Monday, December 29, 2008

Toolcase Part 3

For the carcass, I just dovetailed the four pieces together. Since I am definitely not an expert in dovetailing I will not write about my method, because that would be silly. Also the grooves for the panel are done, all I have to do now is make the mortises and tenons, and make the specific tool holders that will be screwed onto the back panel. For Christmas I received a old Stanley 31 transitional. I flattened the sole, and tuned it up. Unfortunately, the blade is almost completely used up. It's fun to use, except that because of its weight and size(24" long), it's a little clunky to use on my "bench", which is just more motivation to build a new bench. Also another downside is that someone clearly filed the yoke down so the plane's backlash is unbelievable. It appears that someone filed the slot for the chipbreaker larger increasing the problem. Other than the tote being chipped, the blade old, and the frog modified, the plane is in very good shape, with almost all its jappanning intact, only having a few chips here and there. The only other bad news is there's no way it's going to fit in the toolcase!

Bookmark of the Week

Here are two sites that have the same idea, but can be used together.

Patrick's Blood and Gore

Stanley by the Numbers- Hans Brunner

Friday, December 19, 2008

Plough Plane: Part 2

As I left off, the fence, lever cap, and body were all not finished. the body is just a three piece lamination. During the glue-up, try to keep the skates flat with each other, though it is good to also lap them after the glue has dried. For the lever cap, I cut a notch less than halfway across a piece of aluminum 1/4" thick and about 3/4" wide. I then drilled and tapped a hole at the end without the notch. For the retaining bar, I used scrap 1/4" diameter steel bar. For the fence I glued two pieces of wood at 90 degrees and then another larger piece onto the "L". For the fence adjustment system, I sawed and chiseled a dado that was just a little undersized for the arm. I then took out a little material from the upper half of the groove. That way I could put the arm in the desired position and press it down in the groove for a tight fit. Then after everything is dry, assemble the plane and set the blade for a light cut, and take it away.

Trouble shooting:
Make sure the blade is tapered so that it's bottom is slightly wider than the top.
Make sure the skate is totally flat.
Make sure the blade is sharp.
Make sure the blade is not set too deeply or too far in.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

In Defense of Cheap Hand Planes

I do not own nor have ever tried a high end plane, and therefore I am biased against something I have never experienced.

I currently own a Groz #4 plane. It sells for about $38. Not dirt cheap, but not expensive at all for a new tool. What's the difference between this and a high end tool? Not-so good finish, sole/back of blade not being too flat, inferior castings, and more backlash in the adjustment system. All those problems can be fixed with work(except for the finish + casting).

The performance of a tool relies heavily, but not solely, on the skill of the user, in sharpening and in use. Now I'm definitely not an expert on hand planing, but my results improved much more after practice(including sharpening) than after fettling.

Now you might think: should I buy the really nice plane? Yes, just keep in mind there are alternatives. Nice tools help out in, but don't automatically make, good work. Also for those who are thinking of buying more hand tools so they can incorporate them more into their work, go ahead, it's hard to do this with a $1000 tablesaw.
My final words; this plane works for me and it will probably work for you.

Now on a less serious note, I was part-swapping between my miller falls jack plane and my Groz #4, and I discovered that the jack's frog fits my #4, also the adjustment screw is interchangeable, they have the same thread.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Making a Plough Plane: Part 1

To make the groove in the rails and stiles of the frame and panel door I needed have the means to make the groove. I would have considered doing it freehand, except the panel is thinner than my thinnest chisel. So I decided to make a quick and dirty plane. For the blade I used the same metal that was used in the blade for my Stanley 78. To make the bevel, I screwed the stock onto a scrap piece of wood. I then went to work with coarse sandpaper on glass. For the body I first made a rabbet 1/2" wide and 1/8" deep. This works since the body will be a three piece lamination, and the cutter is 3/16" wide. The skate is 1/16" thick, so that leaves the blade standing 1/6" out on each side. Simply screw the skate on. The skate extends 1/2" below the plane, but I might trim that down a bit.

Stay tuned for the exciting Part 2.

Bookmark of the Week

Amazing planes by Jim Leamy.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Toolcase Part 2

For the top/sides/bottom of the case, the back sits in a rabbet, so when the case is seen from the side, the sides of the back will not be visible. To make the rabbet, I built a "t" shaped fixture. On one side a peice of 1/2 ply is nailed and a 1/4 ply is on the other side. I simply clamped the fixture to my stock and planed away. When I had established about a 1/16" of shoulder I chiseled out the waste until there was about 1/8" left. I then finished up with the rabbet plane.

With the rabbets cut, I could proceed on to the final length dimensioning. First I cut off as little as possible on one end, with a miter box, or freehand. I then shoot the board with my new shooting board(it's hard to think now how I did without it) until the edge is nice and square. I then mark the desired length cut, and shoot, until the exact length is reached. If the waste is too little to cut, but too much to shoot, you can pare away the waste with a chisel, and then shoot. The length has been reached!

Now, not to gloat too much, but the shooting board really does "walk the talk". This board's edge that is in the foreground was at the exit side of the plane in the shooting board. I did not chamfer or relieve the edge in any way. There is no tearout.

Bookmark of the Week

Here is the website of Philly, the maker of the the blog Phillsville:

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Saw: Done!

My handle for the patternmaker's saw is now done. It looks awesome, and fits my hand perfectly. It also cuts pretty well, but because of its length and weight(very light), it won't be replacing my dovetail saw. To tighten the split-nuts, I fashioned a screwdriver out of a washer, and fit it to the nuts. Maybe later I will take some more glamorous pictures.
When looking at my workbench design, I realized that my plan isn't really like the roubo bench that Christopher Schwarz popularized in his book Workbenches: From Design And Theory To Construction And Use as mine will lack the leg vise, and the crochet. So from now on I will refer to my design as "The Bench".