21 December 2011

Wooden planes - a German system

Second post in a series about western wooden planes

Looking for information about wooden planes I found two German companies ECE and Ulmia offering a large range of wooden planes.  Both Ulmia and ECE also offer those planes in very similar (beginners) sets.  The main difference  is the missing frame saws in the Ulmia set as it does not produce any.  Ulmia describes this as Tool assortment contains quality tools - compiled by practical experts in technical training colleges - to address every requirement of modern vocational training.  So I expect that many colleges will propose their  students to use a similar set.  Apart from the large number of squares (150 mm, 250 mm, 350 mm) there is also a large number of same sized planes. What about these?


Kurz-Rauhbankhobel 48 mm (short jointer)
Doppelhobel 48 mm (double iron jack)
Putzhobel 48 mm (smoother)
Schlichthobel 48 mm (single iron jack)
Schropphobel 33 mm (scrub)
Doppel-Simshobel 30 mm ( rabbet)


Luckily my limited understanding of German is covered as Ulmia lists the planes in the set in English
- jointer plane 60 mm 600 mm  ( DIN 7218)
- jack plane 48 mm 240 mm  (DIN 7219)
- smoothing plane 48 mm 220 mm 49° ( DIN 7220)
- bench plane 48 mm 240 mm ( DIN 7311)
- scrub plane 33 mm 240 mm ( DIN 7310)
- rabbet plane w. dbl iron 30 mm   ( DIN 7307)

And gives a description of these planes
Scrub plane Processing of very rough, uneven or contaminated surfaces in preparation for smoothing or levelling (rough planing) the surface of rough sawn or bowed boards.

Bench plane For initial processing of rough sawn or scrub planed surfaces (finishing). Particularly suitable for trimming warped, rough boards at an incline to the grain and also for shaving cross-grained wood. 

Jointer plane For finishing and level planing surfaces, joints and straight edges. Particularly suitable for processing large workpieces with long surfaces and for shaving and jointing.

Jack plane For levelling and smoothing finished surfaces along and also at an incline to the grain. Application similar to the jointer plain, but on smaller workpieces.

Smoothing plane For smoothing solid wood and veneered surfaces and for smoothing and matching in work. When working with knots or alternating spiral grain, it leaves no visible planing joints.

Final remarks.
The DIN numbers show that these planes comply to manufacturing standards,  searching I found these were set in the seventies,  but I could not access them for free.
The narrowness of the scrub plane blade 33 mm looks unusual,  but maybe in practice it is not very different from a standard plane with a strongly cambered blade.  

A different approach to this multi plane set for starters is the start with a do it all #5 jack plane:  Used as it is a bench plane (one), after sharpening sized halfway the jointer and the German jack  (two and three),  a cambered blade to be a scrub plane (four),  a tight mouth and more sharpening gives a smoother (five).