Tag Archives: Shop made wooden planes

Building a wooden Shoulder Plane

13/8/2013

The third plane I prioritised to build was a shoulder plane. As per usual I decided to use a Lie-Nielsen blade in the form of their Large Shoulder Plane replacement blade. As you can see in the pictures below it is a blade that is designed to be used bevel up, given the bevels on the sides of the top of the bit end. I did not really grasp this until it was pointed out to me by Deneb Puchalski from Lie-Nielsen. I actually planed to bed the blade at 50-55º and use it bevel down. He advised me to consider a much lower bedding angle while using the blade bevel up.

I then started thinking of a way to change the design quite radically from the examples I found in my research. You will have to wait and see how it turns out as I myself still does not know exactly what the final design will look like. I will again (similar to what I did with the Scrub Plane) write this post as I progress with the project.

In the pictures below you can see the beech I used for the project and the Lie-Nielsen blade.

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As with the other planes I have built so far I had to laminate in order to get the size stock required. I laminated it in this particular orientation to ensure that I have the grain running in the direction recommended by the guys from Old Street Tools. I can really recommend their articles (which is available for free download from their site) on plane building. You will find the the link to their site on the library page of this site.

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The lamination process. You will notice the use of my glue roller. I wrote a separate post on how I made this tool, which you will find under the category “Hand tools”

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The beech blank.

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I used the actual blade to mark out the next step of cutting away the sides …

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… as so. In the last of the three pictures you can see the strips I ripped off the sides, which were then glued back on the centre piece.

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Before glueing the strips back I first fed the inside to the thicknesser to get it down to about 2 mm wider than the tang of the blade.

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The strips were then hand planed to improve the contact during glueing.

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Dry-fit and glue.

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Here you can see how I removed the hardened glue with my shop-made flush plane before hand planing the sole in preparation for the glueing on of the ysterhout sole.

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Glueing on the ysterhout sole.

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I then used my bandsaw Mitre-sled to cut a 20 º bedding angle for the blade and 12º space for the wedge.

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Up until this stage the design I was aiming for looked like the one below …

Shoulder plane design

… but I realised that the small triangular area on the “bedding piece” available as a glueing surface for the kershout sides (still to be made), would not be adequate. I therefore dropped the project and continued with the four other planes (Jack, Fore, Smoothing planes and a jointer) I started working on.

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1/10/2013

During a trip to Cape Town recently to go and what the Springboks butcher the Ozzies, I had some time to think on the plane (that is thinking on the airplane about the shoulder plane) and came up with an idea of how to hopefully make this plane work. As I am writing this I still have no idea if it would work as it entails quite a few tasks that I have never attempted before.

Anyway, I got back on the horse and took some beautiful kershout from this massive board. A Kershout tree of this size would have been between 700 – 1000 years old if my friend who studied these things knows anything.

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I re-sawed the piece on the bandsaw and tidied it up with the thicknesser and hand planes.

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Here you can see my delightful petite smoothing plane in action. I wrote an entire post on how I built it a few months ago (http://www.jenesaisquoiwoodworking.com/petite-wooden-smoothing-plane/)

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The plane was then glued together. In the first picture below you can see an unpolished piece of stainless steel, which is integral to the success (hopefully at this stage) of my new idea.

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7/10/2013 – I released the plane from the clamps on Friday afternoon and spent an hour playing around with various shapes and designs based on an idea I had. Finally I came up with the design as drawn on the blank before heading down to our Barbie area to light a fire and drink a few cold beverages.

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On Saturday morning I started to shape the plane in order to be able to epoxy these strips of stainless steel in place so that it could set well overnight.

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You can see how I made a few test cuts in a scrap piece of plywood to ensure the absolute correct depth of cut for the dado meant to accept the stainless steel. I used my removable pipe-clamp-end-vise to keep the plane in position for cutting the dado.

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The two dados meant to accept the two stales steel bars is clearly visible in the first two pictures. I then proceeded to shape the rest of the plane by drilling out certain areas an using the bandsaw for the rest.

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The next step was to epoxy the stainless steel into place.

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The next day I drilled out six holes through the stainless steel from side to side. These holes were 6 mm in diameter with the entrance chamfered slightly, as you can see. I made six pins out of 6 mm brass rod that was about 5 mm longer than the width of the plane and whacked it through the holes with equal amounts protruding at each end.

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I used the setup below to rest one of the protruding ends on while whacking the other with a hammer until the brass moved into the chamfered area and fixing the stainless steel into this position for ever.

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As you can see in the pictures below, I then removed the untidy excess metal and polished it as best as I can given my lack of metal working tools and skills.

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Then came the long hard slog of shaping the edges of the plane using a block plane, a spokeshave, and several files.

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Sides were tidied up with my shop made proletarian sanding contrivances.

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At present the plane looks like this. Next I have to make the wedge and am considering to try some decorative coloured epoxy inlays, but let’s see what happens.

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13/10/13 – On Friday afternoon I quickly fashioned this wedge out of beech.

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On Saturday I changed the shape ever so slightly as you can see here. The blade will be set by a special plane hammer with a delicate neck, which I still have to build.

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The next step was to ensure that the sole of the plane is 100% square with the left cheek. As a right-hander I would use the plane predominantly with the left cheek as reference surface. I used the setup as shown to sand the sole square.

