#3 Stanley and Plane


tomwassmer
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I was given a no 3 that was my grandfather's.  It has been poorly sharpened for years and I'd like to put a good edge on it.  I'm not sure what bevel angle to put on it.  I got the MK II and love the ease of use.  That's what I will use to sharpen this.  I assume I will get responses asking what I will use this for.  To be honest, I am BRAND new to planes and this is one of two that was given to me by my Dad and I see myself using this one more often so I'll concentrate on this plane first.  I am a little unclear what a 3 is even for.  I've used it once so far to shave a little off a replacement fence picket to fit it into the existiing void...hardly fine woodworking but it was satisfying to make some shavings!  So all that said, my question remains, what's a good bevel angle to start with on this plane?

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Its a smoothing plane. Used to put a final finish on a piece of wood.  3s can also make handy general purpose trimming planes.  I like a 30 or so degree bevel on my bench planes.  Lower than that I find I lose some edge longevity. 

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25 degrees as a primary bevel on it. As you have the MKII you can put a microbevel on afterwards doing a couple of passes on a high grit stone. Don't forget to flatten the back of the blade first of all though.

 Yes, what he said.  To clarify My preference for 30ish is as a final bevel angle. If your using micro bevels a lower primary is good.

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Hi Tommy,

 

All good advice so far. If you want to see a simple approach in action this one

I have a number three stanley. It was mistake, my Dad thought he was buying a number 4. As Chris says the smoothing planes are for applying the final finish. The number 3 is ideal for smaller work or smaller hands. Enjoy using the family tools, it's a great feeling  :)
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Don't worry about the exact angle it is bevel down so anything close to 30 will work. The frog sets the cutting angle. As long as it is sharp and very slightly cambered it will work. There shouldn't be any problem with rolling the edge.

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Anywhere between 25° and 35° will do. I started at 25° with a 30° secondary bevel, but now use 30° and 35° as a secondary bevel. I have no scientific proof, but I think the higher angle makes the cutting edge last a bit longer.

 

John

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Anywhere between 25° and 35° will do. I started at 25° with a 30° secondary bevel, but now use 30° and 35° as a secondary bevel. I have no scientific proof, but I think the higher angle makes the cutting edge last a bit longer.

 

John

 

Same here. As long as you stay below 35 you still have enough of a clearance angle for the plane to function well, and yes a edge longevity is improved.  The biggest difference in my experience is when you go from somewhere around 25 to somewhere around 30.  High carbon steels (e.g. O1) hold up best once you get them a bit above 25 degrees.  Of course, exactly where depends on the specific steel/blade but usually 28-30 is quite good.  But there is still improvement when you raise the angle a bit more.  I don't measure that bit more, I just have most my plane blades ground at about 30 and then I just lift a few degrees for a few strokes on my finest stone.  It really does make  a difference.  

 

Again though, for folks less familiar do not go above 35 on a 45 degree bedded BD plane,  you risk not having enough clearance between the wood and the blade bevel.  Even 35 on a 45 degree bedded is pushing it in theory as many will say you need more then the resulting 10 degrees of clearance, but in practice I haven't found 35 on a 45 bed to be a problem.  Of course, YMMV.

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There is nothing to add here! The one thing I will say is rehabbing old planes is far easier now with the ruler trick, thank goodness because it saves a LOT of time and hand cramps! If you're unsure what the ruler trick is I am sure you can find several videos on YouTube, it's basically using a ruler to tip your plane iron up a tad so that you don't have to flatten the whole back instead you hone just that front edge. I have a few planes that my wife's grandpas that I cherish as well as several old ones I have purchased, with some work you can get good results, If you find that you really enjoy buying a Hock iron will greatly improve the performance of your plane making it even more enjoyable.

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