From the Workshop

February 24, 2019

Workshop Blog no 13 – No 985

It is always a nice sight to see a job finished, a nice picture for the album. Don’t know how the brass got in there. All the stainless is 416, imported at great expenses from USA (new 25% tariff and it was already expensive).

I am making a point of keeping plastic test samples – much cheaper to mess up – and it is nice to have something on record.

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All my tooling is state of the art, not much carbon steel or HSS in my cupboards.

February 23, 2019

Workshop blog 12 – No 985

The last side of the No 985 plane. The fixture screws (custom made of course) are also going to be used in the fabrication of the plane. They will be bedded in a locking compound.

I have flitted backwards and forwards between this system and the in-situ riveting – they both have their plus points. Same quantity of work with either system. But working with this system puts less stress in the construction.

As you can see from these jig screws they have a precision shank for true alignment.

CI3A5171

February 22, 2019

Workshop blog 11 – No 985

Filed under: No 985,Window to my workshop — Tags: , , , — admin @ 2:17 pm

This is the making of the milling fixture to profile the No 985 sides. When I bought this machine the salesman said it had screw cutting but I never ever found it. It is important to do the screw cutting whilst everything is still in the machine; I have to move into each hole co-ordinate and cut the threads by hand.

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10 years later ……

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February 20, 2019

Workshop blog 10 – No 985

Work commences on the stainless sides … you didn’t really think I was going to make it out of green plastic?

Holtey No 985 sides

After a milling operation is finished everything has to be broken down and set up again for the next stage. This usually means making new fixtures and writing another programme. Always a lot of understated work on every new design.

Holtey No 985 mill breakdown

It is always sad breaking down the machine just when everything seems to be working nicely. I have to be extra careful I haven’t missed out a side (done it before!).

One of the things that makes me different is that this is not just a craft job, this work is precision and takes a lot of planning.

I have decided to try and keep everyone informed as to the detailed work that goes into these planes. A well known manufacturer once said that I always manage to keep my work hidden.

February 19, 2019

Workshop blog 9 – No 985

Just starting to drill the No 985 sides and as usual I start off with test samples.

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The fixture holes for the plane sides, looks like an awful lot of holes! All holes are tapered for retention.

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February 13, 2019

Workshop Blog 8 addition

Filed under: Discussion,Window to my workshop — Tags: , , , — admin @ 2:57 pm

I couldn’t find this picture earlier on, but it has now appeared

G_A_adjuster_assembly_v02 patch 3

This is one of the best adjuster I have ever made, and I hope to revisit this but it is only suitable for a bevel down plane

Workshop blog 8 – No 985

Filed under: No 985,Window to my workshop — Tags: , , , — admin @ 10:48 am

I still keep revisiting the drawing board making final adjustments to my new plane the No 985 – seems to go on forever. Whilst I have been doing this I have been making comparisons between non-adjuster planes and adjuster planes and I am working on the basis that having an adjuster does double the price. I will try to explain the difference and why the work compounds.

Since designing my own planes I have moved on a long way from the earlier Norris examples. The Norris planes with their adjusters did tend to be a bit basic, like most planes of this time, almost bordering on primitive. You could literally recess the infill and drop the adjuster straight in, securing with two wood screws.

I will explain with an example of where a lot of the work goes, which doesn’t appear to have much to do with the actual adjuster. My adjuster designs are truly integrated into the plane, I don’t just pop an adjuster in as an extra!

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The photo below shows the swivel which is balled so it matches any irregularities whilst connecting with the blade. This is, like most of my design elements, my own innovation.

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As you can see the lever cap (from my No 984 plane which is blogged here:http://www.holteyplanes.com/blog/category/no-984/, showing the machine working) is stepped/recessed so that it will carry a swivel. This is necessary with adjuster planes as the swivel shoe will bridge the adjuster holes in the blade. From my research it appears that I am probably the first pioneer to drop the chip breaker on bevel down planes. The first plane I made like this was the 11-s (see photo)

11s ebony

As the 11s has no adjuster drillings the lever cap was quite straight forward and less work. When I made the No 982 I was able to avoid the holes in the blade with the lever cap placement but it put some limitations on the design.

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This is an example of the adjuster recessing in the No 983.

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This is the bottom for the No 984 showing the adjuster recess.

In summary: to add an adjuster, both adjuster and plane have to be truly integrated. Of course the adjuster has to be made as well.

February 5, 2019

Workshop blog 7 – No 985

Filed under: No 985,Window to my workshop — Tags: , , , — admin @ 10:44 am

I have spent a long time on my drawing board this year working on a new design – designated No 985 which will be part of my range of non-infill planes, which I very much prefer. This smoother is a non-adjuster type plane which means a reduction in work as the adjuster is a big item – both to make and accommodate, which will show in the price. Some people prefer a non-adjuster plane and I have not made this on a full handled plane before.

This plane is to be made from 416 stainless steel which is expensive and flat sections cannot be sourced in the UK. My experience with this alloy is that it is the best for my purposes. It is also preferred for making rifle barrels. It is very nice for working with and has a lovely texture to it. And I can stick it on a magnetic chuck for surface grinding.

Whilst waiting for the stainless to arrive I have made a start on the handles.

Holtey No 985 smoother plane

This is an area in which feedback would be greatly appreciated. Since I am making a smoothing plane my objective is to keep it as short as possible. A lot of the older planes were 7 1/2″ long which makes sense for finishing purposes. However, these planes were usually handleless, which can be uncomfortable to use. Once you introduce a handle it is going to increase the length. As this is a non-infill plane I will be using a round bun, which also needs a little bit of extra room. I would like to make the handles short for use with three fingers plus the index finger resting on the side of the blade. What I want feedback on is would you prefer a taller handle so you can use four fingers which will make the plane longer, or do you prefer three fingers and a shorter plane?

For those who have experienced my No 98 they will have noticed how comfortable the handle is as it has plenty of room for four fingers
- http://holteyplanes.com/. However, it is better to have the plane shorter if you are going to use it for smoothing/finishing.

If I use the taller handle the plane will be 8 3/4″ long or 8″ with the shorter handle.

A lot of modern smoothing planes seem to be about 9 1/2″ long which is neither a smoother or a panel plane – needs redefining.

Holtey No 985 handle templates

My handles are all hand made and I make several templates to find the one I am happy with.

January 10, 2019

New Workshop 6

Blades for the No 98 hardened, tempered, cryogenically treated and now ground and polished. Pictures of finished planes to follow shortly.

Holtey No 98 blades

December 14, 2018

New Workshop 5

Filed under: No 98 plane,Window to my workshop — Tags: , , , — admin @ 11:27 am

I have decided to put my blade chamfering onto the No 98 blade, it does set off a low angle plane – ergonomic and aesthetically. It is a lot of work, especially finding 30 deg chamfering tools (a 45 deg just doesn’t look right). The polishing is very time consuming. I have to do the polishing before I send them off to heat treatment, then I only need to buff the edges and surface grind when they come back.

No 98 blade chamfer

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