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Thread: Lever Cap Screw Tightening

  1. #1

    Lever Cap Screw Tightening

    I've seen others, sometimes using just one finger, to adjust the blade protrusion turning the adjustment screw while planing. When I try it I find my cap screw (on all of my planes) is much too loose to permit blade adjustment so that even my lever cap is moving when using as it lever to align the blade horizontally. Is this a "happy medium" thing?

    Appreciate your comments and experience...........thanks

  2. #2
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    No happy medium. It has to be just right.

  3. #3
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    Lever cap screw/bolt: should be tight enough that the lever snaps shut...any adjustments would be a 1/4 turn at a time...so that things that should move, do..things that should NOT move, don't....Varies on the type of lever cap used...

    You want to be able to be the one doing the depth adjusting...NOT the wood....and...do the adjusting with the lever snapped down....

    Nice part is, once that "sweet spot" is found, you should not have to fiddle with that bolt, again.

    If it "feels" too loose, give the bolt a 1/4 turn of tightness..and see how that works......if it feels to tight ( can't adjust the depth without visegrips) then loosen a 1/4 turn at a time until it feels right...PS: Leave the Torgue Wrench in the drawer....


    Also..make sure nothing is holding the cutter parts up off of the face of the frog.....sometimes the lateral is not inside it's slot (VOE) or a small bit of shaving....should not see any gap between the iron and the face of the frog. Have seen more than one plane come into the shop...where the tab of the depth adjuster wasn't even IN it's slot...


    Just follow the 1/4 turn at a time routine....that perfect sweet spot may only be a turn away...
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

  4. #4
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    For me it is a feel thing. How does the lateral adjuster feel. How does the depth adjuster feel.

    With the early style Stanley/Bailey 'keyhole' lever caps the lever cap may move a bit when retracting the blade. The 'kidney' lever cap ca. 1933 prevented this.

    For setting the screw, my adjustment is much smaller than Steven uses. Sometimes mine is as low as 1/16 of a revolution to get it 'just right'.

    A few ways to check for optimum tightness is to set the blade to take a shaving. Then using the backlash of the depth adjuster back off the adjuster but not enough to change the depth setting. Take a few shavings. if the blade holds its setting through running the plane over the work, the lever cap screw is tight enough. It can also be over tight at this point. (more on this later)

    The shaving test is also useable with the lateral lever. With the blade set to take an even shaving run the plane down an edge of a board on one side of the blade. If the lateral adjustment changes, then the screw is loose. If it holds using both sides of the blade, it is tight enough.

    If both of these tests pass, to check for over tightness, loosen the screw 1/4 turn. Repeat this until the tests fail. Then tighten it 1/16 of a turn until it passes again. For me, that is the 'sweet spot'.

    This may need readjustment if you change the blade and/or chip breaker, even if they are the same brand of blades/chip breakers.

    If you are, like me, in the habit of rubbing oil on parts of the blade and frog you may have to have a tighter lever cap screw.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 06-27-2022 at 2:36 PM. Reason: spelling & wording
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  5. #5
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    Don't worry Fritz, it's not as hard as it sounds, and doesn't take long at all once you find the right spot, to be able to put another one there. I never measure turns, but I don't think I'm at a 1/4 turn either.

  6. #6
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    The reason I say "1/4" turn....allows one to sneak up on that sweet spot.....better than doing full turns.

    So...IF a full turn is too tight, or too loose....how would YOU adjust? Just a way to keep track of the adjustments as one goes along....and LEARNS how to adjust the plane THEY have...


    Been using planes for over 40 years...I might have figured them out, by now.....
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

  7. #7
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    And...this is the person I learned the 1/4 turn adjust trick from.......though he won't admit it....
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven c newman View Post
    And...this is the person I learned the 1/4 turn adjust trick from.......though he won't admit it....
    Steven, read carefully:

    For me it is a feel thing. How does the lateral adjuster feel. How does the depth adjuster feel.
    [edited]
    For setting the screw, my adjustment is much smaller than Steven uses. Sometimes mine is as low as 1/16 of a revolution to get it 'just right'.
    In previous posts my wording on adjusting may have included 1/4 turns. Other methods will be tried and mine will change if better ways are demonstrated or discovered.

    Now on setting up a plane for the first time my tendency is to have the lever cap in the set position while tightening the lever cap screw until the feel thing of the lateral adjuster and the depth adjustment feel right. Then it is given the test drive for refinement of adjustment as needed. This is where sometimes as little as 1/16 turn (22.5) of the screw is used.

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

  9. #9
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    I don't really have any idea what sort of partial turns I use.

  10. #10
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    That 1/4 turn was suggested By JK years ago.....

    The 1/4 turn is merely a way to learn to adjust that bolt, and is repeatable in use. can be used until the plane's operator learns the "feel"of how loose or tight to make that bolt. Simple as that....K.I.S.S.

    Soooooo, and how did YOU learn to adjust YOUR first planes? Hmmm?
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven c newman View Post
    That 1/4 turn was suggested By JK years ago.....

    [edited]

    Soooooo, and how did YOU learn to adjust YOUR first planes? Hmmm?
    Glad to hear you learned from me.

    My learning also came from reading and overtime finding and/or accepting changes to improve the results.

    Has this dead horse been beaten enough?

    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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    Don't know..you'll have to ask Tom.
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

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