Christopher Schwarz moderated this session on the second day of Woodworking in America in Berea, KY. Robin Lee and Thomas Lie-Nielsen participated. Highlights of items covered during this session:
Summary (from notes I took during the session – but everything is on the video):
- Characteristics of both types of hand planes.
- Questions with Robin Lee and Thomas Lie-Nielsen.
- Questions from the audience.
Now for the good stuff:
Using a Veritas bevel-up plane as an example, Schwarz explained:
- There is no removable frog.
- These have been called “low angle” tools, which can be confusing because they can be made into high-angle tools.
- What changes when using a bevel-up plane? We gain, due to some of the following advantages, and lose some due to a few disadvantages:
- The sharpening angle of attack influences the angle of the tool: Low angle, for end grain, for example; and high angle for “tricky” grain.
- The adjustment mechanisms are vastly different; they result in easier, and more accurate, blade adjustment with the bevel-up tools. Blade projection is easier; but lateral adjustment can be more tricky on the bevel-up planes.
- There is no separate chip breaker. Robin Lee discusses wood failure.
- Some discussion followed on changing the angle of attack by changing the back bevel on the iron; Schwarz does not like this approach, as it doubles sharpening time.
- A major advantage of bevel-down smoothers and jointers: Making adjustments “on-the-fly”, which gives great feedback to the user.
- A disadvantage of the bevel-up tools: Cannot “point” with the index finger, or make adjustments.
Starting about 45 minutes into the session, the panel took questions from the audience. This was a great session with two major players on the tool manufacturing side, an amateur woodworker who doubles as a magazine editor, and an audience hungry for information.