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Thread: A dovetailed smooth plane

  1. #1
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    A dovetailed smooth plane

    This plane is a full size plane,dovetailed together. It was made in the 70's,probably I made it about 1975. It is,like the other planes shown,practically all hand work.The dovetails have to be curved to fit around the sole. Once again,the cap screw is freehand turned,and the knurling is actually not knurled,but is freehand filed in. It is stuffed with mahogany,stained rather too dark,I think. I made a special tap to do the old style threads on the cap screw.
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    Wonderful

    Beautiful work you have done. Thanks for showing us.

    What exactly is meant by free hand turning the threads for the cap screws?

    jim

  3. #3
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    Hi,Jim. I used hand held small turning tools like on a wood lathe to make the contours,and the little ball. It's about the only way I could do it for contours that small,and undercut. You can turn brass,and even steel by hand. I make spinning chucks like that,even large ones. I rough it out in the metal lathe with the usual metal lathe cutters,then use hand tools on the rounded contours of spinning chucks. I made the tooling for most of the PGA trophies since the 80's.

    You know,I'm tired. I did not see "threading" in your sentence. I turned the contours in the top of the cap freehand.I made a special tap out of drill rod to thread the hole in the cap. The male threads were made on the lathe to match.
    Last edited by george wilson; 03-25-2009 at 10:30 PM.

  4. #4
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    I love the tote, it's so fluid and graceful. You do some very skilled work. It really shows you what craftsmen can make. I'm glad to see things like this popping back up today.

  5. #5
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    Hi George

    That is indeed a graceful profile. I like the way that you have flowed the sides at the front into the infill. I do not recall seeing one like that before. Without that detail it would be a traditional Spier shape. But with it there is a uniqueness.

    Beautiful execution.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  6. #6
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    I like the charm of the old work,but also don't really like to copy,so try to take an idea and expand upon it sometimes. I was paid to copy for years,and sometimes,like the Grove backsaws,like them too much to alter-though I did add brass and curly maple,and color the handles. Glad you enjoyed it,Derek.

  7. #7
    Perhaps the little nugget of goodness that's hard to see in this plane is the workmanship on the second iron and the lever cap, straight on. They are hidden by the cheeks of the plane, as is the detail on the top of the lever cap screw.

    What I can see of the lever cap, it's tidy and retained by the crossbar/pin instead of held to the sides by screws. It looks really nice.

    Brass bed, too. Held on by the infill?

  8. #8
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    Here is a slide I dug up of this plane when it was brand new. Not as clear a picture,being from a 400 speed slide. The brown tempering color was left on the blade.

    The cap screw of this plane was not knurled. At the time this plane was made,I had no microscope type knurls. Besides,the serrated cap is 1/2" thick. I filed the "knurls" in by hand.

    The bevels on the iron were filed in by hand.

    The blade rests upon a 1/4" thick plate of brass,rather than upon the wood.

    I was not happy with the appearance of the stain I put on the mahogany. This plane was made when I was just getting into making infill planes. Live and learn.
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    Last edited by george wilson; 02-01-2012 at 10:29 AM.

  9. #9
    Ahh, so the lever cap is retrained by screws. I thought maybe it was the type that held itself against a crosspin.

    Where did the files come from to work the cap screw, gunsmith supply stuff? Vintage needle files?

  10. #10
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    I used checkering files from Brownell's Gunsmith supply. They aren't the cheapest files out there,but certainly are useful. They go from something like 16 lines per inch,to 75 lines per inch. They are really for checkering metal. The checkering is done by filing a set of grooves,then filing another set at an angle to the first set.

    The trick when doing the lever cap was to make sure that the checkering file was used at exactly the same angle (90) every time,or there would be messy "cross threading" where the individual sections of filing meet.

    This picture makes the plane iron's tempering color look all streaky,but it is not in real life. I doubt that anyone could produce streaky tempering colors if he tried!!
    Last edited by george wilson; 02-01-2012 at 5:08 PM.

  11. #11
    You are tempting me, George! The infill smoother you show has some special features. Why did you add a brass plate to the bed of the iron? Did you feel the blade support of the rear infill not high enough or is there another reason? What I do like especially on this plane is the "organic" shape of the infills. The tote is growing out of the infill without the smallest design break. Nice!

    I've a similarly shaped vintage infill body of cast bronze. It had no tote. Derek made a similar one with a tote. Having seen yours and Dereks, I think mine hast to get new infills and a tote as well. It takes time however since the last 3 weeks and the following two, I'm wearing a cast at the left arm. I've broken my wrist...

    Klaus
    Klaus Kretschmar

  12. #12
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    Ouch!!! I'll bet that hurts!. I put a brass plate behind the iron to give it a more massive backing. And,it looks nicer than just having the wood for backing. Sorry about your wrist.

  13. #13
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    This making me want to try my hand at an infill plane maing. Quick someone remind me how much work it is before I blow my tax return on raw materials that I will most certainly end up turning into trash.

    George, I really like the shape and hang, for lack of a better term, on the tote. It's not only gorgeous but seems like it would really facilitate both forward and downward pressure and be very comfortable to use.

  14. #14
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    Chris,it isn't really necessary to spend much money making an infill plane. I have either gotten my metal for the bodies as leftovers,or at the salvage yard. We have a decent amount of manufacturing in the area,and I have picked up nice pieces of steel plate of all thicknesses left over from punch press work. You have to buy tool steel for the blade,and wood for the infill. The 01 for a blade is about $8.00 or a little more per blade,plus postage. You don't have to use costly,exotic woods for the infill. Walnut makes a perfectly good infill material. So does cherry or maple(which you might want to stain). I have a Norris jack plane that is stuffed with beech,and given a TOO thick,dark lacquer piano finish that has led to cracking of the finish over the years. It is a late model with the single screw adjustment. I find the single screw model is better than the too delicate screw within a screw which was used earlier,and which,for some reason actually increased the amount of blade movement per a given amount of turning of the knob. Anyway,the point is,even Norris used a very basic,cheap wood on some of their models.

    The most important thing about making a tool,provided it works well,etc.,is the design work that can be put into it. If you use a good steel for the blade,and a good,hard wood,you can make something very nice if you can design it well.

  15. #15
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    I'm not sure why I'm entertaining this idea since I'm about to build two saws and have a couple small furniture projects, but.....

    Whats the simplest type of infill to start with in both plane type, construction type, and time required to complete? I imagine a small smoother similar to one of the little Brese Planes wouldn't be to tough or too much material???

    What about a miter plane? I'd really love to build one of these so I can cross the LN No9 of my wish list. I imagine actual construction wouldn't be the toughest but I'm guessing getting it dead square could be a lot of work?

    Are there any books out there on building infills?

    For infill, yeah, I'd just use walnut or cherry, good to know those would work as I don't have any particular interest in exotics. Love me some walnut!

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