View Full Version : groove / gouge in sole of plane ...
11-02-2004, 10:14 AM
On my recently aquired #3 SW (Type 12), I got to cleaning it up last night with my new ROS technique (see my other post about it in this forum)...
this one was surface rusted (light rusting all the way around) and needed a good cleaning .. i want to turn it into a good user ..
sides cleaned up very nicely, so did the sole, except for a groove from the back of the plane sole all the way to the mouth .. almost looks like the guy planed over a nail and didn't know it ..
now i'm not a siffler on a completely flat plane sole, I don't think this would hinder the performance of this plane .. any opinions?
11-02-2004, 12:53 PM
Everything I've read seems to say that what goes on behind the cutter doesn't matter as long as it's mostly flat. One of mine has some deep nail gouges and they don't make any detectable difference.
Sounds like you got yourself a semi-corugated sole, eh?
11-02-2004, 12:55 PM
When you consider that the major players in the iron plane game all marketed corrugated soles of one design or another during the hey day of the market, I don't believe that a gouge in the sole is gonna be real detrimental so long as there is no burr etc protruding from its edges. The important part of the mouth is that little bit in front of the iron, so . . .
I've never understood the fixation some folks have this absolute mirror smoothness of the entire sole of a plane. It does look real nice when you flip it over to look at it, I guess, but since mine all hang on hooks by the totes, I don't see the bottoms except when I'm adjusting the iron and then I'm mostly seeing a straight line along the sole and the little tiny bit of iron coming out of the mouth.
Some might say it slides easier along the workpiece, but if you have only the necessary portions of the sole touching the wood, the very toe end, heel end and mouth, simple physics says that you will have less friction than that obtained by the entire sole, regardless of how smooth the sole is.
11-02-2004, 01:57 PM
As has been already said..The base and sides of the plane if flat and at right angles are all you need...the rest is cosmetic..
Not to burst your bubble, Sean, but going at it with your ROS sander is going to give you a nice looking plane which may or may not work as well as it should....depends on the original finish.
The whole essence of tuning a plane relies on the portion just in front of the mouth being in direct contact with the wood so that the fibres are supported just prior to the blade lifting them up and through the throat.
If it's all shiny from a going over with an ROS then you won't know for sure if that is the case.
My strong advice now that it's all polished up and looking good is to mark the sole all over with a "sharpie" or similar and then with the blade in place but retracted above the sole firmly rub it over some 120-150 grit abrasive paper that is stuck dead flat on a true surface like your jointer bed. Apply firm pressure downwards and inspect after a couple of passes. If it's really bad a good stright edge rested toe to heel will show you visually if there is a bow in the sole by sighting the edge against the sole.
Gouges from nails and other stuff will not mar the performance if the sole is flat but no amount of polishing will get you the results that can be expected if there is a "hollow" area in front of the mouth.
There is no substitute for the exactness needed to tune old(or new) planes...leave the 30 minute slot to Norm and his mates to finish a project in one episode..real life is a lot different.
11-02-2004, 02:12 PM
Limey .. totally agreed as far as far as sole flatness from the front of the plane sole to the mouth ... that's why when I noted that I still lapped after I ran over it with a ros ... when you get to lapping, I inspect after every few passes and see my progress by looking at the color variations and marking variations .. I won't quit until I know that each grit i use during lapping has worked completely over the sole .... i do this just as i do face jointing a board on my jointer .. i will take a pencil or sharpie like you said, run it over the entire piece, and when there are no more marks left, then i know it's flat ... the same process as what you said as far as getting the front sole flat ..
the ROS idea was simply to really do quicker work of removing the initial rust, high spots, or burrs if any ...
11-02-2004, 03:27 PM
Not to flog a horse to death but...
As an novice knuckle-dragger I have experimented a little with sole roughness. the sole of my first plane reclamation project was wet lapped to 600 grit. The most recent was tried at 100 and then 150 grit. There was no discernable difference (after waxing) in performance or drag on hard maple or 1/4 sawn white oak. We don't have the humidity that easterners and flatlanders have to deal with so a highly polished surface seems to have no practical value here.
I mention this because of the big difference in process time. I'll have to try the ROS on some of the particularly nasty blades and to clean up the cheeks of a jointer plane that is coming soon.