Need a little help tuning a no. 4 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 3Likes
  • 1 Post By hoowasat
  • 1 Post By epicfail48
  • 1 Post By RParker
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 10 Old 05-21-2020, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 9
View RParker's Photo Album My Photos
Need a little help tuning a no. 4

I got a "new" (to me) no. 4. It's a Stanley-made, Craftsman c557b.

The good: it was really clean. I was able to flatten the sole, the bedding a area of the frog, and the frog's mating surface in about an half an hour. The frog sits firm in the sole with no rocking. The iron needed a little work but not too much, and it is now shaving-sharp. It gives nice smooth surfaces on pine, walnut, and mahogany.

The bad: I thought I had done my due diligence, but I mistook it for an older model. So, it has one of the lightweight aluminum frogs, rather than the preferable cast iron ones. The lateral adjuster is really tight. Like, tight enough that it's hard to adjust tiny amounts without over-doing it. The images of the frog are from before tuning.

The ugly: it gives me a lot of chatter and stops dead a lot on harder woods, like oak and cherry. Closing the mouth to the point I can barely see through the slot helps some, but not a huge amount. Ditto with setting the chip breaker.

The real kicker is that I can get silky smooth ribbons and cuts on those exact same pieces of wood with my Grandfather's Great Neck no. 3, which is not exactly what people would call a high-end piece. Apart from the size, the only real difference is that the Great Neck had a cast iron frog.

Is there anything I've missed? I've watched dozens of plane tuning videos and have successfully tuned up my no. 3, no. 6, and a cheap Buck Brothers no. 4 I to a scrub plane. I thought i might have gotten a good deal on a nice no. 4 to be a smoother, but not if it under-performs a smaller, "cheaper" made plane.

Is there any possibility of a cast iron frog that fits this plane bed? The frog from my other no. 4 doesn't fit - the geometry is way different and is more like the classic Stanley Bailey/Bedrock design. Need a little help tuning a no. 4-20200521_100906.jpgNeed a little help tuning a no. 4-20200521_100912.jpgNeed a little help tuning a no. 4-20200521_100920.jpg

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
RParker is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 Old 05-21-2020, 04:35 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: NN, VA
Posts: 49
View hoowasat's Photo Album My Photos
First time I've heard of an aluminum frog, but then again, I am not very well versed in the world of wood planes. A couple things pop out right away and both of them pertain to seating surfaces. The frog does not appear to have been machined where it mates with the sole, nor was it machined where the iron bears against it. But worse is that aluminum and steel have greatly different coefficients of expansion. Aluminum will expand and contract at a greater rate than cast steel. Your iron cannot seat properly, and you can see where the frog's finish has popped off in a few places due to the iron not seating against that surface uniformly.

If you can remove the adjustment arm's rivet and reinstall one later, you could possibly spend a great deal of time block-sanding or stoning to flatten the iron seating area. However, that doesn't turn the frog into steel. Perhaps this one should be the scrubber?
RParker likes this.

Ken
Everything works out in the end. If it's not working, you're not at the end.
hoowasat is offline  
post #3 of 10 Old 05-21-2020, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 9
View RParker's Photo Album My Photos
Thanks for the pointer. I hadn't thought about the expansion/contraction rates. I was operating on the idea that the aluminum frog - having less mass than cast iron - wouldn't absorb vibration or be as stable.

I did take the mating surfaces of the frog down to flat on a granite countertop piece. But as you can see here, the actual contact surface where the frog meets the iron is engineered to be pretty minimal. Doesn't leave much confidence, even if it was iron.Need a little help tuning a no. 4-20200521_184047.jpgNeed a little help tuning a no. 4-20200521_184129.jpg

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
RParker is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 10 Old 05-21-2020, 08:48 PM
Village Idiot
 
epicfail48's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Springfield MO
Posts: 4,903
View epicfail48's Photo Album My Photos
Frogs probably not flat, the layer of paint on what should be a mating surface all but guarantees that. What kind of bloody idiot paints a mating surface ill never know...

Flatten out the mating surfaces and you might get better results, mating surfaces here being the pad where the frog makes contact with the base and the face that makes contact with the blade. Being made of aluminium isnt a negative, but not being properly fit to the plane sure is. For this particular application, material is secondary to fit, even cast iron would be worthless if it didnt mate properly
hoowasat likes this.

