A Woodworker’s Notebook
Jeff Gorman
Adjusting a Wooden Plane
The rear end of this old worm-eaten jack plane has, of course, been removed. The escapement is darkened because it came from an inherited kit stained by some misguided soul, possibly with creosote.
  1. Hold the plane with the heel on the bench top. Fingers of the left hand on the sole, thumb hovering over the escapement, using the 'turnout' or 'eye' (American use) ie a comfort chamfer provided for this purpose.
  2. Insert the iron assembly in place, holding the irons with the thumb pressing it against the frog.
  3. Slip the wedge in place.
  4. Sight along the sole and adjust the irons until just out of sight.
  5. Using a 1lb Warrington pattern hammer, tap the wedge in place.
  6. Visually check the result. If too rank a set, tap the upper surface of the toe and follow by a tap to the wedge. (The taper of the iron assembly means that a forward action loosens the wedge slightly).
  7. If set askew, tap the appropriate side of the head of the ron.
  8. Obviously, if the set is insufficient, tap the iron and then the wedge.
  9. If the set knows only a binary state, ie too little or too much and toggles between them, consider the virtues of steel planes.
  10. Check on the kind of material you are going to cut.
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