Adventures in Hand Planing (for glue up) - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 16 Old 01-23-2013, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Adventures in Hand Planing (for glue up)

Hello,

I recently bought a compliment of Lie Nielsen hand planes. A no. 4 1/2 smoothing plane, a no 5 jack plane, and a no 8 jointer. This is my first set. I wanted to buy something that worked out of the box so I couldn't blame the plane when I did something wrong. It takes away my ability to make excuses.

My first project is to build a workbench so I can use the planes efficiently. I'm suffering my way through the ordeal using a pair of sawhorses and the concrete wall of my basement as a bench dog. It's a real pain because space is limited and when the grain changes direction I have to ever so carefully maneuver my board around shelving, lamps, etc so the other end is against the wall, or straddle the board. Awkward.

Anyway, I sharpened the planes for the first time last night using water stones, a roller jig, and the ruler trick. Seems to work well.

After sharpening (and before sharpening), I noticed that some boards became very glossy. They achieved a glassy finish using just the jack plane. When I applied the smoothing plane, the glassy finish became dull. More abraded, I guess. What is going on here? Isn't it supposed to go the other way? Are there some boards I just won't be able to achieve a glassy finish on, or am I doing something wrong? What is my goal? When do I know I'm done?

These boards are just regular pine 2x4s. I'm going to glue them up into a table top for the bench. Do I absolutely need a glassy finish for glue up? Or is it ok to leave them slightly dull, but flat?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-23-2013, 11:04 AM
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not glassy is actually probably better because the glue can penetrate it better.

here is a very good series on building a great workbench using all hand tools:

http://paulsellers.com/series/building-a-workbench/
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post #3 of 16 Old 01-23-2013, 12:20 PM
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Lie-Nielson planes as a "starter" set. Wow, big budget.

I personally would not have used the ruler trick on a new blade.

I like the back of the blade to be flat. Personal preference.

"Are there some boards I just won't be able to achieve a glassy finish on, or am I doing something wrong?"

Some boards will be more difficult to plane. Lots of variables, species, grain direction, consistency of grain etc.

If you have pine with no knots you should be able to plane this as smooth as desired.

"What is my goal? When do I know I'm done?"

If you have achieved a flat surface with the desired smoothness, I would not continue to plane. This feels like a waste of energy.

If you are gluing up, you want each face being glue to the straight, orthogonal (90 deg to the other face) and the boards should not have any gap when placed together - without clamping.

As Chris mentioned, a glossy appearance is not required.

I cannot answer why a No 5 gives you the glossy surface and a No 4 does not. I would need to have the planes in front of me to be able to determine if the difference is the plane, blade or the operator.
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post #4 of 16 Old 01-23-2013, 01:28 PM
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Wow those are expensive! What is the advantage of hand planing?
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post #5 of 16 Old 01-23-2013, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by BKBuilds View Post
Wow those are expensive! What is the advantage of hand planing?
Pleasure, satisfaction, and relaxation
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post #6 of 16 Old 01-23-2013, 01:44 PM
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The end goal for a glue joint is flat. It sounds to me as though your smoother is not as sharp and the mouth may be a bit more open than the others.

The point of a jointer and the point of jointing is flat, complimentary angles - not pretty surfaces.

A shiny surface (from a plane) is a better glue surface but the difference between that and a dull but flat surface is negligible.

I know Sellers is well regarded, but the ruler thing is bad. Only reason to do that is for a badly pitted blade... Not brand new ones.

So to recap, practice sharpening. Practice using and let us know how it goes and I want to see the bench once it is done!

Oh and you might find some good in reading:
http://www.creoleproject.blogspot.co...eph-moxon.html

Good luck!
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post #7 of 16 Old 01-23-2013, 02:20 PM
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I know Sellers is well regarded, but the ruler thing is bad. Only reason to do that is for a badly pitted blade... Not brand new ones.
I agree about the ruler trick. The challenge is we have some famous names who advocate.

Not only Sellers, but Rob Cosman in this video which was in a recent thread on honing.

www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Rvop_JCfZGI

Rob also has a comment about not worrying how far back to set his cap iron "I usually set this to 1/16in inch". This contradicts other things I have read and the Kato video which concluded closer to the edge is better.
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post #8 of 16 Old 01-23-2013, 02:24 PM
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Pleasure, satisfaction, and relaxation
+1.

Also in some cases control or it is the best tool for the task.

If I have a small high spot, I would not want to put the assembly through a power planer. Easier to use a hand plane. Normally faster and less dust than sanding.

Lie-Nielson make very nice tools. They are expensive. The old you pay your money and you make your choices. I would love to own them if money were no issue.

When I purchase new, my price point has been Veritas by Lee Valley.
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-23-2013, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Paine View Post
+1.

Also in some cases control or it is the best tool for the task.

If I have a small high spot, I would not want to put the assembly through a power planer. Easier to use a hand plane. Normally faster and less dust than sanding.

Lie-Nielson make very nice tools. They are expensive. The old you pay your money and you make your choices. I would love to own them if money were no issue.

