Mitre Shooting Board

This is merely one of many different varieties of mitre shooting boards. This morning I realised I went a little far with the quantity of shellac layers. It’s a one-pound cut with four coats. I’m thinking three coats on the next one. I’m planning to construct another shooting board that is completely different from this one because it is the one I’ll be using the most. I know I’ll use it primarily since I already have one made of lousy MDF. MDF is more stable than quarter sawn, however it does not look as nice as real wood. I would not have used it if I had known it would not stay flat. I planed both sides of a tiny cup and coated both sides. I could go on and on about this, but I won’t since I have work to do.

Don’t let the opinions of others prevent you from being inspired. Having lovely shop cabinets or storage units for your sandpaper, screws, nails, or whatever is not a sign that you are not busy and hence have too much free time. It indicates that you are passionate about what you do and how you do it. It should serve as motivation for you to raise the bar every time you step into your shop. It should motivate you to take pride in your work, your tools, and your craft. Having beautiful things that you made for your shop will always have a positive psychological impact on you.

Ramped Shooting Board

II created a new type of shooting board called “A Ramp Shooting Board,” which isn’t a new concept at all, but one that I felt was needed in my daily work. The idea behind this ramped board is that it will use 90% of the blade as opposed to 1/4″ or 10%. As I previously stated, this is not a new thing, and don’t let people convince you otherwise. The concept was first proposed in the 18th century, although few were built. In the late nineteenth century, craftsmen asked the same question as they did in the 18th century: how to use more of the blade while shooting and took an already existing design “the ramp” version.  However, not many were constructed. It is entirely up to you how many degrees it should be ramped. The greater the angle, the thinner the board you can shoot, and the lower the angle, the thicker the board you can shoot. I chose a happy medium of about 3 or 4°, but I can’t remember which one. I can’t shoot more than an inch and a quarter.

I was filming a video about it, but because it was taking so long, I had to turn the camera off. Now I’m working on another new shooting board, this time a flat one for materials up to 2″ thick. Anything thicker than that must be done by hand. When it’s finished, I’ll upload pictures.

While the edge glue on my new shooting board was drying, I decided to clean and polish some of my planes. After removing some of the rust and patina from the bronze, I lightly covered it with some blonde shellac. I’m hoping that this will keep the metal from rusting and the bronze from fading. Some people want patina, whereas I favour gloss. I know I could have done a better job, and I plan to perform a show room restoration one of these days or months.

The last six pictures are when I did do a proper restoration.

Another new news is I printed a new T-Shirt with my new final designed logo. I’m finally happy with it and I’m sticking with the new design.

That’s for now folks.

Cam Clamps Build Project

Throughout our vast known woodworking history, many forms of clamping devices have been in use to clamp two boards together. Ancient Egyptians used to clamp by placing two boards vertically weighted down by a heavier object. Wedges were another form of clamping method used.
Today we have many clamping devices available to us. In fact, there is a large variety of them in all shapes and sizes ranging from the highest quality Bessey

clamps, to the lower quality Craftright. There are even lower quality no name brands you can find for a couple of dollars. I would highly recommend you steer away from those cheap types no matter how tempting they are. They are just downright atrocious and should be outlawed, the manufacturer imprisoned and whipped with the cat of nine tails.
Bessey being my ultimate most expensive favourite brand is sturdy built, and the head slides smoothly up and down the bar.

Prior to turning amateur, most of my work involved in making clocks. Rarely did I need clamps larger than 800mm (31 1/2”). Now I have the freedom to build what-ever I fancy and larger clamps will be needed soon enough. However, Bessey clamps as good as they are, are cost prohibitive and not within my financial reach. So, instead, I shall make myself a copy of the Bessey clamp and God willing, it will be just as good as Bessey. I will leave this for another article.
A new clamp for me is the cam clamp. Cam clamps are so versatile that I end up reaching for them often. Cam clamps are lightweight, non-marring and offer just the right amount of pressure needed for light duty work like building boxes or instruments. Instrument makers are common users of these types of clamps and they’re easy and fun to build.
Large clamping force is seldom needed if your boards are flat and out of twist. Sometimes boards cup and a little more pressure is needed. You would choose the right clamp for the job at hand. For light work cam clamps are the perfect choice.
Since I’ve been concentrating on making moulding planes, cam clamps are all I need. If you’re wondering why I need to clamp moulding planes, it’s because I’m using the French build method they once used in the 18th Century. The British frowned upon this build method, but there are pros and cons in both methods. They’re not so heavy on the pocket either. You can use any hardwood to build yourself a set. I wouldn’t recommend using softwoods like pine. Pine is too soft, and the force applied from the bar and pins will dig into pinewood and render the clamp useless. Therefore, I would recommend using hardwoods like maple, black walnut will hold up, ironwood is very strong, New Guinean rosewood looks beautiful and is perfect for them.
I already have a few cam clamps lying around but for the sake of this article, I will add one more to the growing set, besides I like making them.
So, I rummaged through my offcuts bin and found black walnut. It’s always good to keep your offcuts no matter how small or thin they may be, you never know when you will reach out for it for another project. Wood is expensive in Australia and just like our predecessors you can’t afford wastage, so I hoard as much as I can to use later.

