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Nestorvass

Finger plane leaves black marks

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Greetings, I hope everyone is doing well and is in good health, during these difficult times. I do have a small problem with some cheap chinese finger planes I bought from ebay a while ago (there's a picture below). So these planes are supposed to be stainless steel, for which I do have a lot of doubts but moving on. They leave some black marks on the wood.

I thought it was the plating at first so I removed it from the sole of the plane. I don't know why anyone would put plating on stainless steel but there was indeed a chrome plating followed by a thin copper layer (I am guessing because chrome doesnt "stick" to steel or whatever that metal is). Despite removing the plating the problem still remained.

I know they are not the best quality obviously since they cost 18$ each and that I can probably remove these marks with a scraper, but its still pretty frustrating. Does this happen to anyone else and is there any way to fix this??

Thanks in advance,

Nestor

IMG_20200509_202727.jpg

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Something is rubbing off of the plane onto the wood.  It is hard to believe that any clean, smooth steel would do this.  Perhaps it is leftover particles from what you did to the plane?  If you use it for a while on some scrap wood, does the marking problem go away?

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Your photos are not very clear, but the staining you’re referring to kind of looks like spalting, caused by a previous fungal infection in the wood. It may plane away, and even if it doesn’t, it’s not a deal breaker. Are you having this problem everywhere you use the plane?

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2 minutes ago, MarkBouquet said:

Your photos are not very clear, but the staining you’re referring to kind of looks like spalting, caused by a previous fungal infection in the wood. It may plane away, and even if it doesn’t, it’s not a deal breaker. Are you having this problem everywhere you use the plane?

I dont think its a wood problem, it happens to every piece of wood that I ve tried it even leaves this dark smudges on a piece of paper or plastic. Its the material of the plane that is the issue, this I am sure of. Only problem is i don't know how to prevent this from happening.

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7 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

Something is rubbing off of the plane onto the wood.  It is hard to believe that any clean, smooth steel would do this.  Perhaps it is leftover particles from what you did to the plane?  If you use it for a while on some scrap wood, does the marking problem go away?

I cleaned them thoroughly , I also thought it was from sanding it at first, but the issue remained even after cleaning it. Alcohol, aceton I tried everything even polishing the sole to 12000 grit with micromesh pads. Nothing worked unfortunately. I am guessing that the so called "stainless steel" that the seller claimed to sell is in fact nickel or some other soft metal which has the tendency to rub off everywhere. I am not 100% certain about that, but it makes no sense as to why would any one put any sort of plating on stainless steel. Its not going to rust since its stainless. 

The plane in the picture is new I got it today, but the other ones I've been using for a while and they may leave a bit less of these dark smudges on the wood, but they still do.

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Not to sound glib, but perhaps a bronze plane would have been a better choice?

Why they would plate a stainless steel casting makes no sense to me, unless they were trying to hide something.

Is a magnet attracted to the plane body?

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3 minutes ago, Bill Yacey said:

Not to sound glib, but perhaps a bronze plane would have been a better choice?

Why they would plate a stainless steel casting makes no sense to me, unless they were trying to hide something.

Is a magnet attracted to the plane body?

My thoughts exactly, plating on stainless steel makes absolutely no sense at all. A magnet is attracted to it but that doesn't necessarily mean that its steel. Nickel is also a ferromagnetic metal meaning a magnet is attracted to it and this is what I am guessing the actual material of these planes is. I would buy planes made out of bronze and frankly I wish I did, unfortunately they were out of stock so this was my only choice at the time.

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I wonder if they are plated because they are made from some cheap base metal. Do they bodies look cast or machined?

I don’t understand why the plating would have left marks. What is the blade like?

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8 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

I wonder if they are plated because they are made from some cheap base metal. Do they bodies look cast or machined?

I don’t understand why the plating would have left marks. What is the blade like?

I think its cast, a machined one would probably be way more expensive since more material is required and it takes a lot longer. They probably are plated because they are made from cheap metal in my opinion nickel but i am not sure. As for why the plating could have left marks, its because plating isn't really part of the metal its like paint it can rub off especially if the plating isn't high quality like these ones.  The marks that were left from the plating I can understand. What I dont understand is why i am still getting marks despite having removed all the plating from the sole ...

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6 minutes ago, Nestorvass said:

I think its cast, a machined one would probably be way more expensive since more material is required and it takes a lot longer. They probably are plated because they are made from cheap metal in my opinion nickel but i am not sure. As for why the plating could have left marks, its because plating isn't really part of the metal its like paint it can rub off especially if the plating isn't high quality like these ones.  The marks that were left from the plating I can understand. What I dont understand is why i am still getting marks despite having removed all the plating from the sole ...

