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Thread: Deep Scratch on a Brand New Plane Sole

  1. #1
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    Deep Scratch on a Brand New Plane Sole

    So I finally got my backordered LN #4 smoother. Naturally on the first project with the tool I somehow managed to get a deep scratch in the sole of the plane (see attached). I am not sure how deep the scratch is, but you can certainly feel it when you move you finger across the sole. Should I try getting this out with sandpaper and a flat surface, or just leave it be? Related question: any suggestions on avoiding this issue in the future? I still cannot figure out what caused the scratch, and I was unable to find any trace of metal in the piece I was working on.


    PlaneSole.jpg

  2. #2
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    My first thought would be to leave it alone if it isn't leaving a mark on the work.

    This could have been caused by a piece of stone or other grit in the wood.

    What was this source of this wood?

    This is where having an old jack plane to do the first work on the wood is helpful at saving the finishing planes from hidden tragedies. Sometimes a piece of embedded disaster isn't always revealed by the planes doing the dirty work.

    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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    A deep scratch is bit harsh. I call it a apprentice mark
    I pretty sure all my planes have them.
    Aj

  4. #4
    That happened to me with a brand new LV plane. It was like the first scratch on a brand new car - made me sick. I did not try to remove the scratch. Instead, I ran some fine wet/dry sandpaper (silicon carbide?) Over the scratch just to remove any jagged edge it might have. The tool has been fine since.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  5. #5
    I had a LN 5 1/2 that was cosmetically damaged in shipping. The box was totally destroyed. The drop must have been very high. I suppose the seller would have replaced it. I took the plane apart and sent pictures of the damage to them. The worst damage was where the heads of the screws that hold the frog in place dug into the slots in the frog. I sharpened it up and tested it. It worked. I was a nice guy and let it go.

    It makes you sick but that plane will work just fine. You know they used to make planes with corrugated soles.

    One question about your plane, did you notice a chip in the blade? A chip may have come out and scratched the sole.

  6. #6
    Tom -

    Unfortunate cosmetic mark - but it will not affect the plane. Use a scotchbrite pad to ensure the edges of the scratch are rounded over - so they won't leave marks in your work. I would not try to lap it out.

    Cheers -

    Rob

  7. #7
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    That was going to me my question, did you notice a line in your surface where the blade was chipped out? This is bound to happen eventually, usually you don't want it to happen after the first use. I would rub it across some fine sandpaper on a dead flat surface with the blade installed and under tension. Of course you need to back the blade up. When lapping the sole I would just lap enough to remove any burrs that may have formed. DO NOT try to remove the scratch. All of your planes will eventually have lots of scratches, just the nature of the work. If it really bothers you I would recommend just contacting Lie Nielsen and telling them what happened. Express that it was your own fault for not cleaning the surface of the wood. They might be willing to regrind the sole for a very small fee and maybe even at no charge. I bought a #5 LN used, local to me, and when I got it home I noticed it was not working as it should. I put a straight edge on the sole and the noticed it was way out of flat. The next time I visited the LN Showroom, about an hour drive for me, I showed them the plane and asked what it would cost to resurface. I told them I bought it used and it was my fault for not checking the sole for flatness before buying. They said that they would resurface the sole at no cost and get it back to me ASAP. It took about a week and I ended up with almost a brand new looking #5 with a brand new blade installed. I was blown away!!

  8. #8
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    It all comes down to how you feel about your new plane. Tom, I think that you are feeling really disappointed. So it is not really about whether the scratch affects the performance (it is unlikely to do so), but more about the loss of that "new" plane.

    If you have restored planes before, specifically, if you have lapped their soles, then my recommendation would be to contact glue 120 grit to a flat surface (the longer the better to avoid any rocking - I have a 1m length of granite bench top cut off. Glass will work as well), and take a few runs down that. Then switch to 240 grit, and do a few more runs. Finish with 400 grit. Your plane will be new again. Remove the handle and nob, but keep the frog in with the blade retracted. Keep the downforce over the frog.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    My first thought would be to leave it alone if it isn't leaving a mark on the work.
    Yes, this. My plane soles look uniform but only in so far as there is a blur of abrasion marks from use.
    I always forget . . . Is it the letter "S" or the letter "C" that is silent in the word scent?
    - Glenn (the second "N" is silent) Bradley

  10. #10
    Unless you have a fair amount of experience, you are more likely to mess up your plane trying to lap that out versus leaving it. Just take off any rough edges as suggested above.

    Looks at it this way. It is the first step in your plane acquiring patina. Plus a mark like that is total street cred that you actually use your premium planes rather than just letting them sit on shelf to impress people.

    Side note: Whenever I get a new car or carpet or anything like that, first thing I do is spill something in a corner or other discrete location. The reason is twofold. First it gets rid of that dread of waiting for the first spill to happen, and second, I got to be the one that messed it up first.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mayock View Post
    So I finally got my backordered LN #4 smoother. Naturally on the first project with the tool I somehow managed to get a deep scratch in the sole of the plane (see attached). I am not sure how deep the scratch is, but you can certainly feel it when you move you finger across the sole. Should I try getting this out with sandpaper and a flat surface, or just leave it be?
    When it was brand spankin' new, I foolishly loaned my LN #7 to an earnest young woman who was bent on building furniture with hand tools. It came back with not one but FOUR deep gouges in the sole.

    What I did first was fairly straightforward. I lapped the sole very gently to ensure there wouldn't be any sharp lips on the scratch edges, then polished it, rewaxed it, touched up the iron, and put the works back in my tool drawer. It functions as new to this day, and only makes me wince when I turn it over.

    Second thing was I resolved to no longer loan hand planes, especially those I can't replace because I really couldn't afford 'em in the first dang place.

    Scratches happen. I scratched the sole of my low-angle jack and to this day I still don't know how. It still works fine.

    Sorry to hear that you dinged your Pretty, but don't be too down about it. Remember that Stanley used to charge extra for "corrugated" planes, which basically had enormous scratches machined into them (but don't buy "C" models for active use, as that was not a useful gimmick).

    Cheers,

    Jack
    --Jack S. Llewyllson

    Gratitude is a gift to yourself.

    Purity tests are the bane of human existence.

    Codeine takes the pain from every muscle but the heart.

  12. #12
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    That looks like "fixing" it runs a much greater chance of making things worse than actually fixing it.

    I would just keep using it.

  13. #13
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    You've had excellent advice from people who really know planes - I would heed that advice were it me. I would take some scotch brite to the scratch and then fill it with wax and then keep on truckin'.

  14. #14
    I canít agree that all planes get scratched up. Many old timers would never set a plane sole down ,even on the piece they were working on !
    If it wasnít cutting wood it was resting on its side. No harm in trying to remove the scratch, but I would just just remove the raised burr
    with an old 3 sided file hollow ground on all 3 sides. Lot of old timers used to keep one around for smoothing edges of tool jigs that they made.

  15. #15
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    (but don't buy "C" models for active use, as that was not a useful gimmick)
    My preference is for a smooth sole, but the corrugated soles seem to also work well. Though as you say it seems more a gimmick than anything else.

    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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