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As discussed in one of the “My journey” posts, I am using this tool building phase to try out and practice techniques that might come in handy when I start building furniture. Here I thought of trying-out coloured epoxy inlaying to add some je ne sais quoi to the shoulder plane. I used the drill bit pictured to create the grooves and tidied it up with a carving tool.

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As you can see, I mixed some epoxy with acrylic paint …

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… and used small scrap bits of wood as spatulas to work the mixture into the grooves. After a few hours I used my shop made flush plane to cut most of the excess away before the epoxy became too hard. It is a shlep to sand it away once it becomes rocklike.

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I then used my proletarian sanding contrivances to sand away the last little bit of epoxy and started the finishing process as shown.

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Here are a few pictures of the finished shoulder plane. Now I only have to sharpen the blade and Bob’s your uncle. The blade is bedded at 20º with a 25º primary bevel. I am planning to hone and polish a small secondary bevel at 28º, producing a 48º effective angle of attack.

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Building a wooden Fore Plane

 

19/8/2013 – I am in the process of building 4 different wooden planes as you might have seen under the post entitled “Shooting Plane Pregnancy”. They are a Jack Plane (aiming at 17″), a Fore Plane (probably 22″), a Shooting Plane and a Jointer (aiming for 30″).

This post will document the process of how I build the Fore Plane. The plan is to add new photos and text as I progress over the next few weeks. You will find that there will be a lot of overlap in terms of the text and pictures between these various posts. While this will be annoying to those who read all the posts, I am trying to keep each post fairly comprehensive for those who only read one.

The stock for all of these planes were cut from the two beech boards pictured.

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The ysterhout sole of the plane came from this piece of ysterhout, which was re-sawn on the bandsaw and then tidied up by means of the thicknesser.

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The Fore Plane is the one on the right with the green end grain accompanied by it’s ysterhout sole prior to gluing.

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In the clamps and immediately after the liberation.

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I used the array of planes pictured below to establish one flat surface on the side of each of the plane blanks, as I do not have a Jointer. In the last two pictures you can see the difference between a jointed side and an untouched one.

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The blanks were then fed to the thicknesser flat face down, to created another flat face parallel to the first.

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After that I first squared the future top of the plane with regards to these flat and parallel sides. That enabled me to slice the strips off the sides on the bandsaw with the ysterhout sole facing upwards in order to prevent blowout.

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I removed the saw marks from the sides with the thicknesser.

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The next step was to mill the centre down to the exact width, which was 3 mm wider than the 2″ Lie-Nielsen blades I am planning to use.

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At this point I was able to utilise my bandsaw mitre-sled to cut the ramp and curved toe section. I wrote an entire post on how I built the bandsaw mitre-sled, which you will find under the category “jigs” on this site. It is important to keep the wedge created by these two cuts. It comes in handy later on as I will illustrate. I decided on a 50° degree bedding angle (also known as York Pitch) for all of these planes. It is the best all-round angle for my purposes working predominantly with very hard woods.

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The curved cut on the toe section was tidied up by means of the Green Monster (shop made spindle sander built by my Dad many moons ago).

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The first place where the wedge-offcut comes in handy is when you need to square up and flatten the ramp on the heel section. In order to prevent blowout of the ysterhout sole one can clamp the wedge together with the heel section as shown. Then you can go ahead and plane the ramp with confidence.

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After planing the three ramps I scribbled on them with a 2B pencil and did the last of the flattening on glass with 3M adhesive-backed sandpaper on it. It seems to me that one should not overdo this step as it is easy to round off the edges if not very careful. As soon as all the pencil marks disappear you have done enough.

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I chose 2″ wide Lie-Nielsen blades with their accompanying chip breakers for each of these three planes. Lie-Nielsen produce blades of absolutely tantalising quality. In the pictures below you can see how I measured the the screw that clamps the business end of the plane together, in order to set the router up to cut a custom slot for it in the ramp.

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Here you can appreciate the second reason why it is useful to retain the wedge produced by the two cuts made earlier in the centre section. It helps to created enough of a flat section as a reference surface for your router in order to cut the mentioned slot in the ramp. 

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I thought I should quickly show you these delightful Kershout beams I made many moons ago. They are kept quite handy in the location as shown below my bench. You will notice that they have their length indicated to help me find the exact contrivance needed in a particular situation. In this case I used the Godfather of the beams (at around 1.7 meters in length) as a fence to align the plane parts as shown. This process entails the marking out of the centre-heel piece relative to the centre-toe piece and pinpointing the location of where to drill the first hole for the cross-pin.

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This unfortunately represented the first major blunder in my hitherto Utopian-plane-building-activities. I somehow marked out the location of the cross-pin without taking into account the thickness of the Iron-chipbreaker-combo as is clearly indicated in my extensive notes on the topic. Please see my post entitled “Wooden plane building tip” for information on the measurements I use. If you follow them correctly (as a posed to me in this instance) it works like a charm. We will discuss my fix for the my blunder a little bit later on as at this point in time I still did not realise that I made a mistake.

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In order to drill the opposing hole for the cross-pin, I assembled the plane using small Bessey f-style clamps to keep the various pieces in place, while fixing it with very small panel pins as shown. I first drill a 1 mm hole and then tap the panel pin home, in order to be able to take the plane apart easily afterwards. These same panel pins stay in the side strips to enable me to reassemble the plane in this exact way during the final dry-fit and ultimate glue-up. You will notice that the panel pins go in the area at each end of the plane that will be cut away after gluing.

