Moulding Plane No.10 Round complete!

I shaped the iron, heat treated, sharpened it to a razor finish and did it within two hours. Considering how long it took me the first time, experience and speed has finally kicked in.

I’m very pleased with the outcome, she’s planing and ejecting shavings like a dream.   The mouth opening is 1/32″ which I’ve returned back to my original idea and not intentionally but just by accident. Still it allowed thick enough shavings to go through without clogging. All that’s left to do now is to put a couple of coats of finish and use that as the mother plane for the hollow.

I found a neat little trick to shaping the iron, initially I shaped the iron on a grinder keeping it at 90° but the bevel I did with a file, just like our ancestors did and with all their plane irons to re establish their bevel .  If I used the grinder to establish a 25° bevel and refine the shape I would’ve taken too much from one side or the other.  With a file I took small amounts resulting in a more controlled shaping process.  The grinder hogs off a lot of material throwing you off everytime until you get it right, but that is time consuming.  The file seems like a slower process but it actually took me 20 -30 mins probably less to do it, that’s a saving of 2 hours work.

I could of given up considering how long I’ve been at it but I didn’t.  Hard work, persistence, obsession is the key to success, nothing comes easy.

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What to expect in the new issue

Here is an excerpt a small part of what to expect in the new issue.  The magazine is far from complete but I thought I’d give you a teaser.

New and improved chip breakers

The purpose of the cap iron ie chip breaker is to deflect shavings, when setup close to the cutting irons edge, supposing to reduce tear out. Leonard Bailey introduced the curved cap iron to his thin irons to eliminate the vibrations which caused chatter. With the Bailey/Stanley versioned cap irons you can modify them to completely eliminate tear out altogether by slightly honing a small bevel on the front edge. The mouth opening no longer plays a part and you can safely even plane against the grain with no tear out, which eliminates the need for a scraper. With the modern so called improved version you can’t do that, I have tried and ruined the cap iron. The reason why toolmakers refuse to reproduce the Stanley/Bailey cap irons is due to the high costs involved in creating a hump in the steel. They need to renew their advertised claim of “new and improved chip breakers” to “new and not so costly to us chipbreakers”; if you have an old Stanley plane do not replace it with a thicker iron and nor the chip breaker with the modern one.

Here are my final thoughts I haven’t included in this issue.  The old Stanley planes are remarkable in every sense of the word.  Why modern day tool makers felt the need to change them bewilders me.  The extra mass in modern day planes is taxing on the body, their reasoning behind it is the more mass the easier it is to push through the wood, I personally cannot agree with this.  Whilst working professionally I used it all day everyday and with my bad back I could barely walk at the end of the day.  I refurbished an old record smoother last year and found myself to be less fatigued whilst using it.  The thin irons are easier to sharpen and quicker also as there is less metal to remove than the new thicker ones.  They are also easier to sharpen freehand than the modern day type.  The cap irons can be easily modified to plane against the grain eliminating all tearout while the modern day type cannot.

Lie Nielsen and Veritas and others that are coming on the market are high quality planes without a doubt but if I had to do it all over again I would make the switch.  I don’t wish to rub any toolmaker up the wrong way but the facts of practical use speaks for itself.

Moulding Planes a real challenge

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I got night shift tonight I should of been in bed 3 hours ago and the results show on my no.10 moulding plane.  I can’t attribute everything to the rush but mostly to my own stupidity of not thinking things through properly.  I was too confident and lowered my guard much like the motorcycle rider who is still learning to ride, when he gets too confident that’s when the proverbial turd hits the fan.

I drew up the plans but I never made a top view which screwed me up because I got it wrong in the build.  You can see I broke through the lamination because the mortise isn’t centered.  Then I forgot how I carved the teardrop and on the blindside I planed more than 3/4 high.  The good thing is none of this affects the function of the plane, the round has a radius of 5/8 and the bed is flat, so the rest is just aesthetics.  The wedge turned out nice, I like that Walker design, its just unfortunate I stuffed up another thing I’ll have to live with.  All there’s left to do is to shape the iron and start on the hollow.  I’ll be using this round to shape the hollow. I won’t be starting any other projects until I really get a handle on these planes.  So far I’m already having a pile of commissioned jobs starting to pile up but I have said until these planes are out of the way your just going to have to wait.

I’m looking forward in doing a write up for these planes but I will do that when I’m absolutely confident I got it right.  It will be a pretty long write up because I think I have just about every mistake a person can make but no matter how much an author can give information not all of it is absorbed and it’s only inevitable you too will make the same mistakes.  But you learn from this and that’s priceless, no school can ever teach you what you learn from mistakes, no school can ever give you an indepth understanding you can from making mistakes.    But don’t knock schools for they are the greatest institutions in the world and every teacher deserves honour and respect.

Take care I’m off to bed.

WIP HANDWORK Issue two

I’ve just begun on Issue 2 and after much success of Issue 1 with a record download of 1500 and still counting, I’m hoping I can do an even better job in Issue 2.  HANDWORK has gained a fantastic contributing author Greg Merritt who will cover a great topic which I’ll leave you guessing till it’s out.  Brian and Joshua are another two great authors I look forward in working with again, their contribution towards the magazine are greatly appreciated.

Once more I do not have a timeline on when it will be released as I’m trying to fit this work in between jobs that pays the bills just barely and my shop time that consumes what’s left of my savings.

I’m also considering writing a book, it’s 1:23am and I’ve only just scratched the surface of my first article.  I will be getting up in 6 hours to do it all again, luckily for me I have a few days off work not that I can bloody afford to have a single day off work but I’m dedicated to this project, it’s a good thing and a worthwhile effort and the best part is you all enjoyed reading HANDWORK and that’s worth every effort.

Good night and take care.

High chest of drawers

Date: 1730–60
Geography: Made in Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Culture: American
Medium: Maple, birch, white pine
Dimensions: 86 1/2 x 40 x 21 1/2 in. (219.7 x 101.6 x 54.6 cm)

Japanning, the use of paint and gilded gesso to imitate the glossy finish on Asian lacquer work, was a popular method of furniture decoration in colonial Boston. This group of japanned furniture (40.37.1,.2,.4) descended in the Pickman family of Salem, Massachusetts, and is an extraordinary survival. The painted decoration on the high chest, dressing table, and looking glass is all by the same hand.

Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Inscription: inscribed in chalk on the back of bottom shelf drawer: W E; [number on various parts]
Provenance
descended in the Pickman and Loring families, Salem, Massachusetts, until 1918; Lawrence Dwight, by 1918; his fiancee, Harriet Amory (later Mrs. Warwick Potter), New York, until 1940
Timeline of Art History (2000-present)

Making a treadle Lathe

HANDWORK’s contributing author Joshua Steven aka Mr.Chickadee has uploaded a video on youtube on making a foot powered lathe.  Joshua has built his homestead entirely by hand and now he’s showing you how to build this lathe entirely by hand.  This is what its about, this is what true freedom is.  This is handwork.