Sharp. Stones

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Making and Using Tools - Planes, Scrapers, and Shaves


Plane Maker’s Float Reproduction by Jim Hendricks

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Part war of attrition… part friendship… and mostly encouragement was all I needed to get my backside out into the shop again and make a prototype tool… as “suggested” by a very good friend of mine… Toby Nava.

So having absolutely no idea where to start… a few more head scratchings and observations of other fine tools led me to make one…

and by chance one for me too! (how clever was that!!)

Steel….O1… of course… 3mm ground gauge plate…

Toby requested 6 1/2″ of tooth area and a total length of 8″ so that’s the dimensions. In retrospect… and if I ever make another..

I should have cut it a few inches longer, leaving enough steel to use as hold-down space…but it worked out ok…

The handle was to be a tanged version as opposed to scales…so that was marked up too using a chisel as a template.

Now… this is where the pondering starts… I suppose it would have been nice to cut the teeth all by hand or employ piskies to do it for me…but I have long since lost interest in the magic of repetitive tasks like this with hand tools…and there is no way I have the skills to get the teeth all at the right pitch and even… so I thought I would use the milling machine.

Over the last few weeks I had been contemplating how to do this…I notice that Noel Liogier uses their mill and a tiny bullnose cutter…at an angle to create waves of teeth with round bottoms…very clever. But I had a 60 deg dovetail cutter…(don’t ask me why)…and I figured that should do the trick.

At first I thought I would mount the steel upright on a right-angle plate but then I had a brainwave… the mill tilts doesn’t it!?

I’d completely forgotten!!!

The “side” was set just forward of upright…so about 87 degrees…other commercial makers are around 80 degrees but I think that’s too forward I pulled it back a tad.

It was a slow start… but as I became more confident I could speed up so it went quite quickly after that.


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