Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Making strike knob buttons

On old English planes, especially the longer ones, you often find a strike knob on the front part of the stock, made from wood. On Dutch planes you find similar strike buttons, but they are invariably made from steel. I had an old, worn out plane, and I sacrificed it to get hold of the button so I could replicate it. Here is how I go about making them.

First on the lathe I turn a spike-like shape, but still in the round. I don't turn to a point, that comes later.

Then I use a large bastard file to create the flats, so the result goes from round to square. Still in the lathe, not rotating of course! The four jaw chuck gives a nice visual to make the square as square as possible, allthough I don't pretent it turns out perfectly. Counting file strokes helps to keep everything more or less symetric. First I file the straight part.

And then I file the tapered part. this also brings the spike to a point. When you don't leave enough material when turning, this step will strongly shorten the spike.

Then I turn it around in the chuck and shape the head. Rough shape with the lathe tools, then refining the shape with a file. (a sacrificial washer behind the head to protect the chuck).

When I am happy with the shape I bring it to the vise and use a hammer to give the head a hammer finish. Which means hammering the surface to create small facets all around.

And that's one finished strike button. After this I will heat it up with a propane torch to cherry red and let it cool slowly to give it a nice black color. Finish with linseed oil.

Here is a strike button on the front of my new jointer plane. You hit it to retract the blade or you hit it very hard to loosen the wedge.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The smoother is finished!

Making the coffin shape wasn't very difficult. Cut the corners with a ripsaw, smooth the curve with a chisel and a block plane and finish with a scraper. More difficult were the chamfers on this rounded shape. I really strugled. I'm also not too happy with the round corners at the rear of th eplane, they are not very well defined, a bit too much sandpaper!

But the plane works very well!

I must reduce the camber a little bit, story of my life...

Today I started with the next plane, a tryplane. First I did the metal work, a 2 1/4" blade for the tryplane and a 2 1/2" for a jointer plane. It was the usual hard work to get everything flat and coplanar, but I succeeded in the end. Can't get my nails clean anymore.

And I cut into this billet of beech to find some wood in between the end checks on one side and the worm holes on the other side. I didn't succeed entirely, I will have to hide two wormholes somehow later on.