Finally after a long wait the irons have arrived and today I could do some work on the plane. It’s progressing very slowly due to work, today and tomorrow I have off, but next week I won’t be so lucky.
I have learned a great deal during the build and I will share my findings with you. I have studied my existing antique plane and have set the mouth opening exactly to match the antique plane, a big mistake though.
The iron in the antique is 5/32 thick and the LN version is 1/8 that’s 1/32 difference. You may not think that is much of a difference but compare the two pictures with the irons installed and you’ll see that it is a big difference.
Clearly you can see that the mouth opening is too much again, luckily for me I was smart enough to use prototypes and not the real deal. So tomorrow I will be making another one with a smaller opening but I wonder how will I get the waste out. I don’t have a 1/16 chisel. So it’s just getting harder and harder till I figure out a way to get that waste out and level that wall. That part has to flat so the shavings don’t clog.
The mouth opening on this HNT 1/2″ shoulder plane is the same as the antique, this plane has a 37 degree bevel and a 60 degree bed. It’s steep to tackle Aussie wood which is usually reversing grain. Having a steeper bevel and bed means the plane is harder to push and the edge will blunt quicker but will help in eliminating tearout.
I also made the wedge the fit and the 15degree spread planing board I made should’ve been less but it turned out that I didn’t need it after all as I planed the wedge to fit prior to shaping it.
Prototypes aren’t meant to look pretty but they’re there to serve a purpose and that purpose is to work out the quirks and to do build experimentations. I won’t know if I made a success until I take my first shaving and I won’t be preparing the blade for the prototype this I will save for the actual plane.
The sides are perfectly flush with the iron and I will rehearse the round on this plane while I build the second prototype with a smaller mouth. My recommendation to you if you are going to make yourselves moulding planes is to get your irons first. It doesn’t matter whether it’s from LN or you cut them up yourselves, what does matter is the thickness. Once you know how thick your iron is you can then make mouth according to that thickness.
I’ve waited 2 years to start this build, I didn’t know if I was going to buy them new or get the antique version or just build them. I can definitely see why new ones cost so much, they are time consuming to make, the irons aren’t cheap at all and the wood is also expensive especially when your laminating as you’re using more wood. The antiques also aren’t cheap, but they aren’t that great either. Some will work fine while others are way past their due by date but none of them are identical in build unless they are all from the same maker. I have noticed on some of mine that the mouths are open quite a bit and others are very tight. I’m guessing that mass production had a lot to do with it and just careless. People still buy them by the truck loads and don’t notice these things until they learn more about them.
Anyway I’m not really fussed on how long it’s going to take me, I have work which pays the bills which is more important to me. I’m also trying to save up for a metalworking lathe and mill which isn’t cheap either especially that I have to import it from the US as Australia doesn’t sell any quality lathes. I’m really excited about adding metal work to my skillset as I want to build mechanical movements and other hand tools.
Well it’s beddy bye time for me, till I update you next goodnight all.