Thursday, March 1, 2012

Plane making fool

Here is a beech miter plane that I started on Monday and finished last night.  It is bedded at 32 degrees, bevel down, so I'll have to be careful with clearance angles for the blade.  It has a cherry wedge and a pink ivory strike block. I enjoy the look of the pink ivory so much that I think this will become my signature, using pink ivory in some way on every plane I make from here on out.

I used a piece of beech that had some sapwood in it, as it was necessary to get the full size I needed with proper quarter sawn grain and with the grain running in the right direction.  The patch in the mouth was my attempt to make up for the relative softness of the sapwood beech. My cruddy photo skills cast some shadows on the mouth, making the gauge lines look huge and deep.  They are not this way in person.  It works phenomenally well!

I'm not usually a fan of shiny wood planes, but this and my plow are extremely shiny and they look incredible, at least to my eyes.

If you are at all interested in making planes, I encourage you to give it a go.  Nothing is more satsifying than using a fine tool that you've made yourself, in your own shop, with your own hands.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

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!