Friday, December 20, 2013

German Plow

Not much time for the man-cave in the past few weeks, but here is a "new" aquisition. A plowplane from Germany with their typical screwarms for the fence. There is no brand name on the plane itself, but the iron is marked J.P. Arns, a well known smith in Remscheid. This town, close to Wuppertal has allways been the centre of German edgetool and cutlery making.

There were a few problems with the plow. The most obvious was the iron with a shattered edge. It has probably fallen on a stone floor at some time, with the damage extending way down the face of the blade. So I had to grind back about half a cm and regrind the bevel to get a sharp edge again.

Another problem is that the screwarms are loose in the main body of the plane. You can see them sticking out in the above picture. The square ends of the arms should be more or less flush with the body. For now I have pushed them back, but coming weekend when I have the shop heated up a bit I will glue them again.

Other problems were with the skates. A plow like this doesn't really have a sole, but a skate running from the front to the back, interrupted by the mouth for the plane iron. The front and rear skate were not in line, as you can see in this picture.

The plane has probably warped a little bit over the years. So I removed the skates and used a rabbet plane to straighten the wood under them. In itself this isn't a problem, because the iron is wider then the skates and a misallignment doesn't hurt when making a groove. But it makes setting the fence parallel to the skates more difficult.

The last problem was another misallignment of the skates as seen in this picture. You can see that the straightedge doesn't touch the front skate. The rear one has shifted down. This makes the plane impossible to use. It either bites into the wood or doesn't take a shaving at all.

 I used a file to correct this problem, but made a mistake there. After filing they looked perfectly alligned again, but as soon as I installed the iron, the rear skate was pushed down under the wedge pressure again. The screws of the rear skate were too loose and couldn't be tightened enough. I had to get some larger ones. Luckily the home centre had some. I just had to file down the heads of the screws so they wouldn't protrude. Now the skate is firmly attached again and doesn't move under pressure anymore. The rear skate is now actually a bit too high, but that doesn't harm performance.

And now she is all up and running again. I only have one iron, but at 8 mm it is a usefull size. She works perfectly well. The screwarms make her easy to adjust. There is no depth stop, so you have to stop from time to time and meassure how deep the groove is. I like to take medium thick shavings. You can take much thicker ones with a plane like this, but it helps to keep everything in the right position while planing when you don't have to push with all your might. Here is a test cut in a piece of wallnut.

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