For the manner in which men live is so different from the way in which they ought to live, that he who leaves the common course for that which he ought to follow will find that it leads him to ruin rather than safety.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Scrub plane

Not everyone is in to scrub planes. I am. I've read differing opinions on their use and origin. For instance, some say that they are a rather late comer to the plane game and are a bit of a cheat. Others say they are of German descent and were meant for edge preparation. I don't have the research resources to confirm or deny any opinions. All I know is that they are infinitely useful. I especially like them for preparation of very rough those found on stock coming straight off the mill saw.
Back about a year ago when this thing was new. It's a bit of a fashion statement. The wood selection was on annoy those who are more sensible. Let's just say that I'm not quite into these stark contrasts much anymore.

Rosewood sole, gaping mouth, and the scratches from the nail I found when this thing was two weeks old. I really like rosewood for plane soles. However, I found earlier this year that I have become extremely allergic to some types of rosewood and can't work with it anymore.

The heavily cambered iron. Nice and thick too. In a year of use, I've sharpened it twice. Once when new, then after the nail incident. Talk about edge retention! Then again, it can dull a bit and still do it's job. We're not looking for a perfect finish from this guy.
Super rough mill surface.
It makes big gnarly chips, and works the surface down fast.
After a brisk couple of minutes the edge is ready to allow the jack plane to do it's job...
Using my Hock jack plane is usually the second step in edge preparation. Then my No. 5, then a jointer.
Using the scrub plane greatly reduces the time and effort necessary to take down a rough edge. You could start with a jack or fore plane, and increase the cut. There's also the option of ripping the edge off with a hand saw. For me, the scrub gets me there a bit faster, and it takes less effort to push than does a heavily set jack plane. The scrub is also good if you have a face surface that requires heavy removal. I'll visit that topic another day.

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