View Full Version : You said file Roger, we filed....

Doug Evans
10-10-2003, 8:37 PM
Some brass came in on Tuesday...

That Ben... he always needs new fodder for a sale!



Roger Myers
10-11-2003, 8:34 AM
Very nice looking...obviously too nice looking to be used therefore, I will not be tempted...I will not be tempted...I will not be tempted...

awww heck...that doesn't seem to be working...

Now today I finally have a few minutes and plan to do the final tweaking on that shoulder plane from the Meander....


Jim Shaver, Oakville Ont
10-11-2003, 10:29 PM
I looked, And now I have an idea I might want to try a shoulder plane...

You are tempting me again.

take care,

Ben Knebel
10-11-2003, 11:46 PM
Well it's about time we tempted you again Jim--I was getting worried that we weren't coming out with products that you liked :D

John Allman
10-12-2003, 1:03 PM

Is brass too soft to use for the sole?


Ben Knebel
10-12-2003, 1:31 PM
Yes John;
Brass is too soft by itself to use for the sole--it will wear. On the sidewalls it's OK because the steel pins and the steel tails of the sole help prevent any serious wear on the sides. As all things though it's relative---it certainly doesn't wear as quickly as a wood sole would but more quickly than steel or cast iron.

Bronze is harder and if a plane was made in a yellow metal it was usually a bronze or a gunmetal( a form of bronze)

Brass and bronze planes were by far more common in cast form than in dovetailed form and the brass sided dovetailed planes were--in my opinion-- made only to appeal to the market that likes the look and wanted to see the dovetails. There is a visual appeal to a brass/bronze sided plane that isn't present in the steel sided ones--at least for some people.

It was also common to apply a steel sole to the cast brass/bronze planes to compenstae for the wear issue. These were commonly sweated( soldered in place) in place although they were occasionally pinned (rivetted).

For those interested sweating a sole in place is a fairly straight forward process----both surfaces are covered with a good flux and heated to the melting point of solder and then they were "tinned" meaning a very thin surfcace layer of solder was layed over the entire surface and I mean very thin---done properly less than a thou . Both surfaces were allowed to cool and then the steel was placed on the bronze/brass sole--tinned surface to tinned surface and then the whole package was reheated to the melting point of the solder. The sole would have to be perfectly level as the solder once liquid acted like a lubricant and the steel would slide off the bronze if it wasn't level. In fact the "test" for having the proper heat was the ability to move the floating steel plate around freely. Once this state was achieved some downward pressure would be applied to squeeze out the excess solder and insure that the least possible amount of solder was holding the 2 surfaces together---it also insured that any irregularities in the surfaces were filled with solder. Once cool you had an unbreakable bond between steel and bronze/brass.

The process is very much like sweating two copper pipes together when plumbing but on a little larger scale---more surface area to deal with.