Popular Woodworking 2002-04 № 127, страница 8

Popular Woodworking 2002-04 № 127, страница 8


Out on a Limb



Feeling Set Up

Out of the box, many hand planes set you up to fail.

If you harbor a dark little secret about the disgraceful results you get with a hand plane, let me shine the warm light of redemption on your self-doubt as a woodworker. It's not your fault.

How were you to know that the hand planes most often bought by woodworkers haven't completed the manufacturing process and require hours of set-up time? My experience with other new tools is they're ready to go, out of the box.

I had no idea what a hand plane required, and no one told me for years. That's why the first planes I bought were more useful as paperweights than woodworking tools. Every time I used them they'd tear out the wood and sometimes ruin the work. No amount of sharpening would improve the result, so back on the shelf it went, my feelings of failure eclipsing my sense of frustration. Hey, I'm a good woodworker, and I'm supposed to be able to pull off wispy curls!

Well, not quite. You see, what came out of the box, I learned, was akin to a new piano that was all shiny and new but never tuned. So I learned a lot of work was required to set up my plane. So much so, I abandoned my original paperweight and bought a vintage "fixer" on the internet. My original plane, a name brand, was of such poor quality that no amount of work would make it right.

I also figured that the work I'd invest in a fixer plane would produce a top-notch tool, save me money, and I'd really learn the fundamentals of what makes a good plane and how to set it up properly.

When it arrived, I anxiously inspected my $22.50 investment. I was pleased to find it was in pretty good shape. Even the original rosewood handles were intact.

In all, I spent about six hours rehabbing my "new" old plane. The hardest part was the two hours it took to flatten the sole. I also flattened the machined surfaces of the

This Stanley Type 11 plane (purchased for $22.50 on ebay.com) outperforms many modern planes.

frog and made sure the chipbreaker seated fully on the iron. The rest of the work was cleaning and polishing. When done, it didn't look new; it looked better than new.

The iron that came with it had seen better days so I replaced it with a nice after-market Hock blade, which added another $25 to the cost. After sharpening I installed the blade and set it up. Can I tell you how nice a feeling it was producing wispy curls a few minutes later? I strongly encourage you to read the complete article on re-habbing an old plane like I did. If you aren't already producing nice shavings, you can, and it won't cost you an arm and a leg. Best of all, you'll be a better woodworker for it. And you can send in your first wispy shaving and we'll send you an official hand plane merit badge for free. You can read more about that on page 48.

SawStop Table Saw Safety Poll Results

In the December issue, I wrote about the SawStop table saw safety device, a passive safety mechanism that might save many a woodworker's finger.

I asked you to cast a vote on our web site about your willingness to pay $150 to $200 more for a table saw to gain the type of protection SawStop potentially offers. Now let me make good on my promise to publish the results: In favor 1,127; opposed 396.

I'm also sharing these results with manufacturers and the inventor with the hope that the data may help all involved make the right decision in a timely fashion. PW

Stwe Shanesy, editor and publisher


April 2002, Vol. 22, No. 2 www.popularwoodworking.com

Editor & Publisher Steve Shanesy

Art Director Tricia Barlow

Senior Editors David Thiel, Christopher Schwarz

Assistant Editor Kara Gebhart

Project Illustrator John W. Hutchinson

Photographer Al Parrish

Contributing Editors Nick Engler Bob Flexner Glen Huey Scott Phillips Troy Sexton

Technical Advisers: Bill Austin Makita USA. Inc. Scott Box Powermatic Chris Carlson S-B Power Tool Bill Crofutt Grizzly Industrial Dale Zimmerman Franklin International

Senior Vice President David Lewis Editorial Director David Fryxell


David Lee, Vice President Jennifer Shaffer, Group Manager


Barbara Schmitz, Vice President Heather Griffin, Production Coordinator


Advertising Director

Don Schroder

331 N. Arch St., Allentown, PA 18104 Tel. 610-821-4425; Fax 610-821-7884


Classified Advertising Sales Joan Wright, Tel. 800-388-1820


Advertising Production Coordinator Debbie Thomas, Tel. 513-531-2690, ext. 219


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6 Popular Woodworking April 2002

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