How to Reduce Slop in Your Hand Plane | Hand Plane basics
How to Reduce Slop in Your Hand Plane | Hand Plane basics
Rob Cosman talks all about the causes and fixes of hand plane slop
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Wow Rob one more nice advice…I do have your AdjuStar in my 1942 Stanley #5 1/2 and it works great (very clever idea)…instead of use a tape as a nice way how told by Lynx G I used an eletric plastic insulate (I don’t know how do you call in English) but is something like a straw and when you apply heat from a heat gun it melts around the end of yolk and minimize (or almost zero) the gap with chip brake slot..it works pretty well but to me as a hobbiest woodworker the backslash is not a big issue…
Thanks Rob and Lynx G for sharing your experience.
I just purchase 3 adjust stars for my woodriver planes. What a fantastic difference they make adjusting the plane. Thanks for coming up with a great idea!
so is the hair a midlife crisis thing, or are you cutting it off for fundraising like chip.
I can get carried away "adjusting" my planes, squaring, flattening, sharpening, and miking very thin shavings. I’ve noticed various degrees of backlash but never thought it was critical to deal with except to insure the blade didn’t move as a I planed. I discovered that by accident years ago and "park" the yoke to be sure there is as little freedom of blade movement as possible. Your advice not to worry is the best that can be had.
I can confirm that planing is definitely a stress reliever! Sometimes when I’m having a unpleasant mood or a creative block, I’ll head out to my garage and just start planing a piece of scrap wood. It helps with a bad mood and usually helps with a creative block too! Thanks for the tips, Rob!
I picked up a Lie Nielsen 5 1/2 a while back, and I’m enjoying it. I took the backlash in stride and it didn’t bother me one bit. I didn’t even realize what it was called until about 3 days ago.
Is this really a thing that people care about? It seems like one of those situations where people obsess over the tiniest issue and wind up throwing money to fix a problem that barely exists. 🙄
Another gem from hippy Bob
Great video! Thank you for sharing! Take care
"This will become your source of stress relief, not stress" – nice turn of phrase!
Glad to see you promote the Reed planes yoke kit, it’s an excellent solution to the major problem. Your Adjustar knob is definitely nice, sometime in the future I’m hoping to be able to try both of these solutions. There’s another trick to help lessen the slop and I saw it compliments of your old mentor, David Charlesworth and that’s to put a piece of tape around the yoke to help take up play in the slot in the chip breaker.
I like the RC adjust star lots! It gives such a great feel to the adjustment, you can feel how much the blade is advancing by how many star ‘points’ go by. Small adjustments are so easy to judge compared to a featureless round knob. Recommended ++
Loved your surprise at Amazon Basics doing so well in the slop-off.
We used to call this “lash” or “backlash”. Slop would be the wiggle or movement in the blade itself from side to side or the play that is not tight. At least that is what it was when I was young.
I’m relatively new to hand wood work, but first obese i made in New plane upgrades was "fine adjustment" knobs. The stock threads on adjusters was so course, i had difficulty making very small blade movements. The fine threads increase the turns per unit of movement and reduce the strength needed to turn the adjuster. I’ll wager the threads on your grandad’s plane are MUCH more fine than those on the "big wheel" adjusters. My planes are Veritas, so not cheap. All but the router plane have 1/4 to 1/2 turn slop. The router is nearly 3/4. However they are all Norris style adjusters. My next plane of I buy one will be Bailey style and I’ll get your star adjuster.
Slop is the least of my worries in woodworking.
I have a Number 5 with no makers names on it and the slop in it is absolutely horrendous, I got it used with a couple others I got as my first set of planes. I have been wood working for 2 months and understanding how to fix this issue an why it happens is helpful.
Gave you two likes. One for the content, one for the hair.
I want to see a plane with a Norris adjuster added to the slop comparison
Excluding uisng high quality blades in cheap planes, I consider the slop in high priced planes unacceptable. If the plane sell for $500 I want a top engineering level in the plane. It’s not happening. I can think of three redesigns worth doing in top tier planes that would make it like rack and pinion steering. It would be too expensive for lower priced planes, but worth it for the best, better, and darn good, level planes. I buy things that make my life better and easier, not more aggravating. Since high priced planes fail to meet these standards they are disqualified from consideration. Since you talk with the big boys at these companies you might pass this along. Good video. Frustrating conclusion. Be safe.
