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Thread: Bench plane blade sharpening/ Back bevels

  1. #1
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    Bench plane blade sharpening/ Back bevels

    I have a sargent 409 VBM (stanley #4 size) that I got a veritas blade and breaker for, it works great for smoothing most stuff but when I get into stuff where the grain changes I get tear out. This happens with the new blade as well as the old blade. How do you work woods like that. I know there are higher angle planes like the european infill smoothers and lie nielson has higher angle frogs for use with difficult woods. I think I have seen somewhere that you can put a 5 or 10 degree back bevel on the blade to change the effective angle, has anyone tried this and does it work?

  2. #2
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    I can't comment on the back bevel as I have not done it myself. I have two smoothers, one with a normal angle frog and the other with a 50 degree frog. I believe that I do notice a difference with the higher angle frog, but I also believe that making sure my blade is truly sharp and that I take a fine cut is just as important. I get less tear-out now because I get better at sharpening. If you decide to go the back bevel route, I would be interested in hearing how it worked out for you.
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
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  3. #3
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    Bill is a lot better at this than I so I am really just agreeing here . The higher angle helps with tough grain issues. I use a bevel up smoother and have multiple irons, 25*, 38* and 50*, The 25* stays mostly in my low angle jack for end grain shooting and the smoother usually carries the 38* iron. I wouldn't want to push a 50* iron around all day but when I have reversing grain situations, its my cure to the problems that can arise.
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  4. #4
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    Be sure to wax the bottom of the plane also to help it smoothly slide across the wood and help stop plane chatter

  5. #5
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    Pretty much what the others have said...

    Start with a 5° back bevel and take a very light cut.

    Spritzing a little water on the wood's surface will help minimize tearout.

    Making skew cuts (diagonal across the grain) sometimes helps, too.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  6. #6
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    Do you guys camber the blade or round the corners to keep from leaving plane tracks? And how much?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Black View Post
    Do you guys camber the blade or round the corners to keep from leaving plane tracks? And how much?
    I just round off about 1/32" on each corner.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Niemi View Post
    Be sure to wax the bottom of the plane also to help it smoothly slide across the wood and help stop plane chatter
    A chunk of paraffin wax used in canning sits on my bench. For someone who does not normally believe in absolutes, one of tham I am leaning toward is; a sharp blade and a waxed sole solves most problems.
    Last edited by Bill Satko; 01-22-2012 at 02:15 AM.
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  9. #9
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    Is there any problems with finish sticking if I go straight to finishing after planing with a waxed sole

  10. #10
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    Dave, I put a 10 degree back bevel on a Stanley iron in a Stanley #4, which I keep set up just for difficult grain. This effectively gives me a 55 degree frog. Bear in mind that the higher the angle, the harder the plane becomes to push. Skewing makes for an easier push, but also lowers the effective angle, and may increase tear out a bit. As Bill said, the sharper the better. As for the wax, I always wax my plane soles, and have never seen a problem with finishing.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

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