Plane adjustment for the aging eyes

Oka

Oka
Corporate Member
There are a lot of things about getting old that I do not like. The #1 on the list is loss of eye sight acuity.

So, in order to adjust those planes with not adjustment screw I ended up resorting to the paper shim method.
The average college rule/graph paper is 2.5 thousandths. The tracing paper is about 1.5 thousandths.
So the pix show what I do to adjust because my eyes just can't really see this anymore........ Just remember........ he who lives the longest, dies the slowest !

Am I correct that others do this ? also, getting lazier I have a couple of smoothing planes preset so I do not have to adjust back and forth. This is the advantage of having more than one plane of each type due to my OCD disorder with tools ... ;) :D
Adjust Plane (1).jpg


Adjust Plane (2).jpg
Adjust Plane (3).jpg
Adjust Plane (4).jpg
 

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Graywolf

Richard
Corporate Member
I’ve never really put much thought into that. Thickness of the shaving is not the point to me it’s the surface that’s left behind that matters.
 

Oka

Oka
Corporate Member
Most of the of the wood I work with is exotic and the graining is often wavy or not straight, so in order to figure what is a safe smoothing cut I had to figure what was predictable, this is how I remedied the problem.

I’ve never really put much thought into that. Thickness of the shaving is not the point to me it’s the surface that’s left behind that matters.
 

Graywolf

Richard
Corporate Member
Most of the of the wood I work with is exotic and the graining is often wavy or not straight, so in order to figure what is a safe smoothing cut I had to figure what was predictable, this is how I remedied the problem.
I forgot you live in paradise. However, knowing the thickness of the shaving I’m not sure really solves anything. I plane a lot of Curly Maple, Walnut Burl, Mahogany, and other woods with large knots and other switching grain directions and I’ve never had a need to measure what I’m removing, and I’m not certain how that remedies tear out. Could you please explain.
 

nn4jw

Jim
Senior User
Seems to me that method of setting the blade is a much about getting the blade edge exactly parallel with the plane sole and throat as anything else. I have trouble doing that by eye.
 

Oka

Oka
Corporate Member
Graywolf on my manual old school planes there is no adjustment screw and seeing the parallel of the blade is tricky, this method only provides a way to solve those 2 issues. I find when planing curly or burl style grain, I try each direction and see how it reacts, if it is starting to tear out, then what I do is slice plane at a 30-45 degree motion. Sometimes I am just stuck the wood will not work without tear out, then Ill power plane down to something close to dim and then it is sanding and scraping ... if the finish must be flawless. I run into that with Mahogany and Sapele a fair amount. TBH......... really sucks when it happens. I try to inspect the grain before choosing the wood, but evidently, not too good at choosing with Mahogany woods.
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
I like that idea of using paper as a gauge block to set the depth of a plane iron. I guess if I find a piece of regular paper results in too thick of a shaving, then go to thinner paper.
An old machinist trick for using paper as a spacer is to use cigarette rolling paper that's usually a consistent .001" thick. I suspect that most machinists have a cigarette rolling paper package somewhere in their tool box. One moves the cutter close to the work until the paper drags or tears. You know you're within .001 of the surface.
 

jlimey

Jeff
Senior User
I've never had great luck sighting down the sole, probably because the lighting in my shop is lacking. I often take a small block of wood and take shavings off each side of the blade as I hold the plane upside down. On a plane with an adjuster, a few trials and I am set to go. If I am near the finished surface, I retract the blade fully and start planing, lowering the blade on each stroke until...

On a plane with no adjuster, the paper method would probably be quicker.
 

pop-pop

Man with many vises
User
I've never had great luck sighting down the sole, probably because the lightinig. I often take a small block of wood and take shavings off each side of the blade as I hold the plane upside down. ...
Like Jeff, I also use a small piece of wood. For a while, we had some doll house shingles lying around and they were perfect for the task.
 

tvrgeek

tvrgeek
User
Well, there is the Government Procurement way. We contract phase one for analysis, phase two for development, and phase three production. In about 36 months, I know several 3-letter DoD contractors who could provide you with a digital system for probably 3/4 of a million bucks. Or you can use a piece of paper or just do a test cut on a scrap.
 

Pop Golden

Pop
Corporate Member
Hi tvrgeek, Having worked for state, county & city government you forgot the last thing. What ever you end up with is low bid.

Pop :rolleyes:
 
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tvrgeek

tvrgeek
User
Hi tvrgeek, Having worked for state, county & city government you forgot the last thing. What ever you end up with is low bid.

Pop :rolleyes:
Ah, but there is an art to avoid lowest price technical acceptable, but use best value. ( DIAWIA II certified). When using mostly small business, where you have tremendous leverage as if they do not meet the marks for performance based, the owners daughter won't get her pony. When only 10 mil or so on a unified contract, they don't care at all. One should always read The Prince before doing procurement and bet the vendors have done so. THe Art of War is not a bad primer either.
 

Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
The only time I measure is when I challenge myself to see what is the thinnest and longest shaving I can produce.

Other than that the initial adjustment is by finger feel and then tweaking until I get the desired shaving.
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
The only time I measure is when I challenge myself to see what is the thinnest and longest shaving I can produce.

Other than that the initial adjustment is by finger feel and then tweaking until I get the desired shaving.
Excellent advice.
Oka's method should be tried for those planes that don't have blade adjustments. Any experimenting with hand plane sharpness, settings, and methods will be a benefit. Get it cutting right and observe what it looks like and feels like on the specific plane involved.
 

McRabbet

Rob
Corporate Member
And then there is the modern digital way! I have one of these that I won as a raffle prize and it works very well. Plus it is not expensive at $17.95. As a test, check your shavings with one of these!!
 
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Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
I don't know who Paul is, but from step 11 onwards in his article is pretty much what I do, except I don't use a test board. With experience a few knob turns and I am good to go on the actual work piece. Measuring the iron depth with a gauge IMHO is not practical.


Setting the blade depth has a lot of variables, type of wood, iron angles for figured wood, how sharp the blade is, etc. It really comes into play making slight adjustments as one goes along planing a piece of wood.
 

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