Made a plow plane

A while back I got an early plow plane.  It exhibits some characteristics of 18th century English plows, but it was unusable.  I wanted to be able to use that style of plow.  So I made one to fit my full set of Ohio Tool plow irons.

I started with some air-dried walnut that I got from a local farmer. He sells through one of the antique malls.  Split out the body (easier than sawing) and planed it flat and square.  I copied the layout from the example plow and drew it on the body.  A few minutes with a 1/2" center bit, a 3/8" shell bit and some chisels got me here:

After finishing off the body, I worked on the fence. I don't have any
pics in progress, but here is a shot of the arms and the still-square
fence in place on the body.

 I then molded the fence, copying the model.  The ovolo was carved with a paring gouge and then smoothed with a round plane.  The rabbets were cut with my Huntsman Late Moon fillister plane and smoothed with my LN shoulder plane.

I then started on the skate.  I didn't have any steel of the proper width, but I did have some nice copper plate.  One of my favorite things about woodworking is using non-traditional materials in traditional projects.  So I used it to make the skate and the washers for the arm rivets.  The skate was riveted in place using standard
rivets into the countersunk copper plate.  The heads were then filed flush and smooth with the plate. I left the rivet heads on the non-skate side, again copying the way the original was done.  Here is a shot after the finish was applied.

 The wedge was fit after the skate was in place, copying the finial from the existing plow.

My finish was 8 coats of linseed oil followed by 6 coats of blonde shellac.  This was rubbed out with amber paste wax, but I didn't use steel wool as I wanted the shine to stay high.  Here is a shot of the plane in use.  It works great!

I started this plane on Feb. 18th and rubbed out the final finish this afternoon.  So, 8 days start to finish.  Total time is about 25 hours. I've never been much of a toolmaker, but this will definitely not be my last plow.  I picked up a copy of Rosebrook's Wooden Plow book at an antique store today, and I'm thinking about working my way through it.  Now I just need to find enough irons to make it worth my while!

The (not-so) True Story of The Nib.

Everyone knows that woodworkers are slow to complete projects. This is a huge problem when you are working for a living, especially when you are working for someone else, and even more so when you have a date with a lusty serving wench at the local tavern. So, a mid-17th century Dutch-German carpenter, I.M Van Der Fulypunktual, decided that he needed a better way to tell how long he had been at work.

Now, back then, clocks were extremely expensive. All the gears were hand-filed from extremely pricey materials. I.M didn't have enough cash to buy a real clock AND pay for his bier, so he solved the problem in an ingenious manner. He built a portable sundial and riveted in right on the end of his favorite saw. This was perfect for him. He could saw his heart out and know exactly what time it was. But far more importantly, he knew exactly when quitting time was, and when bier-o'clock came around on that sundial, he could quit right away.

Now, the other carpenters in the area were frustrated that I.M. got the best table, the freshest pour and the freshest serving girls at the tavern, so they soon replicated his successful design on their own saws. Soon the entire guild of carpenters were seen as do-nothing drunkards, all thanks to that sundial, which lives on today in the form of the saw nib. Need proof? Just offer a carpenter a cold one...

My Review of Dan?s Whetstone Block-Mounted Hard Select Arkansas Sharpening Stone - 6"

This stone is $7.95.  While a little small for plane irons (it will work, just takes some effort), its great for knives and chisels.  Enjoy!

High quality stone at a great price.
By The Eaton County Woodworker from Charlotte, MI on 2/6/2012
5out of 5
Pros: Premounted to save time, Wipes clean easily, Cuts fast
Cons: No cover for stone, Too small for plane irons
Best Uses: Small woodworking tools, Chisels, Knives
I use this stone to sharpen my woodworking tools. Plane irons can be sharpened, but its a challenge, given the small size. Chisels are fine. I wish this stone had a full wooden box, not just a premounted base.