Setting the Blade
Once the blade is sharp, the next step is to get the plane ready to go to work by adjusting the blade set screws, setting the blade projection, and positioning the toepiece.
The blade setting procedure for a shooting plane is similar to that for a bench plane. But first, choose the proper position for the tote – for shooting, the tote is tilted relative to the sole, while for jointing, the tote is perpendicular to it.
Tote pivots for using the plane to shoot or joint.
With the tote secured in place, install the blade with its first adjuster hole in the adjuster pin (see Diagram 1), and set the blade as follows:
Diagram 1 – The blade has two adjuster holes.
- Open the mouth fully.
- Advance or retract the blade as necessary with the Norris-style adjuster until the blade edge is set parallel to the sole, and to the desired depth of cut.
- Make a test cut to confirm the desired projection.
- Adjust the set screws on either side of the body to just touch the blade to keep the blade from shifting.
- Close the mouth to the desired opening (Diagram 2). If you advance the mouth adjustment screw to contact the toe, you can then back off on the screw while keeping the toe in contact with it to provide fine adjustment and prevent the toe from damaging your newly sharpened blade:
Diagram 2 – Mouth Adjustment.
You can construct your own shooting board or purchase one ready-made. Place the plane on the shooting board and hold the workpiece against the fence with firm pressure, exposing a hair’s breadth beyond the end of the fence. Then, plane away past the work to trim the end.
A properly set shooting plane in use on the Veritas shooting board.
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