The body of the moulding plane is done, now I just need to heat treat and sharpen the iron. The final touches to the plane only took about a half hour or so. It involved carving a curved profile on the shoulder between the plane’s grip and the lower part of the body with a carving gouge. On future planes, I’ll actually be using this plane to make that profile instead of a gouge.
I also added bevels (also called chamfers) to the top and ends of the grip. These are for comfort as well as for looks.
I tried adding a decorative notch with the carving gouge on the front and back ends of the shoulder, but they just didn’t turn out right. I’ll have to figure out the right way to add them before I make the next plane.
Speaking of the next plane, I have started working on it and have few photos, but not enough for my first blog post. Things are finally starting to slow down with work so I hope to get some more time in the shop and can show the process for making these planes. The process is surprisingly simple and I hope that at least some of you are inspired to try making a plane or two yourselves.
Just a reminder about the Facebook page. There hasn’t been much activity yet, but I would love for those of you who woodwork to share photos of your own work, questions, comments, and anything else woodworking related.
I was able to take about an hour away from working this weekend to make a little progress on the moulding plane. It’s amazing how just a few little things can make a big difference in the look and feel of a tool.
First, I planed off about 1/8″ of material that was left at the top of the grip of the plane to bring it down to its final height of 3 3/8″. I also sawed off the extra 1/2″ on each end of the plane blank. I cut the wedge to it’s final length and cut a bevel on it to push chips out of the escapement of the plane. I then rounded off the back of the grip so it would be more comfortable to hold.
This thing is starting to look like a real moulding plane. I decided that I would try sharpening up the iron, even though I hadn’t heat treated it and try out the plane. A couple of photos of the results are below.
The iron was a little soft and so there is a little bit of a flat and a knick in the curve left by the plane, but those should be taken care of when I get the iron heat treated. At this point, the only things left to do are the heat treatment and a few cosmetic touches to make the plane look better and feel better in use.
I don’t know when I’ll be able to heat treat the iron. I really don’t have the equipment to do it right and don’t have the extra cash or time to put together any type of forge doing the work. I’m still thinking about how I want to approach that. Next week, I hope to have finished the cosmetic work on the plane and wrap up this series of posts. In the next series, I intend to show photos of the process of making the hollow plane that is the mate to this one so you can see the steps involved and how easy making a useful tool can be.
I only got about a half hour of shop time this week, but I was able to make a little progress on the moulding plane.
The most notable work that I got done was shaping the finial at the top of the wedge as you can see in the photo below.
This was a simple matter once I got it laid out. Just a few minutes with a coping saw to rough out the shape, then about 5 minutes of work with a float and a chisel and the finial is all done.
I also formed the wear, which is a slightly wider angled section in the front of the iron to allow shavings to enter the mouth of the plane. This was done with a float in about 5 minutes.
The next step, other than heat-treating the iron is to remove about 1/8″ of wood off the top edge of the grip and remove the excess from the front and rear of the plane. You can see the knifed in lines in the photo below.
I hope to make some progress on this plane next weekend. I’ll make sure to post on the progress. Once this plane is done, I’ll be working on a matching hollow plane. With that one I plan on getting more photos of process of making a plane and not just the results.
Well, it’s the middle of busy season in the public accounting world and I didn’t get any time to work in the shop this week. I hope to get a little more work done on the moulding plane next weekend, but no promises.