One moulding plane done (well, almost)

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.

Until next time. . .

All coming together

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.

Until next time. . .

Finally a little more progress

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.  IMG_2878

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.

Until next time. . .

Nothing new

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.

Until next time. . .

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.


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.


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. . .