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Here you can see how the initial cross-pin whole acts as a guide for locating the opposing hole on the drill press.

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Next step was to prepare a ½” square length of Assegaai for the cross-pins. I tend to make them 3 mm longer than needed each side and only trim them down after the plane is glued up. The inside is only about 1 mm shorter than the width of the centre pieces (toe and heel sections). I used a Lie-Nielsen carcass saw and a bench hook I made that keeps the saw at precisely 90° to cut the cross-pins to length.

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In order to create the rounded ends of the pins I use, a Veritas centre-finder (by lack of a better term), a Tamboti marking knife, a compass, a chisel and a selection of files.

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After a final dry-fit I usually go ahead and glue the plane together, but not in this case as it was at this point where I luckily (although it did not feel that way at the time) realised my mistake in measuring out the location of the cross-pin holes. There were no space for a wedge and a blade as I did not include the thickness of the blade in my measurements!!!!! This is one of those horrible feelings in woodwork when it hits you like a ton of bricks that you made a stuff-up that might mean all the effort so far was in vain. I usually start sweating and develop acute palpitations, as I did in this case as well.

After I managed to calm down I realised that I could simply move the heel section back by the thickness of the blade-chipbreaker combo to fix the problem. The only real side-effect of my indiscretion after the fix was that I now had a much wider mouth/throat opening than initially intended. On these planes I was not too concerned about that so it worked out fine in the end. You can see the glue-up process in the pictures below.

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Here you can see the two sets used for the initial flattening of the sole. I used a hand plane to do the lions share of the work and followed that up with 3M adhesive-backed sandpaper on glass. This is the first of two flattening processes. The final flattening happens with the blade retracted and the wedge tapped in at about the tention used while the plane is operational. This distorts the area immediately behind the mouth/throat so the plane needs to be flattened in this state.

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In the pictures below you can see how I marked out the guiding lines for the final shaping of the nose of the plane. I first used this design on the scrub plane I built. You will find an entire post on this project under the category “Hand tools” on this site. I find it an absolute gem of a design and it certainly attains my goal of building objects that are functional and beautiful at the same time. Otherwise known as a certain je ne sais quoi. I would therefore like to call this … wait for it …  “The Marx Nose”.

 

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Yes I know …

 

In the pictures below you can see how I shaped “The Marx Nose” using a Forstner bit and the bandsaw. Please feel free to use it, as long as you also call it “The Marx Nose”. Feel free to contact me and I will give you an idea of the proportions I used. It really feels extremely comfortable and natural while using the plane. Your left palm (if you are right-handed) rests on the top of the toe section, enabling easy and controlled downward pressure and your fingers curl into the rounded slot of the nose to improve the ability to pick the plane up for the back-stroke. It really feels so much better than a cast-iron and normal square-nosed 18th century wooden plane.

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I thought I should add these pictures of how my legvise and sliding deadman work in tandem to hold the Fore Plane while cutting the chamfers on the sides.

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The chamfers on the sides were done with this Lie-Nielsen low angle block plane. I used my beautiful little smoother to do the final finishing. The top edge of this chamfer runs along the glue line where the sides were glued to the centre sections, in order to hide it. This works very well. You will notice that it is not a 45° chamfer as it extends further down the plane than across the top. I find that this adds a certain je ne sais quoi.

Where the chamfer extends across the front of the nose I used files as this is a curved surface with end grain.

For the stopped chamfers at the heel end, I follow the procedure as illustrated stepwise in the pictures below. I first use a round file to do the end of the chamfer and then clamp a bit of scrap wood over the end to protect it. Next I used a selection of flat files to remove the rest of the wood. 

 

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I found the template below for a closed tote at http://www.oocities.org/plybench/handle.html. As you can see I tweaked it slightly to suite my purpose and sense of je ne sais quoi.

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The template I created from the original was then used with consideration of grain orientation to dram the outlines on a piece of Assegaai.

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I first drilled out the tight corners on the drill press using Forstner bits of various sizes and then used the bandsaw to finish the job.

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I then did the initial shaping with the Green Monster (pictured), after which I used the setup as shown to do the final more delicate work with files.

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In these pictures you can see how I fitted the closed tote that we modified and made a bit earlier.

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4/9/2013 – Currently I am applying various layers of oil and finish to this plane and aim to create the Tamboti wedge on the weekend. Then it will be simply a case of shaping and sharpening the blade and Bob’s your Uncle.
Here are some pictures of the Fore Plane midway through the different layers of Tung Oil and something called Wooddock. You can probably appreciate the slight elaboration of the closed tote I introduced as discussed earlier in the post. The beautiful dark orange colour of this piece of Assegaai is also evident.
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9/9/2013 – In these pictures you can see the the piece of Tamboti I used for the wedges. They were initially cut with the bandsaw and tidied up with my very special spindle sander known as the “Green Monster”.
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The blades were then shaped and sharpened using the setup as shown. I like writing the angles used on the blades for future reference. Both of these blades were honed with a slight camber, but the Jack Plane with the more pronounced curve. You will notice that I use the terms Honing Angle (HA) and Polishing Angle (PA). These blades come with a primary bevel of 25º and I added secondary bevels with a HA of 33º and PA of 35°. You will find and entire post on how I built this sharpening jig under the category “Jigs” on this site. You will notice the small ruler on the water stone indicating that I use David Charlesworth’s “ruler trick” to created a mirror polish on the back of the blades.
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Next step was to set the blades under normal tension, but retracted in order to do the final flattening of the soles.
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The most rewarding part of this process is the first few shavings taken with your new plane. Here you can see the beautiful assegaai shavings taken from a scrap piece.
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Here you can see how I used the Fore Plane to flatten the sole of the Jointer I am also working on.
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I moved some stuff to create this space right next to my usual planing area as a home for the three planes. The Jointer will be finished next.
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Building a wooden Jointer

