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Woodworking Home

Preface
Introduction

01. Tools
02. Saws
03. Planes
04. Boring Tools
05. Chisels + Chiseling
06. Form Work
07. Scraping + Sandpapering
08. Type Forms
09. Cabinet Work
10. Wood
11. Lumbering + Milling
12. Common Woods
13. Wood Finishing

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Planes

18. Planes; Setting the Blade.—A standard plane of the present time is shown in Fig. 44. The bottom of this plane is of iron. Fig. 45 shows a plane with the same ad­justments in which the bottom is of wood. Planes are made in dif­ferent sizes. As certain lengths are more suit­able for certain kinds of work, they have been given distinguishing names such as jack-plane, smooth-plane, fore-plane, jointer. Fig. 44 shows the jack-plane.

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wood working projects

The two irons of the plane, the plane-iron or plane-bit, and the cap-iron are fastened together by means of a stout screw. This cap-iron serves a double purpose'. First: It stiff­ens the plane-iron; second, it serves to bend and break the shaving, and thereby prevent a splitting action in front of the cutting edge. This action would surely occur were the grain in the least unfavorable and the cap-iron not used.

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The cap-iron should extend to within one-sixteenth of an inch of the cutting edge of the plane-iron in the smooth-plane and three thirty-sec­onds in the jackplane. The screw which holds the plane iron and cap-iron together must be fastened with a screw­ driver, tightly as possible. Many car­ penters use the plane-cap for this pur­pose. Otherwise, a few strokes of the plane, and the plane-iron will have been forced up so that the cutting edge will not touch the wood. The reason for this action will be understood when it is seen that the lever of the brass adjust­ing nut does not act directly on the cap-iron but only on the plane-iron as it is carried along by being fastened with this screw to the cap-iron.

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The cap-iron and plane-iron are fastened in the throat of the plane by a cap on one end of which is a little lever or cam.

Should this cam fail to hold the irons firmly, the screw which holds the cap to the frog should be turned with the screwdriver. It should be remembered, however, that this screw, once set, seldom needs adjusting.

Beginners frequently, in ignorance, place the plane-iron and cap-iron together so that the side of the plane-iron having the bevel is next to the cap-iron. This results in a loose acting cam. They should look to see that the irons are properly set before changing the screw.

Should it be impossible to force the cam into place without great pressure, first look to see whether the blade rests flat upon the frog before releasing the screw. Fre­quently the little lever which should enter the small open­ing in the cap-iron will be found to have entered the opening in the plane-iron only.

19. Adjustment of the Iron.—There are two adjust­ments for the blade of the modern plane. The first con­sists in turning the thumb-screw or adjusting nut, Fig. 46, that the plane-iron may cut a thicker or a thinner shaving. The direction in which it should be turned to give the desired result must be learned by experiment, for in some planes it is the reverse of what it is in others.

A little observation of the action of the screw upon the lever which connects it to the plane-iron will show that there is often quite a little lost motion so that it becomes necessary to turn the screw a little before the iron is raised or lowered any. One soon learns by the sense of feeling when the lost motion has been taken up. The second adjustment is by means of the lever, 9, Fig. 46. Moving this lever to the right or the left serves to straighten the plane-iron, so that the cutting edge shall extend evenly thru the mouth and not take a shaving thicker at one side of the iron than at the other. In adjusting a plane-iron, turn the plane upside down with the toe towards you, hold it toward the light and sight along the bottom, Fig. 49. If the plane-iron projects, ob­serve whether it projects evenly or not. Usually one side will be found to project more than the other. Move the adjusting lev­er until it shall project uniformly. The cutting edge should project about the thickness of a piece of drawing paper for average work.

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wood working projects

20. The Jack-plane.—The jack-plane is about thirteen inches long. Where a full equipment of planes is at hand, the plane-iron of the jack-plane is ground slightly rounding as is shown in Fig. 50A. The purpose of this plane is to remove rough or large quantities of wood and this shape of blade is best suited for face of the wood is left in hollows and ridges, and it is necessary to use another plane with a plane-iron ground that purpose. Of course the surface of the wood is left in hollows and ridges, and it is necessary to use another plane with a plane-iron ground straight and set shallower in order to smooth the surface. In manual-training schools where the jack-plane is made to serve the purpose of smooth-plane also, the plane-iron is sharpened straight across and the corners slightly rounded, B, Fig. 50.

