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model14
09-14-2012, 07:33 AM
On a block plane what is the purpose of the adjustable gap? Why not just leave it wide open?
Richard

Brian Palmer
09-14-2012, 07:37 AM
A narrower gap helps prevent tearing out wood as the blade cuts. The front edge of the gap holds down the fibers and prevents them from lifting before the blade cuts the shaving. A wide gap is used when making thicker shavings and more clearance is needed.

Brian

SMARTINSEN
09-14-2012, 07:41 AM
The chips break off more closely to the blade, thus minimizing tear-out. Try it both ways, cutting against the grain on a piece of scrap, and you will see.

Mrleft8
09-14-2012, 08:33 AM
For very thin shavings on hard woods, and wood with difficult grain, like birds eye, or curly Maple, the mouth should be closer to the edge of the iron. For softer woods, where you're likely to be taking a thicker cut, like adjusting the fit of a door, or window sash, the mouth can be wider.
One thing to remember is that the sole of the plane must remain flat no matter if the mouth is close, or wide. The ways that the adjustable mouth runs on must be kept clean, and free of dust/gunk, or the plane won't cut properly (If they were machined properly to begin with, which most are not, and require fussing with). I find that the adjustable mouth is mostly just a bit of bling to attract buyers who think that it'll make them better wood workers.... I gave my block plane with the properly tuned up adjustable mouth away.... I never used the adjuster, and the plane was uncomfortable.

model14
09-14-2012, 08:51 AM
Got it, thanks.
Richard

Tom Lathrop
09-14-2012, 10:26 AM
Block planes use a bevel up blade and therefore can not have a chip breaker and use the adjustable mouth to serve as a chip breaker as others have said.

CundysHarbor
09-14-2012, 11:40 AM
I have the small Lee Neilsen block plane without an adjustable throat. It is fine for taking a very light cut but for anything serious, the throat clogs. If I open the throat, by filing, I'm afraid it will not do a good job on fine trimming cuts. If I were doing it over, I would buy the LN adjustable throat plane. Just my experience.
Dave

goodbasil
09-14-2012, 12:51 PM
It serves the same purpose as the limited gap on a safety razor as opposed to the open gap on a straight razor.

It limits you from taking off more than you can bear.

Stiletto
09-16-2012, 04:52 AM
It serves the same purpose as the limited gap on a safety razor as opposed to the open gap on a straight razor.

It limits you from taking off more than you can bear.

Good reply!:d It conjures up some graphic images.::eek:

Canoeyawl
09-16-2012, 12:00 PM
I wonder if there is a market for an adjustable gap safety razor?

http://www.boulderweekly.com/imgs/hed/art7205widea.jpg