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Dealing with a fore plane


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Hi all,

I've posted this on MIMF - but hopefully I can get some answers here as well.

I have an 18" #6 fore plane that I bought off Ebay - it was only $14, so it's not a Lie Nielson or anything. Here is the link to the exact same item that I purchased: Very, very, very crappy fore plane

After sharpening the blade (it's scary sharp), I reinstalled it, leaving the chip breaker 1/16th of an inch away from the cutting edge and setting the blade to take off the minimum thickness shaving. I began the process of joining my back plates. The first swipe and the minute it hit the wood, I hear a "snap". I look at the blade and it slid up and back, so that it is now behind the chip breaker.

I disassembled and retightened the chipbreaker onto the blade - the screw won't turn any more but I can still move the chip breaker around on the blade. Since I can't tighten the screw anymore, I put it in the plane, and hope that the cap lever will hold everything down tight. When I put the cap lever back on, I noticed that it is not actually sitting on the chip breaker, it's actually sitting on the screw that's holding the chip breaker onto the blade. This screw looks to be way too long - in comparison to the pictures I've seen of joining and jack planes. Another thing I've noticed is that the blade is very thin - about as thick as a thick cabinet scraper.

My question is... is my blade too thin? Should I order a Hock blade to replace the crappy, thin one? or is the chipbreaker screw too long? Can I just grind a little of the tip off and once I get the cap lever seated right, it'll work?

I got so fed up with the fore plane that I attempted to join the plates with my trusty block plane - which works perfectly, just not in joining processes. I really need this fore plane to work? Any suggestions?


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Welcome to the intoxication world of planes. I'm not kidding, alot of tool collectors love this stuff. However, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it sounds like you bought one of those poorley made clunkers from india or china.

I would chalk it up to experience and buy a used stanley #6 fore plane on ebay from a good rated seller. The ones with stanley in orange are very common and pretty decent. Use a search engine and look up plane tuning. This well help you alot in getting it working well. An upgrade blade isn't really needed if your just using it on small wood like a violin but you can try them. Hock is really good. I love mine. Hope this helps.

Fred who tried to join his first plates with a smoother.

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"If you really want to improve your foreplay, you might try this little item:"


Ahh Taenias!, were I to purchase that it would just get in the way and slow me down.

Objects like that are meant to bolster the "not quite skilled" amongst us, I fear...

I already own the right 'tool' for that job! (tongue in cheek)

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