The bar I will use is aluminium, you can use iron or timber, but the aluminium is lightweight and sturdier than timber, and it won’t warp through seasonal changes. The bar length I have on hand is
23 9/16” x ¾” x 1/8” (600mm x 19mm x 3mm). I will use half that length for two reasons: I’ll get two clamps out of one bar and it’s the right size for my moulding planes. The pins will be from a brass rod 1/8” in diameter. The rod needn’t be of any great length as the pins will be cut to just a little over an inch in length.
Cam jaws dimensions are 6” x 1 ½” x 1”. You will need to cut two; the upper and lower portion. The upper portion is called a fixed jaw. The lower portion is called a sliding jaw. The aluminium bar is called a bar. The lever is called a cam lever.

Step 1
Crosscut the aluminium bar in half with a hacksaw.
Your bar can be of any length desired. There is no need for me to provide any specific length measurements as everyone’s need is different.
Aluminium bars are soft and easy to cut. Scribed lines are visible. Wouldn’t it be nice if all metal was this easy?
Once cut to length, file the cut end to a smooth square. Making it square isn’t necessary, but it’s good training. Working with a quality file is a joy to use.
After it is smooth and square, prepare your stock.
Note: Apply the following steps to both jaws to save on build time.

• Length, width and thickness
• Arch
• Through Mortise
Rip and crosscut a little oversized by 1/8”, this is a precautionary method if you’re not a very good sawyer, otherwise 1/16” will suffice.

Step 2
Surface plane both stocks flat and true five sides. Both faces and edges parallel.
Step 3
Thickness both to 1”. Make them flush to each other.
If your stock is already 1” a little under won’t hurt.

Step 4
Crosscut and chute to final length of 6”.
Step 5
Determine which will be the fixed jaw.
Layout all your dimensions now rather than as you go along.
We will layout the dimensions for the position of the arch which will be at the underside of the fixed jaw.
From one end of the fixed jaw, measure in 1 ¼” on the edge (31.75mm).
Now on the opposite end, measure in 2 1/8” (54mm), what’s left in between will be the arch. The arch’s height is ¼” (6mm). Pencil a line between the two arch points. To draw the arch, I used ¼ of the size of a 5c coin. If you wish you can use a circle template, a compass or draw it freehand.

Step 6
Shape the arch with a chisel or saw it with a coping saw or a scroll saw. Clean up the chisel marks or saw marks with a rasp, file, scraper or sandpaper.
Step 7
Lay out the through mortise and chop it out. The bar will be inserted into the through mortise and fixed with two pins. The mortise is ¾” x 1/8”

From one end (refer to the drawing which end), top edge of the fixed jaw, measure in 7/8” and pencil it in. With a square, square the line around the work piece. Now, measure from the same side 1 5/8” and square the line around all four sides. We’ve now established the length of the mortise.
Now we need to establish the width being 1/8”.
Measure from both sides 9/16” to get 1/8” width, provided your stock is thicknessed to 1”.
If it isn’t, set the pins on a mortise gauge to 1/8”. Move the head of the marking gauge so that the pins are approximately in the centre of the stock and pinprick the stock. Flip the gauge to the opposite side and pin prick again. The difference in between the pinpricks is the centre of a 1/8” wide mortise. Repeat the same on the underside of your stock.
Chop out the mortise. You can drill using a drill bit narrower than 1/8” or chop it with a 1/8” mortising or bench chisel.
I’ve discovered a simple way to centre a mortise with pinpoint accuracy. This method will eliminate the need of having a mortise gauge and that’s one less tool in your tool box.
If you don’t own a marking gauge to mark out mortises, you can use a single cut-ting gauge with accuracy. To do so, take half the width of your stock add half the width of your chisel, then add that dimension to the half width of your stock.
For example; let’s say the width of the stock is 7/8”, take half of that which is
7/16”. The width of the mortise is 1/8”, half of that is 1/16”. Add the two, 7/16” + 1/16” = 1/2”. 1/2” is what I’ll be setting my marking gauge too, and scribe on both sides. Your mortise will be smack in the middle. Clever, eh. I think this method is much more accurate than making a gazillion scribes from both ends trying to potluck the centre.

