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Thread: Why Wooden Planes Are Made of Quartersawn Wood

  1. #1
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    Why Wooden Planes Are Made of Quartersawn Wood

    Or at least why they should be. If you doubt it, check out this side bead molding plane from W. Greenslade, Bristol that I just picked up. It is made from flat sawn stock, as you can see from the grain on the end:
    IMG_1718.jpg
    Over the century-plus since it was made, it warped into a banana.
    IMG_1716.jpg
    Now it's firewood...

  2. #2
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    Some folks would try and rework it or attach a picture hanger to one side and find it a place on their wall.

    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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    It'd be even worse and sooner if flat sawn stock had been used.

    The reason quarter sawn stock was used is the same reason it is used in furniture, stability. Of course, it is not a certainty, but it's more likely than not to keep its shape.

    20240527_174329.jpg

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Leifer View Post
    Or at least why they should be. If you doubt it, check out this side bead molding plane from W. Greenslade, Bristol that I just picked up. It is made from flat sawn stock, as you can see from the grain on the end:
    IMG_1718.jpg
    Over the century-plus since it was made, it warped into a banana.
    IMG_1716.jpg
    Now it's firewood...
    So there is your challenge. Make a new plane using quartersawn with the same profile. Good luck.

  5. #5
    I checked my small sample of wood planes. Seven quarter sawn, four flat sawn, two rift sawn and a french tongue and groove plane that can best be described a burl. All are dead on straight as best I can tell. I have a matched pair of D R Barton # 20 convex and concave planes, one is flat sawn and the other is quarter sawn.

  6. #6
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    This is kind of related to this discussion. This plane popped on my ebay feed today. The stock is not quarter sawn, it even has some of the pith on the side.

    If you look closely, or search for the auction on ebay, you'll see the top has split and someone screwed it to repair it.

    Screenshot_20240527-222825_eBay.jpgScreenshot_20240527-222728_eBay.jpg

    Steve Vaughn makes really good planes. He might chime in with some of the background.

    The stock is not only supposed to be quarter sawn, the sap wood is preferable and the bark side goes down.

  7. #7
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    "So there is your challenge. Make a new plane using quartersawn with the same profile. Good luck."

    Oh boy! I could probably buy another 3 vintage side bead planes for the cost of new beech plane blanks and a piece of boxwood for the quirk. Even assuming I had enough skill to pull it off.

  8. #8
    The stock is not only supposed to be quarter sawn, the sap wood is preferable and the bark side goes down.


    IOW a long winded way to say the stock should be dead flat sawn.



    Most wooden sole planes i've noticed do have the grain running either mostly straight across, or mostly up and down.
    But as QS is commonly interpreted to mean "vertical across the working dimension" or "across the wider dimension", then most planes are dead flat sawn.
    Rafael is correct about heartside up, sapside down.



  9. #9
    That's a very rare and expensive molding plane, designed especially for beading slightly curved stock. Flip it and charge double what you paid!

  10. #10
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    A century plus is a lot to ask of a tool. I think the maker of said plane was not the least bit concerned with the 21st century hobbyist woodworkers as they were planing beads on cabinets.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuck van dyck View Post
    A century plus is a lot to ask of a tool. I think the maker of said plane was not the least bit concerned with the 21st century hobbyist woodworkers as they were planing beads on cabinets.
    Some of my tools date to the late 18th or early 19th century. Many were made in the late 19th or early 20th century. It seems the makers made them to do their job well. Their longevity at being able to continue at doing good work attests to their being well made to do a job well.

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

  12. #12
    I don't think the orientation makes that much difference, when the grain runs out along the length of the tool as much as it appears to there.

    If the plane had been made from a split billet, it would likely still be pretty straight.

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