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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Thursday, October 11, 2012

I stand corrected

It would seem that I truly misunderstood the functioning of the Norris adjuster. If you read my earlier post on the Norris adjuster, please scroll down and read the comments. Mr Davis provided a very good correction to how I thought the adjuster worked. He is quite right in his explanation. If you never try to do something, or never say it out loud, you may never learn! Thanks.


  1. Mark:

    You've had a lot of company over the years in thinking that the LH/RH thing was essential to a fine adjustment, and Kingshott's book is the only place I can remember the misconception being addressed. I honestly have no idea why Mr. Norris thought he should do this, since his patent wording suggests that he understood the situation. Differential threads (both RH) are used in precision traverses sometimes; I have one (commercially made and salvaged out of a physics lab)that gives 10 microns per turn that way! Good luck on finishing your plane.


  2. Didn't the St James Norris style kit have that adjuster?

  3. Bruce-
    Yes, you can get an adjuster with the kit. I just chose not to. When it came time to get one, I decided to make one. Right now I'm waiting on a new die. My 1/4-28 dies are shot. Since I'm a scatter brain, I kept forgetting to put in my order...and here I wait!

    1. Of course. Sorry ... I had a senior moment.

      I've been looking for a direct email address to you, but will ask here. SJB is pretty glib about their tools and sizes, etc. I have avoided ordering kits, and here you are, with what I have been coveting--either, or both.

      I have some files and a band saw. Can I build the miter and smoother kits, as you got them; without the mill, that I guess you have?

      How big is the miter plane? I tried to judge from your photos.

      Thanks, Mark.

  4. Bruce-
    Have you tried calling SJB on the phone? He was very informative and we had a couple very good conversations when I bought my kits. My smoother was a completely raw casting. Taking that on with only hand tools may not be very fun. IIRC, he offers partially and completely machined kits as well. The miter plane I got had some machining already done, like the bed and mouth.
    Both planes have 2" irons. The overall length of the miter plane is 11". I really need to get these things done. But life over the last year has been pretty frantic and I've only been able to work in spurts. Hopefully as I wrap up some projects at work, I'll have a little more energy to dedicate to my hobbies.

    1. Thanks, Mark. Understood; I have Bob's phone #. I have to juggle finances, myself.

      These look like fun projects. Naturally, you want to keep them that way, too.

  5. Hi mark, your not alone! One of my first infills was based on Derek Cohens where he converts the body of a Stanley plane into an infill. I added a Norris adjuster I made from scratch and I too did the LH RH thread thing. The plane worked great but I never really thought the adjuster was capable if fine adjustment. Never knew why and it was the last adjuster I made. I just ran to the shop after reading your post, pulled the plane apart and now it all makes sense. Not sure if I will adventure there again but it's good to know why it didn't work great. I think I prefer to adjust with a hammer tap.


    1. I really got to like the Norris adjusters when I got my Veritas jointer. The interesting thing about that plane is that they used a LH/RH adjustment. It is, in fact, very coarse. The adjuster that I'm making now is for a Norris replica. For smaller planes, the adjuster may not be practical for a couple reasons. First, if I'm making my own iron, then there is no chip breaker. I would have to drill holes in the iron to pick up the adjuster. Secondly, the smaller planes are probably easier to adjust with a hammer anyway. In my head I think I've made up my mind that anything larger than a 6" smoother will probably have an adjuster. Of course, I need to actually finish some of these projects at some point!!