Sunday, February 14, 2016

Making a wedge

The first jack plane is soaking in linseed oil. On to the next one. I am now finishing the failed attempt of two weeks ago, the one where I mortised too much to the side and damaged the area of the abutments. Well, I got myself a wider iron so I could move the mortise a bit to the side, so to speak. The blank was wide enough, so no problems in the overall width of the plane.

Well, the rest is the same as the first jack plane. Practice helps, everything goes a little quicker now. I got a nice photo sequence of making the wedge, so here it is.

First I make a paper template, fitted to the situation at hand. I use that template to mark the piece of wood.

I cut the wedge angle with a handsaw. This is so much easier and so much safer then the tablesaw!

Cutting the wedge fingers with a bow saw.

These capirons have a nice bulbous brass nut. Very decorative, but you need to make room for that in the backside of the wedge. A job for the gouges. It doesn't need to be terribly precise.

Now the wedge can be fitted into the plane and the fit can be fine tuned. First thing to watch for is a tight fit in the width, It should glide in rather smoothly, but the tips of the fingers should press to the sides of the abutment mortise to avoid a shaving trap. Next is fitting the wedge shape. That is a matter of fitting, looking where I need to take off a shaving of wood, etc. I use a very thin feeler gauge to feel where the fit is still lacking. Again, it should be tightest down at the finger tips.

And this is how it looks in the plane, nice and tight.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Jack plane mostly finished

No pictures of the build. It was all a bit too exciting. Making the chamfers, the gouge cuts, the eyes, everything is very visible, and easy to make all crooked and skewed and ugly.

First thing after finishing the tote was making the mortise for the tote, No picture of that either. It isn't so spectaculair of course. I drilled a bunch of holes and removed the rest with a chisel. At the round end I used a carving gouge. Glued the tote with hot hide glue and used a scraper to get everything blend in nicely.

Well, here she is. No finish yet, that's a nice little job for tomorrow.

And a trial run on some nasty beech. Thick, very thick shavings!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Jack plane continued

Last weekend I did quite a bit of work on this jackplane. Calculations of the output of professional planemakers a 200 years ago show that they could make 3-5 planes a day (probably depending on the type of planes and the amount of power tools they had available). Well, I still need to practice a little bit to reach that goal! And I still make many errors.

While making the mortise, it seems that every little mistake, every stray chisel strike, ends up in a wider mouth. The mouth is now about 3-4 mm wide, good enough for a jack plane, but because I tried very hard to keep it in check, it is a little dissapointing.

Here's a picture into the throat of the plane after cutting the abutments (saw and chisel work).

Next up was making and fitting the wedge. I got myself some nice quartersawn wood. It was a bit of a puzzle how I could cut the wedge on the table saw. In the end I think it would have been a lot easier and safer to do it with a handsaw! Here you can see how the fingers of the wedge fit nice and tight all the way down. I marked where the hump of the capiron is with a red permant marker, so I could mark the wedge fingers from there with a pencil. That is where they end up, making them longer would only create a shaving trap.

A very nice little job is making the handle. I have of course some experience in handle making after finishing a couple of saws. As a template I used a picture of some old English saw I found on the internet. Draw it on the wood and used forstner bits in the corners. Then cutting the rest with a bowsaw.

Next up is squaring the blanc with rasps. I never reach total 100% squareness, but close is good enough in this instance.

And then, marking the contours with pencil and start shaping with rasps and a scraper. I want to avoid sandpaper as much as possible in this plane build, so after scraping I grabbed a piece of wood from the bin and burnished the wood. It happens to be an old piece of pine with a heavy wax coat and I think I rubbed some of that wax on the wood too. It took a nice shine very quickly. I really like this finish. It certainly is not perfect, you can still see contours of the scraper work.

I hope to finish this plane this week.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Some small finishing nails.

Some? How about a lifetime supply?

Small stuff. Most are square nails, 1.5 and 2 cm short. I should have had these when I was making the drawers in the medicine cabinet. But who knows what other small stuff I am going to make.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

New try to make a jack plane

This time I went along with a lot more care. First I drilled down into the mortise with a forstner bit under the drill press. Then I started chiseling. The large hole makes the mortising a lot easier. It also makes it more precise. I did make sure to stay well within the layout lines this time, better to pair the sides later on.

Before continueing I made sure everything looked nice and square, just taking my time.

Then I put it under the drillpress again for the mouth. A simple setup. This helps to drill in the right direction and to drill straight! But before drilling I first marked out the outlines of the mouth with a chisel to avoid splintering.

After drilling it's chiseling again. From the bottom, from the top. This is kind of difficult work due to the lack of space. But I got there slowly. After cleaning up al corners this is where I'm at. The bed doesn't look as nice as in the first plane, more work for later.

I did have a mishap. Despite taking care a small splinter broke free from the mouth. No idea why, but I suspect this wood isn't the best. It is a little spalty here and there. Luckily I say to myself again, It's just a jack plane.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

First plane: Fail

Nobody wished me luck. So that's probably the reason why I failed. I made about 3 critical mistakes, one is rather uncorrectable.

When drilling from the mouth up I stupidly didn't border the mouth with chisel strikes first. The result: splintering. I also touched with the drill chuck, resulting in a dimple in the sole. Both these caused an increase in mouth size. Not a critical failure in a jack plane, more cosmetic. The drilling also looked like a drunk had speared through the plane, I had to raise the wear angle to 90 degrees to get rid of all the drillbit damage.

In the picture you can see the damage around the mouth from carelessness.

But the deal breaking error happened during morising the mouth. The chisel wandered way too much to the outside and cut away too much in the area where the abutments are supposed to be. Easy to see the gap under to the wooden wedge template. I don't think I can save this, the hollow is just too much.

So, today I prepared another beech blank. My beech is really very close to final size, so I prepare it with handplanes. You can be a lot more carefull with a handplane then with the planer/thicknesser.

Checking with winding sticks.

I also made a "new" abutment saw today. I used a piece from an old panel saw, cut with the angle grinder and a thin cut off blade. Stick it in a piece of ash and shape it for comfort. The blade is attached with some M3 nuts and screws. All very simple. Removed all the set and sharpened it up, rip cut, zero degree rake angle. I tried it in the failed plane attempt, and it works very well. Slow, and it likes to bind in the cut, so I need to wax the blade, but it results in a very precise cut.

And then I got another cutting blade for the new plane. This one is a little wider, so I also wanted a little wider blade. I happened to have a 57 mm (2 1/4") blade where a previous owner had ground down the sides at the cutting end to something like 55 mm width. I finished that all the way to the top and added a bit of taper, so it now runs from 55 at the bottom to 54 at the top. Lots of grinding!

And here they are, waiting for more labour. (Why does my bench always look like a warzone?)

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Oh boy, wish me luck!

Just a small in between project, a beech jack plane. I allready made at least two stupid mistakes, but I keep telling myself, it is just a jack plane...