bits entirely by feel; a better way for most people is to hold the plane bottom up in a good light, and sight along the surface. Any variation in depth of bit at either side will be instantly noted.
In USING THE JACK PLANE most beginners (and also many mechanics who should know better) will turn it at an angle on the work, instead of pushing it in a straight line. The reason for the long body of the plane is to carry the cut in a straight line, to true up and straighten an unequal edge. Turning the tool sideways permits it to follow the curves and hollows, thus failing in its purpose. Holding it straight on the work is particularly important in straightening up the top line of a stock, which is one of its principle us©> in gun work.
Siart in with the lightest possible cut—the bit scarcely scraping the wood. After two or three strokes, if it does not take hold better, set the bit very slightly deeper. Thin, almost transparent shavings give you better control of the work, and produce a better job.
If you find you are cutting against the grain, reverse and work from the other end. When the giain runs "every which way" as it often does in stock blanks, just do the best you can.
When using the smooth plane to merely clean up the side of a rough piece, it is often permissible to turn the plane at various angles to get at the hollow places. Sometimes, in very curly wood, the smooth plane will cut better across the grain than it will from either end.
In starting a stock job, one flat side—usually the right side, should be planed perfectly flat and true as a working surface from which
the center line is run with the marking gauge; and on this job use the jack plane, and sight along the surface to be sure it is kept in a straight line.
The block plane was made for cutting across end grain; yet it cannot well be used for such jobs as truing up the butt of a stock,
because it invariably chips the edges at end of cut. It is a handy little tool however for many small jobs, such as shaping up patches, squaring up end9, etc. Make a bench-hook of hardwood as shown in Figure 32B, and use the plane on its side for small work, which is held in the hook. This device is also called a "shoot board."
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