28/8/2013 – As described ad infinitum in posts with similar titles, I am building several wooden planes at the same time. This one is a Jointer and will have several photos that co-occur in the other mentioned posts. For the sake of the mortals who only read this particular post I will endeavour to try and keep each post fairly comprehensive at the risk of boring those who peruse all of the plane-building-musings.

I did start building this plane together with the others, so the date above refers more specifically to when I stated documenting this plane’s progress.

I took the wood needed to laminate the blank for this plane from the two beech boards below.

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The ysterhout sole of the plane came from this piece of ysterhout, which was re-sawn on the bandsaw and then tidied up by means of the thicknesser.

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Here you can see the beech and ysterhout stock prior to lamination.

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A quick picture of the stock of the other planes that were built in conjunction with this Jointer.

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The gluing process to laminate the above parts.

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I used the array of planes pictured below to establish one flat surface on the side of each of the plane blanks, as I do not have a Jointer. In the last two pictures you can see the difference between a jointed side and an untouched side. Please note the use of my home made Flush Plane to remove the hardened glue from the glue lines before employing the other planes. I wrote an entire post on how I made this plane which you will find under the category of “Hand tools” on this site.

 

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The blanks were then fed to the thicknesser to created another flat surface parallel to the planed one.

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After that I first squared the future top of the plane with regards to these flat and parallel sides. That enabled me to slice the strips off the sides on the bandsaw with the ysterhout sole facing upwards in order to prevent blowout.

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I removed the saw marks from the sides with the thicknesser.IMG_7683IMG_7682

 

The next step was to mill the centre down to the exact width, which was 3 mm wider than the 2″ Lie-Nielsen blades I am planning to use

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At this point I was able to utilise my bandsaw mitre-sled to cut the ramp and curved toe section. I wrote an entire post on how I built the bandsaw mitre-sled, which you will find under the category “jigs” on this site. It is important to keep the wedge created by these two cuts. It comes in handy later on as I will illustrate. I decided on a 50° degree bedding angle (also known as York Pitch) for all of these planes. It is the best all-round angle for my purposes working predominantly with very hard woods.

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The curved cut on the toe section was tidied up by means of the Green Monster.

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The first place where the wedge-offcut comes in handy is when you need to square up and flatten the ramp on the heel section. In order to prevent blowout of the ysterhout sole one can clamp the wedge together with the heel section as shown. Then you can go ahead and plane the ramp with confidence.

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The ramp after planing.

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After planing the three ramps I scribbled on them with a 2B pencil and did the last of the flattening on glass with 3M adhesive-backed sandpaper on it. It seems to me that one should not overdo this step as it is easy to round off the edges if not very careful. As soon as all the pencil marks disappear you have done enough.

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I chose 2″ wide Lie-Nielsen blades with their accompanying chip breakers for each of these three planes. Lie-Nielsen produce blades of absolutely tantalising quality. In the pictures below you can see how I measured the the screw that clamps the business end of the plane together, in order to set the router up to cut a custom slot for it in the ramp.

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Here you can appreciate the second reason why it is useful to retain the wedge produced by the two cuts made earlier in the centre section. It help to created enough of a flat section as a reference surface for your router in order to cut the mentioned slot in the ramp.

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I thought I should quickly show you these delightful Kershout beams I made many moons ago. They are kept quite handy in the location as shown below my bench. You will notice that their have their length indicated to help me find the exact contrivance needed in a particular situation. In this case I used the Godfather of the beams (at around 1.7 meters in length) as a fence to align the plane parts as shown. This process entails the marking out of the centre-heel piece relative to the centre-toe piece and pinpointing the location of where to drill the first hole for the cross-pin.

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This unfortunately represented the first major blunder in my hitherto Utopian-plane-building-activities. I somehow marked out the location of the cross-pin without taking into account the thickness of the Iron-chipbreaker-combo as is clearly indicated in my extensive notes on the topic. Please see my post entitled “Wooden plane building tip” for information on the measurements I use. If you follow them correctly (as a posed to me in this instance) it works like a charm. We will discuss my fix for the my blunder a little bit later on as at this point in time I still did not realise that I made a mistake.

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In order to drill the opposing hole for the cross-pin, I assembled the plane using small Bessey f-style clamps to keep the various pieces in place, while fixing it with very small panel pins as shown. I first drill a 1 mm hole and then tap the panel pin home, in order to be able to take the plane apart easily afterwards. These same panel pins stay in the side strips to enable me to reassemble the plane in this exact way during the final dry-fit and ultimate glue-up. I you will notice that the panel pins go in the area at each end of the plane that will be cut away after gluing.

