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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-09-2009, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Hey, folks. I've been experimenting with a Stanley 55 and find that it seems to run downhill, as it were - meaning that the blade digs more deeply the farther you get into the run. Thus, if I'm beading the edge of a board, the blade bites only so far into the board as I begin pushing the plane and more deeply as I get to the end of it. Does anyone else experience this with a Stanley 55? Is this characteristic of the 55, or am I doing something wrong?

Also, the 55 is a fine tool but cranky. I'd like to master it, and if anyone can direct me to some good online resources, I'd appreciate it. Thanks in advance! JVHovey
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jvhovey View Post
Hey, folks. I've been experimenting with a Stanley 55 and find that it seems to run downhill, as it were - meaning that the blade digs more deeply the farther you get into the run. Thus, if I'm beading the edge of a board, the blade bites only so far into the board as I begin pushing the plane and more deeply as I get to the end of it. Does anyone else experience this with a Stanley 55? Is this characteristic of the 55, or am I doing something wrong?

Also, the 55 is a fine tool but cranky. I'd like to master it, and if anyone can direct me to some good online resources, I'd appreciate it. Thanks in advance! JVHovey
Hi Juan it sounds to me like you might be starting the cut at the wrong end.The 55 is like any plow plane ,you start at the far end and take short cuts working back towards your self until you are taking a cut the full length of your piece.Also 45 and 55 are pretty cranky if the woods not straight grained and knot free.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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Reid: Wow. Many thanks.

I had figured out it was best to take short cuts, but it never occurred to me to start at the far end of the board.

Here are some other questions: How in the world do you sharpen the curved side of a 55 cutter? What causes the cutter occasionally to chatter or, worse, dig divots in the groove I'm cutting? Is it a dull blade? An unsteady hand on the plane?

Last but not least, is it worth one's time to master this cranky beast? What's the payoff if one does?

Juan Hovey
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 03:15 PM
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Glad I could help. Many things could cause the chatter and tear out problems.First those cutters need to be sharp! I dont know your skill at sharpening but they sharpen pretty much like any plane iron. Flatten and polish the back then hone the bevel.You can use an a dowel of the right size wraped with wet dry sandpaper or use shaped water stones to hone the curves. very much like what is needed for doing carving tools. Try taking a lighter cut and make sure you are going with the grain.As far as your last question they are worth learning if you enjoy working the old ways.be careful it can turn into a sickness !!But if your only useing it for the end result there are easier ways to get there.Also make sure you have the bottoms set properly to support the shape of the cutter your using. I hope you have a complete plane as there are a lot of parts on these things to loose and that will make a lot of operations almost impossible.
Steve
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Steve: Slipstones must be the answer to sharpening the convex 55 cutters. Thanks.

Also, I'm as interested in process as in result and bought the 55 accordingly. As much as I like using it, however, I have to add that I'm about to build a router table and take the plunge, as it were.

My 55 is very nearly complete; I think I may be missing only one or two cutters, but I have even the long arms.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 04:02 PM
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A router is tthe way to go for speed and higher production.check out the manual I have attached. Steve
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File Type: pdf 55man.pdf (803.0 KB, 41 views)
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Many thanks. And you're right. A router is far faster and more productive, but there's something about doing a bead with the 55 that my router just can't match. JVHovey
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