21.   The Smooth-plane.—The smooth-plane is short­er than the jack-plane. Fig. 51. It is used, as its name implies, for smoothing sur­faces. As the straightening is supposed to have been pre­viously done, the shorter length is no disadvantage. For fine work the cap-iron of this plane may be set as close as one thirty-second of an inch to the cutting edge of the plane-iron. The plane-iron should be set cor­respondingly shallow.

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22. The Jointer.—This plane is used for straighten ing long and uneven stock. It is most commonly used for preparing the parts for glue joints. Fig. 52.

Its advantage lies in its length, often two feet or more, which prevents the blade from cutting in the hollow places until all of the high places have been leveled. A short plane would simply follow the irregularities, smooth­ing but not straightening. The plane-iron of the jointer should be ground straight across.

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Fore-planes are short jointers, next in size to the jack-planes, and are used for such work as straightening the edges of doors, windows, etc., when fitting them.

23. The Block-plane.—The block-plane is about six inches long. It is made especially for cutting across the end of the wood. In
addition to the adjusting nut, which is in a different position but serves the same purpose as in the jack-plane, and the lateral adjusting lever, there is a lever for adjusting the size of the opening at the mouth of this plane. The block-plane differs from the planes just described in that it has no cap-iron, none being needed in end-plan­ing. The plane-iron is put in place with the bevel side up instead of down as in the other planes.  

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The block-plane is not a necessity where a vise can be used for holding the piece to be planed. A smooth-plane or jack-plane may, if the plane-iron be set very shallow, do the work just as well. The block-plane is used most­ly by carpenters in fitting together pieces which cannot be taken to the vise. Here the smallness of the plane and the fact that but one hand is needed to operate it are of very great advantage.

24. The Wooden Plane.—The old-fashioned wood­ en planes are still preferred by some woodworkers. The iron bodied planes have displaced them because of the ease with which they can be adjusted rather than because they produce any better results. Wooden planes are sub­ject to warpage and as the bottoms become uneven thru wear, it is necessary to straight­en and level them occasionally. The plane-iron and cap-iron of the wood­en plane are fastened in the throat of the plane by means of a wooden wedge. This wedge is driven in place with the hammer. Fig. 54 shows the manner of holding the plane while setting the irons and wedge. If the plane-iron does not project enough, the iron is lightly tapped as indicated. If too much projects, the stock is tapped as in Fig. 55.

This figure also illustrates the man­ner of removing the wedge, two or three blows being sufficient to release it so that it can be with­drawn with the hand. In setting the plane-iron, should either corner project more than the other, tap the side of the iron.

wood working projects

wood working projects

wood working projects

Fig. 56 shows the manner of holding the smooth plane in releasing the wedge, as well as when the cutting edge projects too much.

25. Woodworking Terms; Face Side, Face Edge.—Fig. 57 locates the terms used in referring to the parts of a piece of lumber. " Grain " in wood is determined by the direction of its wood fibres. Length always refers to the direction parallel to the axis or center of the original log. A board may be wider than it is long. Wood splits easiest along the grain. When the fibres approach the surface obliquely, the surface will be roughened unless one and only one direction of planing is used. When the surface is thus roughened the planing is said to be " against the grain."

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The first surface and the first edge selected serve a special purpose and are given special names. The first surface is called the face side, and the first edge, the face edge; both may be referred to as the faces. These faces are sometimes known by other names such as working face and joint edge, marked face and marked edge, etc., but their meaning is the same.

That these faces may be known, they are marked with pencil with what are called face marks. There are va­rious ways of making face marks. Unless otherwise in­structed, the marks may be made as in Fig. 57; for the face side, a light slanting line about one inch long ex­tending to the edge which is to become the face edge; for the face edge, two lines across the edge. The marks on both face side and face edge should be placed about the middle of the piece and close together.

These two surfaces are the only ones marked. From one or the other of these, measurements and tests are made. In squaring up stock, for illustration (which means to reduce a piece of rough lumber to definite length, width and thickness so that it shall have smooth, flat sides at right angles to each other) the gage block is held against one or the other of these faces only, and the beam of the try-square when testing for squareness is placed against one or the other of these faces only.

26. General Discussion of Planing.—Select for the first surface, which we shall call the face side, the better of the two broad surfaces. Knots, sap, wind, shakes, etc., should there be any, must be taken into account when passing judgment. Often the two sides are so nearly alike that there is little reason for choice.

Where several parts are to be fitted together, the faces are turned in; in this case, the best surfaces should not be selected for faces. Chapter VII, section 75.

