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Iron Set-Up PageA-13 Infill Hand Plane

Full Plane Blade Shavings

Quickly Set your Hand Plane Blade

This is guide on how to adjust your plane iron for those that are new users trying to set thier hand plane blade.. I had some problems when I first started and I hope this page might help you..


Depth Adjuster Black Lash

I have read several questions on message boards asking how to remove back lash in the depth adjustment of cutting irons, more commonly called blades.. Others talk about squeezing the yoke that straddles the brass depth adjuster wheel, adding metal shims or washers.. To me this is all a little to much.. I have worked using super precision machines and even these have lash in the threads.. It is just something if you use your plane enough you will not even think about it..

You want to always make adjustments feeding the blade down, this will keep the blade from backing up while planning.. If you go to deep back the blade up a 1/4 turn and start coming back down again till you get the cut your looking for..

Another thing is you want a good Iron to Cap Iron mating, that means you want your chip breaker to seat on the blade with out any gaps..

I use a smooth file on the planes I refinish, I file the seat with a slight back bevel and think file the face ( surface the chips slide over) because most times on older planes these surfaces are pitted and chips and or have large areas of missing metal.. So I'll file these up so I get a nice straight and smooth edge, do a little filing on both sides to remove the burr I formed and then take it to a bench stone or sand paper... Afterwards I also make polish it on a buffing wheel but I am to keep the sharp edge and not radius it even a little.. This is to keep any wood fibers from having a space to fet under the cap iron.. If this happens it can clog the mouth or make it harder to push the plane than it should be..


einning GapSet Gap at 1/32"-1/16"

Setting the gap between the cap iron (chip breaker) and the cutting edge is first on the list.. I start with 1/32" gap on most of my planes, if I know I will be talking deep cuts with the plane I will double the distance to 1/16" this does two things it allows more chip clearance and lets the plane cut easier as there is less resistance the chip comes off the board.. This is something you will do on Jacks and Fore planes on Smoothers you want a short day as it helps with a smooth finish..



Setting DeptEye Ball The Depth

Setting the depth you want to turn the plane over and get the blade where it is near being flush but not sticking out.. Then sight down the sole and look for the edge, at the same time you want to start adjusting your lateral adjuster to get the blade straight across the mouth.. Again don't adjust it to deep, you just want to get close..




Adjust Slowly

Deepen Blade Slowly

Now with a thin board clamped in a vise or against a stop, start taking passes on one side them the other and slowly increase the depth and make lateral adjustments ..Increase the depth a 1/8 to a 1/4 turn then take two or three strokes on the left. then the right side of the iron..
Some times on the first of second pass you think you need the iron to be lower, but after two or three strokes you will find you knocked off the high spots and you are now taking a cut full than you want..


One Side at a Time

Adjust Lateral One Side at a Time

This is view of what I mean one side and below is the shot of the other.. I found it easier to set up you plane with a thin blade than a wide on when I was first starting out. Big mistake I made was trying to hold a small board with my hands and not use a vise of stop.. You will not get to far with a bench plane holding you work in hand..




Other Side NowNow the Adjust The Other

Same view as above but using the other side of the plane..

Be patient with making depth adjustment, take a few swipes to make sure your not riding on high spots on the board.. This is what took me some time to learn, the plane may not cut on 80% of a stroke but after a dozen or so it starts make full cut passes ..


View from Bottom

View Of What Bottom Looks Like

Again same here.. This image is just for you to see more clearly want I am saying, don't clamp your plane and set it up in the vise..

Once you get more experienced you will not need a thin board for set up but when you first starting out it really helped me with my set ups...



First Pass

First Pass





Second Pass


Second Pass





Third Pass


Third Pass





Fourth Pass


Fourth Pass





 Nicely Set

Nicely Adjusted

If your getting full width thin chips you know the plane is tuned well.. In this image the depth is a little deep but if you have thin full width you can't do much better than that..




Hand Plane RefinishingThis section still needs to be updated but has some of my secrets of plane refinishing .. Make sure you read up on the 3M (Magic) De burring Wheel ..

Hand Plane Iron Set UpMany people call the Iron the blade and the Cap Iron a Chip Breaker but I prefer to use the old terms and a chip breaker does really break chips.
I have a nice shot set up tutorial on how to adjust the lateral adjuster to get a even cut across the length of the blade..

Hand Plane Tune UpI have few methods in this guide is use will help you get the best performance out of your planes.. Also make sure you read the David Charleworth article at the bottom .
I hope to adding a lot more content to the topic soon..

Bench Plane Type StudyThis section will let you figure out how Old is your Bailey Plane?
This is a guide, it was made after Stanley made the plane, it was not what Stanley used to make the planes.. There are Anomalies that have different features from two types on one plane, you could also have parts that were switched. So use it but all of these guides are not etched in stone..

Handle Repair This section cover how to repair broken or chipped plane handles. I have two methods one is using a 1/4" steel pin with some masking tape which I think works best to like up pieces and another which using a threaded rod that I need to change the rod to a 1/2" and try that with some masking tape as a shim..

Handle RefinishingThis section covers how to refinish you plane handles.. Shellac is the the best finish I know to have you beauty of the rosewood show through. You can then use lacquer on top of the shellac but you must make sure you used De-Waxed Shellac and not plain shellac..

My Hand Plane CollectionI have a few of the planes in my collection listed here. I mainly collect Type 15 Sweetheart's ..

What's Japanning ?Here is some recipes and links to other folks pages on how Japan you plane..
The Japanning is the black finish that looks a lot like paint.. I have listed a Motor Paint that looks just like the japanning Stanley used and is very durable and is my choice for refinishing if your just getting started. Its cheap and almost fool proof..

Hand Plane Makers ShopsThis page is brand new is is pictures of the shops of hand plane makers I admire.. Everyone enjoys images of peoples shops and since I inspire to be a plane makers I love seeing others shops and thought I would add a page.. I will be adding more soon..
Hope you enjoy it as much as I do..

Wooden Hand PlanesLots of people I know swear that wood planes cut much better than metal based planes.. I have not really had to time to do any tests but hope to some day. Also I am friendly with Steve Knight from Knight Tool Works and he will give you 10% off the price of his planes if you tell him you read it here..

Rust PreventionFew Methods on how to stop rust for occurring on you planes..

ElectrolysisThis is a method to remove rust no make that kill rust.. It really does not do the job I thought it would after reading about it but on planes where the rust keeps coming back or was rusted badly from the start then is the method I use to give me peace of mind..

What Hand Plane Should I Buy ? Answers as to what planes are best to buy for a new woodworking just starting down the road of using hand planes....

Sharpening I have a whole sub section devoted to sharpening hand plane Irons.

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