Popular Woodworking 2009-08 № 177, страница 39

Popular Woodworking 2009-08 № 177, страница 39

Op and down. Above are two new bevel-up smoothing planes from Lie-Nielsen and Veritas. The vintage tools are the older bevel-down style pla nes. Both designs flatten and smooth the wood - the differences are in the details.

Bevel-up Planes

I

i can clearly remember my firslexperi-ence with bench planes, 1 was in high school shop class and while 1 was leveling a joinl with coarse sandpaper wrapped around a sanding block, the instructor stepped up and leveled the joint i n seemi ngly an i n sta nt with a bench plane. And lhe surface creaied by the plane was smooth; it didn't have the deep ugly scratches that remained fromthe coarse abrasive, [was so impressed with the speed and precision that 1 immediately went out and purchased a No. 4 bench plane for use in my shop at home.

But like many woodworkers I quickly became disappointed when 1 tried to put it to use. Admittedly, I didn't understand the complexities of tuning and using a plane. However, later on, after I learned to flatten the sole, sharpen, tune and use the plane, it still created occasional tear-out, A few years later woodworkingtool retailers began offering thicker blades and heavy chipbreak-

Taming wild woods. Bevel-up smoothing pi.excel at smoothing woods that make other planes balk. Their secret f It's easy to get a high cutting angle with these planes.

BY LONNIE BIRD

A craftsman makes the argument that bevel-up planes are easier to tune for end grain and difficult woods.

ers. So I purchased theseaftermarkel parts for my plane to soup it up. Its performance improved a little more, but the results still left somethingto be desired, especially when I used the plane on wood with even a hint of wild figure. Fortunately, today there are better options.

By now many woodworkers have heard the news about bevel-up handplanes. The design differssignificantly from the Bailey and Bed Rock-style planes that have beenso popular for the pasl lOOyears. Al first glance, the most obvious differences are the lack of a frogand chipbreaker, and the substan

tially thicker blade. However, the most significant difference is the incredibly smooth su rface that you can c reale w ith one of these unusual-looking planes. But 1 suspect that not all woodworkers have beenswayed. Like the pins-first vs. tails-first dovetail debate, bevel-down vs. bevel-up plane design is another woodworking argument that will be nurtured for years to come I lowever, the purpose of my article is not lo stir up animosity among woodworkers who are convinced of the superiority of thei r old Bed Rock planes (hold thee-mail, please).

Instead, 1 just want tohelp woodworkers who want to enjoy using handplanes and have, perhaps, become frustrated in their attempts to use the antiquated bevel-down style planes. Give a bevel-up plane a try, and I think that you'll find what 1 and many other woodworkers have found: Bevel-up planes are remarkably easy to tune and use, and when tuned with a high cutting angle, they virtually eliminate the tear-out associated with bevel-down-style planes (and the tedious scraping that always follows). And unlike with the fancy infill planesfrom England, you won't need lo apply forasec-

rHOTOS BY At PARRlSHILLUSlRrtllONS BY MATT BANFLV

popularwoodworl(in£.com ■ 45

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