edge joining ...

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daver828

New User
David
with a hand plane, I stink at it. I had so much fun finally getting some hand planes out and making shavings the last few days. I live in an apartment so don't have a workshop, I borrowed a friend's garage to work in. My "workbench" is a 12 x 12 I got off a construction site they had put in a dumpster. It's about 7' long and I use Irwin squeeze hand clamps as my vise. All very makeshift, but works fine for me. But I did realize it does take alot of practice jointing edges for glue ups. It's not something, at least for me, that I can do not so often and expect to be any good at it. Just about the time I got the edge at 90*, I had a hump in the middle lengthwise. When I got to using stop shavings to make a "slight' hollow in the middle to have a spring joint, I took too much off and had a gap rather than a shaving or two. Then lo and behold, the edge was out of square again, geeez. I did realize that I need to true up the sole of the plane, a 22" wooden plane I got for a few dollars. Sharpened the blade and it works like a charm, just needs a little more fettling, I think, and a lot more skill on my part.

All in all, I figure that any day I get to make shavings is better than a day without it.
 

froglips

New User
Jim Campbell
Sounds like you are on the right track, just hang in there :)

The key is to be methodical. It's easy to start chasing your own tail (though dogs seem to enjoy that?)

Since you were able to take a big dip out of the middle, I'm guessing your plane sole is a bit convex/banana shaped. Ideally "flat" is best or slightly concave.

If you look at compass planes (metal or wood), you see an exaggerated version of a convex sole. Which is really nice when you want to plane big curve or work the insides of wagon wheels or barrels.

Not so much when jointed a straight edge :)

Keep up the good works and glad you are having fun!

Jim
 
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CatButler

New User
Bryan
Sorry for being jumbled up I'm at work and need to get started and I keep re editing this post.

Is you plane blade slightly chambered? Pro's like to do that because it gives them a little more control where the wood comes off, but you really have to be consistent. Hold the plane so your leading hand has a few fingers under the plane. Use these as a reference fence for the board to keep the plane straight.

When you check for 90's are you consistently off down the entire board? If you are, then your blade is out of square. If it's not, then you are doing something to bias your stroke, maybe a twist of the wrist as you come off the board. Make some pencil marks in problem areas so you have some visual feedback as to what you are taking off.

Also having lines around the board that you are planing to is useful. Again it gives you visual feedback.

Here's a bit of a trick. You don't have to be exactly 90 if you are consistent. You just plane the 2 boards you are going to join together. You have to arrange the boards correctly, but if you flip one of the boards, it will have exactly the opposite angle it needs to match up straight.
 

CatButler

New User
Bryan
Also, how long is the board you are trying to joint? A 22" plane works best for longer boards, I would say over 3', but someone who knows better might have a better guess. Using the long jointer for shorter board starts to become self defeating.
 

CaptnA

Andy
Corporate Member
Sounds like you hit on it near the end....
"All in all, I figure that any day I get to make shavings is better than a day without it. "
I know my worst day woodworking was still a pretty dang good day!
 

eyekode

New User
Salem
I love to make shavings too! When I finished my wood hand plane I reduced a ~1" of a 16" long board .001" at a time just for fun :).

When I first setup my planes I didn't have a good feel for what needs to be "right". After a while you will gain intuition for it. And when your plane is "right" it is actually easy to edge joint a board (as long as your work holding is up to the length). In fact even on machine jointed boards I am now using a hand plane to joint the edges before glue up.

I also agree 100% with CatButler and froglips. The issue is probably a problem with your plane and they mentioned the two things that come to mind (not flat sole and an iron with an uneven amount of blade projecting below the sole). So first figure out what is wrong with the plane before you move on. For flattening the sole of a wood plane I have used ~100-150 grit sandpaper glued to MDF and placed on a dead flat surface (my jointer's infeed table).

Once it is nice and square be methodical. Check your progress often. I also got a lot out of reading David Finck's book Making and Mastering Wood Planes. I did a fair amount of "tail chasing" as froglips said until I slowed down and took a more measured approach to squaring stock. Also note that your last shavings should be the full width of the edge.

Good luck and have fun!
Salem
 

BrianBDH

New User
Brian
I don't have any experience with planing joints, but I thought you guys that did used a shooting board to hold the plane square to the edge.

When would/wouldn't you use one?

Brian
 

CatButler

New User
Bryan
I don't have any experience with planing joints, but I thought you guys that did used a shooting board to hold the plane square to the edge.

When would/wouldn't you use one?

Brian


Some people like them but mostly I've seen shooting boards used when the stock is too thin to balance the plane on the edge of the board. I think thinner than 1/2". Using good technique with 3/4" boards should be plenty enough edge to keep the plane straight.

Update: Also you can't get a sprung joint with a shooting board.
 

froglips

New User
Jim Campbell
Edge shooting is less common a practice. There are some names for fixtures to do this that escape my memory. The irony is you need to build something that is long and straight first, before you can plane the piece :)

Most of the time a shooting board is used to reduce boards in length and/or to square ends. Often done after a saw cut is made close to the layout line. Its a very precise way to work on the ends by removing a few thousandths of an inch each pass.

There are also mitered shooting boards for doing any kind of angle you may need.

It is surprisingly easy to edge joint a long board, just takes some practice. The tool does all the hard stuff.

Jim
 

daver828

New User
David
Update: Also you can't get a sprung joint with a shooting board.[/QUOTE]

According to Toshio Odate, the Japanese have been using planing beams with a 2 x 2 nailed on the side for the ramp for a plane. I don't see any reason that could not be adapted to a western plane. David Charlesworth shows explicitly how to do stop shavings using his bench as the reference surface (providing the bench is flat) and clamping the wood to be planed on top of another piece (to give it rise off the table) and gotten spring joints that way.

