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Thread: Do I need a shoulder plane?

  1. #31
    Join Date
    May 2021
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    Spartanburg South Carolina
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    I have a large Stanley and I am in the final stages of my first frame and panel door. My shoulders are looking pretty good but I have a very slight error n a few of my knife walls because I was using a utility knife and it tends to cut at an angle. After working my way around the rails it was a smidge off and I knew it would show. It is still less than the width of a playing card but I am doing this to learn how to build fine furniture. I am now ready to attempt to lower the high side in an attempt to get a good (perfect) seat on all sides. I hope that I won't cause more problems than I solve. Step one is to use a backer board because I screwed that up on my last use. For the tenons after using a router plane they are pretty true so I leave my mortise slightly tight and as I start fitting I check the the board for plumb and use a chisel to pare the mortice walls to adjust as I slide in. This is possibly the most over built basement/crawl space door ever made.

  2. #32
    I use my shoulder plane often. Not strictly for shoulders though. The shoulder plane has high, square sides and a flush blade. This makes it versatile in thicknessing close to a theoretical border or wall of any kind - not just a tenon.

    e.g.:

    On a tapered surface (like a guitar neck) where you know thickness measurements at several frets along the way, a shoulder plane can be used to thickness at those frets, cross grain, extremely locally. Then you can use a longer plane or shave to connect the points.

    Thicknessing half lap joints and rabbets

    Shooting long grain on small parts. Unlike most bench planes, you don't need a ramp to offset the piece off the bench. You can even clamp the shoulder plane to the bench and push the piece against.

    None of this is necessary. Just convenient.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
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    Seem to have an older version...made long before LV or LN were making tools...
    August Project, checking the fit.JPG
    The No. 181, 1.25" Skewed Rebate plane.....
    August Project, rebate tools.JPG


    Otherwise...just use a SHARP chisel.....save the excess cash to buy Lumber, instead.
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SE KY
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    435
    I have the large and small LV shoulder planes-use them both a lot. Be advised that a skewed rebate plane and a shoulder plane are not the same thing.

  5. #35
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    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
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    Unless one uses it like one....YMMV.
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Longview WA
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    Yes, an axe can be used to cut a quill pen just like a pocket knife.

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

  7. #37
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    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
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    When it comes to fine tuning a tenon...I usually just use a sharp chisel.....more control, less set-ups, and...the chisel is usually already on the bench.

    Unless one's intent is to SELL such a plane.....

    Heck, Sellers uses a router plane to clean up tenons.....
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    SE KY
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven c newman View Post
    Heck, Sellers uses a router plane to clean up tenons.....
    Yes, Sellers uses a router plane… on the tenon cheek. As do I. But the shoulder plane is useful for truing up the tenon shoulder, thus the name shoulder plane. And I’m not selling anything.
    Last edited by J. Greg Jones; 08-03-2021 at 9:33 PM.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Greg Jones View Post
    Yes, Sellers uses a router plane… on the tenon cheek. As do I. But the shoulder plane is useful for truing up the tenon shoulder, thus the name shoulder plane. And I’m not selling anything.
    One thing to consider when ruminating over the purchase of one of these is their original purpose. A quote from Patrick Leach's Blood & Gore states:

    They were advertised as being "designed for fine Cabinet Work where extreme accuracy is required."
    How it became known as a 'shoulder plane' is a job for the entomologists.

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

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    How it became known as a 'shoulder plane' is a job for the entomologists.
    True indeed, but I think the word you were looking for is etymologist. An entomologist deals with the study of insects.

  11. #41
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    IF one always needs to "clean up" after a saw cut....then, by all means..get such a plane. No matter what name it goes by....

    While I do use a #78 to cut rebates, I also use that #181 to clean into the back corner of the rebate, if needed.

    My main tool to clean up after sawing tenons? A wide, SHARP chisel....powered by my chin (not flexible enough to use the shoulder..) And I can sight right down the chisel to control the cut...

    YMMV....as to how many different ways to do this sort of job...
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SE KY
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    Another use for a shoulder plane-today I made a picture frame for my son. I made the rebate for the glass and picture, then mitered the frame. As it turned out, the internal dimensions of the frame were a wee bit less than the OD of the picture glass before glue-up. So, three swipes of approximately.002” per swipe on each side with a medium shoulder plane gave me .024” additional clearance overall, problem solved.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Greg Jones View Post
    True indeed, but I think the word you were looking for is etymologist. An entomologist deals with the study of insects.
    Thanks Greg, just saw this after getting back yesterday. I always seem to get my -mologist confused, then my fingers mess up the translations.

    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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