View Full Version : Using an old plane blade

9th Jan 2008, 06:09 PM
I was talking to a guy who sounded like an experienced turner (I'm not) who suggested using an old plane blade as a smoothing tool when turning between centres. Before I sacrifice a decent plane blade I would like to know:
is this a good idea
how would you best use it
is there a safety issue here.


Skew ChiDAMN!!
9th Jan 2008, 06:45 PM
Something that wide and short I'd use solely as a scraper. You wouldn't have enough control over it for use in cutting, even if you only use a portion of the edge. Unless you want to eff around trying to add a handle and then, without a tang, I'm not sure I'd trust it too far...

Personally, I wouldn't use it as it could only be used on long, straight spindles. While it may be a bit of a time-saver for a novice, an able turner would manage just as quickly with a normal tool. And if a novice started using a plane blade, they won't develop the skills to bring them up to a capable level in that area. IMHO you're better off forgetting about it. :shrug:

(Does any of that make sense?)

Manuka Jock
9th Jan 2008, 07:15 PM
I seem to recall seeing a photo of a plan iron being used , may have had a handle on it .
It looked unwieldy .
Yep , stay clear of it . By the time you have the skill , you will have bypassed the need.

9th Jan 2008, 07:23 PM
I have seen leaf springs used as scrapers.. they have a similar width to a plane blade but are long enough to be handled relatively safely... I'd stick with Skews advice and get the basic tools doing their intended jobs.

9th Jan 2008, 07:26 PM
HYmmmm........ I wouldn't.:no::doh:

Manuka Jock
9th Jan 2008, 07:47 PM
One use for a plane iron , is as an adze. Mounted on an appropriately shaped handle it works a treat .
Good for taking the corners off bowl blanks (off the lathe )
Jack plane irons may be best , more robust .

9th Jan 2008, 10:09 PM
Sounds pretty scary to me. Too much surface contact and too little leverage for my liking.


joe greiner
10th Jan 2008, 01:47 AM
Not a good idea without a suitable holder. Nawm (Abrams, New Yankee Workshop) has used a block plane for smoothing long spindles, but best restricted to such a task. Like Skew says, develop usage of normal tools for growth of skills. Search the Woodturning Forum for [axe OR shovel] for some other weird tool applications.


10th Jan 2008, 05:43 PM
Seen a cabinet scraper used inside a large vase FWIW.

10th Jan 2008, 06:56 PM
have sen a couple of times fellow woodies at demo's using one in a holder to make walking sticks

Removes material a real treat

contact Bill from Blue Mnts Turners

12th Jan 2008, 12:42 PM
Just recently saw a post on another forum where a guy used a curved cabinet scraper inside a piece... it caught, and he almost lost a finger. If I used a plane iron, it wouldn't be inside anything.
Plane blade is a bad idea... this coming from a guy who used a chainsaw on a spinning piece of tree. :(