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Should I invest in a Veritas bevel up plane?

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  • #16

    Re: Should I invest in a Veritas bevel up plane?

    Originally posted by alanj55 View Post
    I'm getting back to woodworking after many years away from it.

    I'm trying to plane some birch that has a knot close to the side resulting in some irregular grain.
    I'm using a Stanley #5 plane that is about 40 years old.
    I'm using Norton stones - 1000, 4000, 8000 to sharpen the plane iron.
    I'm able to get the blade fairly sharp. Sharp enough to cut some of the hairs on my arm.
    I remember from years ago, that when I would sharpen my Marples chisels I could get them sharp enough to cut every hair it passed over on my arm not just some.

    So with my plane iron as sharp as I can get it I am still getting tear out on the board I am trying to plane.
    I'm wondering if the alloy in the plane iron is not allowing me to get it sharp enough to minimize the tear out.
    Can anyone tell me if I am likely to get significantly better results with a new Veritas PM-V11 bevel up plane than my 40 year old Stanley?

    My other option is to buy a PM-V11 iron for my Stanley plane but the cost of this is about 1/3 the cost of a new plane.
    From what I see on the internet a bevel up plane will give me more options to deal with irregular grain so a new bevel up plane seems to be worth the additional expense. This of course is based on internet info so I am interested in getting other opinions based on experience planing boards with irregular grain.

    Thanks,
    Alan
    Switch to a sander option. It will get you to the finished result much quicker.
    c
    Egon
    from
    The South Shore, Nova Scotia

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    • #17

      Re: Should I invest in a Veritas bevel up plane?

      While I always enjoy a good debate on things subjective, I am a little less enthused about debating things like mechanics; a subject that I have been studying and using successfully in professional practice for nearly a half century (49 years and 41 days so far!)

      In my earlier post, I commented that the curve in a closely adjusted Stanley cap iron acts exactly like slightly raising the effective cutting pitch of the iron since geometrically it does just that. The only two forces that can be exerted by a curved object are perpendicular to the tangent to the curve at the point of intersection with the curve and a force coincident with the tangent. In the case of the curved cap iron, the latter force is only caused by friction with the shaving which for a well polished cap iron, is negligible. Do the force diagram and you will see what is happening to the chip severed by the sharp edge (the actual point of failure of the wood) chased less than the thickness of the shaving later by the cap iron per Frank's excellent advice on how to adjust the cap iron.

      I did not suggest that fixed angle (bevel down if you wish) planes do not work. I did however state that a new Veritas plane is easier to adjust to get consistent results than the old Stanley/Record etc planes ever were and I stand by that statement. I have fettled quite a few old planes by now and even recovered a couple of Groz brand planes to make them usable by an experienced woodworker; pity help the tyro woodworker who tries to get one of those nasty critters to do his/her bidding! Some of the old Stanley and Record planes were quite good; some not so much. Any Veritas or Lee Nielsen plane, bevel up (BU) or conventional is good out of the box and can be used without all of the drama typically associated with the old stuff plus they have better and thicker steel in the irons too. Changing to a higher effective cutting angle is a tickle with the BU configuration as an added advantage to the less experienced hand plane user.

      Lest you all think that I am an only Veritas plane user, my favourite plane is actually my Record 060 1/2 block plane. Not because it is a great tool, it just isn't with its excessive back-lash, thin iron and the poor fit of its locking cap, but because I have fiddled it into a good tool and it is very familiar to me after so many years. Even though I like it a lot, I would not recommend it to a tyro hand plane user because I like to encourage people into the hobby/craft and new comers really don't need that particular learning curve IMO.

      Some additional thoughts (for debate if required)

      Ken
      [email protected] likes this.

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      • #18

        Re: Should I invest in a Veritas bevel up plane?

        Hi Ken, it's been a while.

        I too enjoy a good debate especially on handplanes a subject that i have been studying and using for 50 years. I have also been studying, sharpening and using supersurfacers for 30 years.

        It's all fascinating stuff.

        While i enjoyed your explanation of forces as applied to a curve, i do have a couple of questions for you.

