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NCLuthierWyatt

Block Plane for making

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9 hours ago, Dennis J said:

One join that I find tricky is the lower rib one. I think the best way to approach it, maybe, is to saw the ends square rather than planing them or using a knife. I've found that the rib ends don't always clamp together as you want them to and any gap shows up quite starkly. However I haven't yet found a saw that I like. I'd be interested in any suggestions along those lines.

Yes, that task took me a while before I found a method I liked.  Using a plane always split off little bits of the trailing edge, and was difficult to get a good match.

My solution starts with a special clamping jig made of maple.  There are drill rods to keep the two parts aligned, and screws to clamp the two halves together, and the surface is planed flat.  The ribs are put in the gap together (like planing a plate joint with both halves at once), and screws tightened.  Then I put the jig in a vise and use a flush-cut saw to trim off the ends.  The clamp keeps the ribstock from splitting off at the edges.  Then I use a wide file to do the final flattening of the ends.

Even then, the joint doesn't always come out perfect, so after I take the ribs out of the fixture and see how they match up, I'll put each rib back in the fixture and file by eye until it's right.

There's a slight curve in the clamping part of the jig so as to not flatten out the bent rib, as indicated by the pencil lines on the edge.

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My favorite flush-cut saw continues to be available and extremely cheap, expecially considering the well-made Japanese blade : the Vaughan BS150D.

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3 hours ago, scordatura said:

After spending a lot of time trying to flatten my Craftsman #7 I am ready to take the plunge with a "try" or #7 purchase.

Wood River $350

Lie Nielsen $425

Quangcheng on sale for $277 at workshopheaven.com 

Tried to order from workshopheaven and cannot purchase in the US. Apparently the Wood River is a rebranded Quangcheng.  Ordered from Woodcraft.com at $348 shipped with tax after a 10% code. Hopefullly this will not require a lot of setup...

The LN/Chinese clone price differences seem to be getting smaller and smaller. I think I'd have been inclined to stump up the extra 70-odd bucks for the real thing. Much better resale value should the need ever arise.

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2 hours ago, scordatura said:

After spending a lot of time trying to flatten my Craftsman #7 I am ready to take the plunge with a "try" or #7 purchase.

Wood River $350

Lie Nielsen $425

Quangcheng on sale for $277 at workshopheaven.com 

Tried to order from workshopheaven and cannot purchase in the US. Apparently the Wood River is a rebranded Quangcheng.  Ordered from Woodcraft.com at $348 shipped with tax after a 10% code. Hopefullly this will not require a lot of setup...

Just to add to the confusion, have you looked at the LN no. 7 1/2 for $350?

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13 hours ago, Dennis J said:

One join that I find tricky is the lower rib one. I think the best way to approach it, maybe, is to saw the ends square rather than planing them or using a knife. I've found that the rib ends don't always clamp together as you want them to and any gap shows up quite starkly. However I haven't yet found a saw that I like. I'd be interested in any suggestions along those lines.

 

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15 hours ago, Don Noon said:

Seems to me that a perfect jointer plane would have a sole aft of the blade that can be adjusted to exactly the level of the blade (like a power jointer).  Otherwise, the wood rocks a bit after the cut, and it can't cut a perfectly flat surface.

That would be the ideal, wouldn't it?

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16 hours ago, Don Noon said:

Seems to me that a perfect jointer plane would have a sole aft of the blade that can be adjusted to exactly the level of the blade (like a power jointer).  Otherwise, the wood rocks a bit after the cut, and it can't cut a perfectly flat surface.

This same thing could be accomplished by having the sole in front of the blade be adjustable. Then you could set the blade even with the back sole and adjust the depth of cut with the front sole, just as we do it on a jointer. But when we're taking .001"-.002" shavings I don't think this would have any practical significance. It would just be needless complexity.

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Thanks for that advice Evan. That looks like a perfect join to me. I had tried using plastic film to use under a clamping block directly over the join but I found it tended to squirm around when the clamp was tightened -- disaster. From memory I don't think I even considered scotch tape, probably because of the failure of the plastic film. I'm sure that will solve my problem. A case of how the brain works, or more accurately doesn't, sometimes. Thanks again.

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Dennis J said:

Thanks

You're welcome.

What not be obvious is that the tape is put on almost the entire rib.

