Plane Sole...Smooth, Corrugated or Doesn't Matter?


Recommended Posts

I've been looking at buying a Stanley No. 7 joiner...I've been seeing quite a few corrugated ones. 

 

Does the corrugated sole make any difference to quality of work? I imagine the corrugated sole being lighter, but I can't think of any advantages...are there any disadvantages?

 

Any comments, feedback or links as always would be appreciated...

 

Thx

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just got an old one today and spent some time on it.... Corrugated, "supposedly" cuts down on the friction. Who knows? It might be a tad lighter, but not enough that you'd notice.  Here's a pic of the one I got today.   I'll post a pic  tomorrow showing how it cleaned up.

 

 

Update..After 3 hours working on it, I put it back together and this is the result!  Just another step on the way to a decent plane.  With a rough sharpening, it cut very nice curls on rough cherry!

post-15288-0-94140300-1402780211_thumb.j

post-15288-0-51926400-1402780238_thumb.j

post-15288-0-15956700-1402787766_thumb.j

post-15288-0-30825900-1402787794_thumb.j

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just got an old one today and spent some time on it.... Corrugated, "supposedly" cuts down on the friction. Who knows? It might be a tad lighter, but not enough that you'd notice.  Here's a pic of the one I got today.   I'll post a pic  tomorrow showing how it cleaned up.

 

That is one boat anchor of a plane...please do post pictures of it after cleanup. I'm very curious how it will look post clean up.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have some of the same models with and without.  No difference in feel, or performance.  It was a way they could make a couple of more dollars on a sale.  I do get them by choice, if available, but won't wait for one if a smooth soled one in a size I'm looking for comes up, nor will I pay a big premium price just because the sole is corrugated.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the market generally thinks the same way as Tom because as I've watched for planes to maybe buy there doesn't seem to be a difference between the two.  LN offered it for a premium for a bit but don't see it as an option box anymore on their planes - perhaps telling but maybe not.  C. Schwarz calls in a 19th Century sales gimmick and says it doesn't make a difference one way or the other.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have to lap the sole, corrugations matter. However, corrugations concentrate sole wear to the area just behind the corrugations. If the plane is used much, a corrugated sole will need lapping sooner. Not that this matters much because the leading edge of the mouth of a cast iron plane sole wears faster than other areas.

 

solewear.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd not heard that before, lwllms, but you've got the pictures to show for it... is this due to some flex in the iron casting during use, do you think?

 

For the OP, the only complaint I've heard about corrugations vs flat is some people find the corrugations annoying when jointing the edge.  Other than that it is mostly marketing, as far as I know. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

...won't wait for one if a smooth soled one in a size I'm looking for comes up, nor will I pay a big premium price just because the sole is corrugated.

 

I agree with this statement.  I like the "C's" myself esp in the event of having to do some flattening.  But besides wax building up in the corrugations, I see little--if any, difference.

 

also,

 

...guess I'll stop "avoiding" them in my pursuit to start my hand tool collection.

 

yep!

 

 

Now, let's go thru the Heirloom vs. Vintage discussion again, shall we?  Uh oh, why is that bolded;)

 

miw

Link to post
Share on other sites

Now, let's go thru the Heirloom vs. Vintage discussion again, shall we?  Uh oh, why is that bolded;)

 

miw

 

What discussion is that? I ask because I'm not sure what a heirloom plane is? A new plane with a Lie-Neilson and up price tag?

Link to post
Share on other sites

What discussion is that? I ask because I'm not sure what a heirloom plane is? A new plane with a Lie-Neilson and up price tag?

 

Sorry, I should not assume that everyone knows.  Yes, you guessed correctly.  It often comes up:  should I fix-up an old plane (spending potentially epic time and money on a replacement blade, etc.) or buy a plane that works when you take it out of the box (spending epic money but saving time and achieving instant results).  Even though my mantra is not to solve a problem by throwing money at it, that is my precise recommendation in this particular instance.

 

miw!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, I should not assume that everyone knows.  Yes, you guessed correctly.  It often comes up:  should I fix-up an old plane (spending potentially epic time and money on a replacement blade, etc.) or buy a plane that works when you take it out of the box (spending epic money but saving time and achieving instant results).  Even though my mantra is not to solve a problem by throwing money at it, that is my precise recommendation in this particular instance.

 

miw!

My current mantra is, first work the wood, then work the tools. 

 

I'm just starting, so any tool I buy will be "near" ready to use...a bit of honing or sharping maybe, but that's it. Restoring tools is a hobby in its self IMO.

Link to post
Share on other sites

On page 37 of the 1958 Stanley catalog it states the following:

 

Stanley Bench Planes with Corrugated Bottoms

These planes are made exactly like those on the preceding page (this shows regular planes) with the exception that the bottoms are ribbed or corrugated. Some workmen are of the opinion that corrugated bottom planes slide easier on resinous woods.

 

So the bottom line seems to be that the corrugations were put in purely to relieve friction. Isn't that something that can be done by waxing with a candle :)?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes and No.  I think the important thing to keep in mind is that--by today's standards--corrugations could be viewed simply as a marketing strategy.

 

Again, I feel like the below comment is an ideal purchasing guideline.  So, thanks, Tom, for that.

 

...won't wait for one if a smooth soled one in a size I'm looking for comes up, nor will I pay a big premium price just because the sole is corrugated.

 

Remember too that I am a "C" man, but manly cause I find the task of flattening 10-24" of sole daunting.

 

miw!

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.