I need cheaper hobby
etsy.com/shop/projectepicfail
epicfail48 is offline  
post #5 of 10 Old 05-21-2020, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 9
View RParker's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
Frogs probably not flat, the layer of paint on what should be a mating surface all but guarantees that. What kind of bloody idiot paints a mating surface ill never know...



Flatten out the mating surfaces and you might get better results, mating surfaces here being the pad where the frog makes contact with the base and the face that makes contact with the blade. Being made of aluminium isnt a negative, but not being properly fit to the plane sure is. For this particular application, material is secondary to fit, even cast iron would be worthless if it didnt mate properly
That's the thing. If you look at the frog on the second set of pics, you'll see a bare ridge running the full outside perimeter. That sits about .05" (?) above the painted portion. The iron doesn't contact any of the painted surface, but it has relatively little support compared to the Bailey style frog. I could see about removing the yoke and lateral adjuster to grind the whole surface to one plane, but I don't know if it would be worth it.

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
RParker is offline  
post #6 of 10 Old 05-21-2020, 10:27 PM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 26,951
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
just fix it, it ain't workin' now ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by RParker View Post
That's the thing. If you look at the frog on the second set of pics, you'll see a bare ridge running the full outside perimeter. That sits about .05" (?) above the painted portion. The iron doesn't contact any of the painted surface, but it has relatively little support compared to the Bailey style frog. I could see about removing the yoke and lateral adjuster to grind the whole surface to one plane, but I don't know if it would be worth it.

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk

What do you have to loose? Since it's not performing well now, try that solution of last resort and see what happens. There are plenty of applications where aluminum has replaced steel with great results, especially in the automotive field. Aircraft have always used aluminum successfully. Mass certainly does play a role in some tools and the use of aluminum in the frog is "suspect" but fixing the mating surfaces is worth a try. It will either resolve the issue or not.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
woodnthings is online now  
post #7 of 10 Old 05-22-2020, 01:05 AM
Village Idiot
 
epicfail48's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Springfield MO
Posts: 4,903
View epicfail48's Photo Album My Photos
Slap a thicker iron in there then. If you cant improve the contact surfaces, minimize the need for contact surfaces.

I need cheaper hobby
etsy.com/shop/projectepicfail
epicfail48 is offline  
post #8 of 10 Old 05-22-2020, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 9
View RParker's Photo Album My Photos
I believe we have success - or at least it is within sight. I took @woodnthings advice and went ahead with grinding the whole face of the frog down to the primary body. It only took about 10 minutes do to the bulk. Fortunately, I didn't have to remove the lateral adjuster, just the yoke. Bringing the face back required filing the face of the lateral adjuster so it would still fit under the chip breaker. There are still some minor tweaks to do, but it cuts MUCH more smoothly than before. I may still try a thicker iron, but I'll wait for a while before deciding. Need a little help tuning a no. 4-20200522_134839.jpgNeed a little help tuning a no. 4-20200522_171032.jpg

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
hoowasat likes this.
RParker is offline  
post #9 of 10 Old 05-23-2020, 10:22 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Troy Michigan USA
Posts: 1,157
View gmercer_48083's Photo Album My Photos
One thing I would like to point out...the frog should not be positioned so far rearward that the iron contacts the mouth of the sole. Also the chip breaker must have an edge, where it contacts the iron... that light will not pass through between the chip breaker and the iron.
Using the "Paul Sellers" rag in a can, will make the plane glide effortlessly when using.

I find it hard to believe that Stanley now makes this plane using aluminum. As said already I see a scrub plane in its future.

Gary

Woodworking is like wetting myself....Only I know that warm feeling!
gmercer_48083 is offline  
post #10 of 10 Old 05-23-2020, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 9
View RParker's Photo Album My Photos
Yeah, the frog on this thing kinda sucks. I am careful not to let the iron ride on the mouth as you note, and I did put an edge on the chip breaker as well. However, I'm gonna try it as a scrub. The "fine tuning" I mentioned that it needed before was that the iron wouldn't fully retract in a consistent manner, it useless as a smoother.

I've not had this much trouble with any other plane I've worked on - including a cheap one from Home Depot.


Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
RParker is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome