Lets talk smoothers...


Recommended Posts

I didn't look at the specs...I guess they're pretty close, aren't they?  They threw me off calling it "small."  :)   The Veritas smoother is a pound lighter than the LN, though...that's fairly significant.

 

Actually you were right the first time. That LN is No 4 sized closer to what LV calls their Low angle smoother.  The SBUS is no. 3 sized. The blade is 1/4 narrower, and that 1/4" difference in the width of a No. 3 and No. 4 or the SBUS compared to the LV or LN No 4 size LA smoothers has far more impact on how they function/feel/maneuver around subtle undulations than the 1/2 length.

 

Case in point. A Miller falls No 9 (Stanley 4 equivalent)  and a Miller Fall No. 8 (Stanley 3 equivalent) are both 9 inches long...both are the length of a Stanley 3. But the 9 behaves like a 4 (even though its a 1/2" shorter) and the 8 behaves like a 3 (as you would expect since it dimensions are identical to the 3). 

 

Another case in point. Ever tried smoothing with a 5 1/4?  Its longer than a 4, but it behaves more like a No 3 despite being longer than both. Wood tends to be put of flat across its width not its length, so it you are planing in line with the grain the width (and/or narrowness) of the plane has a bigger impact than the length.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 79
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Mel, I know Paul Sellers is very positive about his Veritas LA smoother and I am sure the Lie-Nielsen version would be just as good. I must say I'm pleased with my vintage Record#4. I would like to tr

From recommendations of the plane guru, Graham, I love my Stanley #4. I bought it with several intentions in mind. I will never give up my power tools, like my jointer and planer, but if I can avoid s

You have now realized the magic and brilliance of the bailey design.  Prevents tearout at least equally well as a 55 degree angle of attack,leaves a surface with more sheen, and no harder to push.  Yo

Posted Images

Yes. I added a secondary bevel of around 50 degrees. As they come, the modern cap irons are they are too low to adequately prevent tear-out, and becasue they are not hardened steel they will crumble and chip if you don't add that secondary bevel.  It you are going to use your cap irons close to the edge to prevent tearout the secondary bevel is a must.

I did it before leaving work, a quick frehand hone on an India and polish on the strop. I looked at a Stanley cap iron and just tried to copy the the shape freehand. It turned the cap iron from what LN made (because it is a LN copy) as a support to the blade to a support and true cap iron. Pictured, Type 1 - No cap iron effect & curly, type 2 Cap iron effect straighter. Fingers crossed that's right otherwise I look a fool :P

 

post-11619-0-79017800-1391821437_thumb.j

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just did it to my woodriver 4 real quick, and a test cut on a small piece of african mahogany on the livingroom carpet shows amazing results. The planed edge looks like a cartoon it's so perfect.

 

You have now realized the magic and brilliance of the bailey design.  Prevents tearout at least equally well as a 55 degree angle of attack,leaves a surface with more sheen, and no harder to push.  You will never be the same.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have my 4-1/2 set up like that.  The 4, and two 3s are set to take progressively thicker shavings.  It's hard to have one smoother to do all, and not do a lot of fiddling with it.  This way, I just pull one out of the "Smooth" box when I need it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom, that is how I feel. This is now the smoother. I now keep another #4 Bailey which is now a general purpose plane. Quite honestly I knew you had to set it close on fine work but the changes between the type of shavings was a lightbuld momemt as was Wilbur's Vimeo film of the experiment done in Japan. I suspect the guys in the older text knew about this, they just didn't explain in as well as they could or it was common knowledge. If I fully understood this process earlier I can think of quite a few jobs I have worked on that would of benefited from it.

The only book I have which is "Planecraft" from Record tools actually gives distances for the cap Iron. For smoothing 1/64th which I think is 0.4mm. Closer is better. As Ellis wrote I went for a "trifle" which is a barely perceptible ammount of balde showing jusged with the eye. I must concur with Derek that the smooth cap iron screw on the LN pattern cap iron outer edge makes this harder to set. The screws in old Baileys cap irons make setting easier with their grippy edges (IMO)

I've actually found the extra weight of my Bedrock works better with this than the lighter Bailey. This might be just personal preferance but I had better results. Perhaps this is why infills of old did such a great job, mass, flat soles and cap irons.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Graham,

I may be totally out of whack here, but I always find that I get better results with heavier smoothing planes, but if you are going to use it for a long time then there are definitely some advantages to a lighter one. It is easier on your arms and shoulders.

 

So, in my experience heavier = better initial results. Where as lighter = less fatigue which probably leads to better long smoothing session results. As with everything in life there are trade-offs.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My opinion of the weight of the smoother is this. At a certain point, weight doesn't help. What I mean is this; If the smoother has a decent amount of weight to it, the performance has more to do with the way you approach the work. This includes stance, balance and your own personal weight distribution on the work. A certain amount of leverage helps here, which is why hand tool users benches are lower than guys that use power tools. We need the leverage in order to maintain optimal working conditions without getting tired after smoothing, or otherwise planing one board.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My opinion of the weight of the smoother is this. At a certain point, weight doesn't help. What I mean is this; If the smoother has a decent amount of weight to it, the performance has more to do with the way you approach the work. This includes stance, balance and your own personal weight distribution on the work. A certain amount of leverage helps here, which is why hand tool users benches are lower than guys that use power tools. We need the leverage in order to maintain optimal working conditions without getting tired after smoothing, or otherwise planing one board.

Pretty much my thoughts, or close to.

1-2 extra pounds in a smoother is equivalent to leaning an extra maybe 1-2 degrees forward in your stance. I would rather have the lighter plane for all around work and if I need some extra weight, I will change my stance accordingly.

I'm 150lbs, and if I can add 1-2 pounds extra force by barely shifting my stance, I'm pretty sure anyone can.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't completely agree with Sam's leading theory. I agree with the physics of course. The normalized component of your body weight to increase 1-2 pounds is only a degree or so. But in practice, I prefer a heavier smoother.

 

I find I get better results with a heavier plane. I'm sure there's a law of diminishing returns, however. For example I'm sure if the plane weighed 1000 pounds it would be useless. So, I'm not talking about going extreme here.

 

For the most part I prefer a heavier smoother with a layer of wax on the sole. I find it not only is easier to keep flat on the board, but with the wax, I don't find that I need much more effort. I will say this, I'm only talking about the difference in weight between an infill 4 or a open 4-1/2 as opposed to the lighter open 4. I've never actually weighed them, but I'm guessing it's a pound or two. (That's a pound or two of weight, Graham, not your unit of currency.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a difference in your frictional coefficient. If your bare sole slides well, the blade provides the friction. This leaves many preferring the inertial mass of the heavier plane. I only lift the plane enough to clear the blade while backing the plane. If your technique has you lifting the plane often or working at arms length, I can understand desiring a lighter smoother as well. If you work on a super high level, I find I can be prone to lift the heel of a lighter plane. I know this is poor technique on my part and this affects my preference.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My point about weight transfer was more about proper planing technique than gaining force by leaning.

 

It's kind of like pool... Conventional wisdom always stated that you should break with a heavier cue. This is just not true. You get more momentum with a lighter cue than a heavier one.

 

I agree with C... The heavier plane will compensate for poor technique. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

"The heavier plane will compensate for poor technique."

 

You nailed it, Mel. That's why I prefer a heavier smoother. I find I make fewer mistakes. Thus, I get better results with my 4-1/2 than with my 4.

Interesting you mention pool. Of course this isn't a billiard forum, but the same thing really does apply in pool. I also prefer a heavier cue in pool. Not because of the need for momentum. (which as you mentioned may be or may not be the way to get it. Momentum is mass x velocity so if you can get more velocity with a lighter cue, you may be able to create more momentum.)

 

Anyhow, I've always liked the heavier cue because it helps stay on line. Again, it compensates for imperfect technique. As always, the law of diminishing returns still exists. One more example for you, Mel. I've seen a lot of guys go to a Heavy Putter to compensate for flaws in their technique in putting. I've even tried one and I found it awesome for short putts, but I struggled in recalibrating my distance control for long putts. Long story short it's the same concept.

 

So, yeah, I agree 100%, the heavier plane compensates for errors in technique better. That's why I like it. Because, unfortunately, I'm pretty flawed.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

That's funny, Mel.

I used to do that, too.

Not only that, but for a while I experimented with a cue that was specially built with weight in the handle, but no additional weight in the business end.

Have you ever tinkered with the diameter of the business end, or handle of your cue? I've done some of that too.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Chet,

 

I have played with about every pool cue there is. I had a real sickness a couple of years ago. It was really out of hand. I had more money in cues than I care to disclose. I'll post pics of some of them in another thread.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think at present the new Bedrock will be kept for fine smoothing. A Bailey #4 is fine for every thing else and good for fine smothing too. I'm no science dude but the Bedrock feels better for fine smoothing. Could be all maner of things, blade, weight, sole. I'm not too worried why, my brain can only handle so much analysis.

 

Chet, on the weight, your gonna need to work on those guns :-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.