Friday, February 26, 2010

Wooden Coffin Smoother

So how many projects can I have going at the same time? Ummm...

Taking a break from the small smoother because I lost a drill bit that I need, and I won't be able to replace it for a couple days, I started a new project: a coffin smoother. It's inspired by the Philly Planes Classic Smoother, and by Bill Carter's Wooden Planes. I am using the rest of the plane blade from my infill plane. The construction will be exactly like Derek Cohen's Jack Plane tutorial. Be sure to check out his writeup because it's much more comprehensive than mine. I'm using walnut with a rosewood sole. To begin, I cut out the pieces for the center of the plane. Since I don't have thick enough wood, I'm laminating two flatsawn pieces to make a quartersawn piece. This center piece must be slightly wider than the width of the blade you're using. For the side pieces I resawed a quartersawn piece so both boards were 1/4" thick.Using a marking gauge strike a mark 1/4" from your reference face (the side that is flat) and plane until you hit the mark.

Then I cut the bed angle (50 degrees), and the wedge angle (60 degrees). (Whoa cool shoes!) The bed must be dead flat and square. I used a block plane and finished up by lapping it on sand paper. The front piece is then excavated to provide space for the shavings to escape. I made some saw kerfs, did some chopping and cleaned up with my new Iwasaki float. The wedge-holding-thingys are then undercut with a flush cut saw and waste is pared/filed out. Then I glued it up, and left alone. Stay tuned for part 2, where I will probably do some more stuff.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Back Story on the Shave

A while back, I bought a small wooden spokeshave blade with the intention of making a spokeshave. I bought an gabon ebony blank, and went to work. I worked on it on and off for a while. One thing I have to warn any wooden spokeshave makers is to not use such a hard and unforgiving wood (such as ebony) for your first shave. At one point I managed to crack the entire front portion off, luckily I was able to repair it seamlessly. On the other hand it makes such a nice shave, the ebony is very hard and dense, so it beautifully takes a polish. This was the first time I had used ebony like this, so I wanted to make sure to not mess up the finish. So I consulted my fellow galoots on woodnet to see what they thought. Here's what they came up with:
What Finish for a Ebony Spokeshave
I chose to go with a combination of buffing, shellac, and wax. This is a picture of the finishing products used. A buffing wheel charged with brown tripoli (it looks green because I had been using green honing compound prior to the tripoli), dewaxed shellac, and wax. Technically I should include alcohol because I used it to thin the shellac, but I forgot. First I sanded the shave up to 600 grit. Then I buffed it with the tripoli, until it looked good. Then I put on three coats of about 1 part 2 lb. cut clear shellac to 2 parts alcohol, buffing in between. The final layer is a coat of wax, also buffed. I'm really happy with this finish, I plan on using it on more tools.

Now to the blade. The blade comes dull. The bevel and the bottom do not totally meet at the cutting edge as can be seen by this highly advanced drawing:
This is what is wanted:To achieve this you must grind away the excess to make the sharp point. I did this freehanding it on my grinder. This is a drawing of the most desirable situation. Usually on a conventional blade I would do this step with my honing guide and coarse diamond stone, but the spokeshave's threaded posts prevented me from doing any serious grinding on the bevel.As you can see, this makes the non-beveled side become like a hollow ground blade on a conventional blade like this:

The advantages of the hollow grind are that it reduces the amount of steel that needs to be taken away to sharpen, which makes the process quicker. After doing this to the bottom of the shave blade, I was able to achieve a sharp edge.

The blade I bought from The Japan Woodworker came with a photocopy of David Charlesworth's article on making a spokeshave. Unfortunately they didn't actually photocopy the entire thing, so I had to go to the library and rent the book the entire article is in. I also used this article by John Gunterman. Both were very helpful.

This tool will prove to be very useful in upcoming projects.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saw Bench

One of the "secrets" of fast hand sawing is having your work elevated at an optimal height. This may not seem like a big deal, but it really makes a difference. This is my saw bench I made out of construction lumber. The short bottom stretchers are drawbored, and the long stretchers are wedged through tenons. The legs slip into the top, and are pegged with 1/2" oak dowel. Note the artistic license I took by creating the two saw cuts on the left. The top has a 3/4" hole drilled for my gramercy holdfast. The hole is situated so that the pad falls on the top of the leg, which is the strongest part.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Infill Plane Blade

I got the blade and cut it out, using a carbide-grit hacksaw blade, and refining the shape with my diamond stone. It took a long time. The blade has a 25 degree bevel, with a 30 degree micro bevel. It was slightly wider than 1.25", so I sanded the sides down to be slightly less, in order to allow for lateral adjustment.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Fillister Plane

I bought this plane a while ago, but haven't gotten around to posting it here. It is a wooden Hoey and Taber skewed fillister plane. This means that it can cut rabbets, and rabbets across the grain. The blade is skewed to make it cut smoother, especially across the grain. It has a strip of boxwood at its long edge (called "boxing"), a brass depth stop adjusted from above, an adjustable fence, and a nicker to score the grain prior to cutting it when planing cross-grain. So far I've only used it one project, and it works pretty well, but I'm still getting the hang of using wooden planes. This plane was the reason I made my plane adjusting hammer. Here are some shots of what it cuts:

I also looked up the planemaker's adress, it appears to be a HSBC bank. Too bad it's not still a planemaker's shop.