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Thread: Chips under the chip breaker

  1. #1

    Chips under the chip breaker

    I have a Stanley Baily #3 plane that I was using today to true up the edge of some hickory boards today. The first cut or two went pretty well, but then I had a problem with the plane chattering and not wanting to cut. I noticed chips hanging up in the mouth of the plane. When I took it apart, I noticed that some of the chips were packed under the chip breaker but only on one side of the blade. When I removed the chip breaker from the blade there were chips under the right side of the chip breaker, but none under the left half.

    What needs to be don to stop the chips from getting under the chip breaker?
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 05-17-2019 at 8:55 PM.
    Lee Schierer
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  2. #2
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    Howdy Lee,

    You need to do some work on your chip breaker so the leading edge sits tightly on the blade. Here is an old thread of mine with some information about tuning up a plane:

    https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?114373

    The cap iron is addressed more in posts #27 &28.

    Sometimes drastic measures are needed. Occasionally mine have been held in a vise with the top end in the jaw and then a couple of pieces of wood are used tp hold the end that mates to the blade. Sometimes this requires clamps to get a good grip. You do not want to distort it, you just want to correct some of the geometry.

    Hope this helps,

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

  3. #3
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    What works for me, that I read about and didn't think up myself, is to grind a bit of a bevel on the face of the chip breaker where it meets the iron.

    Usually I set the face I am trying to grind on a stone, with the far end of the chipbreaker, the end that is up in the air on the assembled plane, resting on the benchtop.

    When finished the very tippy tip edge of the chip breaker should rest firmly on the iron with a bit of relief showing. I think in Leonard Lee's book he suggests about 15 degrees of bevel. I _think_ could be wrong Paul Sellers calls for "10 to 20" degrees there but I am likely to be wrong, been reading on saws a lot lately.

    The other thing to look at real careful is pitting on the opposite side of the chip breaker, the ramp your shaving rides up on it's way out of the plane. I had one doing what you described and finally fixed that when I had the shaving ramp area buffed enough.

    FWIW I typically take the iron side of the chipbreaker up to 1200 grit and get after the shaving ramp side with buffing compound on leather. I am sure some one will be along with better advice shortly, don't rush out to do it my way.

  4. #4
    So if I understand correctly, I should twist half of the chip breaker so that it touches on the gap side of the blade? I have a metal working vise, where I am still not clear is just where I want to clamp the chip breaker to do the bending. Do I clamp on the flat just behind the curved front area? Or do I try to clamp on the curved area?

    Once I get it straightened out would I then hone the leading edge to get a perfect fit against the blade?

    This is a pretty nice condition plane and I don't want to mess it up.
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 05-17-2019 at 8:48 PM.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  5. #5
    As Jim said you may need to make sure the bend is square.
    Lay it on a flat surface and see what it's like, and check your iron's flat while your at it. It may need a tap to flatten it.

    From what I've seen from a lot of chipbreaker/cap iron publications elsewhere, it seems to me that whilst honing the underside, they're not dropping it down enough,
    inviting dust to get trapped between the cutter when in use, especially when set very finely for smoothing reversing grain.

    If you find yourself creating a belly on the cap iron/chipbreaker and can't get it to mate.
    Hone it on the corner of the stone hollowing out the middle minutely, and finish off with a rub on the entire stone.
    Last edited by Tom Trees; 05-17-2019 at 9:09 PM.

  6. #6
    You can fix gross problems by bending or twisting (the cap iron is mild). The fine work is done with a stone, carefully abrading the parts of cap iron that are in contact with the blade so as to bring the rest of the front edge of the cap iron in contact all across.

    We generally undercut the cap iron edge by a very shallow angle so that only the very front is in contact. This makes a tighter seal.

  7. #7
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    Let me just say, don’t let it get to you. I’ve had to walk away a few times doing what you are going to attempt to do. Just bend/file a little, check and repeat as necessary. Be sure to screw the chip breaker down tight after each little adjustment. Hold it up to some light and see if you can see any gaps. I know I have one somewhere that I just can’t seem to get right. Going to have to pull it out and get after it again.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    So if I understand correctly, I should twist half of the chip breaker so that it touches on the gap side of the blade? I have a metal working vise, where I am still not clear is just where I want to clamp the chip breaker to do the bending. Do I clamp on the flat just behind the curved front area? Or do I try to clamp on the curved area?

