouth right?).

    I feel the thinking of the consumer is slowly coming around, thanks to articles like yours and Chris'. However, I fear that there still just isn't enough consumer demand for the tools you are looking for because there are so few people doing what you do and so much opposition to that thinking coming from the "tight mouth, thin shaving only" crowd. Perhaps another 10 years .

    I think the way to get people more interested is for the magazines to print more project type articles built using only hand tools. Currently, when someone new to the craft opens up a magazine and reads an article about building a piece of furniture that they like, the first thing they see is that they need a table saw, jointer, planer, router, mortiser, etc. to build that piece. Those wanting to build with hand tools need to already know how to build it and then figure out for themselves how to adapt it to hand tools, making any necessary changes to the design on their own. This is very intimidating to someone with little experience so they will typically go with just building it the way the article says. However, if the article showed how to do it without all those fancy machines...

    IME, it is much easier to adapt a hand tool technique or project to machines rather than the other way around. Show people how to do it with hand tools and you generate interest in using hand tools to do it. Unfortunately, most hand tool articles you see are new tool reviews or just about tuning the tools. That's great, but if you've never used them before, once they are tuned, what do you do with them? Articles about the tools themselves are certainly great, but I think the interest in using those tools needs to be stoked first, otherwise it just becomes a history lesson. While that may be totally appealing to me (I love the historical aspect of the craft), a lot of folks may just not be all that interested in the history piece (especially if they are not into period furniture). Most just want to build stuff when they start out. The interest in the history piece comes later (at least that's how I see it).

    The project articles (with the exception of A&M projects) rarely show one how to use hand tools to build stuff. I think the way to generate more interest in properly set up hand tools is to show people how to use them to build things. Like you said, focus on the work, not the tools.
    Last edited by Robert Rozaieski; 01-28-2010 at 12:04 PM.

  15. Quote Originally Posted by harry strasil View Post
    Yup, they worked for generations before us, the design was worked out by Woodworkers, the good engineers just copied the user made tools.

    Some Humor: or a can of worms: some will not agree with, from an olde man who uses olde tools.LOL

    Feddle=misspronunciation of fiddle with.

    Polish=make purdy, mirror like, cosmetics

    Flatten= a reason to fiddle with cosmetic polishing

    Jig, Honing= a must have gadget for those without hand/eye coordination

    Fancy blades= a means of disposing of excess income

    Tuning=sharpen the blade, wax the sole

    Lap=where the shop cat sets while you are setting down fiddling(playing) with your new found toy

    .0005 shaving = removing excess material the slow way,actually, bio-degradable, environmentally friendly, renewable scratch paper for narrow minded people, with time to waste

    20,000 grit=brown paper bag material

    plane bag=see above, also a storage means for a tool too expensive to use or leave in the open air for fear it may actually get used, investment portfolio

    Let the Ranting and Raving begin!
    Priceles Jr. .

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