02 April 2011

Plane Making

I thought I would show how my planes are made. Starting with a rough piece of wood I cut it to close dimensions on the table saw.

Tools for squaring up the block, 3 planes, winding sticks, straight edge, marking gauge and a small square.

Planing the block to dimension and carefully squaring it for layout.

Block with layout lines ready for drilling. Square, rule with stop, bevel square, awl and template used in laying out the block.

Drilling the cross pin holes with the treadle drill press.  Drilling them before mortising the throat avoids any breakout in the throat.  1/4" holes are also drilled through the block from the mouth after this.
Chopping the waste out. A plywood fixture and clamp hold the block for chopping and save the bench. I don't look happy with my photographer.

Using a scraping chisel to bring the bed close to size. This chisel has about a 90 degree angle and dose a wonderful job on this hard wood.
With the bed and front ramp very close to finished size and the block clamped to the paring jig, I'm ready to pare the cheeks with the skew chisels. Two different handles keep the confusion down.

 Paring the cheeks.

After the cheeks are done the cross pin is fit. I ground the bit for the cross pin holes a little smaller than the pins so that the pins can always be fit snug. I also check the bed and pin orientation at this time and reject the block if  necessary.

Time to true the bed with the scraping chisel, an aluminum bar with sandpaper on it and a reference flat.

Sanding the bed flat. I alternate between sanding, scraping and checking the bed with the flat against strong light until the flat shows no light under it.

Wedges are cut out with a table saw jig.

Fitting and shaping the wedge on a treadle sander.

Putting in the brass mouth piece consists of marking around the brass, drilling out the waste, squaring the mortise and routing the cavity flat. Often I will use a Laminate trimmer for routing the waste.
The mouth piece is ready to be screwed into place. The hole is tapped for a 10-24 screw
The mouth is opened and set with a blade, file and feeler gauge.

First shavings!

End profile cut.
Curves marked with template. Aluminum piece checks the angle the curves are planed.

Planing the side curves. Again the photographer gets a (blurry) look.

The edges are rounded over for a good hand feel. Final surface finish is done after this.

I stab my initials into the side (sorry for all the forehead should have cropped that).

Finished planes 60 degree in back and the 50 degree I just built in front. This only showed the wooden body being built I will have to do an other post to show the metal bits.  


12 March 2011

Less Power

Cat with plane
    I've thought about the idea of less power for years. I began woodworking using only hand tools and gradually moved towards using machine tools sparingly. I wanted to enjoy the benefits of machine tools, speed and accuracy, without sacrificing the pleasures and joys of hand tools. this was the genesis of my passion for human powered machines.
    My ideas were distilled into this
   - choose less power over more power
   - choose  simple over complex
Even after the generator arrived to run some power tools these criteria continue to shape my decisions.
    I am not a power phobe and I am quite content to use it when appropriate. The power in my shop is provided by a small generator (3500 watts) and is not unlimited, which keeps me thinking about how best to use what I have. 

     Here are my treadle machines.        James

Drilling  plane bodies on the treadle drill press
Close up

1 x 30 Belt sander


Treadle lathe set up for sanding