Step 9
In this final step we will insert the bar through the mortise of the fixed jaw and pin it in place to render it immovable.
Check that the bar is square to the jaw and apply glue inside the mortise and on the bar. (Refer to the list of glues below). Insert the bar into the mortise and allow the glue to dry at least a half hour before drilling through it.
Mark the hole locations at a diagonal on the stock/bar. Then drill straight through both. I used a 1/8” brad point drill bit as my brass rods are 1/8” in diameter.

Saw the rods/pins a little longer than the thickness of the fixed jaw. Apply glue to the pins and hammer them in place. Let the glue set. Saw the pins off as close as flush as possible. Then draw it out by hammering the pins towards the outer perimeter. This method is called peening. This is an age-old metal working trick to make the pins irremovable. Finish it by sanding the pins flush.

As for the glue that will glue metal to wood, any of the glues below will work.

• Fish glue
• Loctite AA330
• Epoxy

Making the Sliding Jaw
The first thing we need to do is rip a narrow kerf so the clamp pad can flex when pressure from the cam lever is applied.
Step 1
Pencil a line freehand ¼” up beginning from the clamp pad and ending at 3 7/8”. Drill a 1/8” stop hole at the end of the 3 7/8” line.
This will help prevent a potential split beyond the stop hole.
The drawings display a screw inserted from the bottom. I have omitted this screw as I don’t see the reasons for it.
Rip down the narrow kerf.

Step 2
The width of the stopped slot is 3/8”. Using the same method for marking out the mortise in step 8, we shall mark out for the cam lever stopped slot.
Working from the top first, measure and mark the length from the right side 2 3/4″ (70mm). Then from the face side on the kerf measure and mark 1 1/8”. Pencil in a line connecting the two marks, this will give you the angle to aim to when sawing and chopping out the stopped slot.
Drill two holes for the pins. These through pins need to be placed next to the mortise wall, ¼” down from the top and 3/8” up from the bottom. If the pins protrude into the mortise, then the sliding jaw won’t slide up and down. If the pins are further away from the mortise wall, then your clamp will be ineffective.

If the pins hit the bar then you can file a small relief in the pin.
Also, when drilling, use a backer block to prevent any break out from the other side as you drill through the stock.

Step 3
Use a tenon saw to kerf the slot.

Insert a small thin shim in the kerf between the clamp pad and the stopped slot to avoid chiselling into the clamp pad.
Chop out the stopped slot referring to the angled guideline you pencilled in earlier.

Cam Lever
Step 1
Trace the lever from the drawings onto the timber and with a coping saw or scroll saw cut the shape. Clean the saw marks with rasps, files or sandpaper.
Insert the cam lever into the slot with the large rounded part of the lever in a downward position inside the slot and rest the cam lever flat on the angle. Position the cam lever so it protrudes into the saw kerf.
With the cam lever positioned in the sliding jaw, place both parts into the vice. Eye ball or measure in 5/8” from the right side of the sliding jaw and about 3/8” up from the kerf and drill a 1/8” hole.
Use a brad point tip to stop any wandering of the bit as you begin to drill.

Insert the pin dry (don’t glue it in). Use the same metal working trick to peen the end as described previously.
At this stage, you may be disappointed as the cam lever isn’t holding its position when activated. The problem lies in the pin hole location. I’ve experimented with different hole locations and haven’t yet resolved this phenomenal problem. To date 3/8” seems to be the better candidate.
If you drill your hole close to the kerf, the lever won’t swing very far and it won’t clamp at all. If you drill a hole above 3/8” then the cam lever won’t grab or stay put when activated. Even at the 3/8” mark the lever still doesn’t perform well.

My only solution to this is to insert a piece of leather with the suede facing up in between the saw kerf and the lever and glue it in place. If you like, use a quick setting PVA glue. It will set in 2 minutes and cure within 4 hours. You’ll notice that the clamp will now holding better.
In this final step of the build and only if you used metal bar, you will need to file a row of grooves on the back of the bar so that the sliding jaw will grab when you clamp. Use a triangular file and eye ball the spacings.

I glued cork to the clamp pads to provide better grip and more clamping power. I’m not sure how that works, but it does.

You can use any finish you like. Minwax Antique Oil is great, so is shellac. Just be careful that you don’t get the finish on the leather. It could seep in between the glue line and break the bond.