        1. who decreed that a cap iron or chipbreaker has to be curved?
        2. what does it matter what shape the cap iron / chipbreaker is, when the part of the chipbreaker that does the work is the leading edge, and that edge should be a flat micro -bevel the rest of the chipbreaker is just along for the ride and in the way.


        Funny that you should mention your Record block plane, mine also has zero backlash, as i removed all adjustments bobbles and just smack it with a hammer to adjust it, the same as my record #4 below.

        I think that the big surge of interest in high angle planes was pushed by people who did not understand how chipbreakers worked, many of the Gurus swore that chipbreakers didn't work, until about 10 years ago when the Kato and Kawai video became known.


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        The below are from a study done by professors Kato and kawai on the relationships between shaving thickness, chipbreaker leading edge angle and chipbreaker leading edge setback. The leading edge of the chipbreaker microbevel and the correct setback to shaving thickness, puts a back pressure on the shaving compressing it and preventing it from lifting and tearing ahead of the cutting edge.
        The full video is worth watching. you can find it by searching The effect of chipbreakers by Kato And Kawai

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        Knife and chipbreaker grinding specs for supersurfacer blade geometry.

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        KenL likes this.
        www.solidwoodmachinery.com

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        • #19

          Re: Should I invest in a Veritas bevel up plane?

          I have owned, used and rebuilt around a dozen supersutacers of various sizes, and have had three of the knife grinders, including a fully automatic one, which was and incredible machine. This is a a video of the automatic grinder that i did to show the customer how to operate it in manual, semi-auto and full automatic modes. Its kind of a long winded video, but it was necessary to demonstrate the settings and functions. The grinders a have a horizontal rough grinding wheel and a vertical finish honing wheel that is set up to put a 1 degree micro bevel on the knife. And I puts a precise mirror finish edge on the knives. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caixlHgND6I

          I would recommend that anyone doing woodwork put the effort in to understanding chipbreakers. Once you have removed the mystery and got your handplane tuned and functioning it makes planing a joy.

          Many companies make nice handplanes, they doesn't mean that they know what they are doing. Doesn't mean the guy in charge has tuned handplanes and studied them and made a million shavings. Most of them are just copying an old style handplane and adding a few fancy knobs and bits of brass. They can make handplanes that don't work to well and they wont get any grief, people just assume that they themselves are the problem, and don't know how to sharpen it or set it up, or it's the wood that's the problem. You can't get away with that when you selling a $30,000 supersurfacer. they have to work. So supersurfacer companies have put the effort in to understand the critical relationships of cutting edges, chipbreakers and surface control.


          This is the micrometer gauge for setting the precise backnife/ chipbreaker setback from the cutting edge. The top blade is the chipbreaker, the lower blade is the cutting knife, both have brazed insert tips.


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          A double head, top and bottom supersurfacer, with variable skew angle from 0 - 60°

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          A variety of woods run through this machine to test the setup. Note the reflection.


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          www.solidwoodmachinery.com

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          • #20

            Re: Should I invest in a Veritas bevel up plane?

            I've followed various discussions about cap irons, BU vs. BD, etc. for years but had never heard of a "supersurfacer" until this thread.

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            • #21

              Re: Should I invest in a Veritas bevel up plane?

              "The truth is out there"



              Lots of video on my website; http://www.solidwoodmachinery.com
              KenL likes this.
              www.solidwoodmachinery.com

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              • #22

                Re: Should I invest in a Veritas bevel up plane?

                Mark has the right of it in that it is not written in stone that cap irons have to be curved but, since the OP had a Stanley plane, the discussion was focused on that configuration. The original patent for a cap iron was not for the stamped, curved item that came a bit later! I use a plane hammer to fine tune the mechanical adjusters that are so poorly fitted in my Stanley and Record planes but find that step completely unnecessary with the Veritas items in the current collection. That is why I do not recommend the old fellows to new and newish woodworkers. IT takes a lot of practice to learn how to tune a wedged iron plane properly and pretty near as much to fine tune something like my Record block plane. It works a treat once you get the hang of it but you won't need to learn just how to tap the thing gently with a specialized hammer (and your tongue placed exactly in the right position in your mouth) if you buy one of the new, higher end planes from Lee Valley or Lee Nielsen.

