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BobbyShampurer

Cambered iron on a shooting board

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A beginner here. Is it best to use a flat blade as opposed to a cambered blade on a shooting board? Surely a cambered blade will produce a slightly off square results as it's rounded? What planes do you guys use for your shooting board. Thanks

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You just need the blade to be flat enough where it contacts your work. A touch of belly is not always bad, (talking thousandths here) as imperfections that small can get addressed with glue in joints etc. Many of us ease the corners of our smoothing irons in a way that is not true camber. It just keeps the corners from digging. Consider those smoothers are 2” wide and the board I am shooting is 3/4” thick. I just need a little over an inch of the plane iron to truly be square (or within that few thousandths.) The eased corners don’t  matter. The one caveat is if you are shooting with a rabetting plane. (I wouldn’t.) You typically avoid all camber with those and would not typically ease corners. That’s likely off topic in this post. 

To address the picture. See how the steepest curve is at the edges of the iron pictured? Lay something under the plane to elevate it a bit so that the more linear bit of the iron is doing the cutting. 

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I use a Bluegrass 5 1/2 with a totally flat blade on my shooting board. It works perfectly.

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Flat, i don't really use cambered blades for anything. My smoothing planes have 1 swipe on the finest stone with a bit of extra pressure on each corner and that's enough.

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Thanks for the responses. I'll try not to worry with a thin camber and lift the plane if needed to meet where the plane is flattest.

If I could follow up with another question.

When I hear about cambered blades, is it best to have just a slight camber, a big camber or a straight blade with rounded corners. Or are they all good for different roles?

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Heavy camber is typically reserved for "scrub" planes. These are made for the intial coarse flatenning of rough lumber. IMO, most other planes should have a straight edge, with only the corners eased to reduce tracks. Some like a bit of camber on their smoothing plane, to make the surface look more 'hand planed'. I just think it looks unfinished. But, to each his own.

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