I finally made time to set up the jointer I won at auction and posted back in August. I need a bunch of planks for a wheel barrow frame bed, it will carry firewood and what ever else we need to move around outside. The planks are 25″ long and as wide as I can get from riven stock.The plane was a big help in this task but I had to set it up first, it had that glazed finish on the irons that you see in antique stores trying to sell old tools,I don’t know what it is but it keeps the rust away and is a pretty good sign that you just bought something that was really neglected. This one wasnt that bad, the bevel was close enough to 25 degrees and pretty streight for me. It took a while to grind the back of this monster blade flat I used the side of the wheel on my electric low-speed grinder, doing so is not recommended by the manufacturer and safety advocates so don’t do this without proper advocate supervision, then to the 220 diamond and on to the water stones. The sole of the plane wasnt streight, that’s easily flattened with a hand plane and winding sticks.
Now she sings.
The longer planes I use have a ball on the toe or front of the plane that you grip to weight the plane as it moves through the cut. Short planes dont desire this, you use the palm or side of your leading hand to weight the plane through its motions. To use a plane without a horn or ball is a bit confusing at first, kinda feels like driving a stick again after a long period of driving an automatic.
Awhile back Follansbee had posted about a hand hold he uses and my first thought was that’s awkward, it didn’t look user friendly.On the third push my left hand automatically went from the side of the plane to a reverse grip to the toe of the plane. I thought “that’s odd” but it felt familiar. Wasnt until later that I remembered Peter writing about it. Maybe it was swimming in my subconscious,I don’t think so those are pretty muddy waters, either way It just made sense and felt right, instinctual. It puts the force of the left hand in the center of that part of the plane and she steers like a dream.Holding the hand fingers forward is off balance and wants to drive the plane away from the operator and the point of pressure is placed on the left side of the plane under the palms heel pad thing part.
So back to tuning up irons, I freehand sharpened my plane blades but after so many times bevel’s get shorter and they are not at a right angle to the side of the iron. And the three that I use regularly were at about 40 degrees, I was getting clogged up at the mouth of the plane and there was unessisary tear out on the wood, it was a mess. Regrinding the bevel close to 25 degrees on the low-speed electric grinder(that’s still fast enough to burn the hardness out of the blade if not real careful) and sharpening with a guid to 25 made all the difference they work fantastically now. Deneb Puchalski of Lie Nielsen is a wealth of knowledge about everything hand planes. He has an article in the August 2010 #213 Fine Woodworking Magazine and describes an “all in one honing station”. basically you measure in a predetermined distance,the amount of blade sticking past your honing jig when the jig is set to hone the desired angle , 25,30,35 and so on degree’s. Attach a block of wood to that measurement on a board to butt the edge against , now you can set your blade in its guide every time knowing you’ll get the desired bevel with no fuss. I simply put a line with my square at 2 1/8″, no block, that’s the distance the diagram suggest for 25, and my guid is the same as the one used in the article, it was close enough for me. It’s a great way to set up your irons.
Then to the wheel to grind grind grind.
Some may shutter at the site of rust on their table saw, it comes off easily with a scotch pad and WD-40 if you don’t let it sit too long.
This is some thing I do at the most once a year and can be avoided more so by using the honing guide all the time. i like sharpening with out it and might get a little more camber on the edge than with the guid.