It starts with everything lying on a flat table including the tape so everything is parallel. Pull out enough tape to cover it all. leave the roll lying on the table, while holding the tape out straight,,  rub the end down with the thumbnail on the far left and continue around the rib,,, then  leave the last two inches or so free from the tape. Continue with the tape,, starting about two inches from the end of the second rib, where the two ribs join should now be in a vee shape,,, continue with the tape to the end of the second rib. the tape needs to be pressed down to adhere fairly well because when the vee is flattened out and the tape is pulled straight there will be a lot of pressure on it and it can pop off.

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As the vee is flattened out and the tape is pushed to the joint there will be a lot of pressure pulling on the ribs pushing the joint together and the ribs can break if this is not done properly. The rib is held between the thumb and index finger and the tape is pushed to the ribs as you walk toward the joint with the fingers and the ribs are flattened out. Once the tape reaches the joint they will be flat. Too much vee and the ribs can be broken, not enough vee and there will not be any pressure on the joint to hold it together.

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Hope that makes sense.

Practice a bit so you don't break any ribs,,,,,,,,

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 Looks like a technique hard to improve on, Evan. Smart to stabilise everything by leaving the tape roll attached. Enough weight there to be quite effective.

The photo I've attached is something I dreamed up to enable a saw cut at about 45 deg. through the two rib ends while held in place with clamps. I had decided the slightly rough edge produced by a saw would help blend the joint when it was glued to the bottom block. I tried a jeweller's saw and a very thin Japanese saw I had, both of which tended to have a mind of their own in the process. What was required was a saw that had fairly fine teeth but with a blade stiff enough to avoid any tendency to wander, but I never got around to finding one. I think the one Don Noon has suggested could be the answer for these sort of jobs.

I managed to get it to work fairly well despite the saw problem. But rather than just use it as an accurate way to match the rib ends I decided to use it to glue the ribs together before gluing them to the bottom block. I did this by leaving the ends of the ribs a bit thicker and gluing thin strips of maple across the join which I could cut back later, after gluing to the bottom block. It did actually work but proved a bit clumsy and I think now that it looked like a good-idea-at-the-time but . . . . . Noooo. But I might try the jig again to saw through the rib ends.

Getting back to the original theme concerning block planes, people considering buying either the Lie Nielsen or Veritas should realise that they differ a lot in width, 1 3/8" and 1 5/8" respectively. Both are wide enough but in the case of the LN only just.

 

 

 

 

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On 1/11/2020 at 11:36 PM, Dennis J said:

One join that I find tricky is the lower rib one. I think the best way to approach it, maybe, is to saw the ends square rather than planing them or using a knife. I've found that the rib ends don't always clamp together as you want them to and any gap shows up quite starkly. However I haven't yet found a saw that I like. I'd be interested in any suggestions along those lines.

One suggestion you may want to try: 

Square both your lower ribs with a plane or sanding block (your preference). Draw your center line on the end block.   Then! only glue one lower rib to the center line and wait for it to dry. Then clean any glue runs with a square scraper and custom fit the other lower rib to the glued rib and glue it in place.  It works every time, easy to do and you always get to see the joint as you clamp it.  Just takes a bit longer.    You can practice this method with the upper ribs.  The trick is to only glue one rib at a time.  Your clamping block is just shy of the joint so you can always see how good it fits while you are gluing it.  No pictures this time.

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10 hours ago, catnip said:

One suggestion you may want to try: 

Square both your lower ribs with a plane or sanding block (your preference). Draw your center line on the end block.   Then! only glue one lower rib to the center line and wait for it to dry. Then clean any glue runs with a square scraper and custom fit the other lower rib to the glued rib and glue it in place.  It works every time, easy to do and you always get to see the joint as you clamp it.  Just takes a bit longer.    You can practice this method with the upper ribs.  The trick is to only glue one rib at a time.  Your clamping block is just shy of the joint so you can always see how good it fits while you are gluing it.  No pictures this time.

Second rib glued with thick enough glue allow the rib to slide, and the clamp angled to push the ends together:

 

rib.jpg

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10 hours ago, catnip said:

One suggestion you may want to try: 

Square both your lower ribs with a plane or sanding block (your preference). Draw your center line on the end block.   Then! only glue one lower rib to the center line and wait for it to dry. Then clean any glue runs with a square scraper and custom fit the other lower rib to the glued rib and glue it in place.  It works every time, easy to do and you always get to see the joint as you clamp it.  Just takes a bit longer.    You can practice this method with the upper ribs.  The trick is to only glue one rib at a time.  Your clamping block is just shy of the joint so you can always see how good it fits while you are gluing it.  No pictures this time.

That's more or less what I do as well. If your cuts are true and square, there's hardly any fitting to do at the joint;  just apply the glue, butt the second rib up and clamp.

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27 minutes ago, Bill Yacey said:

That's more or less what I do as well. If your cuts are true and square, there's hardly any fitting to do at the joint;  just apply the glue, butt the second rib up and clamp.

True and square cuts change when water-borne glue is applied, going a little convex from the moisture, and then they dry that way. So I like to make joints ever-so-slightly concave.

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

True and square cuts change when water-borne glue is applied, going a little convex from the moisture, and then they dry that way. So I like to make joints ever-so-slightly concave.

Yes, people often forget/don’t realise that small distortions of the wood caused by application of hot glue can affect the fit of joints that seem perfect when dry.

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On 1/13/2020 at 12:31 AM, Don Noon said:

"Using a plane always split off little bits of the trailing edge, and was difficult to get a good match."

The solution to splitting edges are a sharp knife line on both sides of the ribstock. I just cut it a little oversize (~ 1mm) and then sneak up on the knife line with a plane on the shooting board to protect the trailing edge. Edges are then lightly sanded with a flat sanding block while still on the shooting board. When glueing, I apply pressure across the joint by using two clamping blocks (on each side of the joint) and a small bar clamp pushing the block ends towards each other whilst observing the joint line and glue squeeze out. Works every time, joint so tight you can't squeeze methane through it! 

 

 

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When doing this joint i also bevel the ribs very slightly by a half a degree or so. That way the outside face of the two ribs buts together tightly when glued. No matter what one does, in a hundred years joint will separate slightly anyway!

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55 minutes ago, Urban Luthier said:

When doing this joint i also bevel the ribs very slightly by a half a degree or so. That way the outside face of the two ribs buts together tightly when glued. No matter what one does, in a hundred years joint will separate slightly anyway!

That's what I do too, and I agree that this perfect-looking joint will only be temporary. The higher cross-grain expansion and contraction of the block under differing moisture conditions will eventually render the joint visible, no matter what one has done originally, unless the instrument is always kept under museum-like conditions.

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Lots of good advice already. I'll second that high angle means less tearout on flamed maple and low angle is less splitting on endgrain(when planing blocks). I've used both Lie Nielsen and Veritas planes. I slightly prefer Lie Nielsen.

I trained a luthier on instrument setup, and when he continued to struggle I got him a Lie Nielsen and within minutes he was convinced that he could have saved many hours of struggling over the previous months if he had that plane to begin with. I forget what plane he was using, but it was a decent, well adjusted, modern plane. He just felt the balance and ease of adjustment of the Lie Nielsen made it far easier to control for fingerboard dressings in particular. 

I didn't see any comments about steel, but I used to work in a shop where I did lots of setup on a sort of assembly line in high volume and we did a deep dive into different blade steels. We observed the wear under a microscope and collectively evaluated them.

For plane blades the important comparison was A2 vs. O1. The Lie Nielsen only has an A2 option, but Veritas lets you choose between A2 and O1, but in my opinion(based on blades 15 years ago) the O1 from Veritas was subpar compared with the Hock blades I was used to. Not sure if they changed that. I did re-temper the O1 in my Veritas Apron plane and it preformed better, but that's a big hassle. 

Overall it seems to be easier to get a fantastic edge on an O1 blade than A2. The A2 blade seems to quickly wear to something like 85% edge quality, then stay there for a very long time. Conversely, the O1 blade seems to hold that fine edge a bit longer, but overall falls to the point where it needs re-sharpening a bit faster. 

I ended up switching to use A2 in planes for roughing and O1 in planes for finer work, so I tend to rough out my fingerboards, for example, with a plane using an A2 blade, then use a different plane with an O1 blade for the finish work. 

By far my favorite plane blade is the Hock O1, but they don't make stock blades for my favorite planes, so it would be special order at something close to double the standard price of the blade as I recall. 

 

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