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Thread: Wood Plane

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Catskill Mountains, NY
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    Default Wood Plane

    Is a plane the better/best way to get a straight edge on thin pieces to be joined as back and soundboard of a uke? I have virtually no experience with planes - saws and sandpaper have been my "smoothers of choice."

    Is there a particular type of plane that would be better than another? I'm not a professional, so I don't need a $500 plane. I probably have a plane somewhere in the garage, but buying one would be faster than finding it.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sheffield, England
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    106

    Default

    A plane should give a better finish and joint than sandpaper. Note I say should. You have to know what you are doing with a plane, including sharpening it properly and setting it up. If you don't, then in the short term you will likely get a better joint with sandpaper glued to a very flat surface e.g. side of a level, or a flat board.

    If you do want to go down the plane route then the longer the better, so a jointer plane would be ideal.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    3

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    Jerry 41;

    A shooting board and a plane are the items used by most builders to prepare soundboard and back pieces for joining. Try googling " shooting board" and " using a hand plane". There's a ton of woodworking sites out there to help you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Greenville, VA.
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    833

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    Being neither a furniture guy nor an old school woodworker I have no use for planes. It's my loss, they are such pretty things. Since getting a knack for it (it took years) I've jointed all my uke plates on the belt sander. It takes less than 30 seconds per plate. I've never had one come apart.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Little River, California
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    2,506

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    I use an extremely simple method to get perfect edges on my plates for joining. No stinking shooting boards or fancy planes required. Here is how it is done:

    Cut the edges of the plates on a table saw. (You can skip this step if they are pretty close.)
    Using masking tape, tape the plates together on the outside edges with the no show wood on the outside and the show sides edges on the inside. Very important!
    Take off the rough edges by sanding on a flat surface. Don't over do this or you will start to get a slight convexity to the plates. A couple passes works.
    Now the important part: Stick 80 or 100 grit sandpaper onto a standard bubble level. I use an aluminum cheapy from the hardware store. Jack the sandwiched plates into a vise. Now sand the edges with the sandpapered bubble level in a length-wise motion. Sand a little bit and then "candle" the join. When light disappears you are done. When things are going good and I have a nice edge to begin with it can take as little as 10 seconds.

    It took me longer to write that than it takes to do. You will get a perfect seam on the show side and and a visible seam on the no show side because the no show side was on the outside of the sandwiched plates but who cares since nobody can see it.

    I realize anyone reading this is confused, but it works perfectly, it is fast and makes the seam totally disappear. Then glue plates with your choice of glue (whatever) and use the tape tent method to join the plates. These methods with the elaborate shooting boards and the 10" super heavy (and expensive) planes makes me laugh. Sometimes the simple method is the best method.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    central CA
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    Ever since Chuck Moore told us about his method of prepping the join on a router table I have been using his method. The plates get clamped in a fixture and run thru the router. The router is in a table that has a bearing on the top and a ground straightedge to guide the whole thing. Takes off as little or as much as you need. It's perfect every time unless you try to feed it too fast and then some woods, like cedar and redwood, can splinter. I'll line up a bunch of tops and do them all, join them and put them away until I need them. If you do a search you will find this discussion.
    I'll try to make a video or at least make some photos.
    Last edited by resoman; 06-06-2020 at 04:33 PM.
    My Real name is Terry Harris

  7. #7
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    Jul 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcalkin View Post
    Being neither a furniture guy nor an old school woodworker I have no use for planes. It's my loss, they are such pretty things. Since getting a knack for it (it took years) I've jointed all my uke plates on the belt sander. It takes less than 30 seconds per plate. I've never had one come apart.
    I tried a belt sander, but the table saw gave me the best results. I think I'm going to stay away from a plane. From past experience, I didn't have much luck with them. The prices now are often in the $200+ range.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Stockport, Cheshire.
    Posts
    421

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    I tried a belt sander, but the table saw gave me the best results. I think I'm going to stay away from a plane. From past experience, I didn't have much luck with them. The prices now are often in the $200+ range.
    I bought a Quangsheng no. 6 which are quality but half the price of the big boys. I seem to remember it was about £160 so more like 160$ to you. I use this for joining plates with good success.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    central CA
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    You can get all types of planes off of ebay for pretty reasonable. When I planed my tops for joining I used an old Stanley #5, like early 1900's, I got it off of ebay for like $25.00. I put a Ron Hock blade in that one and I did a lot of tops with that one and never had to sharpen it. I imagine the planes are more expensive now but they can still be had fairly cheap.
    My Real name is Terry Harris

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Zealand
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    1,120

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    Is a plane the better/best way to get a straight edge on thin pieces to be joined as back and soundboard of a uke? I have virtually no experience with planes - saws and sandpaper have been my "smoothers of choice."

    Is there a particular type of plane that would be better than another? I'm not a professional, so I don't need a $500 plane. I probably have a plane somewhere in the garage, but buying one would be faster than finding it.
    I jointed dozens of tops and backs on a shooting board, and a block plane. No need for $200 jointing planes. Block plane $10.00
    Kind Regards
    Dennis

    dponeil@xtra.co.nz
    Southern Cross Banjo Ukes & Ukuleles
    Proudly Hand Crafted in
    New Zealand.

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