In my last post, I mentioned using a hand plane across the grain, so I could remove more wood, faster and more easily. In fact, if I had my plane set to the same depth of cut as I do when working across the grain, I’d likely just stick the iron into the wood and the plane would go no further.
The first time I used a hand plane to work across the grain, I was a bit surprised by the type of shavings it produced, and at the relative easy I could work. I thought it might prove useful/interesting to show some shavings I took this evening, from the Soft Maple board, and discuss it a bit.
The photo above is something like you might expect to see, if the iron in your plane has some camber. Specifically, notice the edges of the shaving are very slightly tapering, so you might see them getting thinner. If I’d been using my Lie-Nielsen #8 Jointer Plane, and had my heavier camber iron in (I have one with just a little camber, and one that is more significant), the thinning edges would be more obvious. If I had no camber on an iron, and used it across the grain, it may not release completely from the board on one side or the other.
I held my middle finger and thumb against the cross grain shaving above, and just lightly separated them, which was enough to cause it to break into two pieces. There is relatively low strength in this direction, and why you can plane a thicker shaving, with less effort than expected. Also notice how the shaving almost just separated, rather than really broke or tore.
Last is the shaving from my plane going with the grain of the wood (on the right in the photo above), which may look like what you are used to seeing when you think of a plane shaving. This shaving, even though it is fairly light and not very thick, is still much stronger if you were to try pulling it apart from each end. You can hopefully see the difference in the edges, compared to the cross grain shaving (left in photo above), as well as the overall structure of the two types of shaving.
I hope that might fill in a blank or two, or answer some unasked questions.
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.
During the recent build of the saw sharpening vise, I’d already dimensioned the front leg to the final size, and wanted to score the rear leg to this width, so they would match exactly.
I grabbed all three of my marking knives, and with the front leg 10/4 Pecan, none of the blades in the marking knives were long enough to reach the rear leg when the flat back was up against the side of the upper board. The photo below is representative of the group’s inability to reach the intended target.
I thought about picking up a pencil, so I would end up marking a line, rather than scoring the rear leg. Then it hit me. I had a chisel blade for my Stanley #45, that I’d recently sharpened, and this could be a good replacement.
As shown in the photo below, I held the chisel blade so the back (away from the beveled side) was up flush to the side of the front leg, and with the top of the blade leaning towards me, slid the blade down the length of the leg (up to where the front leg stops, where I used a metal ruler for the remaining distance). I made two passes, just to make sure the depth of the score line was adequately deep.
This is just an example of re-purposing a tool in the shop, and after I used the blade from my Stanley #45, I realized I could have used a chisel, a plane blade, or a number of other similarly shaped sharp tools. I guess what I’m trying to get at, is to keep your mind and eyes open, if your normal tool won’t handle a certain situation, as you very likely may have a stand-in already in your midst.
I hope this helps others find a solution that allows them to keep moving on their project(s), rather than coming to a stand still, or even go out and spend more money. I’d love to hear solutions others have devised, where alternate methods or tools were used, to make it happen. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.
I received a really cool tool from my wife and kids a few years ago. It was an old wooden molding plane. While this in and of itself would have made it cool, the toe end of the plane has a stamp (not sure if it is the maker, or a previous owner) of Laird, […]
I got a call from my daughter and son-in-law a few months ago, as they were at a cool little store that happened to have some old/used hand tools, and they wanted to see if any of the tools looked like something I “needed” for my toolkit. My daughter had just sent me a number […]
A couple of nights ago I went out to my shop to update the “clamping” jaw of my dovetail vise. I previously had a 2″ x 2″ piece of Maple running the length of the vise (centered in the vertical plane), as the clamping jaw, and to hold well seemed to require too much force, […]