Shoulder plane setup

  • 04 Dec 2017 1:37 PM
    Message # 5612383
    I see Rob using the bench surface to make the edge of his shoulder plane to align with the edge of blade. However, the instructions for the WoodRiver shoulder plane says "The blade provided with the WoodRiver no. 92 is 0.007" wider than the body of the plane. In order to cut a square shoulder, it is necessary for the blade to project 0.003" to 0.004" past the body. This projection can be set by placing the plane on it's side on a flat surface. Raise the front and rear of the body of the plane with paper shims (standard notebook paper is .003" to .004" thick), and reference the blade to the flat, un-shimmed surface"



    Last modified: 04 Dec 2017 1:38 PM | Robert
  • 05 Dec 2017 8:36 PM
    Reply # 5614426 on 5612383

    It seems to me that for the plane to cut square, guided by one edge of the plane, the blade has to be flush on that side with all of the extra blade on the other side away from the precise corner. This is the way that Rob demonstrates. I would guess that the Woodriver instructions may have been written by someone with no wood working experience, as is the case for many current tools.

    I checked my handplane reference books and found no mention of how to handle this portion of the setup.


  • 06 Dec 2017 1:18 AM
    Reply # 5614692 on 5612383

    It seemed to me, looking at the plane closely, that there is a very small rounded over corner between the bottom and the side of the plane. I'm thinking that if that's so, sticking out a few thousandths might make the side of the blade line up with the side of the plane better. 

  • 19 Dec 2017 6:54 PM
    Reply # 5643075 on 5612383

    The shoulder plane is made so that the plane sole and the side are at exactly 90 degrees. They go through a great deal of trouble to ensure this. This is important for a reason. Take into consideration the anatomy of the shoulder plane. It is actually much taller than it is wide. The reason for this is that the sole of a shoulder plane is actually not made to be a reference surface. The side of the plane is the reference surface. A shoulder plane is named that for a reason. It is to trim and help perfect the shoulder on a tenon. What makes the shoulder on a tenon perfect? Well self I'm glad you asked. The shoulder needs to be square to the board and the tenon. So therfore I need to ensure that the shoulder is exactly 90 degrees to the board. I know my tenon has to be parallel to the face of the board. So if I can reference off the face of the tenon at exactly 90 degrees then I can ensure that the shoulder is correct. Now, knowing that the side of the plane is actually meant to be the reference surface, then we know that the blade cannot be proud of the reference surface. If the blade is proud of that reference surface, then it will be refrencing off of the side of the blade, and not the side of the plane. So therefore the blade needs to be exactly flush with the side of the shoulder plane and not proud of it.  Make sense?

    Last modified: 19 Dec 2017 6:57 PM | Richard Blair
  • 20 Dec 2017 12:14 AM
    Reply # 5643374 on 5612383

    Of course it makes sense. But that's wasn't the question. The question was why is it that the people who MAKE the plane say otherwise. I don't really buy the "they don't know what they're doing" explanation. Maybe, with his inside track with WoodRiver and Woodcraft, Rob could ask.

    Last modified: 20 Dec 2017 12:14 AM | Robert
  • 16 Jan 2018 5:13 PM
    Reply # 5686181 on 5612383

    I recently watched a video by Chris Gochnour on setting up a shoulder plane and he calls for a .004 projection of the blade on both sides. He uses two  sheet of paper laid on his abrasive to dress the sides to his correct projection. For what it's worth

  • 18 Jan 2018 1:49 PM
    Reply # 5689834 on 5612383
    ROB COSMAN (Administrator)

    Good questions, I dont have an inside track on why WoodRiver says that, and like most men, I have never read their instructions!  Maybe they realize that as well so did it just to gauge if anyone ever reads the instructions! :)

    My only experience is my experience.  Like Rick says, the blade needs to cut on the same plane as the side so having it project any amount beyond this doesn't make sense.  I have rarely had an issue with this since my new crosscut saws do such a perfect job cutting the shoulder there is no need for a shoulder plane!  :)

    JOKE!  Would be so nice however.

    I have had an occasion where the plane "stepped over" as a result of the blade not being in line.  I have always been able to correct that by re-adjusting in the same manner, move the blade over then push it on a flat hard surface to get it flush.


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