                Ken

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                • #23

                  Re: Should I invest in a Veritas bevel up plane?

                  Originally posted by Kayak Jim View Post
                  I've followed various discussions about cap irons, BU vs. BD, etc. for years but had never heard of a "supersurfacer" until this thread.
                  It’s the study of cap irons on super surfacers that have led to the more recent interest in the effect of cap irons on planes. In the first decade of 2000 the common discourse in WW forums was that the best way to avoid tear out was with bevel-up irons with a high angle of attack (planing angle). Kato’s study mentioned by Hennebury was translated and led to a big change in thinking because the best surfaces (smooth, tearout-free) are in fact the result of adjusting and properly fitting a chip breaker to a standard-angle blade. This has been backed up by tests on hand planes that have been done since then. I take these findings as fact since they have been proven and are put to use each day in industry. This is not to say that a nice tearout-free surface can’t be achieved by a bevel-up plane, but to affirm that these planes give the best surface is not supported by fact.
                  Frank
                  SPCHT

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                  • #24

                    Re: Should I invest in a Veritas bevel up plane?

                    Originally posted by Frank D. View Post

                    It’s the study of cap irons on super surfacers that have led to the more recent interest in the effect of cap irons on planes. In the first decade of 2000 the common discourse in WW forums was that the best way to avoid tear out was with bevel-up irons with a high angle of attack (planing angle). Kato’s study mentioned by Hennebury was translated and led to a big change in thinking because the best surfaces (smooth, tearout-free) are in fact the result of adjusting and properly fitting a chip breaker to a standard-angle blade. This has been backed up by tests on hand planes that have been done since then. I take these findings as fact since they have been proven and are put to use each day in industry. This is not to say that a nice tearout-free surface can’t be achieved by a bevel-up plane, but to affirm that these planes give the best surface is not supported by fact.
                    Could we have a reference regarding the bold italic in the quote? I am unaware personally of hand plane use being common in industry but will readily admit to being a hobbyist who might be unaware of industrial use of hand tools of any sort. It seems passing odd to me that old timers who used to make their own planes by hand after purchasing an iron from the catalogue or local blacksmith went to so much trouble to make high angle planes of 60 degrees or more if it was indeed a useless enterprise? The referenced work by Kato-san is not the only work ever done investigating this subject and I can see little reason to assume that it is the definitive text on the subject. I await enlightenment!

                    Ken

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                    • #25

                      Re: Should I invest in a Veritas bevel up plane?

                      Kinda curious about how the Japanese planes that produce long ribbon shavings are made.
                      Egon
                      from
                      The South Shore, Nova Scotia

                      Comment


                      • #26

                        Re: Should I invest in a Veritas bevel up plane?

                        Originally posted by Egon View Post
                        Kinda curious about how the Japanese planes that produce long ribbon shavings are made.
                        They are planing soft yellow cedar at around 0.0002" thick with incredibly sharp blades. Perfect wood. Low angle planes, you don't need a chipbreaker or get any visible tearout .
                        KenL likes this.
                        www.solidwoodmachinery.com

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                        • #27

                          Re: Should I invest in a Veritas bevel up plane?

                          Originally posted by KenL View Post

                          Could we have a reference regarding the bold italic in the quote? I am unaware personally of hand plane use being common in industry but will readily admit to being a hobbyist who might be unaware of industrial use of hand tools of any sort. It seems passing odd to me that old timers who used to make their own planes by hand after purchasing an iron from the catalogue or local blacksmith went to so much trouble to make high angle planes of 60 degrees or more if it was indeed a useless enterprise? The referenced work by Kato-san is not the only work ever done investigating this subject and I can see little reason to assume that it is the definitive text on the subject. I await enlightenment!

                          Ken
                          Ken, people have tried to combat tearout in several different ways, One is a high angle plane; it works. One is a chipbreaker, it also works. One is a close throat; it also works.
                          They don't all work the same. They don't all achieve the same results or require the same effort.

                          If you had to plane a piece of hard maple end grain would you use your low angle block plane or your 60° plane? They both will work.

                          High angle planes were made as a way to combat tearout, doesn't mean it was a waste of time, doesn't mean that it is the most efficient method of dealing with tearout either.




