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Jointing With A Hand Plane


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Hi

I've got my plane good and sharp but am not 100% satisfied with the results I'm getting when I try to joint my body and neck blanks.

I've tried searching for a tutorial but so far have only come across one for thicknessing .

Anyone got any good tips or can point me in the right direction with a link please ?

Thanks a lot

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Hi

I've got my plane good and sharp but am not 100% satisfied with the results I'm getting when I try to joint my body and neck blanks.

I've tried searching for a tutorial but so far have only come across one for thicknessing .

Anyone got any good tips or can point me in the right direction with a link please ?

Thanks a lot

Yeah - I feel for ya brother!

I have a lot of trouble getting the planed surface at a 90 deg angle. I would love to see a tutorial on this too. In the meantime, I use my Delta electric jointer. What a b***h to set up though.

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If you have a local library nearby that carries it, there was a nice article in Fine Woodworking within the last few months (I think maybe 2 months ago?) about using handplanes that covered a variety of techniques well. (If they don't have Fine Woodworking, look through the back issues of any woodworking magazine they might carry - I know I've seen a few decent handplane articles in the last couple of years.

"The Handplane Book" by Garrett Hack (Taunton Press) is also a nice reference; but costs a bit. It's a cool book. There are a lot of decent general woodworking books that cover handplane use, again, check your library.

If you're trying to joint long sides (like for gluing up body blanks and neck laminates) I can say that while a sharp iron is important, having the plane body itself trued up is probably as, if not more more important. Have you lapped the sole of your plane? Having the sole of my plane perfectly flat probably made the biggest difference in performance. Making sure all the flat surfaces where parts mate are truely flat is also very important. I'll have to see if I can't dig up links somewhere, but there's plenty of info online about tuning your planes.

Modern planes, unless you're paying the good money for the nice Lie Neilsen type stuff just aren't really what I'd consider ready to use out of the box.

If the body of your plane has square sholders, another thing that will help is a shooting board kind of setup - planing with the side of the plane against a flat surface to help ensure a 90 angle, or at least a consistent angle.

Also what kind of plane are you using? It's going to be difficult to get a true edge over a long distance with something like a 5 inch block plane.

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Thanks for thr Reply

I'm using a no5 jack plane . Found some info on setting it up ( an article from Fine Woodworking ) and I think its cutting OK.

The shooting board idea seems good the parts I'm not happy with are generaly where a slight rounding over has occured

I can see how it would work for the neck blank, which is norrower than the plane - how do you use it for the body blank, which is wider than the plane ?

Also do you lay the plane on its side on the board ,or clamp the board against the wood and use the plane normaly ?

Thanks

Edited by Richard
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I joint bodies with a jack (no.5) plane, and clamp the wood in the vice so I'm planing as normal - no shooting board.

I found a good tip for squaring the planed surface. Instead of adjusting the plane iron or tipping the plane to correct the angle, just move the plane sideways, so that it overhangs the high side of the surface - the lack of support tends to automatically correct the angle, and you're less likely to go too far the otherway.

If you're planing something wider than the plane iron, you need a very fine cut, and I like to skew the plane slightly. Remember that at first you'll not be taking much away, as the iron will only cut the high spots. It's very tempting to adjust the plane to a deeper cut, which feels like it's doing more, but is likely to cause tearout. Keep the cut fine, and each pass of the plane will remove more material. When the surface is flat, you'll take a nice curly shaving across the whole face of the wood.

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I joint bodies with a jack (no.5) plane, and clamp the wood in the vice so I'm planing as normal - no shooting board.

I found a good tip for squaring the planed surface. Instead of adjusting the plane iron or tipping the plane to correct the angle, just move the plane sideways, so that it overhangs the high side of the surface - the lack of support tends to automatically correct the angle, and you're less likely to go too far the otherway.

If you're planing something wider than the plane iron, you need a very fine cut, and I like to skew the plane slightly. Remember that at first you'll not be taking much away, as the iron will only cut the high spots. It's very tempting to adjust the plane to a deeper cut, which feels like it's doing more, but is likely to cause tearout. Keep the cut fine, and each pass of the plane will remove more material. When the surface is flat, you'll take a nice curly shaving across the whole face of the wood.

Setch, do you have to do any smooth planing before glueing up your boards? I want to give this a shot.

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I'm not sure I understand the question - sorry. I plane the surfaces to be joined until they fit together 'light tight'. Look at the joint with a bright light behind it - if any light is visible, the joint is open and more work is needed. Once they're spot on, I glue up; the freshly planed surface is the ideal surface for glueing.

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I'm not sure I understand the question - sorry. I plane the surfaces to be joined until they fit together 'light tight'. Look at the joint with a bright light behind it - if any light is visible, the joint is open and more work is needed. Once they're spot on, I glue up; the freshly planed surface is the ideal surface for glueing.

