How the iron’s profile should look


I didn’t have much luck photographing this part for the third issue of the magazine, but like woodworking the more you do it the more skilful you become.
I was working on the no.3 h&r today and I was pleased how everything worked like clockwork. You ever have those days when everything just works out, you make no mistakes? Well, today was that day. Anyway, lets not jinx it and press on. The only thing I want you to pay particular attention to is the feathering of the corners. The corners disappear into the plane much like it would with any smoothing plane.  It’s true this part is a little tricky and I’m working on ways to find an easy, repeatable method. When I think I got it, I don’t. Anyhow you now know what to look for, hope this helps.


I love my hand tools

I finished profiling both soles of matching pairs of the No.2’s hollow and round. Tackling the profile of the round was simple, I used a block plane planing right to the pencil line and then smoothed it with sandpaper carefully trying not to disturb the profile by sanding it out of shape. After the initial shaping of the sole came the profiling of the iron.  Profiling the iron comprises transferring the sole’s profile to the iron.  I then shaped it using both the grinder and files. When I was satisfied with the match, I heat treated the iron by hardening it, polished it, tempered it and then polished it again. I flattened the back and sharpened the iron paying particular attention not to sharpen the profile out of shape.  The round is always simpler to do, unfortunately I cannot say the same for the hollow.

As for the No.2 hollow having a tiny hollow profile of only 1/8″ in width and a depth of  1/32″ you can see how  finicky it is. Profiling any hollow with a round you must create a trough first for the round to track in and the depth being so shallow and the moulding plane having no fence, it’s very hard to plane in a straight line. Without a track it’s almost impossible to do and unfortunately it took several attempts to get it right hence why the hollow is shorter in height than the round. I had to plane off the profile several times but eventually got it right and both planes match perfectly. The awful feeling of getting it wrong several times mismatching the planes in height is gut wrenching, but the plane will work fine. The planes height doesn’t affect its performance, its mere aesthetics.  But I didn’t stop with the screw-ups though._DSC2132The finials (shape) on the wedge its purpose other than being tapped with a wooden hammer serves nothing more than aesthetics and I mucked up on that aspect as well and I don’t have a reason for it other than shit happens.


You may wonder how long it took to shape both irons and I’ll tell you. The round took half an hour, well that’s what it felt like. However, the hollow took two hours give or take. It’s a long process of trial and error, rarely can you get it right the first time round. You shape a little, put the iron in the plane and protrude it a tiny amount from the mouth of the plane and check your work in progress. What you want to achieve is a perfect match and the corners of the iron feathering off so they don’t dig into your work when planing.
If it sounds difficult it’s not, but very frustrating and time consuming and there are no shortcuts. I doubt very much a machine could do it even if it was laser cut, you still need to sharpen it and that’s when you’ll the face same issues over again. You need to be very careful when sharpening moulding plane irons, it only takes a few too many strokes on one part of the iron or the other to lose its shape.
The frustrations at the end of the project turns to joy. When you’re finished and you take your first shavings and the plane performs as it should you’re overwhelmed with joy.  I made a functioning tool and this tool will aid me in my future projects. It may not be period correct due to one plane being shorter in height by 3/16″ than the other, but nonetheless it’s a good functioning plane. _DSC2133

Everything else I do to the plane from this point on is both for comfort and appearance. I’ll round the top back corner and add a profile on the lower part of the grip, slap a few coats of Antique Oil and she’s done.  It’s a good idea to apply the finish as you go rather than wait till you complete the set. That’s far too many planes to do all at once, and I don’t have the space where I can leave them to dry.

I’m satisfied with its performance. I made this small moulding using both the hollow and round no.2’s. I finished the moulding with a light sanding to remove the facets. The sticking board I made in the fourth Issue of the magazine is the best thing I’ve made period. The adjustable fence has made working mouldings and other operations so much simpler. I suggest you all to make this sticking board. Time comes when I build a new and longer workbench I will make a new longer sticking board.


