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Thread: plane sole grinding

  1. #1
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    Sep 2011
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    plane sole grinding

    Hi all,
    I have a #8 plane with a hump right behind the mouth and I am looking for someone that can grind it flat for me. Ken Hatch told me there was someone here on '
    the creek that did that but I couldn't find him. I must not be inputting the right search words and after doing that for an hour I said no mas. Anyone here have a better memory for this then me?
    thanx
    ralph

  2. #2
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    Mar 2006
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    SE KY
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    Tom Bussey is the person you are looking for.

    https://sawmillcreek.org/member.php?105561-Tom-Bussey

  3. #3
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    thanx, I had searched for him previously but I spelled his name wrong. I sent him a PM to see if he still does it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Michiana
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    Ralph -

    - Have you considered sandpaper on a flat surface as a means to lap the hump out? I have a #7 that I did that with. I took a 150 grit sanding belt, cut it open, and laid it out on my table saw. It made short work of flattening the plane bottom. I followed up with some finer grits and it's smooth as a baby's bottom now.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  5. #5
    Yes, I am starting to grind again on a very very limited basis. Maybe this winter.

    But After working with metal as a Tool and Die Maker for 50 plus years I can honestly say that 99% of the current population do not have the hand skills or the resources to lap in a hand plane. In all truthfulness all you are doing is scratching the bottom. Old iron is harder than the newer stuff. You have a 100% better chance of lapping a 1/2 inch chisel flat than a plane. I have had people send me planes after they spent a lot of time on them and I can tell it they are right or left handed and measure the amount of damage they did. Yes I know everyone knows how to do it and that it doesn't take long but a few hundred years ago every one Also knew the world was flat and if you sailed to far you would fall off.

    If a person puts some fine sand paper on their electric sander and sands the bottom, they will get a shiny bottom that will slide easier than t dirty bottom. Some past wax like Johnson's floor wax or tree wax it will slide even easier. To be honest the best money spent as far as planning goes is sharpening supplies. Actually all shop tools benefit for being sharp. Wooden hand plane have been used for thousands of years and I doubt they were flat.

    The real truth is:
    A sharp plane works
    If iron sanded well they wouldn't have needed to design and build milling machines and surface grinders.
    Save yourself time, aggravation, and money and don't bother trying lapping the bottom.
    Shine the bottom, wax it, and get on with your life. 1 or two sheets of 180-220 paper on a random orbit sander should do the trick and don't try to reuse the paper on wood.
    There are some good new plane manufacturers out there and quality is long remembered after a cheap price is forgotten.

    If man was supposed to fly then God would have given him wings rates right up there with I bought a plane at a garage sale and it must be flattened before I can use it.

    Rhetorical question if it was so easy to flatten a plane by hand then why didn't the factory do it in the first place?
    Tom

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Putney, Vermont
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    Get a good flat 10-12" mill file if it needs alot removed or a #2 if not so much removed. a good straight edge, and file it flat and straight yourself. By good file, I mean a flat straight file.
    It is not hard to do with a little common sense, and probably only needs little metal removed.

  7. #7
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    I should say, If you can use a hand plane to flatten a piece of wood, then you can flatten a plane with a file. Very similar.

  8. #8
    I "inherited" one of Tom Bussey's planes from a buddy of mine. That plane is square and flat. Does it need to be so "perfect"? I dont know, but that plane works really well. It was worth what my buddy paid for it.

    I have no affiliation with Mr. Bussey. Just a happy "customer".
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  9. #9
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    Aug 2010
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    USA
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    I doubt its worth it to get a plane this large super flat. How much will you really use a monster like this anyway? If there is a small hump, just live with it, or spot file it flatter.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by michael langman View Post
    Get a good flat 10-12" mill file if it needs alot removed or a #2 if not so much removed. a good straight edge, and file it flat and straight yourself. By good file, I mean a flat straight file.
    It is not hard to do with a little common sense, and probably only needs little metal removed.
    To refine this a little: a surface plate, blue layout fluid, and a carbide scraper, will do this job quite quickly, if you go _slowly_ and check your work often. That said, a slightly high point right at the front of the mouth is the least of your potential problems here. I personally would not do this. It's an easy way to ruin an otherwise usable plane. If it worked before, it should work now.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Boumenot View Post
    Hi all,
    I have a #8 plane with a hump right behind the mouth and I am looking for someone that can grind it flat for me. Ken Hatch told me there was someone here on '
    the creek that did that but I couldn't find him. I must not be inputting the right search words and after doing that for an hour I said no mas. Anyone here have a better memory for this then me?
    thanx
    ralph
    Ralph, This depends on you and your confidence in tackling this by yourself. If you feel reluctant to work on the sole yourself, then it is fortunate that Tom Bussey may be accepting new customers.