But alas, I have neither the experience nor the skills he has. I've got his DVD about shooting which covers this.

Nevertheless, thanks for all the responses. It is clear that the sole of this plane needs flattening. The blade is square and sharpened with a camber, though I don't know the exact dimensions of the camber. I simply tried to hone off the corners about twice the thickness of the shavings I expected to get.

Which brings up a theoretical question. Plane tracks are a common issue, usually resolved by cambering the blade to some extent. My question comes as a matter of speculation. If the plane is set to take a 1.5 thou shaving with a straight blade, and I plane the face of a board 4 to 6 inches wide, then the first pass will leave tracks on the right. Shouldn't the second pass, being moved over to overlap slightly the first pass, then take that same 1/5 thou shaving and remove the tracks, only to move the tracks toward the right (assuming I'm planing right to left) until I get to the edge?
 

froglips

New User
Jim Campbell
Funny you asked your speculation. Its been on my mind for a few months now.

Finally, I realized the answer.

It'd be gosh darned near impossible to set a plane iron to be in perfect alignment with the sole of the plane. I suppose with lots of fussing and measuring gizmos and lasers (always gotta use lasers) it could be done.

So, no matter how close you get, the cutting edge will likely be skewed ever so slightly out of alignment, giving you some degree of plane tracks. The extent to which they might affect your work is more of a real world test. I suspect, as there is evidence of both straight and cambered irons out in the world, that either way works.

Where the camber helps is it creates a skew in the cutting edge which makes the severing of fibers easier on materials that lack the uniformity of say, MDF!

At least thats my theory that satisfied my own journey. The cambered iron now makes sense as you are taking a radius cut that no longer requires perfect alignment.

Sounds good don't it!

(I'm the master of the plausible explanation)

Jim

daver828 said:
Which brings up a theoretical question. Plane tracks are a common issue, usually resolved by cambering the blade to some extent. My question comes as a matter of speculation. If the plane is set to take a 1.5 thou shaving with a straight blade, and I plane the face of a board 4 to 6 inches wide, then the first pass will leave tracks on the right. Shouldn't the second pass, being moved over to overlap slightly the first pass, then take that same 1/5 thou shaving and remove the tracks, only to move the tracks toward the right (assuming I'm planing right to left) until I get to the edge?
 

Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
Altho cambering the iron seems to be the rage these days, for jointing edges, it is best to use a flat honed iron. Trying to get 2 edges to match when both are concave is near impossible, and will almost never result in a rub-glue edge. The techniques stated before are all valid (like holding the plane with your fingers dragging the face surface). However, a longer plane is not all that is needed sometimes. I clamp the board with the edge up, balancing the adjoining board on top and sight through looking for light. I use a long jointer plane to get the two edges close. However, even if the cut is set fine, (i.e. 1 to 2 thousandths), you will get more aggressive removal if the grain changes, and less around a hard area like a knot. For these areas, a shorter plane like a #5 or #4, or even a block plane, can knock off that little bit that lets the light shine through.

From your description of your process and the results, I think you are having the same problem that plagued me for a while, and still crops up every time I go to edge joint a panel when its been a while. I go too far. Try hitting the high spots just with just a couple strokes and recheck. Its amazing the amount of light that can come through a mere 2 thousandths gap. I mark them with a chalk mark so I know where to hit.

Putting the display face together as you edge plane both boards works well on a shooting board, but you still need to be close to square, or the boards will slide off each other if you try to clamp them. Works okay with thin panels (5/16ths or less) but thicker items like a table top. etc are much harder to do on a shooting board. I tried to make a long (48") shooting board for some thin cedar panels I was making for my current project. Ended up with the same problem you stated. Was successful just doing it on edge in a vise.

As with any hand tool skill, it does get easier with practice. However, there are days when I just can't make it work and find another task to do. The next day, it goes fine in half the time.

JMTCW

Go
 

eyekode

New User
Salem
I am not sure about the camber introducing much skew. It is after all typically a very slight camber in something like a smoothing plane right? My understanding of a use of a camber is to feather the shaving at the edges to make the ridges much less noticeable.

That reminds me... I need to go make some shavings.
 

Magnoliaelec

New User
Eric T
There is a guy on youtube MDLUTHIER that has a couple of videos. One is an excellent tutorial on building a ramped shooting board. He uses his for joining thin stock specifically for jointing guitar tops. My first guitar top started out as two 11"wide boards and by the time I developed a tecnique my two plates together were only 12" wide . So that being said a straight, bookmatched, glueable, pair took quite a few strokes. I t was also over the course of several evenings before sucess, man I wanted to strangle myself before I got it right,
 

mshel

New User
Michael Shelley
You might be better served to just knock the corners off the plane iron rather than try and attain a full fledge camber. Especially if you are using this blade for edge joining. It is my opinion that some level of plane tracks is inevitable and cambering a blade will not eliminate tracks. You will go from grooves to slight dips. Course it's your plane, you can do whatever you want.:gar-Bi:gar-Bi

MIke
 

Cato

New User
Bob
This is a good thread for me to follow. Very informative for me as I am just starting to use my hand planes a little and lack a lot of confidence and skill at this point.

I do love my power tools, but it seems that sometimes to get something just the way you want it, requires hand work. So I have to learn that.
 

eyekode

New User
Salem
I agree completely about edge jointing. I think it is best to have a dead straight iron for this. 99% of the time the blade is wider than the stock and you just want a dead flat surface.
 
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