Thanks! You answered my question perfectly!

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First I use a jointer plane, I think the name says it all. But what ever you use these comments apply.

First pieces don't have to fit together with microscopic precision. Some people believe a slight concave fit makes the glue up and fit stronger, but you need good clamps to bring the pieces together. The rational is the ends are less likely to open up on you over time. We are not talking about a large gap but one noticeable under a back lit viewing. I do not use this technique.

That said clamping the two together together in a vice may help, then plane both at the same time. unfortunately with a solid body the width exceeds the maximum width of any plane I know of so the results of this idea is questionable. But if your inexperience creates a slight angle reversing the two boards will create a flat clamp up. On an acoustic top or bottom I never plane one board at a time but always together with the boards reversed. Same goes for a solid body top glue up.

Making your plane the best it can be is the key. First the blade must be very sharp. You should see even shavings coming off your work across the whole blade and down the full length of the piece. One even shaving across the entire face should indicate you have reached your goal of a flat surface and should stop. If the shaving are unequal or have gaps during the final leveling, you do not have your plane tuned up properly or your technique needs adjusting. Proper stance and motion are also key to using a hand plane. The Plane brand you have may ultimately determine the amount of work you will need to do to tune the Plane, this includes more than just a sharp blade. If you spent $400 on the plane expect it to be pretty close and most likely ready to go. If you spent $80 or it was second hand purchase you have work to do. Their are many articles, books, and web posts covering the tuning and using hand planes.

All of my planes are Stanley and Record branded purchased new and used and all needed tuning. The bigger the plane the more work was involved. I never lend out hand tools only because it is hard work tuning them up.

Edited by Woodenspoke
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  • 7 months later...

For body blanks, I clamp the two pieces together (like an opened bookmatch), mark up the face to show which is/isn't being removed and run the glueing side across the jointer. I then pop the still-clamped pieces into the bench vice and use either a no.5 or no.7 plane (run at 20° or so instead of straight) to firstly check/consolidate the centre and then to feather out the jointing to the edges, returning across the centre every time. Basically, all of the above. I try and "read" the surface with the plane by taking as little as possible (scrapings) at first and then letting the plane knock off the tops and find it's own level.

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Sorry to bump this thread. Just thought this link was worth adding to the thread in case someone searches it out again.

Todd

http://www.whitemountdesign.com/ShootingBoard.htm

That is an AWSOME tutorial!

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Sorry to bump this thread. Just thought this link was worth adding to the thread in case someone searches it out again.

Todd

http://www.whitemountdesign.com/ShootingBoard.htm

Awesome tutorial but not for edge to edge glue joints. A shooting board is for end grain work.

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Hi Woodenspoke,

If you don't have a fence for your hand plane, a shooting board does make it easier to keep the hand plane at 90 degrees to the edge. Yeah, you can just put the board you're jointing on another board and rest the side of your plane on the bottom board for 90 degree angles, but for me, keeping the edge perfectly straight still seems easier with a shooting board type setup if the board is thin. I supposed if I had a number 7 or 8 plane I wouldn't worry, but I just have a no. 5 and like the straight edge effect.

Regards,

Todd

http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/Com...l.aspx?id=28150

Edited by ToddW
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Hi Woodenspoke,

If you don't have a fence for your hand plane, a shooting board does make it easier to keep the hand plane at 90 degrees to the edge. Yeah, you can just put the board you're jointing on another board and rest the side of your plane on the bottom board for 90 degree angles, but for me, keeping the edge perfectly straight still seems easier with a shooting board type setup if the board is thin. I supposed if I had a number 7 or 8 plane I wouldn't worry, but I just have a no. 5 and like the straight edge effect.

Regards,

Todd

http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/Com...l.aspx?id=28150

I am still not convinced and I subscribe to that magazine. maybe if there was a clamp on the board the picture may be more believable? A #5 from my collection is very narrow. It would be harder to make a glue line for an electric body. Plus once you add the shooting board you have even less blade to work with.

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I can understand that. I clamp everything, even though it's a pain to do because you then can't slide it easily. I have a jointer now, but when I did this, I really didn't use the "shooting board" as much as the base board to hold the plane at 90 degrees. As to the #5 width, you're right, it's pretty narrow. Too narrow for me to use on an 8/4 board! I'm not that good with a plane.

Todd

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#7 or #8 jointing plane is all you need

a magnetic [rare earth] fence helps

have your cutter honed dead flat across the cutter edge

your #5 jack is likely to have a slight upward curve

a decent jointing plane will cost nearly as much as a power jointer

unless you can find a 2nd hand one in good nick

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