    It is possible to totally mess up the sole of a plane by rubbing it on abrasive sheets. By that reasoning, it is possible to also remove metal in a planned manner and improve a plane's performance.

    Tom's reasoning:
    But After working with metal as a Tool and Die Maker for 50 plus years I can honestly say that 99% of the current population do not have the hand skills or the resources to lap in a hand plane.
    Maybe this puts me in the category of 1% able to lap in a hand plane. Maybe it puts me in a larger percentage that can perform enhancements to the sole of a plane to make it work better. My goal isn't to flatten a plane's sole to within a few thousandths of an inch. This could mean my skills and resources are not up to 'properly' lap the sole of a hand plane. My goal is to make a plane function reliably consistently, for this my skills and resources are adequate.


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

  12. #12
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    Tom is accurate in my estimation, technically you need a lapping plate larger than the sole of the plane. That’s a big plate for a #8.

    A plane sole doesn’t need to be perfectly flat but a hump behind the mouth will certainly cause issue. Certain shapes are no problem, and certain shapes are a problem.

    Twist would be a problem, a hump behind the mouth would be a problem. A smooth curve with the mouth being the highest point (point contacting the wood) should not be a problem unless it's curved a lot. A curve where the ends are the highest point may present a problem unless the plane flattens out from its own weight.
    Last edited by Brian Holcombe; 08-03-2019 at 3:41 PM.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  13. #13
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    Aug 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bussey View Post
    Rhetorical question if it was so easy to flatten a plane by hand then why didn't the factory do it in the first place?
    I'm not sure how easy it is to flatten a plane by hand, but I know it's pretty easy to count to 30 (I borrow my wife's and son's fingers).

    So why did the DeWalt planer stand I assembled last week have only 29 of the 30 required carriage bolt/lock washer/nut sets needed? I think the answer is, sometimes the people or the robots in the factory just mess up, and nobody does 100% inspection/testing on products produced in high volume unless a defect might result in someone being seriously injured.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post
    Tom is accurate in my estimation, technically you need a lapping plate larger than the sole of the plane. Thatís a big plate for a #8.

    A plane sole doesnít need to be perfectly flat but a hump behind the mouth will certainly cause issue. Certain shapes are no problem, and certain shapes are a problem.

    Twist would be a problem, a hump behind the mouth would be a problem. A smooth curve with the mouth being the highest point (point contacting the wood) should not be a problem unless it's curved a lot. A curve where the ends are the highest point may present a problem unless the plane flattens out from its own weight.
    This all depends on what the meaning of the word "behind" is. The OP should clarify whether the "hump" (never specified what size) is towards the front or the back of the plane, adjacent to the mouth. If the hump was to the _rear_ of the mouth, the plane would never have worked at all. But if the plane had ever actually been _used_ (and not immediately hurled against the wall,) it would have to be at the _front_ of the mouth.

    BTW, a thick piece of float glass would do in a pinch.

  15. #15
    I watched Martha Stewart show people how to sharpen a spade(shovel) with a file on TV one time. She used the file backwards which gave a lot of credibility to the demonstration. The truth is, she was the show person and she didn't have a clue.
    The real problem with the bottom is most people want there to be a problem and they think they know all about it because they read about it or saw it done. And they want to tell the people who visit their shop about what all they did. So they scratch up the bottoms in 30 minutes or so when it takes me a couple of hours to do on a surface grinder and think the really did something. But what do I know, I only took 4 people to Disney World for 7 days by fixing plane bottoms people screwed up.

    Do yourselves a favor and shine up the bottom, wax it and by all means sharpen it and just spend time learning how to use it. Now that develops skill. And sharpening is another whole different ball game, How sharp is sharp?
    Tom

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