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Just for fun

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  • Just for fun




    It was over 30 years on the things to do list and 3 pleasant days in the shop to do it. It’s great being retired. I bought the casting for this plane and a couple others back when I bought my mill-drill over 30 years ago. This was a tub shaped casting and roughcast lever cap. With no real need for the plane, it was in the part of my list labeled “just for fun”. By soldering on a steel sole, I significantly reduced the difficulty of cutting the mouth area inside the bathtub. I used a slitting saw and precut the mouth in the sole plate prior to soldering it on. Machining inside the tub, then, just had to maintain the correct bed angle and break through the casting sole at the right place. The sole is 8.5 inches long and the plane weighs 5.4 lbs. The antique laminated steel cutter takes a scary sharp edge, and the tapered back of soft iron shaped and drilled easily to secure the rosewood pad. The taper on the iron coupled with the extra generous knob (makes a nice handle too) provide a very secure clamp on the blade with minimal effort. This style of plane excels at end grain work and works really well on its side on a shooting board. Since I knocked this off my list, I think I’ll put a new shooting board on that list, just so there remains plenty of fun projects to choose from.

  • #2
    looks beautiful, heirloom quality even! Always nice to get stuff off the list too, even if things join it at a faster rate

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    • #3
      Very Nice!
      I just need one more tool,just one!

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      • #4
        Meh, I'm not impressed. Any fool with a sharpened screwdriver could do better.

        Just kidding! Do you have pictures of it doing work?

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        • #5
          Nice miter plane. Is that a snecked iron?

          I did a similar thing, got a casting for a smoothing plane from St James Bay and got a good start on it. Then I let it sit for 20 years because I was scared of screwing up the mouth. Then I retired, talked to Bob st St James Bsy tools and finished it a couple months ago.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Puckdropper View Post
            Meh, I'm not impressed. Any fool with a sharpened screwdriver could do better.

            Just kidding! Do you have pictures of it doing work?
            No pictures of it working, Puckdropper. It's cold out in the woodshop.

            Originally posted by oldwing View Post
            Nice miter plane. Is that a snecked iron?

            I did a similar thing, got a casting for a smoothing plane from St James Bay and got a good start on it. Then I let it sit for 20 years because I was scared of screwing up the mouth. Then I retired, talked to Bob st St James Bsy tools and finished it a couple months ago.
            Nope, not a real snecked iron, but the wood pad makes it similar. It is a very old cutter, though, from a wooden plane that did not have a chip breaker. There is no hole through the center of the iron.

            This casting is very probably from St James Bay too, but I can't remember for certain.

            Thanks all for the complements.

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            • #7
              That's a nice trick soldering on the sole. The color in the pictures is being pulled by the camera due to the green of the backdrop. But it still looks pretty nice anyway.

              Did you machine skim the sides to make them nice and square to the sole. For use as a shooting plane that would seem to be a requirement.
              Chilliwack BC, Canada

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              • #8
                Originally posted by BCRider View Post
                Did you machine skim the sides to make them nice and square to the sole. For use as a shooting plane that would seem to be a requirement.
                Yes, the casting was machined all over to get smooth and square outside and on the inside walls. Careful setup was needed to get the intersection of the plane of the bed angle and the plane of the sole to form a straight line across the sole that was exactly perpendicular to the sides. The tough part was assuring that the axis of the pivot pin was properly placed and perpendicular to the side walls in both axis. The lever cap was machined to width and shaped with the sharp edge perpendicular to the then parallel sides. I drilled the pivot hole in the cap from both sides with a smaller drill and then opened it up to a push fit for the pins clear through . The location of the holes in the side walls were then carefully determined and the holes were drilled in the sides while holding my breath. If the relationship is off just a bit, an otherwise proper fit of the lever cap will not pivot without modifying something. I learned that on a plane years ago when I tried drilling all the way through in one go.
                Two pins were used that are short enough that if I ever need to disassemble the plane I can drive both in, remove the lever, and then drive both out of the lever cap. I prefer this approach over the spring loaded pins with a smaller bearing diameter at the end because the spring pins and holes need clearance to slide freely and I like the lever cap to feel firm. Although I should never have to remove the cap, I suppose in operation either type would work as well.
                There were a couple small voids in the casting that I filled with solder when I soldered the sole on. The voids are much less noticeable full of solder than black holes. Soldering discolored my bright machined surfaces, but disappeared with the tedious finish work following on my lapping table to work out the tool marks and polish the surface. The steel sole was ground on my tool and cutter grinder and needed little in the way of lapping. Inside the tub the best I could do was with papers and fine files.

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