Sunday, February 21, 2016

The smoother

This weekend I started the build of a typical English coffin smoother. This one has to get a nice tight mouth! So I advanced with the utmost care!

Some tips. First one, I drill the mouth first under the drillpress. This time I aimed the drill at almost the same angle as the wear. Somehow that makes creating this thin narrow mortise a lot easier. This was a tip from Stewie from Australia and Steve Voigt from the US. Also important was to use a very sharp chisel to cut this mortise. That prevents any unwanted breakout. Finally it was usefull to use the float as soon as possible. After I sharpened the only Lie Nielsen float I have, it turned into a very capable tool.

Another area, cutting the abuments. Here is a picture of the setup I use.

The spacer is carefully fitted so it sits tight against the wear. It is helpfull to wedge it in place, makes for a more steady surface. Of course check if everything is square before commencing with the saw. It seems that I am slowly getting on good terms with my no-set abutment saw. It is just a piece of old sawblade on a handle. I use wax to reduce the friction in the slot. Of course, the abutment ends in the wear in a double iron plane, so it is not possible to saw through and through. But it is remarkable how much you can work the tip of the saw into the wood.

The rest is chisseling and the float is helpfull here too.

And this is where I am now. The blade just barely touches the wear, so I still have room to open it up a little. I think I'll shoot for a mouth about 0.5 mm wide, which is fine for a double iron plane.


  1. Interesting build, I am considering trying this as well.