Popular Woodworking 2009-08 № 177, страница 40

Popular Woodworking 2009-08 № 177, страница 40

ond mortgage on your home to purchase a bevel-up smooth plane.

In fact, in the woodworking school that 1 operate, we switched to bevel-up smooth planes several years ago and never looked back (block planes and shoulder planes have been bevel-up for years; more on that ina minute). Everyone who tries a bevel-up smooLh plane is sold on the ease of tuning and the superior resuhs. Gone are the old problems of tear-outand chatterassociated with Bailey/Bed Rock-style planes. That's because bevel-up planes have several design features that work to eliminate planing problems, such as a lower center of gravity and

a substantially thicker blade. Also, the bed and sole of a bevel-up plane are one piece instead of two castings. Essentially, bevel-up smooth planes look much like ascaled-up block plane; they have fewer parts than bevel-down-style planes and the bevel-up blade posit ion allows for easymodificat ions to the cuttingangle. And because there are Tewer parts, tuning is faster and easier.

For example, making a mouLh adjustment with a Bailey-style plane can be a time-consuming process of trial-and-error. After adjusting the cutting depth, the frogis moved forward to close the mouth. However, because the frogis fastened to an inclined

surface, the cutting depth increases as the frogisadjusted. This necessitates readjusting the cutting depth and tryingagain.

In contrast, a bevel-up plane ends this ritual Just slide the plate at the toe of the plane, twist the front knob to hold it in position and you're done

Still another greaL feature of bevel-up planes is Lhe lack of a chipbreaker. On a bevel-down plane, thechipbreaker, or cap-iron, is screwed to the blade. As the name implies, the job of a chipbreaker is to break and curl the shaving as it exits the mouth When properly adjusted, the chipbreaker also applies pressure near the cutting edge to stiffen the blade and reduce chatter.

In contrast, the bevel on the blade of a bevel-up plane curls the shaving This feature, coupled with the dramatically increased blade thickness, does away with the chipbreaker. El iminating anot her part simpli ties tuning the plane. And when it's time to sharpen, there's no need to remove a chipbreaker and re-install it afterwards. Additionally, because the bevel faces upward, the bed supports the blade closer to the cutting edge.

However, more than anyotheraspcct of the design, it's the high cutting angle that makesthe greatest contribution tolhesupe-rior performance of these planes. While traditional bevel-down Bailey-style planes use a 45° cutting angle, bevel-up planes can be quickly tuned wilhamuchhigherangle such as 50°, 55° or even 60° or more. The higher cutting angles work much like a scraper to break and curl the chip effectively without the nasty and frustrating tear-out to spoil your day (and your prized board).

More bits and pieces. The bevel-down design (in foreground> has more parts to adjust and align, including a separate frog assembly and a chipbreaker, Bevel-up planes don't have a separate frog or a chipbreaker: so they are easier to tune.

Pick an angle.

One of the biggest advantages to bevel-up planes is that you can easily swap our plane irons that do vastly different jobs, from planing end grain (at low angles} to planing figured woods (at very steep angles).

Choose Your Angle

Willi bevel-down-style bench planes, you're stuckusingthecuttingangle lhat the plane manufacturer chooses. Keep in m ind I hat the culling angle of a bevel-down plane is determined by the angle of the frog to the sole, which is commonly 45°, though 50° and 55° frogs are available for Lie-Nielsen beve I- down plane s. And while you can theoretically increase t he cuttingangle by honing a back-bevel on the blade of a bevel-down

plane, it isanimpractical work-around,and it still does not resolve the other issues with Lhis outdated design.

In contrast, when usinga bevel-up plane, you can choose the cuttingangle that best suits the type ofcutand species of wood.

46 m Popular Wood working August 2009

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