Monthly Archives: February 2016

Iron Profiled

I only had about an hour to spend in the shop this week, so I didn’t too much done.  That being said, the iron for my first moulding plane is profiled.  The process of profiling the iron starts with putting some machinist layout fluid on the front of the plane iron blank, inserting the blank into the plane body with the wedge in place, and scribing the profile of the plane’s sole onto the blank.

IMG_2868Next comes the grinder.  I used the grinder first to get a square edge as close to the layout line I had scribed as possible.  Then I ground a bevel on the back side of the iron.  Boy did I find out how inadequate  my hand cranked grinder is for this job; or a least the grinding wheel I have on the grinder is inadequate.  The photo above was taken after I redressed the wheel once the iron was roughly profiled.  While I was grinding, there was a U-shaped trough in the middle of the wheel that was around 3/16″ deep.This Norton 3x wheel is great for grinding plane irons and chisels, but for work like this, I really need a harder grinding wheel and I especially need a grinder with rests for holding the iron in the right position while I grind.  I’m looking into a couple of electric high-speed grinders that I can use for this work.  I’ll write a post if (when) I get one.

After the iron in roughly the right profile, I inserted it back into the plane body to check the profile.  I then reapplied the machinist layout fluid and re-scribed the profile.  Once this was done, I used a coarse diamond needle file to refine the profile so that I matches the profile of the plane.

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With this done, the iron is now profiled to match the plane and has a flat along the edge that is about 1/64″ wide.  This flat will be taken care of after the iron is heat-treated (hardened and then tempered).  I’m not really sure yet how I want to go about the heat treating process.  If any of you have any experience with heat-treatment and have any suggestions, please let me know.  I would like to make a full set of these planes, so a long-term solution would be preferred.

To close, here is  a photo of the profiled iron in the plane body.IMG_2871

Until next time. . .

Nothing new

It was a busy week at work and I didn’t have any time for woodworking. I hope to be able to get a little more work done on the molding plane this week. If I do, I will write a post about it next weekend.

Until next time. . .

A little more work on the moulding plane

I didn’t have too much time to work on the moulding plane this week, but I did make a little progress.  The plane irons for the round I’m working on and the mating hollow that I will make next came in this week.  I was able to get the iron for the round plane ready for bedding and profiling.

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The first step that I took was to relieve some of the material off of the shoulder of the iron to keep it from damaging the plane body.  As can be seen in the photo below, the front of edge of the should would dig into the plane body if used as it came.IMG_2837

I started out by using a sharpie marker to note the material that needed to be removed.  After that, I moved started to work with a file to remove the material.  My mill file needs to be replaced, and I ended up using a coarse diamond needle file to remove the material.  After the material was removed, I rounded over the shoulder of the iron.

Finally, the last bit of work that I did was to carve out the ramp between the grip of the plane and the escapement so that the iron would be in the right position for bedding and profiling.

I hope to have some time next weekend to work on bedding the iron and getting the rough profiling of the plane iron finished.

Until next time. . .

More on plane makers floats

I didn’t have much time for woodworking this week.  However, I did take a few minutes to get the wedge for my first moulding plane cut out and to the right thickness for the wedge mortise.

Last week, I mentioned that I would take some photos of the plane makers floats I used and where they are used in the process of making a wooden side-escapement plane such as a moulding plane.

First up is a crank-neck float.  This isn’t a dedicated plane making float, but it is a handy tool.  The toothed portion of the blade is around 3 inches long, and reasonably flat.  This makes it a great tool for leveling and cleaning up the grip of the plane.  I also used it cut the rounded profile of the plane.  I had to use a straight-edge to make sure it had a straight profile along the length of the plane, but it worked out well.

Once the mortise roughed in by boring and the removing the waste with a chisel, the float work in the mortise begins with the side float.  As can be seen from the photo above, the angle of the float is just a little smaller than the angle of the escapement.  This float is used to remove material from the sides of the wedge mortise and to refine the fit of the wedge.  Floats can leave a very clean finished surface, so they are also used to refine the mortise once it is close to being the right size.  Both sides of the mortise get cleaned up with the side float.  At the moment, I’ve only made a push style side float (it cuts on the push stroke only) and I’m considering making a pull style side float as well.  The pull floats are good for removing material at the mouth of the plane because the force required to use the float moves from the narrowest part of the mortise at the mouth toward the larger grip end of the mortise.  This keeps the mouth from being damaged.

Next, the bed (back wall, where the iron rests) and breast (the front wall of the mortise where the wedge is puts pressure to hold the iron in place) of the plane are refined with the edge float.  Again, the angle of this float is slightly less than the wedge mortise angle.  This float is used to make the bed and breast straight so that the wedge and iron will make full connection, which will affect how securely the wedge holds the iron in place.

The final floats that are used in making moulding planes are cheek floats.  I use both push and pull style cheek floats.  These floats are used to hollow out the sides of the mortise slightly.  This helps to make the wedge fit a little better.

That pretty much covers the use of these floats in making a moulding plane.  I plan to order the plane iron blanks for this plane and it’s mating hollow (concave) plane from Lie-Nielsen Toolworks.  Once I get these irons, I’ll write some posts about profiling the iron for this plane and then I’ll make the hollow plane and get some photos of the process so that I can write a post about it.

Until next time. . .