Problems Joining the Top Plate


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As the title suggests I am having some trouble joining the two top plates. The problem is that I do not think that it is a perfect joint. I sand it and plane it in very small increments and then hold it to the light examining where the light gets through. I still do not think it is good enough. I have three pictures one of the upper, middle and lower part.

I realize the pics probably will never suffice however you can see from the pictures that it is very close and actually looks as if it would be good, however what I am mainly worried about is that the joining surface may not be totally flat.

Any tips how you guys do it?

Also what is the margin of error, as in, how big of an error would still be acceptable?

BTW it isn't glued in the pics, they are just put together with little pressure even

Thanks in advance

~TFirzli

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I realize the pics probably will never suffice however you can see from the pictures that it is very close and actually looks as if it would be good, however what I am mainly worried about is that the joining surface may not be totally flat.

Any tips how you guys do it?

Also what is the margin of error, as in, how big of an error would still be acceptable?

BTW it isn't glued in the pics, they are just put together with little pressure even

Thanks in advance

I don't think those are going to be good enough. A really good joint disappears even when put together dry. There should not be any gaps, especially none that let light through. ("sprung" joints excepted)

You can't get a good joint by sanding. One good way is to use a "shooting board". This one is shown being used for squaring ends but it works for edge joining as well.

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

You need a very well set up plane, also.

No point putting all the work into carving a fiddle if the basic joinery isn't good.

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You can't get a good joint by sanding. One good way is to use a "shooting board". This one is shown being used for squaring ends but it works for edge joining as well.

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

You need a very well set up plane, also.

Thank you, I take it these are easy to make, cause I generally like to make my own tools, when possible. I have access to a drill press and good saws.

Also, thanks for telling me before I wasted too much more time that sanding is not going to work!

Would you suggest using a single piece of wood, especially at the beginning?

Thanks so much

~TFirzli

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One big problem with combining sandpaper with planing is that most sandpaper will leave grit in the wood, and sabotage your efforts to maintain a sharp blade, which is essential.

I would also try and keep the thickness at the centre joint more similar if your taking photos of the process.Its hard to determine the tightness you`ve achieved because the different heights where you`ve gouged it appear as shadows.Making it appear that gaps could be shadows and visa-versa.

Also i assume this is the back plate,being of maple?? :)

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Set the plane with a fine cutting edge and make sure that you get a full planing action from one end of the plate to the other. Inspect the ribbon shaving once the surface is near final. If the ribbon is a mess, the plane is not set up right or your action is irregular - stop/start mini movements etc (watch the Burgess movie in Blade Sharpening thread and watch how the plane is held and moved and listen to the cutting sound - even, no juddering, no stop/start).

Constantly check the surface in the direction perpendicular to the planing motion with a straight edge to make sure it has not rounded inadvertantly.

Once you have a decent ribbon obtained from both plates, set them together and move them along each other lengthwise. Observe the bahaviour of any gaps - do this for the 'inside' and the 'outside' surface'. It will be obvious when gaps appear and disappear, but it is more difficult to determine what to correct. If in doubt take a full new clean shaving off each plate.

Also, it is critical to avoid a twist on the planed surface created by uneven pressure or 'falling off' an edge. To check for this move the plates lengthwise slowly and try to rock the joint whilst firmly gripping both edges. A twist must be removed completely or the plates will never abut correctly.

ps - I can vouch for the fact that it took me longer to get my planes tuned than it did to plane 52 plate surfaces.

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I would also try and keep the thickness at the centre joint more similar if your taking photos of the process.Its hard to determine the tightness you`ve achieved because the different heights where you`ve gouged it appear as shadows.Making it appear that gaps could be shadows and visa-versa.

Also i assume this is the back plate,being of maple?? :)

I will do that, I noticed this as well while taking the photos, I will plane that top part right there and retake the pic later.

I actually meant to say Problems Joining the Top/Back plate. Thanks for the correction!

Set the plane with a fine cutting edge and make sure that you get a full planing action from one end of the plate to the other. Inspect the ribbon shaving once the surface is near final. If the ribbon is a mess, the plane is not set up right or your action is irregular - stop/start mini movements etc (watch the Burgess movie in Blade Sharpening thread and watch how the plane is held and moved and listen to the cutting sound - even, no juddering, no stop/start).

Constantly check the surface in the direction perpendicular to the planing motion with a straight edge to make sure it has not rounded inadvertantly.

Once you have a decent ribbon obtained from both plates, set them together and move them along each other lengthwise. Observe the bahaviour of any gaps - do this for the 'inside' and the 'outside' surface'. It will be obvious when gaps appear and disappear, but it is more difficult to determine what to correct. If in doubt take a full new clean shaving off each plate.

Also, it is critical to avoid a twist on the planed surface created by uneven pressure or 'falling off' an edge. To check for this move the plates lengthwise slowly and try to rock the joint whilst firmly gripping both edges. A twist must be removed completely or the plates will never abut correctly.

ps - I can vouch for the fact that it took me longer to get my planes tuned than it did to plane 52 plate surfaces.

Any recommendations on a type of planer as in a number or size?

Are you clamping the two pieces together and planing both at the same time?

No, currently I am working on a shooting board included in the pic.

On the subject of the shooting board, the picture shows my materials. The idea is that I will cut a small rectangle from the big plywood piece so that the clamps I will use will not cause a tilt. Then I will simply glue or screw (probably glue, since screws will make a bump) the particle board to the plywood. Then I will just clamp the plate to the particle board, put the plywood against a wall or something.

As I asked before, does anyone have a recommendation on planers? Or do the ones in the pic look good.

