Episode #30: Bedding a Plane Iron

I’ve had my Petite Rabot (little plane) since the beginning of October. I tried using it a couple of times just for giggles, but it wasn’t tuned up so well. It would either take no cut at all, or a relatively thick cut. While I’m a big fan of thick cuts, I don’t want them on a specialty smoother. This is the one place where a fine whispy cut is desireable. So I flattened the sole. This helped some, but it didn’t completely fix the problem. So I suspected that the iron wasn’t solidly bedded since the plane would chatter a little and still cut only a relatively thick cut. After checking and adjusting the bed, the iron now beds solidly with the plane and the setup works like it should. So if you have an old wooden smoother that you just can’t get to work like you want, here’s one more thing you can check that just might be the ticket.



11 thoughts on “Episode #30: Bedding a Plane Iron

  1. Great episode Bob and very timely too. I recently picked up a nice old coffin smoother, had done a basic tune up – flattened and sharpened blade. I expected a great cut from that nice thick laminated blade but was disappointed! Now I’ll go back and check the bedding. Thanks!

  2. Good explanation of the process, much appreciated. To get the candle smoke distributed quickly and evenly, place a tea strainer between candle and iron.

  3. Thanks Rob. I have an old jack that just doesn’t cut right, so I’ll check the bedding/ramp. Any tip for making a new woodie wedge? Also, do I really need a chipbreaker for a woodie?

    • Larry
      Here’s an article I wrote on making a new plane wedge that you might find helpful.


      As for the chipbreaker, no a woodie doesn’t really need one. You probably noticed that the plane I used in this video didn’t have one. No plane needs one really. Bailey style planes only need them to engage the adjuster yoke. Traditionally, planes didn’t have them. They were a 19th century addition. However, if your wooden plane has one now, you need to use it unless you want to make a new wedge at a different angle. The current wedge was made to fit the angle of the blade/chipbreaker combo. If you remove the chipbreaker, the wedge won’t fit right. However, if you are making a new wedge anyway, you could eliminate the chipbreaker by making the wedge fit the mortise sans chipbreaker.

  4. Great video Bob,
    I don’t own a wooden plane, all of mine are metal, but I would like to get one someday.

  5. Another great video Bob, I am just now getting into woodies. So this information comes very timely for me since I know nothing about woodies or tuning them. Thanks again !

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