Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Tha Cold War is Finished for Planes Too
Giovanni, a friend of mine, kindly gave me a Russian plane as gift. I heard some negative opinions about and this models are not so frequent. Unluckily, the blade and cap iron were not original and the plane came equipped with a recent Stanley iron and cap. Iron is 2" wide and the plane is about 10" long, so a smoothing plane.
The body is cast iron, well done; the hard wood handles offer a comfortable grip but have curious nuts requiring a dedicate screwdriver.
Not a common future, the knob is inclined forward and I found the grip more comfortable than an ordinary one. More, it helps to provide more pressure on the anterior plane portion when the plane shot has incoming.
I had to add a washer to the rear handle for fixing it better.
The aluminium frog shows a fine surface on which the blade seats well.
It can be moved like the Bailey planes. The frog did not seat well on the base, so I had to use a file for slightly trueing the critical points.
The Y lever is malleable iron, too much thin and with a lot of lateral tolerance.
The lateral lever is very short and this does not permit of moving the iron easily.
I changed the iron, utilizing a vintage Stanley iron and chipbreaker.
Of course was necessary to do some corrections, such as the lateral lever substitution with another one longer, the thickening of Y lever where it engages the chipbreaker (I used a little bit of soldering material).
I flattened the sole, sharpened the blade and tried the plane.
Despite the defects, I obtained thin shaves on soft woods as well as on harder ones.
Unfortunately I cannot verify the quality and performances of original blade and chipbreaker, but after all this Russian plane (with a good blade) showed capability for a fine job, although the regulation systems were quite weak and could cause troubles with a harder use.
A Russian body with an American heart. It works!