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Hand Plane Tune Up PageA-13 Infill Hand Plane


My Hand Plane Tune Up Guide

How to get the best performance form your plane.

1) Disassemble the entire plane and clean all the parts with Mineral Sprits, Kerosene or some other solvent that will not hurt the Japanning.. If you have a Wire wheel this works well of heavily rusted areas.. I use it to clean all the screws and washers and most other parts of the plane before Flatten the sloe and cheeks on Silicon Carbide Wet/ Dry Paper. I start with 120 grit and finish with 220 with one grit in between..

2) I then will lap the sole and cheeks on 120 grit Silicon Carbide Wet Dry Paper on top of a granite surface plate or the top of my table saw and work may way up to 220 grit.. If you stripe the bottom of the sole with a Magic Marker you want to make sure you get good contact in front and behind the mouth and at the toe and hell of the plane.. Japanese planes actually have relief cut into the them so only this part ride on the Toe and Heel and before and after the Mouth.. Flat is better but if you do not flatten in these areas where the Japanese hollow the plane I would not worry to to much. I then polish all the parts I can with a Scotch-Brite™ Light Deburring Wheels

3) Then You want to get a Flat Mill Smooth File and run it lightly over the face of the frog checking for dings and high spots to flatten.. Now you also want to lightly run it over the surfaces that seat the frog to the base.. You can add some loose lapping grit to this and slide the frog back and forth on its seat and check how much these areas touch.. If the areas are less than 70% I would sharpen the end of a old file and try scraping some of the high spot off till you get a good area of contact..

4) File or Lap the end of your Lever Cap flat.. this would be the area that presses on the Iron Cap what most people incorrectly call a Chip Breaker..

5) Now to the same to the area of the Iron Cap what contacts the Iron with a File or Lapping it with Sand Paper on a flat surface.. You can add a few degree back bevel on the Cap Iron edge so it contacts the Iron on a sharpe edge so no chips have a starting point to started working there way in between the Cap and Iron and cause a jam... Also file the front of the Cap Iron of there are not dent of dings for the shaving to get caught on..

6) You can greatly improve most plane iron with a new replacement iron for Ron Hock, Lee Valley, Lie-Nielson or the expensive Clifton ..All the Irons are much better than the original Stanley's..
I like Ron Hock's, He has been retailing high grade over sized blades the longest Lie-Nielson's, are Longer in over all length a little longer, this help protect the lateral lever from being hit out of adjustment by accident or being bent in a fall but Ron add what is called CRYO treatment that makes the blades tougher from what I hear.. Ron Hock has a really nice Video on his website if your on Broadband you will want to see.. For Dial Up it's a bit large, like a few hours :) So Check it out if you have the speed..I will be adding this Spring a Iron Review..Ron has been really more than Kind to send me one of his Irons and Cap Irons and I own a Lie Nielson Blade I traded for and I have a Clifton Planes that will be the Test Bed.. I will also test the Stanley Irons and Cap Irons to see if I can find any differences Irons and Cap Irons..So make sure to check when the weather gets warmer :)

7) Assemble the plane make sure you Tote and Knob are tight if not file or grind some steel off the ends of the Studs.. 8) Line up the face of the frog with the back edge of the mouth to form one continuous surface..
Use some type of straight edge like a small rules, this will help you blade bed well and stop if from any vibrations..

8) You may want to file the front edge of the mouth at 15 degrees to provide more clearance if you have Standard Lie-Nielson blade .140 thick and not the Made for Stanley Blades .095 You may also have to open the mouth .010 or .020 less that 1/32 (.032) the optimum opening for English Smoother is .005 and this will take many fitting and assembles and dissembles.. .005-.008 is very good you may want to go back and open it more later if you use the plane for taking bigger cuts.. This is what will make you pane cut like a $3,000, this is the big secret.. Blade support and a Tight Mouth..Back Beveling the Throat I would not be so hesitant to file the mouth. A lot of mouths aren't square anyway, they can be very slightly chipped (view through a hand lens) and working gently on the front of the mouth can improve performance. Many times they need smoothing as its rough in there. Also Beveling the inside of the front edge allows the chip to escape better allowing for a tighter mouth. The front edge of the mouth is where all the action occurs, its needs to be very smooth, square and beveled on the inside so your tight few thousands thick shaving can easily slide through. Post By frigator @woodnet 04/09/04 09:03 AM I couldn't have said it better :)


Back Beveling The Mouth


Mothing Filing Graphic


You can increase the mouth opening if you are installing a and oversized after market iron but do not increase mouth size if you plane on using a stock or Stanley sized iron of .095" of less.






Mother Filing a No.7


Set the plane at 12* -15* degree bevel in the vise and keep file near level to ground. Becare full your file has room to fit, if you pry on the thin bevel of the cast iron mouth it can break very easy.. So take care not to force while filing..





The Best Artical I have seen on hand plane tuning is by
David Charleworth

David's Movies on Using and Sharping hand planes are a real treat to watch..
He is by far my favorite Author.

Note Click on Images Below to Pop-Up in New Window
Then Click On Image In New Pop-Up Window to View Full Size

Page One
Page Two
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David Charlesworth is my my favorite author, I own both his books and have read then several times.. You can now purchase an autographed copy of David's books online from this website, direct from the author. He also has some great videos out that where produced for Lie-Nielson

Book1 Book2




How to Adjust  the Mouth Opening on Pre Type 10 Planes

This method differs than the one above and if you do not have chatter (vibration of the iron) as a problem, this method of set-up will work fine

setupSet the gap  with a Feeler Gauge, start with .008 or about 1/128" (.0075) this should be a good starting point Less would be better for fine finishing cuts .. Tighter is best but this is for general planning.Take the Iron Cap off the Iron when you are checking gap.. The Bevel should NOT stick out farther than the sole of the plane.




Check Bottom picture if this is unclear, I can't think f how to explain this without a graphic.Picture Two to the right the Iron (Blade) is sticking out to far and back side of blade may be on the back of mouth and not resting on the frog..




The Bevel (Angle at bottom of Blade) on the Blade is clearance so the Blade sits on Frog and not the back edge of Mouth. If the Frog is back from the Back side of the Mouth, if not for the Bevel the Blade would not be supported along the whole length of the frog..

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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