They can get expensive new so I looked on ebay

Vintage Bailey Number 5

Vintage Bailey Number 6

Wooden Planer Vintage

I have found others on Woodcraft.com but they are all around 100 bucks.

Any recommendations would be much appreciated.

Thanks for everything thusfar!

~TFirzli

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A jointer plane is the optimal tool for jointing, hence the name. It needs to be well tuned and sharp so you can take very fine shavings accurately. I use a Veritas jointer from Lee Valley. If you're using the Stanley-Bailey nomenclature, the jointers are #7 and #8. Veritas Jointer Link

This is a skill that must be mastered. Good luck.

Doug

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There is a blog on right now about 'The Making of The Quartet of Peace' that has a video of the joint being made.

See the entry for Friday Nov 13th 2009 at the end of the post is the video.

Looks like a #5 bench plane in the video. You don't need to go as big as a #7 or #8 since violin plates are only around 16" or so.

thequartetofpeace.blogspot.com

The maker also has a web-page that has other interesting stuff.

www.violinafrica.co.za

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Wooden planes can be great but the old ones can have all sorts of problems that either have to be fixed or just plain prevent them from being useful. Buying them on Ebay is a crapshoot.

In the case of the auction you posted the plane has no blade, so not a good idea. :)

Best way to buy a plane for someone who is not yet familiar with them is to look up one of the reputable dealers in old tools and get something that is already working and ready to go.

You "can" do this joint with a block plane (your larger plane), a square, a machinist's rule, and a desk lamp, working as in the video pointed out by DBurns, but although I've found doing so straightforward I can't say for sure that someone else would.

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How does this one look?

Groz #7 Jointer Plane

It is from woodcraft, I got a Pfeil gouge from there and they seem reputable, now I am not sure about Groz are they a decent company? This one is 70 dollars sharpened and the Veritas one is 270 (Although, it looks beautiful, plus it comes with that Jointer fence)

You "can" do this joint with a block plane (your larger plane), a machinist's rule, and a desk lamp, working as in the video pointed out by DBurns, but although I've found doing so straightforward I can't say for sure that someone else would.

Will this work with a shooting board or mainly with a vise?

Also, if I attempt to use my block plane, I assume I need to make sure I am getting long clean strips of wood instead of just shavings right?

Thanks everyone

~TFirzli

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Sorry for the double post, found some older Stanley Bailey #7 jointer planes and was wondering if they look any good (they are on ebay)

Stanley Bailey #7 First one

Stanley Bailey #7

I won't link anymore, I just want to basically know which company is a good one. It looks like Veritas is recommended, Groz from my research is not good, and Stanley Bailey sounds good as long as you get a new blade on these really old planes.

Again sorry for all the questions, just excited about finally having an outlet for the questions :)

~TFirzli

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TF--I use a vice like the video. I don't imagine using a block plane the way you're talking about would work well but I haven't tried it.

More threads for you. :) Can't help with the auctions, the last one looks like trouble and the prior one might be okay, but the whole big plane/shooting board thing isn't my cup of tea. I mostly use a No. 5 for this but recently got a used Ulmia wooden jointer for the next round.

How to Stop Chattering, 2006 (link)

Which Plane? 2009 (link).

Drop Patrick Leach an email and see if he's got something ready to go for a decent price.

http://www.supertool.com/oldtools.htm

There are other similar vendors but I've been out of the loop on places to get ready to use old tools for a while.

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um...not to split hairs, but those don't appear to be top plates.

Top plates are, more often then not, spruce and are much easier to join than the back plates, maple, which is what you seem to have there.

But good advice so far! :)

umm... Just to be clear, I would put the maple away and start with the spruce top plates.

Much easier, and it will give you a sense of what you are working towards.

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It is from woodcraft, I got a Pfeil gouge from there and they seem reputable, now I am not sure about Groz are they a decent company? This one is 70 dollars sharpened and the Veritas one is 270 (Although, it looks beautiful, plus it comes with that Jointer fence)

Also, if I attempt to use my block plane, I assume I need to make sure I am getting long clean strips of wood instead of just shavings right?

When it comes to planes, you get what you pay for. If you buy an old plane that has been used, then you will pay in sweat what you didn't pay with in money to get it working right.

I have seen the Groz planes up close, and was not impressed.

I would try finding out more about these Lie-Nielsen Clone planes that Woodcraft now sell.

BTW Lie-Nielsen is discontinuing it's selling of tools through Woodcraft. Just a few select Woodcraft stores will now be carrying them.

WoodRiver Planes at Woodcraft

The shorter the plane, the greater is the tendency to ride in the hollows, and up the peaks, and so a longer plane will not ride the hollows, but cut off the peaks. All that is important is that the plane is long enough to bride from one peak to the next, so for a violin, a #5 or #6 is plenty of plane, since they are both longer that the wood being planed.

If you go over to this forum listed below in the "Neanderthal Haven" section, you will find lots of people who have had lots of experience with planes.

www.sawmillcreek.org

If you use a short plane to joint, then you need to be able to identify where the peaks and hollows are, so you can chase after the peaks, and leave the hollows alone. Once the peaks have all been lowered, then one fine thin continuous shaving finishes things off.

Here is a link that explores the various planes, and their construction.

www.finewoodworking.com "Who begot who comparing planes from Lie-Nielsen WoodRiver and Stanley"

If you are not going to be tackling a cello at 30+ inches, then a #5 will be more useful to you than a #6 or higher, since you may be able to use it for other jobs easier that the big planes, and it is slightly cheaper.

Also the thickness of the blade helps, and the Groz blades are thin. The WoodRiver blades are 0.120" thick.

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