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Notice the direction of the grain and place the piece so as not to plane against it. In Fig. 58 plane from A toward "R or the surface will be roughened instead of smoothed. When the stock is rough, the direction of the grain cannot be told readily. A few strokes of the plane will give the desired information. As most stock is to be planed to size, it is well to test with the rule before beginning to plane, so as to know just how much margin has been allow­ed. ' If you find you cannot true this first surface without getting the piece within one-sixteenth of an inch of the thickness required, ask your instructor to show you where the trouble lies.

As few shavings as possible, and those thin ones, with the proper result attained, show forethought and care. No­where can good, common sense be used to better advan­tage than in learning to plane.

When planes are not in use they should be laid on their sides, or otherwise placed so that the cutting edge shall not touch anything.

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For roughing off and straightening broad surfaces, the jack-plane should be used, and this followed by the smooth-plane.

When using the plane, stand with the right side to the bench; avoid a stooping position. Fig. 59. The plane should rest flat upon the wood from start to finish. Press heavily upon the knob in starting and upon the handle in finishing the stroke.

Unless care is taken to hold the plane level in starting and stopping, the result will be as indicated in Fig. 60A.

Take as long a shaving as the nature of the work will permit. In planing long boards or where it is desired to lower one particular place only, it becomes necessary to stop the stroke before the end of the board is reached. That no mark shall show at the place where the plane-iron is lifted, it is necessary to feather the shaving. This is done by holding the toe of the plane upon the board and raising the heel as the stroke proceeds, beginning just before the stopping point is reached. If the cut is to commence other than at the end of the piece, lower the heel after having started the forward stroke with the toe upon the board.

It is customary to raise the heel of the plane lightly on the backward stroke that the edge may not be dulled.

27. Planing First Surface True.—A true surface is one which is straight as to its length and width, and which has its surface at the four corners in the same plane.

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wood working projects

Before beginning to plane hold the piece toward the light, close one eye and sight as in Fig. 61. If the sur­face is not warped or in wind, the back arris ab will appear directly behind the front arris cd. Also sight the arrises for straightness, Fig. 62, being careful to hold so as to get the full benefit of the light. Again, test from arris to arris, The try-square may be used either side up, but the beam must not be held against either edge. It is not for squareness but for straightness that this test is made. When the surface has been planed so that it fulfills the tests by sighting described above, an additional test may­be given it. Should the board be of any considerable width—three or more inches—the following test will prove sufficient: Place a straight-edge along each of its two diagonals, then lengthwise, then crosswise the surface planed. If no light can be seen between the piece and the straight-edge in any of these four tests, the surface may be considered level or true.

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A second test, one which will answer for narrow as well as broad surfaces, differs from the above only in the man­ner of determining whether the surface is in wind or not. Two sticks, called winding sticks are prepared by plan­ing their two opposite edges straight and parallel to each other. These sticks are placed across the surface to be tested, close to the ends, and a sight taken over their top edges. If the surface is in wind the edges cannot be made to sight so that one edge will appear directly back of the other, Fig. 65; one end of the back stick will appear high, at the same time the other one will appear low with reference to the edge of the fore stick. The back corner is high only as compared with the fore corner. The wind may be taken out of the surface just as well by planing the fore corner which is diagonally opposite. Usually, equal amounts should be planed from the surface at each of these corners. If, however, the board is thicker at one corner than the other, it is best to take the whole amount.at the thicker corner.

28. Planing First Edge Square with Face Side.— Make a preliminary test with the eye before beginning to plane. Sight the arrises of the edge to see where it needs straightening. Examine the end to see which arris is high. Also look to see which way the grain runs. Avoid imperfections in the wood as far as possible in choosing this edge.

It is the part of wisdom to examine the plane-iron to see that the surface planing has not caused the cutting edge to project unevenly. A plane, set out of true, is likely to cause hours of extra work; it defeats every effort that may be made to hold the plane properly.

Strive to get shavings the full length of the piece, es­pecially on the last few strokes.

The smooth-plane is little if ever used for edge planing on account of its short length. In using the jack-plane in which the edge is slightly rounded, thus making a shav­ing thicker in the middle than at the edges, avoid tilting the plane to make it cut on one side rather than the other.

Move the whole plane over to the high side so that the middle of the cutting edge shall be directly over the high place. Keep the sides of the plane parallel with the edge so as to ;;et the full benefit of the length of the plane.

The two tests which this first edge must fulfill are: First, that it shall be straight; second, that it shall be square with the face side. Fig. 6, Chapter I, shows the method of testing for squareness. As in planing the face side, try to accomplish the desired result with as few shavings as possible.

The caution about planing the first surface, where a definite iiize is to be attained, applies equally to planing the first edge.

When the edge has been properly trued, put on the face marks suitable for the face edge.

