I have been wondering what to with my stock of snake wood, as you can only use it in small pieces. It seemed fitting to use it on these last A31 Thumb planes. This picture shows the nature of the wood after preparation, it will darken down to a nice brown. It has always been a favourite for knife makers and for pistol handle scales.
April 20, 2017
April 13, 2017
It is rare to get the components from both planes together – full size and one third size. The work is still the same. Despite all the years I have been making these planes I forget the amount of work involved.
April 12, 2017
I have had some A31 miniature components stored away for some years, but this did not include the brass sides. With a commitment to build a few full size A31 planes it seemed a good idea at the time, to include these miniatures. If not done now they will never be made. It seems quite remarkable that I have laboured over so many components and acquired so much stock it would be a shame to abandon it. I have nightmares about all those hours never paid for A lot of these components were made before I started blogging. It is a difficult job to convince people that the price does not scale down so I will try and show the story here. More to follow.
April 5, 2017
Edge polishing to the sides is usually done with all the sides in a block to keep all the edges true and square.
All my hand work it has to be as good as the machine work, at the risk of looking clinical with no soul
March 31, 2017
During the course of the completion of these two A31 planes – full size and 1/3rd size – I will be posting up comparison photos over the next two months.
It is always amazing to see how small the 1/3rd size plane is.
June 8, 2016
With all my component parts finished I was just left with some wooden handles which should have been finished off earlier as they need to be oiled and cured.
It seems an opportunity to show that there is a lot of hand work in my planes.
Now there is the fitting, milling, grinding and final tweaking. So Claire had better get those baize bags done.
Thought I would mention that the riffler I am using here is one of Noel Liogier’s. It is probably about the only one I have come across that can handle these exotic hard woods without getting tired. In fact it is so efficient that I am having to learn not to be so heavy handed. I would really recommend these rifflers because I have always had a problem with shaping some of these hard exotic woods. The double ended rifflers were given to me when I was exhibiting in Munich in 1998 by Zoltanne Nagy – they have served me very well but unfortunately I can’t find anymore to replace them. Noel’s are supplied with fitted handles.
June 3, 2016
I had hoped to use the adjuster components from the No 983, as I showed in the last blog. However, I wasn’t quite happy using them in this application. We all know what that means – I started again. This has cost me another two weeks.
I had to make a dedicated holding fixture for both lathe and mill. Part of the work on the spindle is individually paired with it’s traveler part keeping the end play down to less than a thou.
Of course there will be some end play in the threads of the main spindle. I work on every component to keep this end play down to a minimum.
This now concludes all the metal parts. I have wooden totes to finish off, will blog these later. There should be completed planes by the end of next week.
May 10, 2016
It might seem that things have been quiet here but in actual fact it is the opposite. I have been too busy to post and I have had a number of issues, including a small injury, which seem to compound. Old age seems to be catching up on me and I don’t know if I am getting slower or fussier over the work (obviously I favour the latter ).
It had been my intention not to do any more posts until I had a finished plane, but I just wanted to assure you all that I am alive and well. The project is nearing its end.
There used to be a time that I believed simple was easy – wrong. I certainly favour the simple lines. After much deliberation this union between the handle and sole works well. I am not going to show the whole plane until everything is finished.
These parts include handle boss, which has two 8 mm integral rivets which are peined into the sole. The boss body is to be recessed into the handle, drilled and tapped for the handle stem.
This stem is 10 mm in diameter at its base going down to 8 mm separated by the 8 mm hexagon. This is then secured with a wrench so it will always be tight at the base. This stem alone has a lot of rigidity to it which then compounds when compressing the handle.
The handle has a cup for its fixing nut. This fixing nut has a radiused slot milled into it so that it can be driven with a coin. The cup is faceted at the bottom so that it cannot rotate to avoid mismatching contour or come loose from the handle. This gives a very rigid handle which is compounded when the handle is tighten up.
All the components that you can see, including the screw cup, are made from solid stainless steel bar.
The most visual item is the spindle (still attached to its carrier) and like everything, it comes from a solid bar. It takes a lot of planning in the making. I will let the picture tell the story.
At the very last minute, when I am happy with everything else, the spindle can be parted from the carrier.
All the components are a project on their own.
A whole book compressed into a few lines
January 22, 2016
Lever caps assembly now finished
Sorry for the slow progress to those that are waiting, but life is not getting better at the moment. I have my mother’s funeral to go to next week and I also have to make a decision about whether to put down my very poorly dog.