Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Ask No Questions....

Hi Folks
As you can guess from the title, yes, I am fully aware of my blog-lackage.........
So what have I been up to?
Work has been busy. Very busy! And I guess you are pretty board of my day-to-day stuff so lets crack on to the woody stuff.
The Jack. You remember the jack plane? I was very happy with how it came out, how it looked and felt. But when using the "original" if felt so much better than the new one. Why?
No 1:
No 2:
the way it planed...........

O.k. so the weight thing is down to the timber. Both are beech but my plank of spalted is pretty lightweight. So I can live with that. And maybe use a different timber for a heavyweight version one day. Like soonish!
But in use it just felt very different from my original. And it slowly clicked what the difference was. The camber of the iron!
Now, you may be about to fall asleep at the thought of discussing various radius cambers and their differing properties. And fair due, it sounds boring.
But - and its a big but! The camber makes a huge difference to the "feel" of the plane in use. I love my original jack plane. It cost me £1 from a car boot sale. Its not particularly pretty or well made but it works well, especially after cambered the blade. It is my "go to" plane for cleaning up rough sawn boards (anyone want a scrub??) and quick stock removal (short of the bandsaw)
And it seems I lucked out on the degree of camber I put on the blade. It feels perfect! It removes large shavings, not chips. And tear-out is acceptable for such large stock removal.
So my new jack. It just wasn't right. And the only thing I could think that was different was the blade camber. And it was quite a bit tighter a radius than the original. So I spent an hour or so gently flattening out the camber and re-honing the iron. Testing the cut and appraising it.
Finally I reached a point where performance was exactly the same as my original plane! Joy. And no-one would know of my nerdy radius testing experiments. Until now...... ;)
So what is the radius that feels so "right" to me???
Now that would be nerdy, wouldn't it..... :)


Anonymous said...

OK Phil, I'm happy to be called a nerd - what's the radius?????


Paul Chapman

Marc said...

Yes Philly, call me nerd too. I relieved the corners on my fore plane which I use for exactly what you're doing with the jack, at 1,6 mm. But what's about with yours?

Two nerds wanna know.

Philly said... me a warm feeling inside to know I'm not alone ;)
The radius is 6 inches.
I noticed that tighter than this and the plane made chips but as you flatten out the radius it starts to produce a heavy shaving. You still get rapid stock removal if desired but with a much better surface finish.
Give it a try (pun intended - sorry!)
Phil :)

Alf said...

Thank goodness I didn't need to reveal my nerdiness to get the answer... ;) 6" is still pretty tight a curve though. I find 8" more than enough - yes, weakling as well as nerd!

Anonymous said...

Blimey, I've been using 5" on mine - perhaps I'm more of a scrubber than you lot:) Back to the diamond stone for a few more experiments with a few more blades, methinks.