Tony Wilkins

Benefits to an adjustable mouth block plane

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I have an LN bronze 102 block plane that works well for me.  However, when I see the recommendation for an adjustable mouth block I wonder what I'm missing out on.  Just what functionally does adjusting the mouth allow you?  What jobs do you do that require it?

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Call me crazy but I've never wished I could adjustthe mouth of my block plane.  I will on a smoother but I never take a big enough bite with a block plane to need an opened up mouth

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If you want to take a bigger cut you will need to open it. if you want a fine tight shaving you want to close the mouth as tight as possible. if done right you can even go ageist the grain in some cases and not get tareout. 

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==>What jobs do you do that require it?

The 102/103 apron planes are just fine 90% of the time. They are my go-to block planes (and I'm not alone here). A tight mouth can assist with end-grain and particularly nasty figured/interlocked/etc grain... But then again, so can a spritz of naphtha... :)

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17 minutes ago, hhh said:

==>What jobs do you do that require it?

The 102/103 apron planes are just fine 90% of the time. They are my go-to block planes (and I'm not alone here). A tight mouth can assist with end-grain and particularly nasty figured/interlocked/etc grain... But then again, so can a spritz of naphtha... :)

I figure between the 102, 62, and the 4 I can do what a 60.5 can do.

i have pondered getting a low angle smoother as well from time to time.

side note, finally got my old town coffin smoother back up after moving out here to the dry plains.

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It depends on how many different things you do with it.  I adjust mine fairly often because I do so many different things with whichever one I have in my tool belt, but these are carpentry things, and you won't do that wide a variety of different jobs with it in a shop working on furniture.

For instance, while fitting Cypress shingle hip cap shingles recently I wanted to take thick shavings, so I opened up the mouth and the iron projects way beyond what it would be like to pare end grain. 

The same plane is asked to take anything from shavings a half thou thick to 15 thou thick.  You want the tight mouth for the thin shaving, but it most likely will be so tight that it won't allow the iron to project far enough for the thick shaving, much less clear the shaving.

I have two pairs of Stanley block planes-9-1/2's and 60-1/2's.  One pair has cambered irons, and the other straight irons.  One of them is in my tool belt depending on what I'm working on.  I adjust shaving thickness and mouth opening on all of them.

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Just now, hhh said:

==>What jobs do you do that require it?

The 102/103 apron planes are just fine 90% of the time. They are my go-to block planes (and I'm not alone here). A tight mouth can assist with end-grain and particularly nasty figured/interlocked/etc grain... But then again, so can a spritz of naphtha... :)

Is  there anything other than naphtha that can be used? Something that doesn't smell that bad... I tried with alcohol but it dries too fast.

 

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Hi Tony

I do find an adjustable mouth block plane useful. Moving between a thicker shaving and a fine shaving is easier when the mouth can be made larger. Also easier to clear shavings. I have the LN 60 1/2 and the Veritas NX60 block planes.

Having said that, the first new block plane I purchased (a good many years ago now) was the LN #103. This has a 20 degree bed and mine came with a large-ish mouth. It's a great size to use for chamfers and is better on face grain than a low angle version (the higher cutting angle is less likely to tear out). The large mouth bugged me for years, however, since this makes it more difficult to judge how much blade projection there is (without a test cut). I usually feel the edge of the blade with a finger tip. The #102, I believe, has a fine mouth. What I did was to raise the bed of the #103 with brass shim sheet, which was then epoxied in (easy to remove with a hairdryer). This has made the mouth a lot tighter (and probably dropped the bed angle from 20- to 19 degrees).

Bottom line, a second block plane (with an adjustable mouth) is very useful. Then add a higher bevel angle to the #102, and use that for chamfers. 

Here is an amusing block plane review I wrote years ago:  http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolReviews/The%20Orange%20Block%20Plane.html

Regards from Perth

Derek

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I regret selling on my DX60 too soon.  I didn't use it much because it felt so heavy in my hand.  Recently saw one person saying it works best as a two handed tool - goi g against my preconceptions of a block plane.

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After using my LN 102 and borrowing my son's LV apron plane I'm revisiting this question.  I think I've found I use a block plane enough and wish I had a wider mouth on the 102 enough that I see a use nay a need for an adjustable mouth.

now I have to decide which one  (Flame suit on) the LN 60 1/2 or the LV DX60.  The LN is lighter by .35 over a pound.  The LV has PM-V11.

im wondering if I'll notice the 1/3 of a pound difference?  Any othe factor that can hel with my decision?

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On 12/28/2016 at 11:52 PM, derekcohen said:

Tony, here is a review of the DX, along with a comparison with the 60 1/2:

http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolReviews/VeritasPremiumBlockPlane.html

Regards from Perth

Derek

@derekcohen so from your review it seems for you that the ergonomics of the DX60 tend to counter the extra weight.  Is that correct?

if that is the case for me as well (and it certainly looks to fit to the hand better), then the question becomes is the Veritas worth the $40 premium for the PM-V11 blade?  A subjective evaluation I know :|

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