Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Plaining the Mast

When you glue up a pair of 20' long sticks to make a mast, there's going to be a bit of work with a plane to be done afterwards.

You could use a Power Planer, except that :
  • It's noisy
  • You have to wear Ear Protection.
  • You can't listen to music.
  • It makes a mess (dust and chippings by the bin load).
  • The wood dust means you need to wear a mask.
  • And the dust gets right into your very soul.
  • Your neighbours won't feel the love if you fire up a power planer in the late evening.
  • Power Planers are about as subtle as a Felling Axe.
So out came the Stanley jack plane.

It does have a Hock Blade, (a +4 sharpness modifier).

And I have gotten to the stage where I can sharpen and hone a blade to the point of shaving with it.
You'd be surprised at the difference this makes.

After about 2 hours, swapping between each arm, and alternating between pushing the plane, and pulling it Japanese Style I now have a mast which would no longer looks like builders waste.

That may be an easy task for a Full Time Carpenter, but a 2 hour workout (with breaks to hone the blade) is a lot for a guy who pushes keys for a living.

One thing to note:

Everyone says it 'cause it's true: sharpen more often. 

Every time I honed the blade, I thought "damn, I should have done that 10 minutes ago".

However, as you need to take off the Plane Iron Cap to sharpen / hone, you need to reset the blade each time.

To reset the blade, put the plane down on a flat wooden surface, put the blade into the plane but do not clamp it. Adjust it so that it's resting on the wood. Push it gently down into the wood with your thumb. Clamp the blade. Now that the blade is more or less in the right place it's just fine tuning.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Great post, I for one am guilty of not sharpening nearly enough and it ends up costing me a lot of added time.

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