Surely someone can produce a chip breaker with an undersized slot that you can file to the correct size and angle. Combine that with a pin and the correct drill bit and a shim for the adjuster.
The backlash really annoys me. These days with cnc machining it is easily possible to make any tool with correct tolerances. If you are going to use precise dimensions, just make them right. I have a cheap block plane with 1/4” wide mouth. Ridiculous. Nothing to do with tolerances, just stupidity. I suppose the maker thinks it can take 1/4” shavings.
I have all Lie-Nielsen planes and have added your Adjustar to all that are compatible. The adjustar works great and makes adjusting the blade much easier, but even without it I don’t think slop is much of an issue. Spinning the knob an extra half turn or so amounts to nothing to me, even at 82 years old. Really enjoy your videos. Thanks.
Great post once again! I just bought a Wood River 5 1/2. I watched your post on how to setup a brand new plane, I’m going to do that today. Thanks for all you do sir!
Enjoyed the discussion. Do you need money for a haircut?
Wonderful advice, knowledge and tuition in one short video – thanks. And, it’s all true!
Hold on. it is called back lash, not slop. The back lash is an intrinsic part of the thread when the threads are cut. If the threads were cut not to the correct, send the plane back if it bothers you. I use the back lash to know when I’m staring to move the blade.
I’ve got adjuststars on both my L-N °5-1/2 and °4, they work great. I’m considering grinding the length of the wings off some on the one I use in my No°4 though. I have already taken both of them to a buffing wheel loaded with a fast cutting compound though to ease the sharp edges left from the machining. Additionally anyone looking to add a great piece of kit to their L-N °102 apron, °140 skew, or °60-1/2 block (both rabbeting and standard) should look at Reed Planes adjustment knobs. He’s got a roller bearing pressed into a knob that perfectly fits the notch and not only makes backlash non-existent, but also makes adjustments easier because it reduces some of the working of the tension in the cap screw. I’ve added them to both my °102 apron and °60-1/2 Rabbeting Block planes. I’ve not used any of Reed Planes Bailey adjustment kits yet but have heard great things. I’ll probably try it on my Frankenstein foreplane first, since the other Baileys are all original. But I highly recommend both the adjuststar by Rob and the Reed Planes bearing screw for L-N block planes. I don’t know however if they are useful for all the WoodRiver block planes, you’d have to ask them. Just my 2¢
Good advice!!! I never considered it as a big issue. Actually from mechanical build my no 4 Stanley bailey which i turned into scrub plane is very good comparing to my others planes ( my Luban is the top brand that i have but in bottom line they all do they job good just keep them sharp). The Adjustar is like a game changer and i have order a nother 2). Thanks and stay sharp!
My Benchdog #5 has over 2.5 full turns of backlash, that Amazon basics did a better job!
I’ve just learned to deal with the slop and be done with it.
The adjustars turned my planes into mu h better tools
I think the most SLOP or what ever you want to call it , is where the yoke intersects with the slot in the chip breaker. Can thin shims be applied (glued on)over the yoke to reduce the gap and friction of this area?
I can’t wait for the adjustar to be available again. #onthewaitinglist
Or, wrap selected surfaces with narrow tape to fill the gaps?
Slop… When you can’t find anything else to whine about slop is there for you
Rob, I don’t think the quality of the plane necessarily indicates how much backlash there is in its adjustment.
I have an expensive No 5 Clifton bedrock which is my favourite tool but it takes a turn and a half to re-engage. But a couple of years ago I restored an old Stanley 4½ which was a heap of rust when I bought it. When I first tried it there was hardly any backlash which I thought must have been a fluke. But after using it extensively I now know it wasn’t – its adjustment works better than any other plane I have, in fact, the adjustment is so smooth it can be done easily with one finger.
I can only conclude that by making thousands of planes, every so often one must turn out where everything in the engineering tolerances goes just right.