    Once I get it straightened out would I then hone the leading edge to get a perfect fit against the blade?

    This is a pretty nice condition plane and I don't want to mess it up.
    My terminology for correcting a warped chip breaker is 'torsional adjustment.' They are made of soft steel and you do not want to torsionally adjust it much more than it needs to go or you will have to then adjust it back the other way.

    There are a few things to be checked. If you have a good flat surface make sure the blade is not warped in any way. Check across the blade to make sure there aren't any low spots. It should be flat. Use the flat surface to evaluate the chip breaker. Try to determine how and where it is bent. Carefully do what can be done, with a soft touch, to unbend or undo any warpage.

    Posting some images, if possible, might also help for others to evaluate the blade and the chip breaker union.

    My chip breakers often get rubbed down with my furniture oil/wax soaked rag when its companion blade is sharpened.

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

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    My terminology for correcting a warped chip breaker is 'torsional adjustment.' They are made of soft steel and you do not want to torsionally adjust it much more than it needs to go or you will have to then adjust it back the other way.

    There are a few things to be checked. If you have a good flat surface make sure the blade is not warped in any way. Check across the blade to make sure there aren't any low spots. It should be flat. Use the flat surface to evaluate the chip breaker. Try to determine how and where it is bent. Carefully do what can be done, with a soft touch, to unbend or undo any warpage.

    Posting some images, if possible, might also help for others to evaluate the blade and the chip breaker union.

    My chip breakers often get rubbed down with my furniture oil/wax soaked rag when its companion blade is sharpened.

    jtk
    My first twist attempt went too far. It took 7 more tries to get it perfect. I now have no light showing anywhere across the chip breaker. I took a few passes over the edge of a board with no problems. It appears that the hickory dulled the blade a little so I will need to touch that up a bit to get back to fluffy thin shavings.

    One additional question is it normal for the lever cap leading edge to rest on top of the curved portion of the chip breaker?
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    My first twist attempt went too far. It took 7 more tries to get it perfect. I now have no light showing anywhere across the chip breaker. I took a few passes over the edge of a board with no problems. It appears that the hickory dulled the blade a little so I will need to touch that up a bit to get back to fluffy thin shavings.

    One additional question is it normal for the lever cap leading edge to rest on top of the curved portion of the chip breaker?
    It sounds if your efforts were successful, congratulations.

    Yes, it is normal (in other words necessary) for the lever cap's leading edge to seat on top of the curved portion of the chip breaker.

    In some cases the pressure from the lever cap will compress the chip breaker and close a small gap in its misfitting against the blade.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 05-18-2019 at 12:33 PM.
    "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 have a diamond hone that I have absolutely leveled my chip breakers on.
    If you do not have a diamond hone, you will really appreciate it when you get one. .

    https://www.bing.com/search?q=diamon...&wsso=Moderate

  12. #12
    So while I was waiting for some glue to dry, I took a look at my other hand planes. The chip breakers on all of them were down tight against the iron. One of them is the same size as my No 3, but has no markings other than it says "Junior Jack Plane S-23" in the top of the iron. It might be S-231 but the 1 if it is there is very faint. Have any of you heard of this brand of hand plane? It works well, but the fit and finish is rougher than a Stanley or Miller Falls.
    IMG_0690.jpg
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 05-19-2019 at 6:11 PM.

  13. #13
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    The identifying features are often the face of the frog and lateral adjuster. For the lateral lever, the part where it meets the finger doing the adjusting is often an indicator of who made the plane.

    The area around the front knob is sometimes a giveaway.

    On yours the depth adjuster looks like either a lower cost model or possibly one made during World War II.

    The blade looks to have a large opening at the top. This was common in the late 19th early 20th century.

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

  14. #14
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    The use of Ink carbon paper is another option to consider. The initial areas of high contact are worked back with the file, and the process repeated, until you achieve the objective of an ink transfer mark showing up across the full width of the cap irons leading edge.






  15. #15
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    That's a good tip, Stewie.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

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