Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Brese plane--more infill fitting

Good fit

Marking the ramps

Here I'm shooting the bed of the rear infill...

...with a miter jack on the 90 degree side.

Here I'm checking the relationship between the infill bed and the sole bed using a flat stick I lapped dead flat just before this operation. I'm not sure how this is usually done, maybe with a steel gauge of some sort, or maybe just a finger. This seems to work about right for me.

I also checked diagonally in both directions. I'm told its better for the infill to be slightly rearward of the sole's bed rather than proud of it, so the iron beds on the brass. Of course the best is that they are both dead in the same plane. That's what I'm shooting for.

This is the bed after lapping (little out of sequence here)

The bottom left corner has a little blow out at edge and a little void that appeared when I cut the ramp. Brese tells me it's small enough not to matter. It doesn't bother me. Well, not entirely. :-)

Escapement ramp at 15 degrees, then curved.

Sawing the curved ends.

I sanded the curved ends on an edge sander with 150 grit.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Brese plane--fitting the ebony infill

I milled the ebony last week to rough size. It didnt move at all over the weekend, so I though I'd go ahead and do some fitting.

I used a freshly honed #4 smoothing plane set for a very light cut. The ebony planed beautifully.

Then I marked for the rabbet. I set my marking gauge by setting the fence on the top of the side wall, then sliding the beam down to the sole.

Marked and ready for cutting.

A couple passes on the table saw and the rabbet was almost there.

Using a shoulder plane I refined the cheeks of the rabbet. The inside of the plane body was slightly wider at the sole, so I had to remove about .01" from the top of the rabbet, and the taper this towards the bottom.

I used a block plane to taper the cheek along with the shoulder plane. Then I used a rather unique scraper to make it dead flat and really tweak the fit very gradually. This is a great tool made by a local shop. It's not really a woodworking tool per se, but I use for it all sorts of work, from fitting operations to rough scraping. Look for a more detailed blog post about this tool soon.

Planing the tapered cheeks

Planing the shoulder

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Brese plane-wood for the infill

I wanted a hard and heavy wood for the infill on this plane. Rosewood of some sort, ebony, boxwood, etc. My supplier didn't have much in terms of rosewood at the required thickness, but he did have some really nice ebony that's been in this warehouse for 3 or more years, so dryness should not be an issue. After milling it, it seems quite dry. I don't have a moisture meter, so I'm going by feel here mostly. I milled the blank to rough size, and I'm letting sit over the weekend to see if it moves. Hopefully next week I'll make some real progress on getting this plane finished. I would have preferred a beautiful piece of cocobolo for this plane, but I just couldnt get my hands on any, and the last batch of nice wood I had to use for Mag-bloks.

These would have made nice infills...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Nahat pegs now available

Just posted these to the website.

Check them out here

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Brese plane-cutting the sidewall curves

After consulting with Ron Brese about the issues involved with cutting away material from the sides (especially around the lever cap screws) he assured me that it would not pose any problems, so I decided to go ahead and make the cuts.

First step was to apply the pattern to both sides of the plane body. The blue tape was used to position the pattern, then hinged out of the way while I applied 3M Super 77 adhesive to the back to adhere the pattern. Then I filled the inside of the body with a temporary infill. This would stabilize the side walls during the sawing process.

I then sawed almost to the line with a 24 tpi hacksaw.

I didnt try to do both sides at once, but rather sawed at an angle from one side, just starting the cut on the opposite side.

I removed the waste between the kerfs with a fine jeweler's saw.

I sawed one side at a time. There was enough flex in the blade to not cut into the opposite side.

Here I've cut all the waste away.

I started filing the sides close to the line using a flat file and a round file. I took the rest of the waste away and refined the concave section of the curve with an oscillating spindle sander using a 80-grit 1/2" drum, followed by a 180 grit drum. I refined the convex section on a 1" belt grinder using similar grits. After the shape was to the line, I further refined the surface of the curve with some 400 grit paper wrapped around a small square file to keep the surfaces square and flat. I purposely left the flat section, which will be flush with the bed, a bit proud of the final position. I'll file this flat area flush to the infill after the rear infill is fitted.

The dip behind the front bun makes extracting shavings comfortable. I can get my finger in there quite readily.

I think the curve looks pretty good too.

There is .155" of material between the curve and the lever cap screw. Ron assured me that this would be fine.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dips and curves

The last adjustment to my design for this plane was to curve the inside of the front bun for some extra finger clearance when removing shavings. This was a big improvement. However, as I was looking at some examples of coffin-shaped smoothers from Norris, Sauer, and Anderson, the little dip right behind the front bun got me thinking. This would allow even more clearance, plus it would add a nice decorative touch. So I did some rough sketches on paper, then refined this in Corel Draw. I also did a little photo editing to check the design in "real time" so to speak. To get the design just right, I even scanned the plane itself to work out the details. This worked nicely. Next posts I'll be showing how I cut the shape out. This will require some special techniques since the plane is assembled.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

More bun tweaking

There just wasn't enough clearance in the escapement between the front bun and the lever cap. I ran out to the shop quick and put a radius on the escapement side of the bun. What a difference. Plenty of room now. And the curve adds a graceful touch.

1st bun on the left (20 degree ramp, flat)
2nd bun on the right (15 degree ramp, curved)

Brese plane front bun tweak

I made a new temporary front bun and matched the height of the rear infill. With Brese's recommendation, I also changed the escapement angle to 15 degrees, so the top of the bun would maintain it's length. It would have been quite skinny had I simply raised and kept the original angle. I sacrificed a bit of space in the escapement, but the comfort level is much nicer- the larger front bun is a definite improvement. However, I'm a little concerned about the escapement being a bit small for my fingers. I can get my portly finger in, but just. I'm going to swap out the larger for the smaller bun and compare. But I think I'm set on the larger bun.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Brese plane-shaping the temporary infills

This afternoon, during a short lull in Mag-blok production, I was able to snatch a few moments to shape the temporary infills on my Ron Brese small smoothing plane kit. I did some initial rounding with a carving chisel (this is basswood, so hogging off some waste is quite easy), then further refined the shape with a double-ended Grobet file and then a little sanding. I didnt bother refining the shape too much, however, for obvious reasons. I was hoping to do something a little interesting or unique in shaping the handles, but it seems the old standard shapes are there for a reason. This basic round-over is feeling quite nice, and I think I've almost nailed the shape on the first try--it will be good for a first plane. I like the simplicity of this shape, and I think it's in keeping with Brese's principles. The height of the rear infill feels just about right, it's about 2-3/8" (from the sole to the top of the infill). The front infill is about 1/4" lower, and feels a little small, so I'll make another one the same height as the rear and see how that feels before I commit to the final shape. Of course the taller I make the front, the narrower the top of the bun will be, unless I change the angle of the escapement ramp. So I might not gain much here. This plane already feels incredible in the hand. It's so heavy!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mini rabbet plane update

John has finished his small rabbet plane, and the results are outstanding. Congratulations John, and thanks for sharing your tutorial.