Triumph of the Planes

So the big news first–I’ve finally made some serious headway in planing. Basically, I got another plane in working order, did some fine-tuning, honed my blades to death, and here we are with a full-length shaving:

It’s hard to describe how much of an improvement this is over my previous attempts. I was getting a few good shavings before, but here, every last shaving was awesome. The surface is like people say; it’s smooth and shines (and this with a silly workmate!). I’d been dreaming of being able to do this for many years.

Here are the two planes I used:

The smoothing plane is the same one from before, but I’ve been working on it. I flattened the lip of the chipbreaker, and flatted the frog base and mating surfaces with my diamond stone. I cleaned out the mouth a little.

Now, the jack plane is the Millers Falls #14C that I was talking about before as my next restoration project. I said that this was a pretty plane. Here’s what it looked like when I got it:

And the after (wow):

This plane is a type 4, made between 1955 and 1966. Some say that this was the pinnacle of the Millers Falls bench planes. There are superficial differences. The adjuster nut is solid brass and the wood in the tote and knob are superior, but there is one major difference between this and my other older Millers Falls planes that can affect function–the iron is much thicker, about as thick as a Hock iron. It has “solid tool steel” stamped on the top, which concerned me at first, because I thought it might not be of the usual good stuff, but it takes and holds an edge very well.

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