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Here you can see how the initial cross-pin whole acts as a guide for locating the opposing hole on the drill press.

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Next step was to prepare a ½” square length of Assegaai for the cross-pins. I tend to make them 3 mm longer than needed each side and only trim them down after the plane is glued up. The inside is only about 1 mm shorter than the width of the centre pieces (toe and heel sections). I used a Lie-Nielsen carcass saw and a bench hook I made that keeps the saw at precisely 90° to cut the cross-pins to length.

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In order to create the rounded ends of the pins I use, a Veritas centre-finder (by lack of a better term), a Tamboti marking knife, a compass, a chisel and a selection of files.

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After a final dry-fit I usually go ahead and glue the plane together, but not in this case as it was at this point where I luckily (although it did not feel that way at the time) realised my mistake in measuring out the location of the cross-pin holes. There were no space for a wedge and a blade as I did not include the thickness of the blade in my measurements!!!!! This is one of those horrible feelings in woodwork when it hits you like a ton of bricks that you made a stuff-up that might mean all the effort so far was in vain. I usually start sweating and develop acute palpitations, as I did in this case as well.

 

After I managed to calm down I realised that I could simply move the heel section back by the thickness of the blade-chipbreaker combo to fix the problem. The only real side-effect of my indiscretion after the fix was that I now had a much wider mouth/throat opening than initially intended. On these planes I was not too concerned about that so it worked out fine in the end. You can see the glue-up process in the pictures below.

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The Jointer after it was liberated from the clamps.

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I found the template below for a closed tote at http://www.oocities.org/plybench/handle.html. As you can see I tweaked it slightly to suite my purpose and sense of je ne sais quoi.

Old street 16th century closed tote paternIMG_7803IMG_7804IMG_7806IMG_7807IMG_7808

 

The template I created from the original was then used with consideration of grain orientation to draw the outlines on a piece of Assegaai.

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I first drilled out the tight corners on the drill press using Forstner bits of various sizes and then used the bandsaw to finish the job.

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I then did the initial shaping with the Green Monster (pictured), after which I used the setup as shown to do the final more delicate work with files.

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9/9/2013 – You will not believe how satisfying it was to use my wooden Fore Plane to flatten the sole of the jointer. I used a Lie-Nielsen Low Angle Jack Plane with a toothed blade (bedding angle 12º and secondary polished bevel at 45º resulting in a 57º angle of attack) and the Fore Plane with it’s 50º angle of attack and smooth cambered edge in tandem for this job. At 24″ in length the Fore Plane really helped to do a good job of flattening the 35″ (at this stage) Jointer.

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The next step as per usual was to finish off the first flattening on 3M adhesive-backed sandpaper on glass.

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22/9/2013 – Then I moved on to establishing the final dimensions of the plane by chopping of the waste at the toe and heel.

In the pictures below you can see how I marked out the guiding lines for the final shaping of the nose of the plane. I first used this design on the scrub plane I built. You will find an entire post on this project under the category “Hand tools” on this site. I find it an absolute gem of a design and it certainly attains my goal of building objects that are functional and beautiful at the same time. Otherwise known as a certain je ne sais quoi. I would therefore like to call this … wait for it …  “The Marx Nose”.

dr.evil

Yes I know …

 

In the pictures below you can see how I shaped “The Marx Nose” using a Forstner bit and the bandsaw. Please feel free to use it, as long as you also call it “The Marx Nose”. Feel free to contact me and I will give you an idea of the proportions I used. It really feels extremely comfortable and natural while using the plane. Your left palm (if you are right-handed) rests on the top of the toe section, enabling easy and controlled downward pressure and your fingers curl into the rounded slot of the nose to improve the ability to pick the plane up for the back-stroke. It really feels so much better than a cast-iron and normal square-nosed 18th century wooden plane.

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2/10/2013 –

The chamfers on the sides were done with this Lie-Nielsen low angle block plane. I used my beautiful little smoother to do the final finishing. The top edge of this chamfer runs along the glue line where the sides were glued to the centre sections, in order to hide it. This works very well. You will notice that it is not a 45° chamfer as it extends further down the plane than across the top. I find that this adds a certain je ne sais quoi.

Where the chamfer extends across the front of the nose I used files as this is a curved surface with end grain.

For the stopped chamfers at the heel end, I follow the procedure as illustrated stepwise in the pictures below. I first use a round file to do the end of the chamfer and then clamp a bit of scrap wood over the end to protect it. Next I used a selection of flat files to remove the rest of the wood.

The pictures below show how I shaped the Fore Plane I built but as you can see in the next set of pictures it is exactly what I did with the Jointer.

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In these pictures you can see how I fitted the closed tote that we modified and made a bit earlier.

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Finally the jointer is starting to resemble what I was aiming for. Here you can see it after a few treatments of tung oil initially followed by something called Wooddock. I am not too sure what it is made up of but it is very similar to Shellac.

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7/10/2013 – This past weekend I managed to finish this beautiful Jointer. I made a wedge out of Tamboti to match the other two similar looking planes. The blade was sharpened with a flat edge apart from clipping the corners to prevent it from cutting tracks. You can see the waver thin shavings it took on it’s first cut.

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Here you can see it with it’s brothers on the shelve next to the area dedicated to planing on my assembly table.

