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how precise is a herdim finger plane out of the box?


baroquecello

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I ordered some fingerplanes from Dictum. I just want to try to get a feel for what one can do with those, at the moment I'm not trying anything serious, just planing around on scraps of wood to get a feel for how far the iron should protrude, how fine I can work with it. Getting to know the resistance of the wood. After that, how to sharpen the blades etc.

 

I'm wondering to what extend the fingerplanes should be ready to use out of the box. The 7 MM flat soled herdim plane has a very crooked iron (blade?, what is the correct term in english?), to such an extend that I think it is not really usable for precision work at all. When viewed from the front, the left side alreadey protrudes about 1/3rd of a millimetre while the right side doesn't protrude at all. To what extend is this normal? should I request for a better blade or is it up to me to correct the angle of the blade?

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You adjust the alignment of the blade by loosening the screw or wedge and moving it laterally until the cutting depth is the same across the width of the blade. The only problem might be if the blade is ground very badly out of square, so that there isn't enough lateral free play to make the adjustment. I don't think this is very likely.

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One of the FIRST skills that a luthier should have is the ability to grind and sharpen blades. Even if the blade is correct and sharp from the factory (a rarity), it wouldn't be long before it will need sharpening. Just regrind and sharpen it yourself! Probably less trouble, and quicker than trying to get a replacement sent.

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At some point you'll want to get a grinder and get familiar with reshaping your blades. I doubt if I've ever gotten a blade that I didn't re grind before first sharpening. Grind it square, and be careful not to burn the blade. It helps to have a grinder that isn't too fast or has a speed adjustment and a high quality wheel with a fine cut. Dip the blade in water to cool it occasionally. Some people like their flat planes to have a tiny bit of curve so there's a little wiggle room when adjusting the cut to be even. Without a slight curve you have a very fine adjustment before one corner digs in. You can add the curve on the sharpening stone rather than the grinder because it's very slight.

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One of the FIRST skills that a luthier should have is the ability to grind and sharpen blades. Even if the blade is correct and sharp from the factory (a rarity), it wouldn't be long before it will need sharpening. Just regrind and sharpen it yourself! Probably less trouble, and quicker than trying to get a replacement sent.

 

 

Very true. But a new blade should be sent out ground square from the factory. 

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I ordered some fingerplanes from Dictum. I just want to try to get a feel for what one can do with those, at the moment I'm not trying anything serious, just planing around on scraps of wood to get a feel for how far the iron should protrude, how fine I can work with it. Getting to know the resistance of the wood. After that, how to sharpen the blades etc.

 

I'm wondering to what extend the fingerplanes should be ready to use out of the box. The 7 MM flat soled herdim plane has a very crooked iron (blade?, what is the correct term in english?), to such an extend that I think it is not really usable for precision work at all. When viewed from the front, the left side alreadey protrudes about 1/3rd of a millimetre while the right side doesn't protrude at all. To what extend is this normal? should I request for a better blade or is it up to me to correct the angle of the blade?

 

I've seen few planes of any kind that are ready "out of the box".  Many require truing of the bed (casting) as well as shaping of the blade and wedge (if you have the wedge type).  If the casting is true, reshaping the blade should allow the plane to function properly.  Exceptions (planes ready to go, or close to it) have been mentioned in other threads.

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Two things, planes and blades. 

1.
Blades are designed to me honed, so you should learn to do that. 
I'd agree that a modern new one should be ready to use, but hey ho.
2.
Planes are supposed to be machined so the bed that the blade sits on is flat.
Some are not perfect of course, if you look through the plane iron bed into strong light.
With small brass planes you can tweek that carefully, but you should know what
you're doing otherwise you'll wreck the plane. 
Then there's the integral cap iron, the leading edge of which should also sit totally flat
on the top of the blade. Again you can tweek that but don't get it wrong. 

I was thinking of getting one but not sure if there's room for the spare toothed blade I have.
Obviously the wedge planes don't have that problem.
What thickness blade does the lever cap Herdim plane take ? 

Cheers. 

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As FiddleDoug posted above, First skills need to be sharpening, adjusting, & fine tuning the various tools used in the craft. One can view the effort as a task or, preferably, as an opportunity to become intimately acquainted with the tools needed to accomplish desired goals. I actually get more satisfaction from building, rebuilding, zeroing in, and building a relationship with the tools that I use in violin repair or any of the other endeavors that I undertake.

