Fool Proof Method of Cutting Rabbets /Rebates

One of the topics that will be covered in the third issue of The Lost Scrolls of HANDWORK will be moulding planes.  I’ll show you step by step method of building a pair of No.4 hollow and round using the French build method of the 18th century.  It’s a lot easier building a pair of no.14 than it is the more useful smaller ones like the no.4.

The French method is about the cutting a Rebate/Rabbet so you can make the mortise and then laminate that cut off part back on.  So there will be some sawing to do and that part isn’t all that easy. For one you need to sset the saw kerf perfectly straight and then maintain a vertical angle throughout the cut.  One way you could do this is to use a kerfing plane, but since I don’t have one and really don’t need one a shoulder plane works very well.  I do plan on making a kerfing plane in the future, but for now I know I don’t need it.

The first thing you need to do is strike a line about a 32nd in from the desired depth.

 

Then with the shoulder plane or a rabbet plane if you have one lean the plane to the left side to create a kerf for the saw to rest in.  Do this a few times but not too many unless you’ve allowed plenty of over hang which I’ll go into more detail in the article.

rabbet_03

Once your satisfied that you have a deep enough kerf, place your saw in it and very lightly pull back whilst maintaining an upright vertical position.  Use the saws reflection to judge by eye if your vertical or not. I’m refraining from using the word “perfectly” vertical.  I know it’s not possible to be perfectly anything working by hand so do the best you can and try and be 90° to the surface.

Tip:  If you need aid use a small square and lean your saw onto it as you pull back.

Repeat this two or three times and start sawing.  Remember you bodies posture to ensure your keeping your saw straight. Don’t force the saw and don’t press down either. Let the weight of the saw do it’s job.  Always keep an eye on both ends, another words stop periodically sawing and check to see if you are straight.  The first 1/8″ is the most critical, if you get that right then the saw will continue to be straight throughout the rest of the cut.  Unfortunately what I just said only applies when your sawing the cheeks and not to the shoulder.  The cheek is the longest part and the material has sandwiched the saw which is serving as a helping hand to keep your cuts accurate.  You can still stuff up though and wonder in the cut so keep your wits about you at all times.

Your saw will tell you if you begin to wander off your line, that’s the beauty of hand tools.  The saw will begin to hang or bind in the cut, that’s an indication that you moved or are moving off the line.

You’re also need to clean out the dust between the teeth as you periodically stop to check on your progress, and don’t forget to blow out as much dust from the kerf as you can.  Oil or use candle wax a gazillion times to make sawing easier.  Remember the saw plate is sandwiched and there is a lot of friction going on.

As you can see in the picture below I’m 32nd off the line and straight as a ruler.  I’ll finish it with a small shoulder plane.  In fact this method is no different to when your make a knife wall for your crosscuts.

rabbet_02

rabbet_01

That is nice and straight.  If you don’t achieve that first go, don’t fret too much over it as I don’t make perfect cuts all day everyday.  We do stuff up and it’s all fixable. Remember though “practice makes permanent.” If you don’t know what I’m talking about read the second issue.

In the picture below you repeat the same for the cheeks as you did for the shoulder.

rabbet_05rabbet_06

rabbet_07rabbet_08

There will always be a need to clean things up with a shoulder or rabbet plane.  You can even use a block plane and then finish it off with a chisel.

The point is though that you’ve cut down on a lot of cleaning and rabbeting woes using this method.  It’s fool proof in my view, but that’s my view and probably you have a different opinion or better yet, a much better method of executing this operation.

In case you do don’t hesitate to offer your suggestment. I’m always open to learn a better way of doing things or just learning something new.

 

Advertisements

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.

IMG_0245IMG_0246IMG_0247IMG_0249

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.

_DSC1543_DSC1546_DSC1547_DSC1548_DSC1549

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

 

Moulding Planes Plans

Today was supposed to be the day when I was going to start on the moulding plane build and I ran into a brick wall again.  I realised with each plane’s different width, the wedge’s thickness will also be different.  Well it was back to the drawing board and instead of just sketching it on a piece of paper, I needed something that a little more accurate and permanent.  With that I mean something I can refer to every time I make a new plane, and I will be making a lot of them.

So I turned to autocad and started drawing away, but before I could draw anything, I needed good reference photos of what 18th century moulding planes look like, and tweak them to suit my build.   So I turned to http://msbickford.com/ and clicked on his hollows and rounds.  IMG_2958_clipped_rev_1These photos served as a base reference point, there’s no measurements I could work from but judging by eye, I know that the smallest 1/8″ plane’s wedge must be about 1/4″ thick and the thickest to be about 3/8″ and I have a plane that has a 1/2″ thick wedge.   The plane I’m currently working on is a no.15 which means it has a radius of 1 1/8″, just what is supposed to be the thickness of that wedge, I don’t have the faintest.  I know just by judging the photo the walls thickness between the chamfers are 1/32″ and if I’m right, which I’m sure I am, that will make the wedge thickness to be 15/32″.  But I don’t have the balls to make the walls that thin, instead I’m going to make it 1/8″ thick which will make the wedge’s thickness to be 9/32″, which is the same width as the tang.  This is only one plane, I still the rest to draw and I wonder if the top half goes down in increments of 1/4″ or less. Without having the planes in my hand to reference from it’s going to be a scratch your head up hill battle.

I don’t know if I should ask him, is it impolite to do so, will he get offended????  Do any of you know how to work out what the wedge’s thickness should be for each plane and what the top half  of the body of the plane’s thickness should be for each plane.  As you can see I’ve only worked out for one, but how do you work it out for each plane?  They go down in increments, but by how much?

Anyway, here are my drawings for the no.15, they are in A3 and in inches.

15 hollow A3 Imperial

15 round A3 Imperial