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Building a Wooden Jack Plane

19/8/2013 – I am in the process of building 4 different wooden planes as you might have seen under the post entitled “Shooting Plane Pregnancy”. They are a Jack Plane (aiming at 17″), a Fore Plane (probably 22″), a Shooting Plane and a Jointer (aiming for 30″).

This post will document the process of how I build the Jack Plane. The plan is to add new photos and text as I progress over the next few weeks.

The stock for all of these planes were cut from the two beech boards pictured.

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The Jack Plane is the furthest from the camera accompanied by it’s ysterhout sole prior to gluing.

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Another photo of the Jack Plane’s stock together with that of the Shooting Plane.

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A closeup of the beech and ysterhout prior to gluing.

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The gluing process.

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I found this closed tote pattern as a free pdf download at http://www.oocities.org/plybench/handle.html. I am still considering whether I will use an open or closed tote for the Jack Plane but am pretty sure I will use this closed version for the Fore Plane and the Jointer.

 

Old street 16th century closed tote patern

 

29/8/2013 – With regards to the above conundrum, I decided to rather use an open tote on the Jack Plane, which I will discuss a bit later.

I used the array of planes pictured below to establish one flat surface on the side of each of the plane blanks, as I do not have a Jointer. In the last two pictures you can see the difference between a jointed side and an untouched side.

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The blanks were then fed to the thicknesser to created another flat surface parallel to the planed one.

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After that I first squared the future top of the plane with regards to these flat and parallel sides. That enabled me to slice the strips off the sides on the bandsaw with the ysterhout sole facing upwards in order to prevent blowout.

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I removed the saw marks from the sides with the thicknesser.

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The next step was to mill the centre down to the exact width, which was 3 mm wider than the 2″ Lie-Nielsen blades I am planning to use.

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At this point I was able to utilise my bandsaw mitre-sled to cut the ramp and curved toe section. I wrote an entire post on how I built the bandsaw mitre-sled, which you will find under the category “jigs” on this site. It is important to keep the wedge created by these two cuts. It comes in handy later on as I will illustrate. I decided on a 50° degree bedding angle (also known as York Pitch) for all of these planes. It is the best all-round angle for my purposes working predominantly with very hard woods.

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The curved cut on the toe section was tidied up by means of the Green Monster.

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The first place where the wedge-offcut comes in handy is when you need to square up and flatten the ramp on the heel section. In order to prevent blowout of the ysterhout sole one can clamp the wedge together with the heel section as shown. Then you can go ahead and plane the ramp with confidence.

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After planing the three ramps I scribbled on them with a 2B pencil and did the last of the flattening on glass with 3M adhesive-backed sandpaper on it. It seems to me that one should not overdo this step as it is easy to round off the edges if not very careful. As soon as all the pencil marks disappear you have done enough.

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I chose 2″ wide Lie-Nielsen blades with their accompanying chip breakers for each of these three planes. Lie-Nielsen produce blades of absolutely tantalising quality. In the pictures below you can see how I measured the the screw that clamps the business end of the plane together, in order to set the router up to cut a custom slot for it in the ramp.

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Here you can appreciate the second reason why it is useful to retain the wedge produced by the two cuts made earlier in the centre section. It help to created enough of a flat section as a reference surface for your router in order to cut the mentioned slot in the ramp.

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I thought I should quickly show you these delightful Kershout beams I made many moons ago. They are kept quite handy in the location as shown below my bench. You will notice that their have their length indicated to help me find the exact contrivance needed in a particular situation. In this case I used the Godfather of the beams (at around 1.7 meters in length) as a fence to align the plane parts as shown. This process entails the marking out of the centre-heel piece relative to the centre-toe piece and pinpointing the location of where to drill the first hole for the cross-pin.

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This unfortunately represented the first major blunder in my hitherto Utopian-plane-building-activities. I somehow marked out the location of the cross-pin without taking into account the thickness of the Iron-chipbreaker-combo as is clearly indicated in my extensive notes on the topic. Please see my post entitled “Wooden plane building tip” for information on the measurements I use. If you follow them correctly (as a posed to me in this instance) it works like a charm. We will discuss my fix for the my blunder a little bit later on as at this point in time I still did not realise that I made a mistake.

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In order to drill the opposing hole for the cross-pin, I assembled the plane using small Bessey f-style clamps to keep the various pieces in place, while fixing it with very small panel pins as shown. I first drill a 1 mm hole and then tap the panel pin home, in order to be able to take the plane apart easily afterwards. These same panel pins stay in the side strips to enable me to reassemble the plane in this exact way during the final dry-fit and ultimate glue-up. I you will notice that the panel pins go in the area at each end of the plane that will be cut away after gluing.

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Here you can see how the initial cross-pin whole acts as a guide for locating the opposing hole on the drill press.

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Next step was to prepare a ½” square length of Assegaai for the cross-pins. I tend to make them 3 mm longer than needed each side and only trim them down after the plane is glued up. The inside is only about 1 mm shorter than the width of the centre pieces (toe and heel sections). I used a Lie-Nielsen carcass saw and a bench hook I made that keeps the saw at precisely 90° to cut the cross-pins to length.

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In order to create the rounded ends of the pins I use, a Veritas centre-finder (by lack of a better term), a Tamboti marking knife, a compass, a chisel and a selection of files.