My thinking was that they have plated the bodies to smarten it up, and make it look more like they claim (stainless steel), and maybe the plating was meant to prevent these marks, which they knew the base metal of the body would leave.

If you take the blade out does it make a difference?

Are your fingertips turning dark where you hold the plane?

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27 minutes ago, donbarzino said:

I would look at those marks as an asset for they reveal the edges of your cut  and any

nearby high spots as you work.

Well  thats a very positive way to see this issue :lol:.  Still it would  be great if this didn't occur to be honest with you.

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25 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

My thinking was that they have plated the bodies to smarten it up, and make it look more like they claim (stainless steel), and maybe the plating was meant to prevent these marks, which they knew the base metal of the body would leave.

If you take the blade out does it make a difference?

Are your fingertips turning dark where you hold the plane?

Its not only the plating that is causing this issue. Despite having it removed there are still black marks left on the wood. It happens even without the blade so its the body of the plane and the material that it is actually made of that is causing the issue .My fingers dont turn black. I forgot to mention that this happens when i put a bit of pressure on the body of the plane. Still these marks are unacceptable even for this price.

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36 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Let's hope that the planes weren't cast from lead, to get rid of the maga-tons of old tire balancing weights. :lol:

Honestly at that price they could be :lol:. Especially when one considers how much planes such as ibex cost.

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48 minutes ago, Michael Darnton said:

Zinc? Low melting point, easy to cast. Cheap.

I don't think it is. Zinc isn't attracted to magnets and my plane is. 

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  1. this is an iron reaction from the blade or base, regardless of what "they" said it was made from, there is some raw iron in there somewhere and you are getting an "iron gall reaction" 

cheap steel will do this, its common when a knife has cut into wood for it to leave black lines....again, iron, tannin and bound water= black ink

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1 minute ago, jezzupe said:
  1. this is an iron reaction from the blade or base, regardless of what "they" said it was made from, there is some raw iron in there somewhere and you are getting an "iron gall reaction" 

 

I see, is there any way to prevent this reaction or at least stop it from leaving marks on the wood?

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22 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

Sand it flat and glue on a sheet of brass or hard wood with epoxy might solve the problem.

That's a great idea, it will be a bit tough to cut the mouth opening especially on the ones with convex soles, but I will try it. I do have some super thin brass shims that I could use for the task. Thank you for the tip :)

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6 minutes ago, Nestorvass said:

I see, is there any way to prevent this reaction or at least stop it from leaving marks on the wood?

it would depend on if it is the base, the blade,or both. I generally only see this with hand made "scrapers" made from utility knife blade {which are notorious for leaving black cut lines if they score into wood, which under certain 'incise purfling situations may be desired, but most times not but whatever the case is, it is the iron that is reacting with the wood tannin and the trace bound water in the wood cells...the only way for it to not happen is if the wood is not rubbed with iron, a way to test the blade is to file it a bit over some maple, and then spritz a little water on the file dust, does it turn black?

then recess the blade all the way and rub the base vigorously on a piece of scrap and see if it leave black when left or spritzed with water.

a

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4 minutes ago, jezzupe said:

it would depend on if it is the base, the blade,or both. I generally only see this with hand made "scrapers" made from utility knife blade {which are notorious for leaving black cut lines if they score into wood, which under certain 'incise purfling situations may be desired, but most times not but whatever the case is, it is the iron that is reacting with the wood tannin and the trace bound water in the wood cells...the only way for it to not happen is if the wood is not rubbed with iron, a way to test the blade is to file it a bit over some maple, and then spritz a little water on the file dust, does it turn black?

then recess the blade all the way and rub the base vigorously on a piece of scrap and see if it leave black when left or spritzed with water.

a

The blade doesn't leave any marks actually it's a great blade. Only the body leaves marks .

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32 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

Sand it flat and glue on a sheet of brass or hard wood with epoxy might solve the problem.

Actually you just gave me another idea, based on yours. I have some thick copper tape which is used to shield electric guitar bodies to prevent radio frequency feedback. I guess I could stick come of this tape on the bottom of the sole and this would probably do the trick. And if it gets worn out I could easily and quickly replace it. 

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I have no particular reason to believe that this would work, but how about treating the plane sole with phosphoric acid rust remover to see if the reaction will stabilize the metal in some way and stop the problem? If it works I want the Nobel prize for chemistry. If not, you didn’t hear it from me.

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