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Mini Block Planes

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by slk, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. slk

    slk Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    I just acquired a Seargent 105 squirrel tail mini block plane. 3.5" long with a 1" iron. Question is does the bevel go up or down on the iron? On my other mini planes it goes down but I am second guessing myself now on this one. Is there a rule of thumb for these mini planes?
  2. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Bevel up.
    Spokeshaves are bevel down.
  3. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    What Rob said...

    You may be able to change the cutting angle by switching the bevel location, but they're pretty much designed one way...
  4. OP

    slk Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    I was able to get logged into a Hand plane forum today and the general rule of thumb is if it is a block plane the bevel goes down. Hand plane it goes up. There are exceptions to the rule. That is especially true for the Stanley 101 mini planes, Sargent 105 mini, and Kunz mini. All of those the bevel goes down. Those are the sizes we use for trimming planking. The reason for this is that the angle for the iron is already at a 25* angle, and if you turn the iron bevel side up it will double the degree. I tried and you can't cut a thing with such a steep angle. Turned the bevel down and it cuts like a charm.

  5. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    This is backwards. Bevel up for block planes, bevel down for bench planes. With exceptions of course.

    It's usually easy. The cutter is usually marked by the manufacturer - when mounted properly, the mark is up.
  6. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    I think about this not so much as a "bevel orientation and plane type" issue, but rather as a "cutting angle and task" issue. A 45 degree angle is good for general hand planing, so in a bench plane with a 45 degree frog, bevel down means that the upper (un-beveled) face of the blade is at 45 degrees to the work surface (so the actual cutting angle is 45 degrees). Standard block planes have a lower bed angle, so bevel up gets the actual cutting angle to around 45 degrees. For end grain a lower cutting angle produces better results, so low-bed-angle planes - both bench and block planes - are produced in which blades are mounted bevel-up. This configuration, plus skewing the lateral angle of the plane during use, lowers the cutting angle. On the other hand, complicated grain patterns (as in highly figured boards) plane better with a high cutting angle. Standard bevel-up planes work well here when the blade is ground at an even steeper angle.
  7. OP

    slk Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Very correct for sure. Now back to the mini plane. The ones that are only about 3 1/2" or so. They are actually classified as non- adjustable planes, because there is no thumb wheel on the back to move the iron in and out. I am sure there are exceptions to the orientation of the bevel on them as well but the ones I have the bevel does go down. I did out of curiosity check my small block planes 5"-6" ones and the bevel was up on all of them. I did try to put the bevel up on my mini's and you would be gouging the wood so bad there is no way you could use them. I did find out that the bevel on my Sargent squirrel tail 105 mini was cut wrong, and that is why I posted the initial question. I have since sharpened it to 25* and all is good now. Honestly I never knew there was so much info to learn on planes. Very interesting pieces of equipment for sure.

  8. OP

    slk Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    This is from a the preverbal horses mouth of plane restorers and collectors:

    "As far as the angle of the bevel is concerned, anything from 25 degrees
    to 30 degrees is fine. It depends on your preference and what you're
    going to use the plane for. I usually set mine at 25 degrees.

    And you are correct in that this is a bevel down plane, unlike other
    block planes. The general rule of thumb is : Low bed angle (10 to 25
    degrees) = bevel-up blade. Higher bed angle (40 to 60 degrees) =
    bevel-down blade. Scrapers are a different beast altogether."
  9. Rollin Thurlow

    Rollin Thurlow member since 1980

    If your having math trouble or angle confusion and want to save your brain cells for more other problems, a simple solution, in most cases, is: The manufacturer will most often put their trademark or company name on the top side of the iron that is to be faced up so the woodworker can see the name. It makes you look like a genius to just grab a plane and let the person know if their blade bevel correct without even looking at the angle or how it is set.
  10. OP

    slk Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Rollin that is a very true statement.

  11. dtdcanoes

    dtdcanoes LOVES Wooden Canoes

    What ? The guy on the other side of the street just told me IT was over here !

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