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  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanW View Post
    Chief, those old Titan/Stanley HSS blades must be getting pretty thin on the ground by now?! I
    They still come up on Ebay now and then; usually brand new. I reckon I’ve got about a dozen now; but I’ve started replacing them in my “user” planes with Veritas PMV11 blades. I need to have a cull… actually I need to have a really BIG cull and reduce the number of planes overall!
    Nothing succeeds like a budgie without a beak.

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  3. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanW View Post

    Mike - you're a pretty resourceful chap, I reckon you should consider having a go at making a new cap-iron if you don't like the original, it's not all that difficult. But tbh, there is really nothing wrong with the originals, despite the hype of retailers of replacement CIs. As long as they are not pitted or otherwise damaged & properly fitted, they do an adequate job imo. I reckon you'll notice a far bigger difference from a slightly thicker blade than you'll notice with a heavier cap-iron.

    Thanks Ian, but I think you may be overestimating my resourcefulness and ability. Besides, I've too many half-finished projects already. I'll probably try the PMV11 blade with an aftermarket cap-iron and if it doesn't fit, I'll just re-use the original cap-iron especially after your endorsement.


    Cheers.

  4. #18
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    Hi Mike. Is there anything particularly wrong with the existing blade and cap iron?

  5. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Tiff View Post
    ..... I need to have a cull… actually I need to have a really BIG cull and reduce the number of planes overall!
    Must be in the air, Chief, I've been trying to get my act together since the start of the year. It's not just planes, I have a few spares, both factory-made & a couple of my own manufacture that are excess to genuine requirements, but I have quite a few other pretty decent tools that have found their way into the shed by one route or another as well & they would all serve humanity better being used by somebody instead of sitting in the dark wondering if they've been forgotten...

    Then there's the wood stash to deal with!

    We're planning to down-size in a few years' time & I'd rather have a controlled clean-out than the last minute panic my mate had a couple of years ago. That traumatised me - mind you, his shed was twice the size of mine & he was a pathological hoarder. My affliction is only borderline clinical, and far more selective!

    Cheers,
    Ian
    IW

  6. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Ash View Post
    Hi Mike. Is there anything particularly wrong with the existing blade and cap iron?

    Just general rust, chipping, and pitting especially at the cutting edge. Plus I've gotten accustomed to the performance of modern irons.

  7. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by KahoyKutter View Post
    .... I'll probably try the PMV11 blade with an aftermarket cap-iron and if it doesn't fit, I'll just re-use the original cap-iron especially after your endorsement....
    Mike, carefully measure the distance between the toe-edge of the CI & the edge of the slot for the adjuster cam on the original. That's the critical dimension & if it's more than about a mm different on any replacement CI you plan to use, you are likely to have trouble either retracting the blade or getting enough exposure to cut.

    I'm sure you would not have as much trouble making a cap-iron as you think. To make a single-bend type like the ones LV & L-N sell is easier than making the full-curve style like the original Stanley/Baily design, but for reasons I've expounded on elsewhere I much prefer the old style.

    In case you decide to give it a go some day, here's a PDF of the relevant section on making cap-irons from my "manual". It's intended for plane makers, but the principles are the same. The only difference when making a CI for a Bailey style plane is adding the slot for the adjuster cam, which has to be placed accurately, as mentioned above.

    Cheers,

    Cap Irons.pdf
    IW

  8. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by KahoyKutter View Post
    ....Just general rust, chipping, and pitting especially at the cutting edge......
    Yeah, if the toe end is pitted, it detracts very significantly from performance! Apart from making it difficult/impossible to get a gapless fit, the rough surface impedes shavings flow so cap-irons in a bad state like that are frequently unable to be cleaned up to my satisfaction. That part and the toe of the blade are frequently badly rusted on old neglected planes because they are more exposed than the bits under the lever-cap.

    And yep, it's easy to become addicted to good modern blades, especially if you have a penchant for using some of our blade-killing hardwoods! I have two PM-V11 blades and they are a boon when dealing with woods like gidgee & she-oak..

    Older blades are just so variable in my experience. There is no reason they couldn't have been left a little harder, but for some reason the manufacturers decided to bring them back a few more Rc units softer than say a typical O1 blade as made to today. You strike some old blades that are quite satisfactory on "decent" woods, but most are just that little bit soft for my likings - they are sort of ok in woods like camphor laurel & similar, but give up the ghost literally after a few swipes on she-oak!
    Cheers,
    IW

  9. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanW View Post
    Yeah, if the toe end is pitted, it detracts very significantly from performance! Apart from making it difficult/impossible to get a gapless fit, the rough surface impedes shavings flow so cap-irons in a bad state like that are frequently unable to be cleaned up to my satisfaction.

