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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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.

No.15 H&R’s Moulding Planes Drawings

I have finally finished all the drawings from No.18 – No.1.  That’s 36 planes in total or 18 pairs. The No.18 has a radius of 1 1/2″ and so it goes down to No.1 which has a radius of 1/16″.

I have based these drawings but not entirely from Larry nor even entirely from James Celeb. These drawings were most difficult to complete, the reasons being that Larry’s dimensions are not accurate.  I’ve had a friend of mine who is a doctor of engineering try to make sense of those dimensions and came to the same conclusion that they are innacurate.  So I’ve had to change them to make it all work, James Celeb drawing of a single moulding plane is correct but he too had to deviate from Larry’s dimensions a little.  Matt Bickford’s planes follows very closely if not identically to Larry’s planes, unfortunately those dimensions he uses are unavailable to me.

The initial base design is the same as Larry’s, Bickfords and Celeb, those base dimensions is an agreed upon consensus since the 18th century and on 18th century planes only.  The issue I had was getting the blind side matching the bodies fullness while maintaining the radius profile.  Believe me this was one mind boggling thing.

While I’ve stuck to the planes typical 18th century design, I’ve opted to change the finial from the typical circular to an elliptical shape with a lamb’s tongue.  In the 18th century there are about 5 different designs for the wedges if I’m not mistaken and the one that appeals to me the most is Thomas Walker’s design.  The elliptical shape is taken from those poxy shoes they used to wear, you know the one with the heels.  To me that looks most elegant for the wedge and it’s not the same shape though but very similar to the 19th century style.  The lamb’s tongue yet adds a touch of further elegance.

18th century planes are slightly longer than 19th century moulding planes, but they are in no way more functional than 19th century planes, it’s very much an aesthetic thing.  To my eyes 18th century planes are a lot more pleasing in design than the 19th century style.

So here’s the thing guys and gals, I’m sure you would want to have all the working drawings for these but I won’t release them all until I have built these planes.  Even though I have double and triple and quad triple checked my work, I still need to see whether or not changes could be made as an improvement.  So far I’ve build one plane the No.16 based on these drawings and it works fine but I want to finish off the rest and if all goes well then I can safely offer them to you and sleep better knowing they are 100% correct.

However, I will not be offering them for free, I don’t know how much I will charge for them but it will be affordable.  I’ve always had good intentions for this blog but considering how expensive this country of mine is, I’m really doing it tough.  I’ve invested a considerable amount of time and knowledge to draw these up, and to offer them for free would be ludicrous.  As far as I know such plans are not available anywhere on the net, I will be the first.  So have a look at the sample No.15 plane, see for yourselves just how accurate and well drawn they are.

15 hollow A3 Imperial

15 round A3 Imperial

Moulding plane Build Update

It’s been a while since I last worked on this build, I’ve had a week off work due to being sick and even though my body ached and my head throbbed it wasn’t enough to keep me out of my workshop, but enough to keep me out of my crappy, schizer of a job.

I went back to my original No.16, if you remember when I started on this build I screwed up the mouth by opening it too much.  Plus Lie Nielson advertised on their site that they had the 1 1/4″ iron but it turned out to that they never did.  It’s a mystery still to this day how it got on their site at all.  So I bought some O1 flat bars from the states because I couldn’t find any in Australia to be at 1/8″  Of course I paid through my backside after all the conversion and shipping was done and yes I will do it again and again and again or atleast until Australia has it which will probably be never.

I’ve completed the build today but I still need to shape the iron, heat treat it, sharpen it and give it a test run.   I’m basing my planes on 18th Century moulding planes, my designs are directly from Larry Williams, the same designs that Matt Bickford uses on his planes.  I’ve never built a moulding plane in my life, in fact I’ve never built any plane besides the small router plane before either.  So this was a huge learning curve and adventure for me.  I’ve watched Larry William’s dvd on side escapements countless times and I’m still watching it over and over again.  You’ll be amazed at how much information you’ve missed when you watch it several times.  Your minds starts to wander and your not really concentrating but the dvd continues to play.  So I just kept rewinding it and watched over and over again until I got it.

That mouth opening will bother me till the day of judgement and beyond, but I will learn to live with it because it’s actually not entirely my fault.  Sure I cut it but I blame it on my ignorance at the time.  Sure enough I think I pretty much nailed and once I get the iron done and she performs as I expect she will I’ll be starting on the No.15 and work my way down.

I’ll be the first to admit that it isn’t easy,  it’s slow, pedantic and there was a lot of “how the hell do you work this part out.”  In the end I achieved what I set out to do but I know there will be even more frustrating part as I work down to the itty little bitty ones.

If you’re going to tackle these planes I would highly recommend you practice on some structural cheap pine.  A lot will end up just piling on your bench but you’ll save alot frustration and money in the long run.  Also I thought this French method would be easier but now I’m of the opinion that it’s not, as it has its own quirks.  Setting the Veritas Rabbet plane is difficult, insanely difficult, so planing a rabbet with it is no walk in the park.  For me that was the most frustrating part and I will without a doubt build myself various sized rabbet planes.  Also creating a fillet that you see on the toe and heel of the plane to look crisp and right is also difficult.  Shaping the sole isn’t as hard as I thought it would be but I practiced on some scrap a couple of times to get it right.  When you do decide to make a set always start off with the round and then use that to make your hollow.

I am really holding off from revealing detailed information on how to build these planes because I would like to reserve that for the magazine.  Yes the magazine will be released by the end of this month.  I’m only waiting for one more author to complete his article and as soon as that’s done there are over 60 pages of reading materials to go through.  For now I better get back to finishing off this iron. Another new challenge, how do I shape it without having an assortment of files.

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One last thing to mention, I started this build last summer.  The glue I used is not surprising to anyone is OBG Liquid Hide and look at it, it’s holding together even through the hot,  extremely humid months.  Our summers in my state lasts for three months and they get unbearably hot, sometimes too hot to work.  Hide glue has held on, so why it doesn’t work for some people bewilders me, even the fish glue I used on scrap and left it in the laundry is still holding strong I still haven’t thrown it away.   So there you have it in a nutshell._DSC1544