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Thread: Tearout creating a dado using a Stanley 45

  1. #1
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    Tearout creating a dado using a Stanley 45

    I'm in the process of building two wardrobes using hand tools only. The problem is while cutting the dados in the carcass I'm getting an unacceptable amount of tearout on the shoulders. Both left and right knickers are sharp, or at least as sharp as I can make them. The iron is sharp, half inch, in width. The lumber is pine, which, I know, is prone to this problem, but still, it seems a lot. Any ideas?

  2. #2
    It sounds as if there is no clearance between the nickers and the blade. You want to be able to see the clearance. For a half inch wide dado, try using a 7/16 cutter. Or use a 1/2 inch cutter to make a dado 17/32 or 9/16.

    Of course the nickers have to extend down more than the blade also.

  3. #3
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    Follow Mickey's advice, although I only set the nickers a whisker wider than the blade. To start the dado, I pull the plane backwards across the width of the board to score the dado before any cutting occurs. (How do you set the nickers wider than the blade, use a paper or business card shim under them.) The next things I do is 1) take a utility knife (sharp) and score the nicker tracks deeper (probably not really needed) and 2) score the exit side of the dado with the knife to stop tear our on the exit side of the dado. Then its time to start cutting the dado, the plane's blade is kept at a light cut until I've worked the full length of the dado until there is a sallow dado the full width, you can then deepen the cut.

  4. #4
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    Simple remedy that I use: Once the three backward pulls have been made, I just use a saw to deepen the marks to the depth I need...at the start and "exit" of the dado.

    I keep the knickers in line with the edge of the cutters, as I tend to dislike the plane getting stuck in the cut..

    On the Stanley 45, depth of the knickers are preset, since they do sit in a "socket" milled into the sides of the skates...You can not adjust them up, or down..period.

    Just drag the 45 backwards a few times, use the marks left to guide a saw, saw to the depth you want for the dado....you do not need to saw all the way across, just the first inch or so at each end of the dado. IF the dado is to be 1/2" wide, USE the 1/2" wide cutter, simple as that....
    skates and cutter.jpg
    Set up for cutting a dado for the back of a drawer...
    drag lines.jpg
    drag lines...
    sawn lines.jpg
    A few strokes with the backsaw...
    dado.jpg
    IF the depth stop is set correctly, plane until a dado appears..
    spurs.jpg
    Spurs, they are either in use, or stowed up, out of the way.
    fit.jpg
    And..do a test fit...the hardest part for me, is to build a jig to hold each drawer side still, yet make switching to the next side easy..

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Ryle View Post
    I'm in the process of building two wardrobes using hand tools only. The problem is while cutting the dados in the carcass I'm getting an unacceptable amount of tearout on the shoulders. Both left and right knickers are sharp, or at least as sharp as I can make them. The iron is sharp, half inch, in width. The lumber is pine, which, I know, is prone to this problem, but still, it seems a lot. Any ideas?
    Knife the shoulders, emphasize them with a wide chisel and a thump from the meaty part of your hand or a light mallet tap.

    The knives on a Record 050C are far better than the cloverleaf knickers on a 45. They're actual knives made from hardened tool steel and they'll get very sharp. You can use one of these planes straightaway for dadoes, but you need to knife the shoulders first when using a 45. It doesn't take long. It's worth the 'trouble' if you can even call it that.
    Last edited by Charles Guest; 08-19-2019 at 7:36 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Ryle View Post
    I'm in the process of building two wardrobes using hand tools only. The problem is while cutting the dados in the carcass I'm getting an unacceptable amount of tearout on the shoulders. Both left and right knickers are sharp, or at least as sharp as I can make them. The iron is sharp, half inch, in width. The lumber is pine, which, I know, is prone to this problem, but still, it seems a lot. Any ideas?
    David, we had a discussion about this in March this year. This is a link to the article I wrote on my website: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolRev...oDadoMore.html

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  7. #7
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    David, your challenging situation is not unusual. There are just a few neanderthals that are expert in dado plane use. Most use work arounds like knifing lines, sawing lines, etc. You should be able to pick up the dado plane and cut crisp dados using a batten as a guide. I was hit or miss with my Stanley 46. Frustrated, I bought a HNT Gordon 3/4 inch dado plane. When I adjusted the blade and nickers I ran the plane like a Porche on the autobahn. While still not completely confident, I am optimistic about cutting dados with the plane. Keep getting advice and keep trying.

  8. #8
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    dado setup.JPG
    Long drawer, needed a false back to look like the real thing..
    dado.JPG
    Soooo....
    drawer.JPG
    Rear "back" sits in a rebate..
    Grooves for a drawer bottom...? SPDC...
    groovy.JPG
    Same Plane, Different Cutter...
    DSCF0005.JPG
    Different cutter for a single bead, or..
    bead corner.JPG
    Same cutter, just rotate the stock....
    groove.jpg
    Take a simple groove, and add...
    tongue.jpg
    A tongue milled on a second board..

