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Thread: how to reset geometry of the cap iron?

  1. #1

    how to reset geometry of the cap iron?

    I got a crappy buck bros no 5 jack plane and shavings get caught between the iron and cap iron. I checked and sure enough there is a huge gap between the back of the iron and cap iron. I lapped and polished the back of the iron and did the same for the cap iron. Now the back of the cap iron is nice and flat, but it is askew, almost like there is a twist or warp in my cap iron.
    When you mate the surfaces together it touches at one corner (red circle in picture) and then gets larger as you move to the other corner.



    Photo Feb 26, 2 35 25 PM.jpg

    I set the cap face down and sure enough one of the sides is about 1mm higher (further away from the floor) than the other (red circle in picture).

    Photo Feb 26, 2 44 35 PM.jpg

    I'm not sure how I go about fixing this though. I thought I could just work the high side on a 300 diamond stone but that hasn't worked.


    Should I be filing the edge down, i.e., holding it perpendicular to a file, or just continue working the underside of the cap iron on the diamond stone? Maybe doing it an angle?
    Any help on how to reset the geometry would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Some of my Stanley chip breakers were warped like yours. They were held in scrap wood in a vise and then a couple more pieces of scrap were used to hold the part of the cap iron that mates to the blade to give it a little twist.

    Here is an old thread:

    https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....ker-to-Jointer

    Scroll down to post #27 & #28 for a little bit on fettling a cap iron.

    On a different note, only one of the modern Buck Brothers planes has come through my shop. It didn't work and didn't look like something that could be fixed. That was 5 or more years ago.

    Are there any old used Stanley/Bailey planes available in your area?

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

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    On a different note, only one of the modern Buck Brothers planes has come through my shop. It didn't work and didn't look like something that could be fixed. That was 5 or more years ago.

    Are there any old used Stanley/Bailey planes available in your area?
    Sadly no. I live on Maui and regularly check craigslist with no luck. Price of paradise I guess

  4. #4
    solved

    For others that may search in the future, I setup a sort of jig so that my diamond plate was elevated enough so that one end of the cap iron rests on the stone, and the other on my workbench. rocking the contact point on my bench so that the high corner is all that is touching on the stone, and putting my pressure on that high spot, I sharpened away making sure to keep the same angle the whole time. Took an hour on the 300 grit diamond stone. polished with the 1000 afterwards. Good as new. Probably better given the pedigree of plane.

  5. #5
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    That's a clever way to do it, but I think ideally you'd want to bend/shape the cap iron, like Jim suggested, to remove as much twist as possible before taking it to the stones. That would minimize the effort required, and the amount of steel removed- after all there is only so much steel you can remove from the end of the cap iron before it is spent. The cap iron is just mild steel usually, so it is not difficult to bend and manipulate the shape. You can also adjust the amount of spring in the iron this way.

    I do think your approach is good for the final tuning.

  6. #6
    Mishkin,

    You said it, not me - crappy ;-) I wouldn't putting a lot of time to correct. As you can see, it is not made to very good tolerances plus you will find the steel is inferior.

    I think the best starter plane out there is the WoodRiver line sold by Woodcraft. I encourage you to take a look. For a little over $100 #4 IMO you simply can't go wrong. I own 3 WR planes and IME they are competitive even with LN.

    The difference for you will be a whole lot less frustration because the steel is better and its just a better plane to operate.

    My suggestion is get a better plane and make a scrub plane out of this one.

  7. #7
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    My suggestion is get a better plane and make a scrub plane out of this one.
    The Buck Brothers #4 that was in my shop wasn't solid enough to stand up to the rigors of a scrub plane.

    In some situations part of the cost of a good tool includes shipping.

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

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