Monday, February 7, 2011
Tail Vise vs. Planing Stop Redux
A few weeks ago I was building a couple small totes for our dining room table. I picked up some really nice vertical grain Douglas fir and thought it would be a nice change from the typical hardwoods I use. As usual I prepped the boards with machinery, then refined them with hand planes. I find this to be the most efficient and accurate way of working.
The wood was planing nicely, so I didn't bother with holding the work in the tail vise. I just used a planing stop for speed and efficiency. Here's another reason you should plane faces of, especially smaller boards using a tail vise and not just a planing stop. As I reached dead flat on the board face, the flatness of my plane's sole, along with the flatness of the wood surface created a vacuum. When I picked up the plane for the return stroke, the workpiece stuck to the plane's sole, held on for a moment, then fell off with the pull of gravity. It bounced off the edge of the bench and onto the floor, making a nice dent in the face of the relatively soft fir.
Score one for the tail vise.