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tango

Flatening a plane

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Hi all
I am setting up a Stanley plane #5 (356mm).
I planed over a granite surface with #80, #100and#120 sand paper.
I am tired and can´t delete the original all factory marks.
Does the plane need dead flat in all the sole?
The present concavity seem to be a very little.
All advices will be apreciated
 Thanks and regards
Tango

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Assuming you are all-analog with your sharpening and flattening technology...as you should be...

My husband says that his Stanley took him hours...and hours...to flatten. Be patient or get a Veritas/Lie Nielsen, which takes around an hour. Either way it must be flat, which you know. If you get a coarse diamond stone you could cut that time down some. Japan Woodworker carries them.  Not cheap, though. :(

 

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If the bed is flat, the scratches are not a problem. Set in the blade and plane some pine or poplar. See if they joint well. I don’t think the scratches need to come out. Concavity is a problem, if the plane has it.

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duane88 is asking the right question. The blade should be clamped in position but backed up to not contact the sandpaper while you are flattening the bottom. This is because the blade tension distorts the bottom, and this needs to be taken into account while you're flattening. That minor hollow in the sole behind the mouth will not affect the plane's performance. Traditional Japanese planes have a hollow scraped into the sole behind the mouth by design.

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If your time is worth money, it may be cheaper to buy a Lie Nielsen. My painstakingly tweaked and massaged old Bailey doesn't work as well. Veritas may work as well as a Lie Nielsen, but I haven't spent enough time with a Veritas to know.

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Okay. A plane only needs to be flat at the heel, toe, and mouth. Those are the important areas. It's okay if the areas in between are slightly hollow. 

You don't need to get rid of the factory marks or scratches. As long as those three areas are planar with the reference surface, stop where you are and don't waste more energy. 

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If you are using the Stanley No 5 as a jack (ie to remove the high spots on a board) then it doesn't need to be totally flat. For a plane this size it will cost more to buy the equipment to flatten it than it will to buy a Lee Valley or Lie Nielsen plane. I've used both and they work great. 

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I have bought almost all of my planes from garage sales or antique stores for very little money but they did take a huge amount of time to get working as intended. I have flattened all of my planes on a piece of glass with various grades of silicon wet dry paper for the metal planes and garnet paper for the wood ones. It takes a lot of elbow grease to do this as well as the back of the cutting blade but the results are worth it to me although it is much more convenient to order a Lie Nielsen for instant gratification.

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You would be surprised how fast sandpaper stops cutting metal. It takes lots of sheets to get a sole flat. If you have a friend with a machine shop, have him surface grind the sole for you. Also, the theory that you have to have the blade under tension while you flatten has theoretical merits. In practice, it doesn't really matter.

cheers,
wm_crash, the friendly hooligan

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At work the other day I was using a dial depth gauge.  It had a tenth indicator mounted on a 6 inch base.  Setting it up using blocks, it varied .001 depending on where I placed the blocks.  The base wasn't flat.  I loosened the dial gauge and checked the base on the CMM, it was dead flat.  Just tightening up the dial gauge put the base out of wack.  You would think that tool makers would know that, and make their tools accordingly. 

Wisdom cannot be assumed.  

The blade has to be in, and tight. Scratches and spots that look like acid dripped on them don't matter either.  What causes those weird blotches?  Rust?

My long Stanley has a corrugated bottom.  THAT can be more of a problem.  But it was cheap!  And I follow with a rosewood one that can be set very finely.

 

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5 hours ago, christian bayon said:

Don´t make it flat, for working well, a plane need to be slightly hollow in le length direction.

I'd say that depends on how much the plane bends when pushing down on the handle. I can make  a concave joint using my flat Bailey, but my flat Lie Nielsen ends up making a joint that's pretty straight.

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

I'd say that depends on how much the plane bends when pushing down on the handle. I can make  a concave joint using my flat Bailey, but my flat Lie Nielsen ends up making a joint that's pretty straight.

I think that the flex in the body can work to an advantage sometimes. The craftsmen of old bent their planes to their will to superior results with deft application. 

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I too have a couple of old planes that I spent hours on, trying to get them flatter.  In the end, the other mechanical bits that fix the blade in place were too sloppy and annoying to deal with so that I don't use them.  The exception is a fairly new Stanley low angle block plane, which only needed a little flattening, and isn't too bad.  Still, it's on my list to replace with a Lie-Nielsen at the next reasonable opportunity.

There's a lot more to a good plane than just being flat.  And it usually shows up in the price tag, too.

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49 minutes ago, Nick Allen said:

I think that the flex in the body can work to an advantage sometimes. The craftsmen of old bent their planes to their will to superior results with deft application. 

Huh? So people flatten their planes because they are not skilled enough not to? 

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1 minute ago, not telling said:

 

Huh? So people flatten their planes because they are not skilled enough not to? 

No. Just saying that a flat plane will flex as you use it. Getting a flat joint is as much technique as it is equipment. 

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In my experience with Stanley planes, generally the older they are, the better, assuming they've always been well cared for. I have a Bailey No.8 from the very end of the 19th century and a No.6 from the WW1 period, neither of which required sole flattening, and both of them clearly have the original factory grind. But I also have, and have had newer Stanley and Record planes that tuned up to be effective tools too. I have Lie-Nielsen and Veritas planes too, and yes, they're made to a higher standard, but Stanleys of a certain vintage can be very fine tools, worth the effort to tune up.

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Hi
Thanks all for the comments.
I noticed I forgot to put in place the blade :blink:.

So, I will put in place the blade and continue flattening some with sand paper in differents degrees but will let a little hollow to test.
This plane I bought for the make the centre joint because is larger than my little plane. 
Ussually I do that with a cheap but tunned jack plane resulting a dificult job for me.

Despite of this, center joint came up well because I am patient fellow (haha) however I want to do this in few strokes.
Thanks all
Tango
 

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3 hours ago, tango said:

Hi
Thanks all for the comments.
I noticed I forgot to put in place the blade :blink:.

So, I will put in place the blade and continue flattening some with sand paper in differents degrees but will let a little hollow to test.
This plane I bought for the make the centre joint because is larger than my little plane. 
Ussually I do that with a cheap but tunned jack plane resulting a dificult job for me.

Despite of this, center joint came up well because I am patient fellow (haha) however I want to do this in few strokes.
Thanks all
Tango
 

You may find that the hollow is much less with the blade clamped into place. How tight the blade is clamped into place my have a significant effect on the sprung sole, so try to make it like you would normally use it.

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