It’s something I felt needed to be addressed after seeing some gleaming polished planes for use online that buyers are bidding extremely high prices for. This subject is by no means being raised because it has affected our sales but it’s hard to see people being fooled by poor practices.
Like anything in life there are always poor imitations and those who are happy to dupe unsuspecting buyers into believing things appear to be the same or better when its just not the case. I’d be the first to recognise any seller who actually puts in the same work as we do to ensure tools are truly is fit for purpose.
We simply don’t clean the planes or any tool for presentation purposes, if we did this then i’m sure our planes would be even better to look at given the extra time we could allocate, but there is no point in this other than cleaning parts so that they move freely. Polishing planes often reduces accuracy especially when they rely on flatness to work properly. At the end of the day we concentrate on the important parts that ensure it will be used.
HOW IT WORKS:
It’s a common mistake to assume a fine of shaving leaves the best finish, so seeing a plane with fine shavings means very little as it’s more to do with the way it takes that fine shaving and minimising the tear out to such an extent the surface looks flawless. Almost all planes will work with a sharp iron but it isn’t a coincidence some planes leave a superior finish to others.
When we take a plane that has had years of use it is soon apparent with the right equipment how uneven they have become and to rectify this requires a good set up. We have developed methods to ensure flatness to the sole is regained or bettered than they were original made, this operation is often neglected by sellers as it involves both time and hard work to achieve.
Working with flat timber created by a good flat jointer plane is paramount to achieving the best results, flatness gives the user the ability to finish the surface by adjusting the smoother to the finest settings when finishing work. The iron can protrude by a minimal amount beyond the flat sole with the chip-breaker in close proximity to the leading edge. The frog can also be adjusted to close the throat to optimise it further but this becomes all too apparent when tackling hardwoods with uneven grains.
The best finishes are not achievable with an uneven sole, pitted back of the iron and dodgy chip-breaker.
The back of the cutting edge on irons need to be flat and the connection between the chip-breaker at the back of iron should match to eliminate any gaps which shavings can work into. The true connection between these two parts should be seamless and shaped to maximise the effect it has lifting the shaved fibres.
The rest of the refurbishment is cosmetic which some sellers do undertake with varying standards, however if the main focus on flatness isn’t undertaken it’s certain buyers may be buying an identical model but rarely the same quality plane.