One of the problems of making precision planes is needing your own tool room. This means that on occasions maintenance is necessary.
A simple task like cleaning my coolant tank got so complicated that two weeks went passed before I could get the grinding machine back in service again.
My schedule is now running late and I am looking forward to getting back to working on planes again.
This is one of only six A27 Bullnose planes I made many years ago. This was made by casting as were the original Norris. There were one or two downsides to this method of production so for some time I have been contemplating making a fabricated version using traditional dovetails. Now that time has arrived. It will be a limited edition, and as you will have realised I am moving away from traditional infill planes so unlikely that I will make these again. This is the second plane in the set of three low angle planes I have been making for some of my customers – A27, A28 and A31.
A quick line drawing of the proposed plane. This is being made with naval brass sides (CZ112) and malleable cast iron for the bottoms, fore-end and bridge sections. I will be using a traditional wooden wedge and the adjuster housing is also rosewood. To my knowledge a Bullnose plane has not been made since Norris’s time in the 1920s – when it cost 23/- (shillings). I shall have to charge a little more. I have also moved the goalposts in regards to quality and precision.
The sides being routed on the CNC mill. All the precision work holding tools and jigs I made myself before starting this. Every plane I make has individual jigs and work holding which are surface ground to a high precision. My tool room has been built up over many years and is, I believe, the only one of its kind. You will not find this standard of precision anywhere else.
The riveting holes, include a 60 degree chamfer, which provides the jig fixing and positive location.
The mouth being cut out last as a separate job as it needs an additional clamping to support the front end – which can be seen to the left hand side of the picture.
Here is the finished side except for the dovetailing. It includes its mirror partner completing the pair.
As usual to be continued when I next have an opportunity.
Now I have a finished lever cap and the picture is a reminder that it is cut from a solid stainless steel bar.
The plane is now finished and is due to be on the website by the end of the week.
As this lever cap has taken a very long time to make I thought this picture, of it not even half way completed, tells some of the story. The milling, grinding and polishing has to done in sequence to achieve the finish I require. It will be a complex shape when completed.
After several weeks of design, trial and tribulations, the thumb wheel is finally complete. New designs and ideas are always time consuming.
This picture shows the thumb wheel inverted and assembled with the floating spherical washer (the washer does not appear to be central on the photo as it is floating). This works with the matching spherical depression in the underside of the thumb wheel like a ball and socket; evenly spreading the load over its area, helping to eliminate any lateral movement on the blade as you tighten down on it. It also helps to evenly distribute the pressure throughout the blade bed reducing body distortion.
These are the three components making up the thumb wheel. I have changed the grip arrangement on the thumb wheel and screws. I dislike the fact that a lot of knurls fill up with dirt. Aesthetically I find this method, though labour intensive, is more pleasing and feels comfortable on the thumb/fingers.
I would like to emphasise that, as always, all my components are hand made, in house.
Nice to be back at work after my carpel tunnel operation. Still a bit sore but I can’t stay away!
All that is left now is the lever cap and palm rest. But this is quite a large chunk of work.
More updates on the No 983 plane
Slow progress but I do like to get my bottoms right. All materials are in 303 or 304 stainless steel due to its better corrosion resistance
As you can see the finger rest is press fit.
The heart and sole of this plane