IMG_7768IMG_7767IMG_7777

 

After a final dry-fit I usually go ahead and glue the plane together, but not in this case as it was at this point where I luckily (although it did not feel that way at the time) realised my mistake in measuring out the location of the cross-pin holes. There were no space for a wedge and a blade as I did not include the thickness of the blade in my measurements!!!!! This is one of those horrible feelings in woodwork when it hits you like a ton of bricks that you made a stuff-up that might mean all the effort so far was in vain. I usually start sweating and develop acute palpitations, as I did in this case as well.

After I managed to calm down I realised that I could simply move the heel section back by the thickness of the blade-chipbreaker combo to fix the problem. The only real side-effect of my indiscretion after the fix was that I now had a much wider mouth/throat opening than initially intended. On these planes I was not too concerned about that so it worked out fine in the end. You can see the glue-up process in the pictures below.

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The Jack Plane after it was liberated from the clamps.

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Then I went searching for a nice orange piece of Assegaai for the totes. In the first picture you can see the rough boards and in the second how it looked after some attention for the thicknesser. In the end I decided to use an open tote for the Jack Plane and again used the tote of my Lie-Nielsen Low Angle Jack Plane as a template as you can see. I did however modify it slightly for this particular job giving it a significant base section (by lack of a better term). You will also see the template for the closed tote I used for the other two planes but we will discuss that in the posts on the Jointer and Fore Plane respectively. On the Lee Valley website one can find free pdf documents with tote templates of various old Stanley planes. The accompanying text and pictures is very helpful when trying to make your own totes for the first time. I used them when I made my “Proletarian Sanding Contrivances” and therefore I now feel very comfortable doing it without help. You will be able to find an entire post dedicated to these sanding planes under the category “Hand tools” on this site.

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After drilling out the tight corners with appropriately sized Forstner bits on the Drill Press I used the bandsaw to do the rest.

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I then did the initial shaping with the Green Monster (pictured), after which I used the setup as shown to do the final more delicate work with files.

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1/9/2013 – I am very pleased to add the following pictures of my progress over the past week. My family took advantage of the school holidays and disappeared off to Henties Baai during the latter stages of last week, which gave me some time in the shop after work during the week. Unfortunately I spent all of my Saturday at the Medical Council examining, which left only Sunday to push ahead with this project, but here are the results of my efforts.

I use this handy flush saw from Veritas to remove those extra millimeters at each end of the cross-pin.

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Then I did the first stage of flattening the sole using of the two planes pictured. A Lie-Nielsen no. 4½ Smoother (with a York pitch frog) and a Stanley Bailey pattern no. 5 Jack Plane. After that I did the final flattening using 3M adhesive-backed sandpaper on glass.

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In the pictures below you can see how I marked out the guiding lines for the final shaping of the nose of the plane. I first used this design on the scrub plane I built. You will find an entire post on this project under the category “Hand tools” on this site. I find it an absolute gem of a design and certainly attains my goal of building objects that is functional and beautiful at the same time. Otherwise known as a certain je ne sais quoi. I would therefore like to call this … wait for it …  “The Marx Nose”.

dr.evil

 

Yes I know …

In the pictures below you can see how I shaped “The Marx Nose” using a Forstner bit and the bandsaw. Please feel free to use it, as long as you also call it “The Marx Nose”. Feel free to contact me and I will give you an idea of the proportions I used. It really feels extremely comfortable and natural while using the plane. Your left palm (if you are right-handed) rests on the top of the toe section, enabling easy and controlled downward pressure and your fingers curl into the rounded slot of the nose to improve the ability to pick the plane up for the back-stroke. It really feels so much better than a cast-iron and normal square-nosed 18th century wooden plane.

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I usually mark the pencil lines for the chamfers by hand, using a finger as a fence.

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The chamfers on the side were done with this Lie-Nielsen low angle block plane. The top edge of this chamfer runs along the glue line where the sides were glued to the centre sections, in order to hide it. This works very well. I will notice that it is not a 45° chamfer as it extends further down the plane than across the top. I find that this add a certain je ne sais quoi.

IMG_7862-2IMG_7864

 

Where the chamfer extends across the front of the nose I used files as this is a curved surface with end grain.

IMG_7869IMG_7870

 

For the stopped chamfers at the heel end, I follow the procedure as illustrated stepwise in the pictures below. I first use a round file to do the end of the chamfer …

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… and then clamp a bit of scrap wood over the end that will stay to protect it. Next I used a selection of flat files to remove the rest of the wood.

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For the the tote of this Jack Plane I decided on an open tote in the end. In the pictures below you can see how it was attached to the plane body utilising three different strategies to ensure strength: mortise, glue and two screws.

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4/9/2013 – I am currently busy applying various layers of oil etc to this plane and aim to create the Tamboti wedge on the weekend. Then I only need to shape and sharpen the blade and Bob’s your Uncle.

In these pictures the two planes are kicking it in the Finishing Spa.

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I took this picture tonight after it received it’s final treatment with liquid wax. By early next week I should be able to add pictures of the completed plane if all goes well.

 

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9/9/2013 – In these pictures you can see the the piece of Tamboti I used for the wedges. They were initially cut with the bandsaw and tidied up with my very special spindle sander known as the “Green Monster”.

