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How do you square the side of a plane to the sole ?

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  • How do you square the side of a plane to the sole ?

    I've seen passing references to doing this if you're going to be shooting, but never seen an explanation as to *how* to do it.

    Can anyone enlighten me, please ?

    thanks !
    terry
    "I am on a drug. It's called Charlie Sheen"
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  • #2

    Re: How do you square the side of a plane to the sole ?

    Re: How do you square the side of a plane to the sole ?

    Why would you want to go through all that work if you are able to adjust the blade?

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    • #3

      Re: How do you square the side of a plane to the sole ?

      Re: How do you square the side of a plane to the sole ?

      Yeah, the usual sources are strangely quiet on that subject, aren't they? You can check using a square, mark the high spots, and lap the side as you would the sole, checking frequently for square. That's the hard way. The easier way is to take it to a machinists shop where they could do it in minutes. The easiest way is to pick out a plane that is already square. Most size planes will work for shooting -- doesn't have to be large.
      Jim

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      • #4

        Re: How do you square the side of a plane to the sole ?

        Re: How do you square the side of a plane to the sole ?

        You can also power sand (belt sander, flap or mop sander) most of what needs to be taken off, then lap flat.
        Scraping would work if there isn't too much to take off. If there is you could start by filing too.
        As jack said, the plane doesn't have to be square to work in a shooting board.
        Frank
        SPCHT

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        • #5

          Re: How do you square the side of a plane to the sole ?

          Re: How do you square the side of a plane to the sole ?

          I did a block plane and a Number 4 by using a piece of thick plate glass big enough to hold two sheets of sandpaper glued on side by side. You could use the bed of a jointer or a table saw top if they are flat enough as well. I then took a piece of hardwood that was square and clamped it to the glass using Irwin quick grip clamps (any clamp will do, but I was worried that I might break the glass if I used too much force).

          Once you have your wooden fence in place it is dead easy to hold the bottom of the plane tight against the fence while you make the side a true 90 degrees to the bottom. Once you have done one side, adjust the wooden fence to a part of the sand paper that is unused and flip the plane and do the other side.

          A longer piece of glass and more sand paper will do a longer plane.

          I just like knowing the plane is square and if I have my blade adjusted for a thin, even shaving, I am good to go on the shooting board.

          Rick in Oakville

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          • #6

            Re: How do you square the side of a plane to the sole ?

            Re: How do you square the side of a plane to the sole ?

            Someone answered ''The easier way is to take it to a machinists shop where they could do it in minutes''.

            I fully agree,a machinists shop can do it with great accuracy and produces a very fine finish in no time using a surface grinder.No fiddling around.

            andre

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            • #7

              Re: How do you square the side of a plane to the sole ?

              Re: How do you square the side of a plane to the sole ?

              Originally posted by Rick in Oakville View Post
              Once you have done one side, adjust the wooden fence to a part of the sand paper that is unused and flip the plane and do the other side.

              Rick in Oakville
              Why would you bother to do both sides? Perhaps you are ambidextrous and shoot from both directions. Nice trick if you can do it, but then you must need right and left handed shooting boards.

              Jim

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              • #8

                Re: How do you square the side of a plane to the sole ?

                Re: How do you square the side of a plane to the sole ?

                Originally posted by Andre in Quebec View Post
                Someone answered ''The easier way is to take it to a machinists shop where they could do it in minutes''.

                I fully agree,a machinists shop can do it with great accuracy and produces a very fine finish in no time using a surface grinder.No fiddling around.

                andre
                How much would a machinist typically charge to do something like this ?
                "I am on a drug. It's called Charlie Sheen"

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                • #9

                  Re: How do you square the side of a plane to the sole ?

                  Re: How do you square the side of a plane to the sole ?

                  Originally posted by NuggyBuggy View Post
                  How much would a machinist typically charge to do something like this ?
                  It's very difficult to machine older planes dead square. The bodies tend to flex while cutting them and it is very hard to get them dead flat and square. If you do embark on this journey you'll need to make infill blocks to hold the plane down while you machine it. Personally I think you are better off just buying a new plane for shooting.

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                  • #10

                    Re: How do you square the side of a plane to the sole ?

                    Re: How do you square the side of a plane to the sole ?