  9. #9
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    To make either a corner joint..
    stacked up.jpg
    Or...run the groove along the edge...
    stacked panels.jpg
    For a simple T & G panel glue up...
    Stanley 39.jpg
    Stanley did make a dedicated Dado plane, with a pair of knicker you could adjust....you simply bought the width to match the dado being cut. Mine happens to be a 3/8" wide No. 39.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    David, we had a discussion about this in March this year. This is a link to the article I wrote on my website: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolRev...oDadoMore.html

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Derek, that is some impressive research on the dados produced by the Veritas combination plane and HNT Gordon dado plane! The dado width from the HNT 1/2 inch plane blade is only 3/1000ís wider! It is a bit unnerving to get the blade right between the nickers when you are working with such small distances. When you get it there, however, the plane works beautifully.

  11. #11
    I don't think Gordon's dado plane is well engineered.. A lower angle works much better than 60 degrees. In making dados, we don't use a cutting iron the width of the dado we want to make and then try to put the nickers as little as possible outside of the nickers.

    If we are making the dado to fit the board that is already sized, we set the nickers the width we want, then pick a cutting iron that is somewhat narrower than the width of the nickers.

    More typically we make a dado and then size the timber thickness according to the width of the already made dado. We can size the timber by planing the whole board to the right thickness, by making a small rabbet on the edge, cutting until it fits nicely, or by making a slight chamfer on the underside of the board so that it fits nicely.

    Traditional dado planes have a vertical cutter with a nicker at each edge that can be adjusted up or down.

  12. #12
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    Soo..how does the above sales pitch help the OP with his Stanley 45 plane that he already has? Hmmm?

    If the spurs and the edges of the cutter are not in-line with each other....the cutter will cause a tear-out because it is cutting outside of the line the spurs are making. If the spurs are out too far (hard to do on the 45, though)leaving the edges of the cutter un-supported....cutter will chatter, and tear-out.

    How do I check? with my fingertips, is how. Cutter's edges should be flush with the outside edges of the skates. BTW...bevel on the spurs go to the inside, same as the bevel on the bottom edge of the skate.

    So..if the edge of the cutter is outside the line being cut by the spur....you will get tear-out....

    Tip: rub a bit of plain old candle along the sides of the skates' outsides, the part that will be rubbing the wall of the dado.
    Last edited by steven c newman; 08-19-2019 at 5:42 PM.

  13. #13
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    I don't think Gordon's dado plane is well engineered.. A lower angle works much better than 60 degrees. In making dados, we don't use a cutting iron the width of the dado we want to make and then try to put the nickers as little as possible outside of the nickers.
    Warren, my logic agrees with you - this is even more the case with the shoulder plane, which is 60 degrees for planing end grain. However, in practice the HNT Gordon planes work exceedingly well. The superior results I get are obtained consistently. The piece I wrote - on the relationship of the nickers to the blade - demonstrates the close tolerances to work.

    The take away for the OP is that sharp nickers, correctly aligned with the blade, should create the desired result (regardless of what plane is used). The shape of the nickers and the angle of the blade are relatively unimportant if they are sharp enough to do their job.

    If this is so with the OP’s #45, and it is still not working, then something else is going on, and I am at a loss what it can be .. other than the wood, itself.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Mickley View Post

    Traditional dado planes have a vertical cutter with a nicker at each edge that can be adjusted up or down.
    Warren, Gordon's dado plane has this, if I understand your statement correctly. What most confuses me is that with the resurgence of hand tools, almost no one is reproducing dado planes. Plow planes, rabbet planes, side rabbet planes, even hollows and rounds. No tool makers are making them. Yet we Neanders do tons of dados. I gotta go to Australia to get a new one! Which leads me to think that the dado plane is not easy to use. Sure Warren, you may have expertise wth dado planes. But maybe it is because of your talent and extensive experience with hand tools. I have been interested in dado planes for years, and the vaunted Stanley 46 just did not perform well ( OK, well, the seller did not tell me about the cracked fence ). Dados are challenging. Look at Gordon demonstrating his planes here
    Last edited by Mark Rainey; 08-19-2019 at 8:56 PM.

  15. #15
    Mark, it appears that I was wrong about the nickers on the Gordon plane, that it is one iron with two knives.

    I received an email from Steve Voigt today on another matter. He wrote it this morning but I only read it this evening. He mentioned that he will be at the Hearne Lumber open house (Oct 4,5) and will be showing his dado plane among others. It does not seem to be on his website, but it might be similar to one in the Seaton chest. He lives near Allentown.

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