block plane adjustment


I just bought the Stanley block plane from CLC and am having trouble adjusting it. As the cutter (blade) is advance, the depth adjustment screw becomes increasingly more difficult to turn. Also, as the blade breaks the plane of the sole it almost touches the adjustable front of the sole even if that is fully opened.

I noticed that the front of the plate attached to the depth adjustment screw  rises as the the screw is turned in to advance the cutter. As a result the cutter's front is lifted up and its edge moves forward.

I believe the cause is that the slot in that plate is slightly too short. As a result the adjustment screw rubs against the bottom of this plate and, as the screw moves into the plane, pulls the back of that plate down thereby raising the front of the plate.

Questions: Has anybody seen that issue? Any ideas for how to fix it?


9 replies:

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RE: block plane adjustment

Tune it. I set the blade back and tight, then grind the base dead flat. Rarely is an out-of-the-box plane shoe flat. Then with blade out carfully file (small mill file) the throat, probably has all sorts of casting bumps in it. Much more info on plane tuning available on thr nrt, just google "plane tuning" . . .

Usually takes me several hours to dress out and sharpen a brand new plane so it is usable.



RE: block plane adjustment

Thanks! I agree that I will need to tune the plane. However, I think tuning the throat makes sense only one the cutter moves in a plane. Right now its angle changes as it is advanced. I think fixing that should be the first order of business. No?

RE: block plane adjustment

I had the same thing when I got the plane new from CLC. Loosen the brass knob on the front and move the chrome lever all the way left until the throat is open all the way and tighten the brass knob again.

Move the other chrome lever on the blade clamp to the left and slip the assembly back so the screw can slip through the "keyhole" and remove. Make sure the the paul on the blade holder is in the middle slot on the blade itself and then reassemble.

Square the blade to the throat and then turn the brass knob on the back until the blade is almost touching the front (toe plate ?). Try on a piece of scrap. I set mine like this and was shocked when long curly strips started coming out.

RE: block plane adjustment

I did all that and the plane does indeed produce shavings. That's definitely good news - thank you!

Still, I feel like this isn't exactly as it should be. There is almost no tolerance for adjustment. I sent an email to Stanley, describing the problem. If they have any further comments, I'll post them here.

RE: block plane adjustment

2 words...Lie Nielson. You won't be sorry and your grandkids will love you too.


RE: block plane adjustment

I had the same issue- had to remove the adjustable front plate (?sole) and file it smaller so that the gap in front of the blade was bigger.  Then it worked fine.


RE: block plane adjustment

Thank you for all the comments and suggestions.

Here is an update. Stanley customer service was nice enough to send me a replacement "adjusting screw assembly" for a 12-960 block plane which also fits on the plane I bought from CLC. With that the original problem (lifting of the front of the blade) is mostly fixed. However, the blade still gets awfully close to the fully opened throat.

I think I will follow Hickory's suggestion and file the front plate to widen the gap. As for Lie Nielson and my grandkids, if all they expected was a block plane then that would be a fine plan :-)

RE: block plane adjustment

I have found a handful of very old, but perfectly functional planes at estate/garage sales for $1-5 in this past year.

They haven't changed design much in the past 90yrs, But I'm not sure if the manufacturing is as good now.  Sure can't beat the price.


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