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Woodworking with Jason Stamper


1840ís Plow Plane Tune Up

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I have had this little 1840ís plow plane for a few years now and it has been a great tool.

A while back I did a whole write up on it that you can see here. This has been a dandy little plane and performed very well over the few years Iíve owned it. However, lately Iíve noticed that if I am cutting a deeper groove a problem arises.

What happens is that the plane begins to bind up, as it gets deeper into the cut. I thought about the problem for a while and finally came up with the solution. The answer is actually quite simple, and one a craftsman of old would have easily understood.

Like all wooden planes over time the sole, or in this case the fence, begins to wear. Being that most of my cuts have not been very deep the fence has worn unevenly and mostly along the bottom ĹĒ. This created a wedge shape that essentially made the fence ďtightení up against the work as it cut deeper. Above is a picture showing where the fence has worn out of square in relation to the metal skate.

To further show this problem I took the fence out of the plane and checked it against a square. Here you can see that the fence has indeed worn on the bottom and is no longer square to the guide arms.

Fortunately the solution to this is pretty simple as well. I clamped the fence into my bench vise and carefully planed down the high side.

I took my time in planning it down and checked it frequently with the square. In the end I smoothed the whole surface of the fence.

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