Depth Adjuster Black Lash
I have read several questions on message boards asking how to remove back lash in the depth adjustment of cutting irons, more commonly called blades.. Others talk about squeezing the yoke that straddles the brass depth adjuster wheel, adding metal shims or washers.. To me this is all a little to much.. I have worked using super precision machines and even these have lash in the threads.. It is just something if you use your plane enough you will not even think about it..
You want to always make adjustments feeding the blade down, this will keep the blade from backing up while planning.. If you go to deep back the blade up a 1/4 turn and start coming back down again till you get the cut your looking for..
Another thing is you want a good Iron to Cap Iron mating, that means you want your chip breaker to seat on the blade with out any gaps..
I use a smooth file on the planes I refinish, I file the seat with a slight back bevel and think file the face ( surface the chips slide over) because most times on older planes these surfaces are pitted and chips and or have large areas of missing metal.. So I'll file these up so I get a nice straight and smooth edge, do a little filing on both sides to remove the burr I formed and then take it to a bench stone or sand paper... Afterwards I also make polish it on a buffing wheel but I am to keep the sharp edge and not radius it even a little.. This is to keep any wood fibers from having a space to fet under the cap iron.. If this happens it can clog the mouth or make it harder to push the plane than it should be..
Setting the gap between the cap iron (chip breaker) and the cutting edge is first on the list.. I start with 1/32" gap on most of my planes, if I know I will be talking deep cuts with the plane I will double the distance to 1/16" this does two things it allows more chip clearance and lets the plane cut easier as there is less resistance the chip comes off the board.. This is something you will do on Jacks and Fore planes on Smoothers you want a short day as it helps with a smooth finish..
Setting the depth you want to turn the plane over and get the blade where it is near being flush but not sticking out.. Then sight down the sole and look for the edge, at the same time you want to start adjusting your lateral adjuster to get the blade straight across the mouth.. Again don't adjust it to deep, you just want to get close..
Deepen Blade Slowly
Now with a thin board clamped in a vise or against a stop, start taking passes on one side them the other and slowly increase the depth and make lateral adjustments ..Increase the depth a 1/8 to a 1/4 turn then take two or three strokes on the left. then the right side of the iron..
Some times on the first of second pass you think you need the iron to be lower, but after two or three strokes you will find you knocked off the high spots and you are now taking a cut full than you want..
Adjust Lateral One Side at a Time
This is view of what I mean one side and below is the shot of the other.. I found it easier to set up you plane with a thin blade than a wide on when I was first starting out. Big mistake I made was trying to hold a small board with my hands and not use a vise of stop.. You will not get to far with a bench plane holding you work in hand..
Same view as above but using the other side of the plane..
Be patient with making depth adjustment, take a few swipes to make sure your not riding on high spots on the board.. This is what took me some time to learn, the plane may not cut on 80% of a stroke but after a dozen or so it starts make full cut passes ..
View Of What Bottom Looks Like
Again same here.. This image is just for you to see more clearly want I am saying, don't clamp your plane and set it up in the vise..
Once you get more experienced you will not need a thin board for set up but when you first starting out it really helped me with my set ups...
If your getting full width thin chips you know the plane is tuned well.. In this image the depth is a little deep but if you have thin full width you can't do much better than that..