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View Full Version : Fabrication and Shop Techniques Tapering a tool steel blade



Everett Fulkerson
05-07-2013, 5:11 PM
Just throwing this out there, but my plan is to use an 80 grit ceramic belt, on my horizontal sander, to grind a taper on my plane irons. Is there a better way, short buying a surface grinder, to accomplish this task?

I think I will do a 1/32" decrease in thickness over the 3.5" length on my 1/4" thick blades.

Questions, comments, rude remarks?

Ron Brese
05-08-2013, 5:25 PM
A .032 decrease would be doable with an 80 grit ceramic belt in 0-1 tool steel but how would you make sure the thickness stays consistent across the width and down the length? I'm also assuming you're talking about doing this prior to heat treating?

In the annealed state you could do this and then lap them to deal with any inconsistency in the thickness, but it certainly adds a lot of time to the process. It would probably be better to create the taper on a mill and then surface grinder them after heat treating to assure consistent thickness and to make sure they are flat.

To do this on a surface grinder after the irons have been heat treated would take an awfully long time. You have to move in rather small increments on a surface grinder.

Ron

Everett Fulkerson
05-08-2013, 7:19 PM
Thanks for the reply Ron, your planes are awesome.

My thought was to make a jig with some square stock and attach it to my sander. On a pivot, with the iron attached via magnets, I could simply let it down onto a metal platten with one end higher by 1/32. As long as the two planes stay parallel, it should be a consistent taper. The error will lie in the construction and rigidity of my jig, if I'm not mistaken? It is a 6 x 89 belt.

Any minor discrepency could be addressed with the wedge is also part of my thinking.

I'm not ready for the world of machinest tolerance but I do have a high level of respect for it. I can however, file wood to fit metal.

Be Good
Rhett

Everett Fulkerson
05-10-2013, 7:59 AM
Blades cannot be consistently tapered via this method. Sorry to anyone waiting for the tapered blade version of my plane. Maybe in the future, if I can get my hands on an actual surface grinder.

Be Good
Rhett

Dave Verstraete
05-12-2013, 1:13 PM
Everett
Find a friend that is a Tool & Die maker that has a wet surface grinder with a magnetic sine plate. He will have to be careful not to warp the blades especially if the are already hardened. What material are they made from? How many do you need? I could do a few to help you out.

Everett Fulkerson
05-12-2013, 6:35 PM
I appreciate the offer, but we are going to stay with the flat blade. We are however grinding a flat on the stainless steel pin, to provide more surface area for the wedge.

There has been enough interest for our planes, as they are, that to add an additional step, seems unwarranted. There has yet to be one returned, due to dissatisfaction.

I am however, in the design phase of a lever cap. This upgrade should ultimately appease the diehard plane users.

As I have said before, we are 100% confident in our planes and stand behind what is being put out. If you don't like it, send it back.

Be Good

Rhett

Anthony Albano
05-12-2013, 10:12 PM
Knife makers grind flat stock pretty often; check out bladeforums.com

Everett Fulkerson
05-12-2013, 10:45 PM
I have no problem grinding the irons, my issue is with how consistently and efficiently I can grind, multiple irons. If I were only making a couples planes, it would not be a big deal.

There is a right way and a right machine to do the task. The way I was thinking and the machine I was going to use are neither.

Dave Verstraete
05-13-2013, 6:35 PM
Everett
it might be possible to make a magnetic plate to hold multiple pieces in a Blanchard grinder.