                          www.solidwoodmachinery.com

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                          • #28

                            Re: Should I invest in a Veritas bevel up plane?

                            Originally posted by KenL View Post

                            Could we have a reference regarding the bold italic in the quote? I am unaware personally of hand plane use being common in industry but will readily admit to being a hobbyist who might be unaware of industrial use of hand tools of any sort. It seems passing odd to me that old timers who used to make their own planes by hand after purchasing an iron from the catalogue or local blacksmith went to so much trouble to make high angle planes of 60 degrees or more if it was indeed a useless enterprise? The referenced work by Kato-san is not the only work ever done investigating this subject and I can see little reason to assume that it is the definitive text on the subject. I await enlightenment!

                            Ken
                            Hi Ken,

                            One test is here:

                            https://planetuning.infillplane.com/...pbreakers.html

                            https://planetuning.infillplane.com/...s_van_der.html

                            With a nice abstract in the first post of this thread:

                            https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....lanes-Abstract

                            Steve Elliott's site also posts the "Review of Cap Iron Study" which his more about wear than about planes surface, but there are some interesting parts about chip formation that explain how a chipbreaker does not produce a type I shaving unless something is wrong (unless the chipbreaker is set too close the the blade does not cut as effectively, but pushes a layer of grain off the wood). This to say, with the results of Kees' test, that type I shaving do not necessarily produce the least tearout.

                            I was thinking more of David Weaver's work on Wood Central. He has done a lot of work reproducing what Kees has shown in his tests, although I admittedly don't have time right now to dig them up. He does have an interesting article that I kept, although I haven't read it in a while and don't think it proves anything (https://www.woodcentral.com/articles...cles_935.shtml). Here's Ron Hock on the chipbreaker, mentioning David's article:
                            https://hocktools.wordpress.com/2016...er-good-buddy/

                            When I mentioned industry I was not talking about hand planes, but about the supersurfacers. The planing angles and other variables are very similar to hand planes, and, more importantly, to obtain the best possible wooden surface, a high planing angle is not used. For me this is the pudding, so to speak. Why go to the trouble of using elaborate chip breakers if they were not necessary?

                            As Hennebury mentioned, high-angle planes are one way of dealing with tearout or difficult grain. It seems to me that they have been an anomaly or at least rare compared to standard-angle planes that have also dealt with tearout and difficult grain. I never said that they were useless or that they didn't work... And going "so much trouble" making homemade 60-degree plane is actually going to less trouble than making one's own chipbreaker, so it's not surprising to see that people have used a high angle setup to deal with difficult grain when making their own planes. Nor does it really prove anything about standard-angle planes.

                            For me the main takeaway is not that high angle planes don't work, but that one can reduce tearout with an inexpensive standard-angle plane as effectively (if not more...) as with any other plane (that often cost twice the price, or much more) while avoiding the stringy scraped look that results from type I shavings. So all in all this surface is the best, even if the difference may not matter to many in the grand scheme of things.

                            Now combine this with the unicorn method of sharpening, and a cheap standard angle plane can handle any planing task...
                            Frank
                            SPCHT

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                            • #29

                              Re: Should I invest in a Veritas bevel up plane?

                              Supersurfacers have a low bed angle of about 35°
                              When the knife is perpendicular to the feed the bed angle is 35° this is used for hardwoods
                              Supersurfacers have the ability to vary and skew the blade up to 60° to the direction of feed.
                              At 60° the relative bed angle is reduced to 19° This is used for softwoods.
                              By varying the skew angle from 0-60° you get to change the relative bed angle, you redirect the cutting force sideways and get a slicing cut and can fine tune the cutting to suite the wood species, and provide the optimum cut.
                              Supersurfacers also have an adjustable throat plate. this gives you the ability to adjust the throat gap and the plate protrusion from the bed to provide a pressure line directly ahead of the cutting edge.


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                              www.solidwoodmachinery.com

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                              • #30

                                Re: Should I invest in a Veritas bevel up plane?

                                This has been an interesting thread; perhaps something of a diversion from the OP's question. I will read through the materials Frank referenced and may revisit the subject later. Thanks Frank and Mark for your input.

                                It is good to have such people to bat ideas around with!

                                Ken

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