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Thread: Tuned up my Stanley "Sweet Heart", however...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
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    Tuned up my Stanley "Sweet Heart", however...

    Hi All,

    I got out the books and the papers and the articles and I tuned up my ancient Stanley Sweet Heart jack/bench plane. It is in good condition (that is not "good" as a technical description, but better). The steel is fine, the wood is fine, there is no rust what-so-ever, the blade is true, all of the Japaning (I think that is the right name for the metal finish) is all intact, etc.

    I have the frog flush with the sole.
    I have the cap iron 1/16" from the cutting edge.
    I have the bevel down.
    The lever cap seats well.
    Everything is square with the sides of the plane.
    You could shave with the blade (thanks to WorkSharp 3000...not my skills).

    The problem is that the rubber does not meet the road...The blade does not reach the wood by a couple thousandths.

    If I move the frog it won't line up with the throat to support the iron.
    If I move the blade down it will extend beyond the cap iron the recommended 1/16".
    I have the depth adjustment wheel turned to the maximum depth...there isn't any more to adjust.

    I hate to sound so dumb...however, it appears that is the way it is.

    The throat gap is a line thickness less than 1/8". That seems like the Grand Canyon to me.

    I don't know if it helps but: Sole length = 13 5/8", Sole width 2 1/2".

    I believe that the correct expression here is, "HELP."

    Enjoy,

    Jim
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    405
    Jim,

    Any way we can get you to post a couple of pictures. Might help someone on the group to see something that could help.
    Lee Laird
    Austin TX

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
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    1,487
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim C Bradley View Post
    Hi All,

    ...The blade does not reach the wood by a couple thousandths.

    If I move the blade down it will extend beyond the cap iron the recommended 1/16".
    Jim, if you're only shy by a couple thou., I'd go ahead and adjust the cap iron back a little. I have no idea how far my irons extend past the cap. I just got them set where they work. If you can get some good pics that may help.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
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    583
    Makes me wonder what someone may have done with this plane in the past. The thing's i'd look for:
    1 - I wonder if the chip breaker has been swapped out with one from another plane with different geometry.
    2 - i wonder if the yoke (lever piece that slips over the adjustment knob at one end, is pinned to the frog in the middle, and has a finger that engages the chip breaker at the other end) is bent. If someone adjusted the lever cap too tight and tried to adjust the cutter depth, it's likely the yoke may have bent or broken off. This was such a common problem with the hinged lever cap Millers Falls planes that they replaced the cast iron yokes with steel ones.
    3 - If the yoke was broken, perhaps someone installed the new one backwards during reassembly
    4 - maybe the chip breaker was shortened at some point. Grinding off the leading end would be easy enough to do and would throw off the geometry for proper adjustment.

    A photo or two of the yoke installation and the chip breaker might help us isolate the problem.

    Paul Hubbman

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
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    Hi,

    Photos attached. I should have cleaned the plane first. The brown stuff is not rust. I was planing Masonite. I did it with the iron sticking down further than what the books say.

    If you need any more info or photos don't even think of hesitating to ask.

    Thanks a million.

    Enjoy,

    Jim

    I don't see the photos. Will try again.
    Last edited by Jim C Bradley; 04-26-2008 at 04:21 AM. Reason: Can't see photos.
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
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    Trying for photos again.
    Jim
    Last edited by Jim C Bradley; 08-20-2010 at 06:02 AM.
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    The Heart of Dixie
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    I would say just run that blade down further and try it and see if works. If so, find a new chip breaker. I don't think that being set exactly right it that critical, especially for someone just starting out. I just eyeball mine.
    Last edited by Jeff Horton; 04-26-2008 at 01:09 PM.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Cedar Park, TX
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    320
    First off, it looks to me like the frog is set back too far. Given that the blade bevel is down, the ramp on the back of the mouth is not really gonna support much anyway. It is also more important to close up the mouth in front of the cutting iron than it is to have the little added support you'll get from the back of the mouth.

    Looks like there is a lot of blade protruding on top, but can't tell much about the distance from the end of the slot in the blade to the cutting end of the blade. Could the blade be borderline of wearing out?

    It also looks like there might be a gap under the frog in the two pics showing the frog without the cutter.

    Try exposing more blade at the end of the chip breaker.
    Jerry

    http://www.sawdustersplace.com

    "If politics wasn't built on careful deception it wouldn't need its own word and techniques. It would just be called honesty, education, and leadership."
    Bob "Phydeaux" Stewart one day on Woodnet

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Hi to all of you who responded to my bench plane dilemma,

    When I originally set up the plane by guess and by gosh (what looked logical to me with no woodworking experience to speak of), it worked. Then I started reading articles, books, etc. on planes and set it up “by the book.”

    The book showed that the iron should come down the frog and into the throat. It showed that the frog and the throat should be in alignment, “to prevent chatter.” That’s when the blade would no longer reach the wood.

    Paul Hubbman had me check to see that the frog seated well on the sole casting. The ground areas where the frog mates with the sole look original and are in excellent shape. The frog sets about 1/8” above the sole at the front however. He also had me look at the chip breaker to be sure it was seated across the iron. It has been ground and fits perfectly.

    Tod Evans said that the blade position on the frog is determined by the placement of the chip breaker and that this alone is what will give me cutting depth control. If I extend the cutting iron out further than the 1/16” I can plane wood. That’s what I did when I wrote the “Yipee” thread. I was doing OK before I read too much. I should have corresponded with Jeff Horton sooner.

    The plane looks like it had excellent care. There are no dinks, rust or bent pieces as near as I can tell. I can’t be sure but I think all parts are original.

    Jerry Palmer said that the frog looked too far back. I did that so that the frog would line up with the throat, like the book said. I think that the blade is long because the plane was not used much. There is a 1/8” gap above the sole at the front of the frog. The ground surfaces of the frog sit beautifully on the ground surfaces of the sole.

    Anyway it all adds up to: I will extend the blade a bit further. I will clean the plane. I will give it another “Go.”

    So far I have done nothing except dust the plane. What can I clean it with that won’t ruin the original finish? I don’t want to mess up the Japaning (I hope that is the correct word.). The steel has a nice soft patina to it that really looks nice, however I would mess that up if it would help. The finish on the front knob is a little irregular...something like being stored in a hot garage too many years. Should I leave it original or refinish?

    I am enclosing some more photos, just in case.

    I am also sure that you are all tired of this subject by now so I won’t bug you again unless I get totally desperate.

    Enjoy,

    Jim
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

  10. #10
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    five characters
    Last edited by Jim C Bradley; 08-20-2010 at 06:01 AM.
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

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