    Yep....that's my main concern, achieving a gapless fit. And I have been known to try to plane Iron Bark endgrain and even my PMV11 blades struggle with that task.

  10. #24
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    Well CT and IanW, if you need a hand with the cull, I'm here.

  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by KahoyKutter View Post
    It's a shame about the cap-iron if you're right. The lever cap I wasn't planning on changing but I was hoping to upgrade the cap-iron. I was hoping the Hock 2.38mm blade would be thin enough to pair up with a newer cap-iron.
    The adjustment slot in the CB is specifically matched to the frog in the plane, other CBs are not probably not compatible. If there's is nothing wrong with the current CB, I can't imagine what you could replace it with to improve its function. The thicker the replacement iron the higher risk of the adjustment yoke not reaching the CB.

    I've made a few irons in 1/8" and 3/32" thicknesses for Bailey pattern planes, the mouth of the recipient planes needed some work to fit. You may need to file the front of the mortise to allow clearance for the shavings.

    In my case, I didn't enlarge the mouth, just filed a bevel on the front of the mouth and backed the frog as far as it would go. If I make more in the future I'll use 0.80" stock.

    Rafael

  12. #26
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    Thanks Rafael. Just in case I do end up going down the path of making my own CI, what kind of steel did you use?

  13. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by raffo View Post
    T... If I make more in the future I'll use 0.80" stock.....
    That'll be some blade Raffo!!! (I think the zero was meant to be in front of the "8" )

    There must be quite a bit of variation in the mouths between models or due to the many different casting patterns used over the years. As I said, I've used thicker aftermarket irons (up to 0.125") in quite a few old Stanleys & a couple of Records & haven't had a problem so far, thanks to manufacturing variation & good luck.

    Most people are reluctant to file the front of the mouth opening on their planes & that is understandable since you can never put it back. But I suggest you take a very hard look at things before you decide it needs opening, anyway. There is a prevailing belief that you can't pull the frog back any further than the bevel of the sole or the blade won't sit flat. This is usually not the case. I made this sketch to illustrate why a "blade block" was used on infills with very thick blades: Blade block diag.jpg

    With the thick blade the bevel ends up well above the sole so another chunk of metal was riveted to the sole to provide a solid base for the blade to sit on. Substitute a frog for the blade block & you can see that with a thin blade you can't pull the frog back far without exposing too much sole & risk having the blade back foul on it when advanced. However, with a thick blade, the bevel extends further up the back and so the frog can be pulled back a bit without the back of the blade touching the sole bevel.

    I have the impression that older planes are a little thinner at this point than later ones, but that may be normal variation skewed by small sample size. In any case the sole is thin enough where the toe of the frog sits (+/- 0.125") that you can certainly pull the frog back at least a little bit past the sole bevel without problems. The thicker your blade, the further back you can safely go.

    But this is not really relevant to a transitional, the frog assembly is screwed into the wooden body & there is no provision for moving the frog for & aft, iirc. This is not necessarily a problem. For starters, if Mike's plane has seen much use there's a good chance the sole has been "revived" a couple of times already and this will have 'opened' the mouth noticeably. And if perchance a thicker blade is too tight, it's easier to file a bit of wood than cast-iron...

    Cheers
    IW

  14. #28
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    I'm still reading your paper re: chip-irons, Ian, and I see you've already answered my question on what type of steel to use if I decide to make my own. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.

  15. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by KahoyKutter View Post
    .... Just in case I do end up going down the path of making my own CI, what kind of steel did you use?..
    For a larger plane, I use either 3.2 or 2.5mm stainless. Mild steel is fine (it's what your current cap-iron will be made of), but it's relatively easy to get a small off-cut of stainless from a fabricator if there's one near you. You need a piece about 150 x 60mm to allow for bending & a bit of trimming.

    SS is easy enough to work with, it bends much the same as mild, but is a little harder on files & drill bits. Your main worry is the screw thread. Some at least are 5/16" NC which is close enough to 5/16 BSW for the purpose, so either tap will do. However, some screws seem to be an odd size I've never figured out, so do check yours to see if it is something close to the size. Be extra careful to have the tap perpendicular to the pilot hole when tapping, it's super-easy to get it skewed in such thin material. I hold the CI in a machine vice on the DP & put the tap in the chuck (turning it manually, of course). If the screw isn't straight, one side will drag when tightening & it will cause the CI to move when tightening. This is a major nuisance - again, damhik! )

    Cheers,
    IW

  16. #30
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    Oops, yes, 0.08" O1 stock.

    Ian, in many of my old Stanleys, the mouth is 3/16" wide and no bevel at the front of the mouth, like in your picture, just a straight cut. Weaver suggested filing the mouth, like in your picture, to allow for shavings clearance. This worked for fine shavings.

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