My plane making won’t stop after this entire set is completed. I still have a rabbet plane to make and dedicated moulding planes with fixed profiles. Then a panel raising plane will be on my list of planes to make.

How to Rip Metal with a Hacksaw

Even though we woodwork at some point we will need to do some kind of metal work as in my case I’m making the irons for my moulding planes.

I thought this would be a great opportunity to give pointers.

Begin as you would when sawing wood. Place your thumb on the line and rest the saw plate against the thumb. Saw about an eighth of an inch into the metal. Then with your other hand mine being the left because I’m right-handed grasp the front handle with your thumb on top. The hacksaw I’m using has a horn, some hacksaws don’t. The index finger need not be extended, I do it because of habit.


When sawing take easy long strokes using the full length of the blade whilst always watching the line. Don’t force the saw by pressing down hard, you will guarantee  yourself to go off the line. Just press gently down on the push stroke.

stright down

My hacksaw’s throat clearance is only 4″ and I need to rip about 6″. Because I can’t continue sawing without hitting the top frame and to angle the saw to the left for clearance. This will cause your saw to veer offline to the right which is ok because we’re not sawing into the line, but away from it.



We can clean this up with a file to level it to the line. I would like to find a hacksaw with a larger throat, at least 8 – 10 inch depth. As long as you stay away from the line it doesn’t matter if your cuts a wavy.  All it means is that you will spend more time filing than you would otherwise.

You can save yourself the time and effort by purchasing laser cut blanks from Lie Nielsen.  They have a large range to cover the whole set of moulding planes.

From this


To this


Can you tell the difference between LN’s laser cut and mine?


Not that it matters, the top corner where it looks like an “L” is square at 90° right angle, whilst a laser-cut corner is slightly rounded. If you’ve seen which I’m sure you have seen CNC machined carvings. To my eyes they do not even compare to carvings produced by a talented carver like Mary May.  A machine isn’t better it just gets the job done faster and in some cases it can’t even do that.


Hodges Mitre Shoot 1890

Many aids and appliances for frame making and for making correct mitre joints have been given to the working public of late years, and the latest addition to their number has been Hodges Mitre Shoot, which is illustrated in Fig.2, and which is intended for planing up the joint after the wood has been cut to the proper shape by the means of the saw. The patent rights are held by Mr. E.R. Sibley, Whites Hill, near Gloucestershire, who, I am sure, will readily answer any question regarding the price at which the machine is sold, and respecting which I am utterly in the dark. I like to be in a position to mention the price of everything I am called on to notice, for to know the cost of an article is useful to buyer, seller, reader, and myself all round, and, in many cases, saves the putting of questions on this point and the answering of the same.  The nature of the machine will be seen from the illustration. First, there is a rectangular frame or bed, with raised edges or guards, which is fixed firmly to the edge of the workbench, as shown by two screws. Attached to the frame is an adjustable bed, whose inclination forms an angle of 45° with the frame, and on this frame the moulding is placed after bring cut, in the mitre block, and secure by the vice, which grips it and retains it in position, the vice itself working in a small block attached to the adjustable bed. When the moulding is in position, the end may be planed up with the long plane shown in the illustration, and which is made of so great a length that it may be able to ride on guards formed by the raised edges of the frame and the top of the bed itself.  As these guards are perfectly flat and square, it follows that the end of the moulding, when planed up, must be equally flat and square, The bed, as it


has been said, is adjustable, and should it deviate from the proper angle, it can be set correctly by loosening a screw at the back of the regulator, bringing it parallel with the sides of the machine, and then tightening the screw again. The regulator is at the bottom of the bed, and does not appear in the illustration. The points of utility claimed for the machine are, its capability of producing accurate work; causing no injury to mouldings; perfect adjustment by means of its rising and falling bed; the ease with which it can be worked; the possibility of reshooting the ends of a frame after two sides have been joined together; and its portability and the ease with which it is fixed. The machine takes moulding 4 in. and 3 in. deep.