29.   Finishing the Second Edge.—A line gaged from the face edge indicates the proper stopping place in plan­ ing the second edge. This line, if lightly made, should be half planed off.

As the line is parallel with the face edge, no straight edge test is necessary. The try-square test for square­ness, the beam being held against the face side, must be frequently applied when approaching the gage line.

Where the amount of waste stock to be planed is about an eight! l of an inch, the plane-iron may be set a little deeper than average. When near the line, however, it must be set quite shallow. If the waste stock measures more than three-sixteenths of an inch, the rip-saw should be used, sawing parallel to the gage line and about one-eighth of an inch away from it.

30.   Finishing the Second Side.—Lines gaged from the face side on the two edges show the amount to be planed.

The test for this side is made by placing the straight­edge across the piece from arris to arris as the planing proceeds, to see that the middle shall be neither high nor low when the gage lines have been reached. No other test is necessary; a little thought will show the reason.

Never attempt to work without lines. If by mistake you plane out your line, take the piece to your instructor at once, unless you have been otherwise directed, that he may tell you what to do.

31. Planing the First End Square.—See that the cut­ting edge is very sharp and that the plane-iron is set per­fectly true and very shallow. Examine one of the ends of the piece by placing the beam of the try-square against the face side, then against face edge, to locate the high places.

In free end planing, the cutting edge must not be allow­ed to reach the farther corner or the corner will be broken off.

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Plane only part way across the end, stopping the cut­ting half an inch or more from the far edge. Fig. 66. After a few strokes in this direction, reverse the position and plane in the opposite direction, stopping the cutting edge half an inch or more from the first edge.

Keep testing the end as the planing proceeds, that you may know what you are doing. Remove no more material than is necessary to square the end, and lay on the rule occasionally that you may not endanger the correct length in your efforts to square this end.

32. Finishing the Second End.—Knife lines squared entirely around the piece, at a given distance from the end first squared, limit the amount of the planing that can be done on this end. If the waste stock is over one-eighth of an inch the saw should be used to remove all but a thirty-second of an inch before beginning to plane. Watch the lines. If you are uncertain as to their accuracy, test this end as you did the first one.

33. End Planing with the Shooting Board.—Fig. 67 illustrates a way in which the ends of narrow pieces may be easily squared. The plane is pressed to the shooting board with the right hand. The left hand holds the piece against the stop and to the plane.

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The face edge of the piece should be held against the stop; the wood must not be allowed to project beyond the stop. If it does, the corners, being unsup­ported, will be broken away as in free planing when the cutting edge is accidentally shoved entirely across the piece. The bench hook makes an admir­able shooting board.

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34. Rules for Planing to Dimensions.—

1. True and smooth a broad surface; put on a face mark. This becomes the face side.

  1. Joint (straighten and square) one edge from the face side; put on a face mark. This becomes the face edge.
  2. Gage to required width from the face edge, and joint to the gage line.
  3. Gage to required thickness on both edges from the face side; plane to the gage lines.
  4. Square one end from the face side and face edge.
  5. Lay off with knife and square the required length from the squared end; work to the knife line.

The rules just given are the ones used when stock is entirely in the rough or where it is desired to have the surfaces as nearly perfect as possible.

While every stu­dent should know how, and be able to square up rough stock quickly and accurately, he should understand that modern mill practice makes it unnecessary to use stock entirely in the rough. Most of the lumber used by cabi­net makers and carpenters is machine planed, Fig. 119, on two surfaces to stock thicknesses.

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The nature of the piece of woodwork that is to be done determines the method to be used in squaring up mill-planed stock. Your instructor will provide specific directions for the order of procedure until you have ac­quired the ability to see for yourself the correct method to be used.

35. Planing a Chamfer.— Fig. 69 illustrates a good way to lay out a chamfer. A notch in the back end of the gage-stick holds the pencil in posi­tion. Holding pencil in this way, draw lines on face and edge indicating width of the chamfer. Fig. 70 illustrates the manner of block-planing a chamfer, the piece being held on the bench-hook.

Where the piece can be placed in the vise, Fig. 71 illus­trates the method of planing a chamfer with one of the larger planes. First, plane the chamfers which are parallel to the grain; then the ends. If the plane-iron is sharp and set shallow, it can be run entirely across without danger of splitting the corners. Hold the plane parallel to the edge in planing with the grain.

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wood working projects

Swing it to an angle of about forty-five degrees in end chamfering, but move it parallel with the edge, and not with the length of the plane.

The eye will detect inaccuracies in planing. If further test is desired, Fig. 72 illustrates one.

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