The Numbering System of H&R’s

The numbering system starts from 1 through to 18, this gives a us 36 moulding planes. Thanks to the 60° of a circle cut by these planes, the width of the iron is the radius of the circle the plane cuts.
There are two forms of numbering systems – Even and Odd.
Robert Demers a tool historian and blogger suggests that the even and odd numbering system has nothing to do with the profiles radius, but rather to denote that it’s part of a full set, an even set or an odd set.
Al Sellens in his book Woodworking Planes says; “The size numbering refers to iron width but the numbering schemes appear to have been established to confound the scholar and to confuse the collector.”
Hollows and rounds before 1750 were unmarked as to their size or number. There is an 18th century JENION plane in Larry’s Williams collection that is marked. It is however unknown whether the mark was placed at a later date or it’s an original, Larry believes it seems to be an original.
A standard in the numbering system developed at the start of the 19th century.
The numbering and sizing varied between manufacturers. For example, (and
I hope you’re ready to be confused as all buggery). There are plane numbers that end at 15 with an iron’s width of 2”, then there are planes that begin with no.2 and end at 30 that increase by 2. For example: 2,4,6,8,10 etc. But each plane’s iron width differs from manufacturer to manufacturer even though they may be the same number. For example, one manufacturer will stamp a No.12 representing its iron’s width to be ¾”, but another manufacturer will say our No.12 is 7/8” and a third manufacturer will say our No.12 represents 1 5/8”. Larry Williams gives a good clarification of this numbering system and I quote;
“The major British makers seem to have followed this emerging standard relatively closely. Under this system, numbers correspond to the number of 16ths of an inch in cutting width; except on those planes wider than ¾” the increment of change switches to 1/8”. For example, a number 11 would be 11/16” wide; number 12 would be ¾” wide, and a number 13 would be 7/8” wide rather than the expected 13/16ths. This change, I believe, was an attempt to offer planes which allowed for visual weight of the profiles cut. Visually, there’s little difference between a 1 ½” diameter cylinder and a 1 5/8” diameter circle.
The width of hollows and rounds directly relates to the radius of the arc they cut. Most planes cut 1/6th of a circle, or 60º of arc. This means the cutting width of these planes is equal to the radius of the arc — a number 8 plane will have a ½” cutting width and cut an arc with a radius of ½”. It is convenient to judge the size of a circle by the width of the sole of the plane. My observation is that this too has some exceptions. Larger hollows and rounds tend to cut less than 60º and often cut a radius larger than the sole of the plane would indicate. For instance, a #18 from an unused set of GRIFFITHS, Norwich (c.1860) planes we have cuts a cylinder with a 2” radius rather than the expected 1 ½”. This matches the #18 profile of a little used set of MOSELEY (c. 1810).”

A No.8 Moseley has a radius of ¾” whereas the Mathieson of the same number that follows the British standard would be ½”.
He continues to say; “Another exception is that number 1 planes were listed as being 1/8” bare or less than 1/8” but larger than 1/16”.
Many American plane making firms closely followed the British system. Some didn’t and used a variety of systems. Greenfield avoided the increment change found in the British system. Sargent offered only planes that represented the even numbers of the British system but numbered them sequentially. Those American makers who didn’t follow the British system appear to have had their own different systems and no alternative American system is apparent.”
Larry Williams chose to follow this later British system except to stay with planes cutting 60° of arc. This ensured that the plane’s width will be the radius of the arc cut.

The list below is the numbering system that Larry follows. These sizes incrementally increase by 1/16” except for the No.13, 14 and 15 which increase by 1/8”.

151 1/81 1/8
161 1/41 1/4
171 3/81 3/8
181 1/21 1/2

Here is a list of numbering systems from other plane manufacturers including but not limited to Chapin Stephens, Moseley and Greenfield.

Plane NumberRadius of Profile
91 1/8
101 1/4
111 3/8
121 1/2
131 3/4
152 1/4
162 1/2
172 3/4
Plane NumberRadius
81 1/8
91 1/4
101 3/8
111 1/2
121 5/8
131 3/4
141 7/8
NumberIron Width
161 1/8
181 1/4
201 3/8
221 1/2
241 5/8
261 3/4
281 7/8
NumberIron Width
181 1/4
201 3/8
221 1/2
241 3/4

As we have seen not all followed a particular standard and since plane manufac-turing is no longer practiced on a large scale as it once was, we as small-scale manufacturers for the lack of a better word, can set new precedence to follow one standard.
Did you know that each plane manufacturer in the 1800’s produced about 70,000 planes a year?

Book Holder Episode 6

This will be a thirteen-episode build series on how to make a book holder using only hand tools. After many years of not recording, this is my first video project, and I am optimistic that there will be many more to come. If you haven’t already, please show your support by liking and subscribing to my channel.

Book Holder Episode 5

This will be a thirteen-episode build series on how to make a book holder using only hand tools. After many years of not recording, this is my first video project, and I am optimistic that there will be many more to come. If you haven’t already, please show your support by liking and subscribing to my channel.