Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thematic Shop Calendar

If you like it, just print and hang to the your shop wall!

Of course, I hung the Italian version. The holder was made with a  cherry scrap.

You can download the calendar here:

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Planemaking Test

This project began by chance, after seeing some plane realizations on the net. I used what I had at home, including a new old Hirch (made in Germany) iron and chipbreaker that my friend Ciro gave me a couple of years ago.

The plane body is ash; I really like it, solid, compact, enough easy  to work. The sole and wedge are wenge. The light-dark contrast is very nice.

The wood button used to release the cutting group and setting the blade always attracted me, so I placed a wenge one in the back of the plane.
Not having a right sized ash piece, I proceeded to gluing up three pieces of approx. 3 cm thick.

I excavated the throat cavity by Forstner bits as deep as possible, continuing with a 1" Japanese-style Firmer chisel (Atsunomi). To get the exact bed angle (60 °) I used the chisel with a beech guide block clamped to the top body.

I stamped "S60" on the backS means Smoother and 60 is for indicating the seat angle. To obtain the moldings on the corners I used the belt sander, taking the plane in contact with the abrasive tape for few secondsI obtained the wenge button drilling it by a cup saw.

A double sole really helps to get a very tight mouth. The wenge is a wood very resistant to wear, but has tendency to chip, so be very careful during chiselling around the mouth.

The sole has been leveled on sandpaper glued to a flat surface (120 and 180 Grit).

Shavings are our real prize.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Infill Plane

Yes, I waited a few years before getting such a kind of plane, believed to be among the best ones. The famous Norris, Spiers etc. have dangerous prices, so I contented myself with a probably auto-built plane.

This specimen is almost 8 inches long (20 cm); the plane body has the typical form (coffin) of smoothing British planes, with mahogany infill wood and a mahogany handle. Its weight is 1.8 kg, 400 grams more than a Stanley 3 wich has more or less a comparable length.
It has a brass lever  cap, as well as the clamping screw. A little brass plate is screwed on the front wood insert, probably for giving an aesthetic additional touch (debatable). The blade (2 1 / 8 "/ 54mm) is marked HEARNSHAW BROS (1881-1960).

The tools was in good condition, despite some age signs and some old repairs. In particular it seems the handle has been repaired or replaced. However it has been reinforced by screws, hidden by caps. It is very solid. That is why I decided to leave the plane in its original condition, worrying only of blade and sole that required the attention necessary to re-put the tool at work.
Unlike traditional metal planes (like Bailey), the sole lapping tends to open the mouth, so we must act only when absolutely necessary and with great caution.

In my case, the sole was almost perfectly flat and the work on 180 Grit abrasive paper  had virtually no impact on the mouth width (only 0.25 mm). The blade is bedded to 45 °. The blade bevel was about 30 degrees and  so I reground it, without microbevel. The chipbreaker took a little leveling job on the side in contact with the blade.

I rounded the cutting edge at both ends to avoid the plane can leave marks onto work pieces. Even the sole edges were rounded crawling the plane and keeping it inclined in respect to abrasive surface. The mouth  requested filing assistance to adapt the opening to the cutting edge.

About four hour job and........................

Monday, October 31, 2011

Spill Plane

When matches were not common, you could use a special plane to transform pieces of scrap wood into  supercoiled chips, suitable for using them to take fire from a brazier or a fireplace and transfer it to a candle or other. In a nineteenth century country house this tool should have been quite common. 

The model vary, but the concept is more or less the same: a cone-shaped mouth and a skewed blade that allows to side chip ejection in the strongly twisted form.
The plane I found is home-made (I newer saw  this plane in wooden plane-maker lists); the wood is mahogany. The sole was warped so I had to remove the side fence to straighten it properly. I put a patch to tighten a little bit the mouth. The wedge is extended almost to the cutting edge and its end is an integral part of the conical mouth.
The blade is bedded to 42 ° and the blade skewed at 45 degrees. The asymmetrical fence helps to angle the tool even more and produce spiral chips.

I tried to light one: it burns slowly and does not burn out easily. Perfect!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sliding Bevel New Screw

The sliding bevel is a useful tool when you need to get a different angle from 90°, being the blade  full adjustable. A pivot screw allows you to lock the blade in place. It can be screwed directly into a thread cut into the brass side metal plate, or be provided with a wing nut.
Another possibility, in my opinion the best, is when, instead of the wing nut, there is a lever with a threaded hole, very convenient and easy to operate with a simple thumb movement. One of my two squares adopted the screw tightening system without blocking nut and needs a screwdriver for tightening and loosening.
So it was easy to change the system and I had the opportunity for replacing the steel screw with brass fittings, a metal which contrasts nicely with the mahogany wood.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Shooting Board

The shooting board task is to allow planing a piece square to the surface that rests on the table. There are various models, with different building solutions. The board I am proposing is useful for planing and square end grain sides or to finish a 45° angle, such as is necessary for frame assembling. As the shooting board fundamental characteristic is plan and angle accuracy, using pre-worked material can be convenient.
I used lamellar beech, but plywood is a good alternative. For the base I used a 3 cm thick board, while the plan upon which the
workpiece is held is 2 cm thick. The length is about 60 cm, width about 25 cm. The support board is narrower to make room for the plane side.

After screwing the upper board to the base, I installed two holders (3 x 4 cm section) that will serve for workpiece supporting. Their precise positioning is critical for proper shooting board working. The pieces are screwed flush with the upper board edges and have an elongated hole at the rear to allow a fine angle adjustment. Place the two holders to exactly 90 and 45 degrees respect to the sliding edge. Chamfer the holder rear edges (not that one where the piece rests) in order to prevent their damage when the plane will produce the first shots.

Another holder is placed under the board so that it can be hooked to the workbench and/or locked in the vice. In my case I have used two holders, so I can firmly held the board between the vice and the bench well. A useful operation will be to cut a groove at the plan intersection in order to collect chips and dust and avoiding problems with plane sliding.
The first shots will remove some shavings from the sliding side, but only until the lateral sole portion under the blade will not come in contact with the edge.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Stanley 113

The Stanley 113 is a plane for planing curved surfaces. It has a flexible sole, able to assume a concave or convex shape, with a variable radius regulated by turning a large knob. A toothed gear mechanism guarantees the correct sole movement. The #113 iron is identical to the Stanley #3 one, the size being 1 3 / 4 " (4.4 cm).

The lever cap and the cap iron are different from those of #3, so you need pay  attention to this detail when buying it. My # 113 was in good condition, just a lot of surface rust. I proceeded to disassemble the plane into its parts and treat them with a  vinegar bath.The flexible sole should be dropped from the metal arms using a punch.
The sole is welded to a dovetail shaped piece; it fits in the body plane. To take it apart I first lubricated with a descaler (WD40) and then gently hammered it using a punch of a suitable form (for the purpose I used a more little hammer, placing a smaller cardboard piece to protect from blows;  alternatively you can use a wood piece of  suitable form).

 If your sole does not want to move, better  stop the action for avoiding damages to the cast iron parts, very difficult to repair! A common #113 defect  is a mismatch between the iron seat  and the mouth.
The blade  does not not rest properly  and could create problems in planing (chattering). To solve this problem, I simply added a 


couple of shims (business cards are great)  on the plane seat. The flexible sole should be free from rust. Use sandpaper attached to a flat surface, paying particular attention to the mouth area. The plane must be used with straight shots following the workpiece horizontal axis.  It is also useful for the chamfer job.