Japanese Smoothing Plane, Part 2

Silly in a way to show a Japanese Plane that is not a smoothing plane in a smoothing plane article.

The shaving is uneven on the left side.  This means the blade projects more out of the bottom on the right side than the left.  For most work, this would need to be fixed.

Here the plane is flipped around, so the opposite side of the plane blade from the thin shaving side is being tapped.  This is how you can make large adjustments in blade position.  This swivels the blade, so the side  that was projecting more will be projecting less after adjustment.

You can also tap straight on, but on one side to try and even it out.  This is more subtle, but extends the blade.

Here is how you would tap to extend the blade and make a deeper cut.

With a bit of adjustment, the shaving is a bit more even.

In the picture above, you may be able to see why this is not set up to be a smoothing plane.  It has fairly square track edges at the sides where it planed.  A smoothing plane should have a cambered edge.  A cambered edge would be more of a smile shape than a straight line.  This leaves a transition at the edge that is smoother and less noticeable.  Since a well adjusted smoother is cutting with a depth of about a thousandth of an inch, the variation is not noticeable, and the result is a clean, smooth surface.

This plane, while not being a smoother, should probably have a bit more of a camber, but just at the edges.   You can see the edge tracks on the right in front of the plane

So while this is not a smoothing plane, it does have it’s place, what it does is quickly bring things down and cleans things up to where I can use a smoothing plane.

With straight grain that is in line, it is easy as can be to make a nice surface to then smooth with a smoothing plane.

Here is  the smoothing plane and what the smoothing plane does,

This is the same end of the board, I had to drill some holes for securing another project.

To fully explain the smoothing plane, I will also show a few other methods.

A scraper is not as fast, Here is a scraper and what a scraper does,

This is no where near as fast as a smoother, but a scraper is easy to use inexpensive and quite reliable.

A well tuned scraper can take lovely curls of wood off and can do as fine a job as a smoother can.  It takes a lot longer to do it, and a lot more work.

Sanding can also work well enough, not as  nice as a scraper or smoother, but for some things it is a decent  method.

Here is a horrible knot, hard and dense with grain leading up all around it.  Sanding does this,

Not as fast or as nice as scraping or smoothing.   Take real work.

Below is a comparison of about a minute of sanding, scraping and smoothing;

The pile on the left was scraped.  The pile in the middle and on the sandpaper was sanded. The pile on the right was planed.    From the wood removed it is easy to see what works the fastest.  For my money, I will use the scraper around knots and the plane on smooth grain.

The two sides of the table give me  a before and after picture,


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