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.

Please visit my new blog:

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Back irons, pt 2

Ok, so I said in part 1 that I would prep the back iron for my Stanley No. 5. Here goes...

Here I have cleaned up the leading edge of the back iron. I put it in a honing guide and ran it over some 600 grit sand paper. If you look close at the leading edge of the cutting iron, you'll notice that some knob decided to drop it right before taking the picture. (shhhh...I'm the knob) 

From the side, trying to get the leading edge to the right shape/angle. Remember that the part that touches the blade has to have a back angle so that when it is tightened there will not be a gap.

Have a little clean up to do here on that face.

After clean up. On the left side, you'll notice that there is a spot that I didn't do so great on. For the purpose of scientific inquiry, I decided to install it and see what happens.
It looks like it's fitting ok. After taking the picture, I moved the back iron down closer to the cutting edge (about .015").
At that setting, I got nowhere. The plane immediately ceased operation. The close setting, in addition to having a slight imperfection in my prep caused the chip to go under the back iron. Not good.

But wait...this is a jack plane. It's meant for heavy cuts. I moved the back iron up a little and set up for a jack plane sized cut. No problems at all.
To conclude Part 2, here's my opinion. On a jack plane, spending a bunch of time prepping a back iron and setting it close to the cutting edge is not necessary. This plane is supposed to remove stock before moving on to a jointer and smoother. I'm going to leave the back iron the way it is, the plane is functioning exactly as intended.
I know a lot of folks are obsessed with getting those tissue-like shavings from their planes. That is not the intention of the No. 5. Sure, there's some satisfaction when you get a .001" thick shaving. But if you're setting up a jack plane for .001", you're wasting your time. Set that thing up for a thick cut, then follow up with your jointer or smoother.
So....that sounds like a good time to say wait until part three! I'm going to go through this again with a No. 3 smoother. My jointer is a single iron plane, so this back iron business doesn't apply.

No comments:

Post a Comment