When I purchase new, my price point has been Veritas by Lee Valley.
Yes sir. I posted this pic in my Keepsake box build. The lid was not square to the box itself and I did not want to take 1/16 to 1/8 inch off with a sander and definitely not with a saw. My little tiny hobby plane was perfect for the job and the best tool I had for it:
Adventures in Hand Planing (for glue up)-photo-114.jpg
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post #10 of 16 Old 01-23-2013, 02:43 PM
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Thank you guys for the insight.
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post #11 of 16 Old 01-24-2013, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the feedback.

It is good to know that a rough but flat surface is fine for gluing. That is what I thought, but I wanted to be sure.

In fact, should I purposely abrade the glassy surfaces for a better joint?

Regarding the Lie Nielsen planes... Yeah, they're expensive. I considered buying reconditioned 1930 era Stanley planes instead, but then I had visions of having problems with them and being frustrated.

I've bought a lot of tools these past ten years. Generally, you get what you pay for. The more expensive tools are easier to use and cost less long term. I can't tell you how many times I've had to pay twice because I bought something cheap the first time and ended up frustrated.

It was about a grand for the LN set. I would have spent half that on a decent lunch box planer. And I'd still have to build a jig for jointing. A large 12" jet combination planer/jointer would be ideal, but there is something truly expensive: well over a grand.

I'm not in this for volume production at the moment. I intend to make this workbench, then do some millwork for my old 1920s house (doors, windows, etc). After that, some furniture. I figured this set would offer me the flexibility I need to do just about any job I can imagine. Maybe not quickly, but I can at least get the job done with high quality results. I like the exercise too.

Once I'm familiar with these planes, I can always buy some antique Stanley planes, fix them up, and use those, selling the LN planes if I want.

This choice gave me the most flexibility for my budget (about a grand). I'm smarting a bit from the price, I think it's a practical choice, long term.
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post #12 of 16 Old 01-24-2013, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firemedic View Post

[...]

A shiny surface (from a plane) is a better glue surface but the difference between that and a dull but flat surface is negligible.

[...]

Good luck!
"roughing up" a suface is counter productive on modern wood glues.
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post #13 of 16 Old 01-24-2013, 09:08 AM
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No one is knocking your Lie-Nielson planes. They are excellent quality.

They are just out of the price range for many folks. I would love to have some LN planes.

I hope you do venture into restoring some old planes. I love to see old iron brought back to good condition and getting a second life. For me, this is satisfying.

You said the boards are 2x4 construction grade soft wood. This will glue whether glossy of rough. If you want to be sure, just lightly hand sand with e.g., 220 grit paper. Just make a pass or two. You are not wanting to remove much material.
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post #14 of 16 Old 01-24-2013, 11:32 AM
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Sanding clogs pores... Sanding before gluing OR FINISHING is bad.
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post #15 of 16 Old 01-24-2013, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Good to know that about sanding.

Btw, in case you all are curious, this is the bench I'm building: http://picnicpark.org/keith/woodwork...apBench-ne.pdf

Except I bought this vice, which is a little too big for the dimensions: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004OCH206/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00
So I'm making the bench 106" long to compensate for the longer vice overhang. I figure that's ideal anyway because I'll be able to work longer stock easily.

Also, that Sellers guy is alright. I actually watched his youtube video before I started planing the 2x stock for the top. I then went out and bought those cheap aluminum Chinese clamps from harbor freight. Paid $170 for like 12 of them. Sheesh. Clamps are expensive. I already had a bunch of F style clamps, so with all of these together I should be set, unless I need more ridgidity, in which case I intend to buy pipe clamps from harbor freight too.

I'm toying with the idea of making some cauls for the glue up. The instructions I'm using says to not attempt more than a few joints at a time, but Sellers does the whole thing at once in his video, and I figure cauls will make it even easier. Dunno. Haven't made a decision yet.
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post #16 of 16 Old 01-25-2013, 03:02 AM
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Good to know that about sanding.

Btw, in case you all are curious, this is the bench I'm building: http://picnicpark.org/keith/woodwork...apBench-ne.pdf

Except I bought this vice, which is a little too big for the dimensions: Amazon.com: Eclipse 10" Quick Release Vise: Home Improvement

So I'm making the bench 106" long to compensate for the longer vice overhang. I figure that's ideal anyway because I'll be able to work longer stock easily.

Also, that Sellers guy is alright. I actually watched his youtube video before I started planing the 2x stock for the top. I then went out and bought those cheap aluminum Chinese clamps from harbor freight. Paid $170 for like 12 of them. Sheesh. Clamps are expensive. I already had a bunch of F style clamps, so with all of these together I should be set, unless I need more ridgidity, in which case I intend to buy pipe clamps from harbor freight too.

I'm toying with the idea of making some cauls for the glue up. The instructions I'm using says to not attempt more than a few joints at a time, but Sellers does the whole thing at once in his video, and I figure cauls will make it even easier. Dunno. Haven't made a decision yet.
When I built my guitar I needed to glue up 5 2 inch pieces of Mahogany and it had to be absolutely flat but since my jointer is only 8 inches I went to Rockler, grabbed a slab of walnut and cherry, planed one side and used it as cauls. They worked perfectly.
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