                    Keep your eyes on home shop machinist or the other one. They have a scraping series underway, and one of the segments will cover scraping planes. Not sure that is really worth it since I could probably make a perfect wooden plane in the time it would take to read the article, but sometimes one wants to know how. By the way, you have some other options like adding something to shim the plane or the shooting board, not to mention the adjust the blade response. The machine shop route is tempting. It can be tough to get that off the ground. Most shops that are still even in existence are not looking for walk ins and by the time you take 9-5 time off to find a place, and get the right place, you could have bought the LN shooting plane. I have all those tools so I could do it for myself, but I am not sure the average shop would want to be bothered. Also really getting it dead nuts even if it didn`t move is not all that easy.

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: How do you square the side of a plane to the sole ?

                      Originally posted by Peterpan View Post
                      Keep your eyes on home shop machinist or the other one. They have a scraping series underway, and one of the segments will cover scraping planes. Not sure that is really worth it since I could probably make a perfect wooden plane in the time it would take to read the article, but sometimes one wants to know how.
                      Interesting, I think I may have met the author of the series a few weeks ago while buying a few measuring tools. He lived in a nice house in a VERY nice area of town, and had a whale of a shop, two lathes as big as some cars with barely enough room to move. He had built a bunch of stuff that I would have just bought, but he clearly liked knowing everything about everything he was doing, and he as far as I could tell, he did.

                      After I bought the tools he actually invited me back for a tour (my sister was waiting in the car) and he showed me quite a lot of stuff, including the first article in the series, of which he was quite proud. If I understood him correctly, he did not think highly of the ways woodworkers would flatten their tools, and suggested that scraping was the way. I didn't understand the finer points of the argument, but did tell him he ought to write an article about it for woodworkers. He didn't mention a segment that was already planned, however.
                      "I am on a drug. It's called Charlie Sheen"

                      Comment

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                      • #12

                        Re: How do you square the side of a plane to the sole ?

                        Re: How do you square the side of a plane to the sole ?

                        How to square the side of a cast iron plane?

                        Well, the simplest way is to use sandpaper. 80 grit to start. Yes, you could scrape, which is a better method as it avoids the risk of rocking the plane and rounding the side, but many may find learning this new skill daunting, so I will concentrate on sanding.

                        I have not needed to do this for several years since I am fortunate to have had, initially, an HNT Gordon Trying Plane and then a LV LA Jack as my primary planes for the shooting board, which came square. In more more recent years I have used a Stanley #51/52 (a long restoration project), and this year was most spoilt by the arrival of the LN #51 to replace the Stanley. Between all this, however, I pickedup a rather derelict-looking Stanley #62 on eBay Australia for a real gloatable amount ... mainly becausethe condition scared everyone off! One of the tasks I performed was to square one side so that it could be used on the shooting board.

                        To do this I first clamped melamine coated MDF (flat and smooth) to the fence and bed of my tablesaw (in my case I used a sheet of glass on the table). Ensure the result is perfectly square. Then glue sandpaper to the bed section. Now you can run the side of the plane on the sandpaper while registering the sole on the fence.

                        I took a picture of this all those years ago, but it was not the best. Good enough for illustration ...



                        For those not familiar with the Stanley #62, it was the forerunner of the LN#62 and the LV LAJ. Mine went from this ..



                        to ..



                        Here is a picture of the #62 on a ramped mitre board ..



                        Now, why do you need to square the side anyway? Surely one can simply adjust the blade?

                        Well, yes, one can square the blade, and you have to do this anyway for minor adjustments, however there is an advantage in having a square side. Ideally the plane will use the lower edge of the runway for registration (a fence that is created when "running in"). A square plane side means that least amount of blade is required to project, and this equates to a more rigid and chatter-free set up. Here is a diagram from my website ..



                        The article: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ShopMad...%20Board4.html

                        The other factoris that there is an advantage in having the sole of the plane line up with the top edge of the platform (where the work piece lies) since this makes it easier to plane to a line accurately.

                        Some may also argue that they wish to align the side with the edge of the fence to prevent spelching (by offering support for the rear of the workpiece), but I disagree here - spelching is best prevented by first adding a chamfer to the rear edge of the workpiece.

                        Hope this helps.

                        For added interest, here is a fairly recent comparison I wrote on three shooting planes: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/Furnitu...sCompared.html

                        Regards from Perth

                        Derek

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