From the Workshop

July 24, 2015

Window to my workshop No 94

Filed under: No 984,Window to my workshop — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:47 am

Drilling the holes in the No 984 plane pre-prepared and surface ground sides which will receive the integral riveting from the bottom.

Holtey no 984 o
 
Holtey no 984 p
 
Once the sides have been drilled they are then ready for profiling. This I do by making a holding plate which is drilled and tapped. In the case of this plane I have chosen six of the fifteen holes which were drilled in the plane sides which is sufficient for work holding purposes

The fixings used here have a 3/16 Whitworth thread to work within the existing holes. I hand cut the threads whilst they are in the milling machine so they are a little small to go through 1/2″ steel. A lot of care and patience is needed here. This means I can only take one or two rotations of cut at a time and then remove the taping tool and blow everything clean, then repeat until I am through.
 
Holtey No 984 q

Now and again I push my luck and this is what happens. This is probably about the worse horror because I have a large piece of the tap seized in the tapping hole with a jagged shard of HSS tap sticking up. If this couldn’t be removed then I would have to spend the best part of a day to grind and drill another holding plate. However, whilst it was in situ I was able to write another programme to mill the broken tap away with a very high quality tungsten carbide end mill. This could have only worked in the CNC as it needed a consistent very slow feed rate. It leaves me on a bit of a high when this works. Not only did I remove the broken tap but the original thread and true axis was maintain. This is extremely important or it would have had to be scrapped.

Sometimes I like to mention this sort of trivia as it is a whole part of the whole process, often unseen. As I have said before, it is not just the tools I make but the tools I make to make them with.

 

Holtey no 984 r
 
This is the end of the building process for the holding tool, showing the jig screws. Also showing the mirrored side on the left. Mirroring or pair handing is necessary where there is chamfering and countersinking involved.

After use this holding tool will go into my cupboard to join all the others, as each tool is dedicated to its type. It is sad that in the case of this one it will not be coming out again. :-(

 

July 17, 2015

Window to my Workshop 93

Filed under: No 984,Window to my workshop — Tags: , — admin @ 5:27 pm

The blades arrived back from heat treatment and after many hours grinding and polishing they are now finished. Just packing them in oiled paper until the planes are ready.

Holtey No 984 n

The hardening is the only thing I outsource. Everything else is made inhouse.

July 13, 2015

Window to my Workshop no 92

Filed under: No 984,Window to my workshop — Tags: , , — admin @ 5:00 pm

One of the boring sides of this detail. It is no simple polishing job as the valleys formed by the mill are very hard to smooth out.

 
It is a case of starting with a coarse abrasive and working down to 1200 grade and then I wrap a piece of denim cloth infused with metal polish for the final polish.
 
Holtey No 984 l
 

 
Holtey No 984 m
 

Holtey No 984 k
 
That is a reflection of my magnetic tool rack which looks like a row of vertical scratches.
 
It seems odd doing polishing at this stage but it is the sequence which I choose to do the work in which gives me the finish. When all the riveting and adjuster recessing are complete I can surface grind the inner parts so everything is sharp and pristine.
 
Somebody on a forum described my work as being clinical and having no soul, maybe he is right and it is dammed hard work to keep it up ;-)

July 7, 2015

Window to my Workshop 91

Filed under: No 984,Window to my workshop — Tags: , — admin @ 5:03 pm

A little bit more of my daily drudge :-( and a little bit more pain.
 
Holtey No 984 h
 

Holtey No 984 i
 
Holtey No 984 j
 
This is not so kind on my mill. I use 4 cutters in the forming of this detail for the front and rear bow. When the milling operation is complete there will be at least two days polishing them. Lots of sore hands and fingers. The last time I did this (on No 983), I had to have my hand stitched up by the local doctor.

July 6, 2015

Window to my Workshop 90

Filed under: No 984 — Tags: , , — admin @ 11:11 am

The surface grinder has been the busiest machine in my workshop for the past few years. All my sections, after size adjustments in the milling machine, are precisely ground all round. The same with all the tooling and work holding I make. This is necessary to get a good reference throughout all my work.

Holtey No 984 c

These are the bottoms being ground on their edges insuring that they are square and parallel. It is not often I use a flash but it is nice how everything has been frozen in time.

Holtey No 984 f

I have also been busy during this time with the blades. The blades are being profiled in ‘Siamese pairs’ for easier work holding. These have already been stamped with the HOLTEY logo in the fly press, I do this first as the edges close to the stamping area can become distorted.

Holtey No 984 g

After the blades are separated they need to have a bevel milled on and the chamfers polished before sending them away for heat treatment. The polishing to the chamfers is important as it would be very hard to do after the blades had been hardened. When the blades come back from the heat treatment I will be surface grinding them all round.

June 23, 2015

Window to my workshop 89

As I have said on my web page the No 984 panel plane is to be my last. This is the beginning of the promised blog. I have been a bit slow starting as I have been busy with stock sales and many enquiries. Thank you very much for all your nice comments – I am not actually retiring as most people I knew retired and died, I will keep up the coffin dodging and I have many other things to do. These No 984 planes will keep me going for about 3 months.

Holtey No 984 a

This is the 420 stainless steel that I am using for the bottoms and sides of the plane. The plan is to start knocking some weight off them. I am trying not to let the weight of the finished plane go over 3 kilos. All surfaces will be milled and ground. The steel that I have here is enough to make a limited batch of 12 planes.

Holtey No 984 b

Here begins the slog, there is a lot of material to come away. This picture shows a bottom starting out 12 mm thick and it will end up just over 10 mm in the finished plane.

March 3, 2015

Window to my workshop 88

Filed under: A28 — Tags: , , , — admin @ 10:33 am

Chariot Plane

I find that I try to avoid using the term A28 because there is a lot more here than on the original A28 plane. These six are the last I will make as the cost of making is too high.

One of the original A28 Norris planes was sold at David Stanley’s auction Sept 2014 for £8,000 (+ commissions). In the light of this my price of £4,800 is very reasonable, especially as my plane is far superior in quality and construction. Who knows what these will be worth when I am gone.

CI3A1076 - Copy

There are some who would think that because this is cut out with a CNC mill there is no work here, to them I say “make one” :-) There was a lot of work to get here and still a long way to go. (all finished now – look out for the next project).

February 21, 2015

Window to my workshop 87

Filed under: A28 — Tags: , — admin @ 11:46 am

It has been a long time but the Chariot Plane is now finished. I have some No 983 planes to complete and then I am moving on to something new.

CI3A1405

CI3A1425

February 18, 2015

Filed under: Window to my workshop — admin @ 2:46 pm

Unfortunately in future I will have to charge my UK customers postage. I have managed to absorb this in the past but cannot any longer, mainly due to insurance cost increases.

Overseas customers will still pay the courier charge at cost.

January 28, 2015

Window to my Workshop 86

Filed under: A28 — Tags: , , — admin @ 3:23 pm

Despite having some part made infills which had been drying for 20 years, I decided that I preferred this piece of rosewood (which has also been in my workshop for a long time, and I have very little left) – Dalbergia Cubiquitzensis – it has more ‘bling’ :-)

I am in the process of making a small batch of these planes, which will include this rosewood, Boxwood and a mystery wood – photos soon.

CI3A1383

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