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The blades were then shaped and sharpened using the setup as shown. I like writing the angles used on the blades for future reference. Both of these blades were honed with a slight camber, but the Jack Plane with the more pronounced curve. You will notice that I use the terms Honing Angle (HA) and Polishing Angle (PA). These blades come with a primary bevel of 25º and I added secondary bevels with a HA of 33º and PA of 35°. You will find and entire post on how I built this sharpening jig under the category “Jigs” on this site. You will notice the small ruler on the water stone indicating that I use David Charlesworth’s “ruler trick” to created a mirror polish on the back of the blades.

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Next step was to set the blades under normal tension, but retracted in order to do the final flattening of the soles.

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You will notice that I have a new piece of glass that takes three different grids of sandpaper.

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The most rewarding part of this process is the first few shavings taken with your new plane. Here you can see the beautiful assegaai shavings taken from a scrap piece.

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I moved some stuff to create this space right next to my usual planing area as a home for the three planes.

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Now I can move on to finishing the Jointer and then the Shooting Plane.

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Shooting plane pregnancy

15/08/2013

This will be the first of a new type of post I am planning to do. I will post updates on each project as I progress. In other words, writing the post while I build the object.

The plan is to start building a dedicated shooting plane and shooting board. Below you can see the rough sketches I made while on the airplane this past weekend. The wife and I flew down south to attend the 90th birthday celebrations of the best rugby school in the history of the game. Outeniqua of course.

The idea with this plane is to slope the sides of the plane in order to skew the cutting edge of the blade just enough to create a slight sheering cut. The plane will slope down to allow the angled cutting edge to jam the stock that is being cut down into the corner created by the floor and the rail of the shooting board, rather than potentially lifting it. I am also playing around with ideas to potentially have a way to use the plane on both sides of the shooting board while still ensuring a comfortable grip. You can join me as I design and build the plane over the few weeks/months.

Shooting plane design

19/8/2013 – I started off with the shooting plane this weekend. I prepared the stock of the Shooting Plane together with that of a 30″ Jointer, a 22″ Fore Plane and a 17″ Jack Plane from the two boards seen below. In these pictures they are fresh out of the Planer.

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Here you can see the parts of the Jack Plane (left) and the Shooting Plane (right).

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I used my bandsaw to re-saw some ysterhout for the sides of the Shooting Plane and the soles of the other planes. I then processed it further in the planer.

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I made a few drawings on the stock to test the ideas I had as seen in the rough sketches in the first picture.

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Here you can see the ysterhout sides of the Shooting Plane posing with the yet-to-be laminated beech stock.

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The same ingredients with their cousins-to-be as mentioned.

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I utilised most of my current arsenal of planes to prepare the beech stock for lamination.

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As I already used up most of my clamps for the Jack Plane’s lamination, I employed my face vise in tandem with a few random C and F-style clamps to laminate the Shooting Plane on the same day.

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3/9/2013 – Please be patient as I am currently working on the three planes that look similar apart from their length. I will get back to the shooting plane once these are finished.

14/10/2013 – Finally I managed to do some work on this project over the weekend. You can see how I sliced the beech blank creating a triangular centre piece, it’s two sides and the two triangular bits of waste. The plane has this odd shape to skew the cutting edge by about 7º creating a slight sheering cut.

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The rough-sawn sides of the centre piece were flattened by alternating use of the Lie-Nielsen low angle Jack Plane with a toothed blade and my own shop made Jack Plane. The final touches were done with the longer Fore Plane (also pictured).

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In order to cut the ramp in the centre piece, I had to come up with the setup below in addition to using my shop made bandsaw mitre-sled. I wrote an entire post on how the sled was built, which you will find under the category “Jigs”.

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Shop made Idiosyncratic Wooden Scrub Plane

June/July 2013

The second plane I decided to build was a scrub plane. Actually I built it alongside the Petite Wooden Smoother as described in exhaustive detail in the post with the same name, but finished off it’s wee cousin first and then moved back to the pugnacious old-timer.

This was the only piece of beech I could find at the time.

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I decided to use ysterhout for the sole of this plane. In future I plan to try to cut these 8 mm “veneer” on my band saw, but in this particular case I had to plane it down with the thicknesser and lost heaps of wood, electricity and time in the process. Since this wasteful experience I have managed to rehabilitate the mentioned bandsaw, so my wish should be possible in future. You can see how I am cutting the actual sole from the strip of ysterhout.

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In the first picture you can see both of the initial planes prior to lamination. In the second picture you can appreciate the grain orientation of the scrub plane.

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I did not take any pictures of the lamination process of the scrub plane but it looked similar to how I did the smoother in the picture below.

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The clamps exerted some serious pressure, which is what one wants in this particular instance.

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Then I used a handplane to square up the sides relative to the sole.

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In the next picture you can appreciate the grain orientation. In the second picture the square that guides this process is evident.

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Here you can see the beautiful shavings taken by my rehabilitated Stanley Jack Plane.

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My newly rehabilitated Bandsaw did a stirling job of cutting the sides off this plane blank. Please note that I deliberately chose to have the ysterhout at the top to prevent blow-out.

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The result an absolute joy.

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I then removed the saw marks with a hand plane.

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In order to reduce the centre section to the correct width I used the thicknesser. I aimed for 3 mm wider than the blade. This blade is a replacement blade for the Lie-Nielsen scrub plane at 1½” wide with a 3″ radius to take a mega chunk of timber with every pass.

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