 

As with many things in life, tools can be allies or foes.

 

Steve

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Just got a Herdim with brass cap iron and the ball end adaptor. 

First impressions, it's crap. 

Second impressions, it's usable and the blade is ok, but it should be better. 

The knurled screw is not good enough and the body is hollow, would prefer

more brass behind the blade and less at the front. 

Not recommended. 

I got a plane from Dick years ago, narrow and long with the throat towards the front and with a screw in knob.

 

It didn't work unless you tilted it forward, and so the knob was useless. I reshaped the sole, and made something of it, but it's still my least used plane. Disappointing that a tool like that could be made and sold without anyone bothering to try it out.

 

I've decided that I have enough tools. I seem to use fewer and fewer as it is.

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It's curious to me that IBEX planes are getting no mention here. To me they seem accurately and consistently formed, blade beds are precise, lever caps and locking screws are well formed, mouths are reasonably tight, (At least that's true for the curved bottom planes I have. The flat bottom planes have wide mouths for some inexplicable reason.) blades are high quality steel and are shaped to follow the bottom curve closely out of the box, ..... What's not to like?

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Ibex...What's not to like?

 

The mouth is not in the best place for planing difficult maple.  The wood ripples catch the blade and the plane tends to tumble forwards.

 

The difference in behaviour is really noticeable when you use a plane with the mouth closer to the front like this:

 

There is enough bed behind the mouth allowing the finger pressure to stabilize the plane on difficult wood.

 

My opinion FWIW.

post-24474-0-36479500-1456023779_thumb.jpg

post-24474-0-99997200-1456023792_thumb.jpg

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Thumb planes are scrubbers, if the mouth is too near the front (as with some very fancy new ones)
then the plane is less effective. 

Ibex are uncomfortable over priced and the screw is not well 'knurled', as the old GEWA ones are. 

I found some interesting planes on Cremona Tools (I don't usually buy their stuff)
made by Walter Barbiero, stainless, scroll down page a bit :
http://www.cremonatools.com/
 

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I bought the brass finger planes from Cremona tools.  They are comfortable for me.  The blades hold their edge well and are not difficult to sharpen, at least on my water stones.  I think they have an RC of 64.  These blades are not stainless steel.  However, they all come with squared off edges even for the curved bottom planes.  I have a Tormek, so grinding the blades to match the plane sole curvature was no problem.  If I had to do it by hand it would have been a major pain. 

 

The OP may have the same problem with gouges.  I have Stubai gouges which I really like.  Out of the box they were just rough ground and needed considerable work.  I didn't have the tormek back then so I was not a happy camper. 

 

-Jim

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I bought the brass finger planes from Cremona tools.  They are comfortable for me.  The blades hold their edge well and are not difficult to sharpen, at least on my water stones.  I think they have an RC of 64.  These blades are not stainless steel.  However, they all come with squared off edges even for the curved bottom planes.  I have a Tormek, so grinding the blades to match the plane sole curvature was no problem.  If I had to do it by hand it would have been a major pain. 

 

The OP may have the same problem with gouges.  I have Stubai gouges which I really like.  Out of the box they were just rough ground and needed considerable work.  I didn't have the tormek back then so I was not a happy camper. 

 

-Jim

Jim, I have a flat-bottom Cremona tools thumb plane that I like. It has a slightly higher blade angle than most current production planes that seems to work particularly well. Do the round bottom planes have the same blade angle?

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John, all the blades are the same.  The round bottom planes come with regular irons that have to be shaped to fit the planes.  I think they all come with the same bevel angle, they only differ in width.  I'll double check tonight and report if I find any differences between widths. 

 

Just reread your post.  Are you talking about the bed angle (terminology?) that the irons sit on?  I'll check that as well.

 

-Jim

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John, all the blades are the same.  The round bottom planes come with regular irons that have to be shaped to fit the planes.  I think they all come with the same bevel angle, they only differ in width.  I'll double check tonight and report if I find any differences between widths. 

 

Just reread your post.  Are you talking about the bed angle (terminology?) that the irons sit on?  I'll check that as well.

 

-Jim

Hi Jim, I'm talking about the bed angle.

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