From the Workshop

May 19, 2017

Window to my workshop 112

Filed under: A31 Thumb plane,Window to my workshop — Tags: , — admin @ 12:22 pm

I have seen my work described in forums as analytical and lacking the warmth of a more rustic finish. However, my personal taste is perfection.

To achieve this perfection on the adjusters for my planes, work is intensive and the inletting for them is also time consuming. The system I use is on the CNC milling machine as the quality of work is essential. It is important to have an uninterrupted feed rate using state of the art tungsten carbide tools. This I think is more desirable than a hole that looks like it has been gnawed by a rodent :-)

CI3A3599

CI3A3590

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 ;-)

October 25, 2013

Window to my workshop 73

Filed under: No 983 block plane,Window to my workshop — Tags: , , — admin @ 3:02 pm

No 983 holtey m
 
 
After several weeks of design, trial and tribulations, the thumb wheel in stainless steel 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.

 
 

No 983 holtey n
 
 
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.

September 5, 2012

New Project – A31 Thumb plane

Filed under: New Projects,Window to my workshop — Tags: , , , — admin @ 4:01 pm


 
 

Selected wood for my next project – A31 thumb plane (probably the last batch)
 
 

Best part of the metal work well on the way

May 11, 2012

Window to my Workshop 64

Filed under: No 982 Smoothing plane,Window to my workshop — Tags: , , — admin @ 5:44 pm

Continuation of the last batch of No 982 planes
 
 


 

There are two reasons that I use the surface grinder a lot; the main one is for the precision and also for the nice textured finish. This usually means that I visit the surface grinder several times during the working of the plane as no matter how careful I handle the work pieces they seem to break out in a ‘workshop’ rash very quickly.

This picture here is the sides being ground true after the drilling and tapping. This also leaves the bottoms a true uniformed width and square.
 
 


 
Of course the time comes when the toe of the plane needs to be separated from the rear end. I can lose a lot of sleep here as mistakes are so easy. Any mistakes here will cost me dearly.
 
 


 
With the front and back ends of the bottom now separated each part is then milled to size and angle.
 
 


 

 
All my marks are stamped with my fly press which I couldn’t exist without. The No 982 plane is stamped with an edition and its number, the plane type is stamped on the front end of the bottom (just behind the bun). The HOLTEY logo is stamped on the inside of the right hand side of the plane.
 
 


 
The 55 deg milled bed is surface ground maintaining the angle to precision. This picture may be a little blurred but I wanted to catch the sparks.
 
 


 
Now the front end. I use two angles here. The one being ground here is the critical one because this is going to be the mouth of the plane. This is in a similar tradition to some of the wooden planes and is much easier to regulate a small aperture as desired by some.
 
 


 
This angle here helps to provide a better means of escape for the shavings and access for cleaning. The grinding here is mainly cosmetic.

April 26, 2012

Window to my Workshop 63

Filed under: No 982 Smoothing plane,Window to my workshop — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 12:16 pm


 
These are the front bun chairs and once the blanks have been cut and trimmed up true to uniformed size the central fixing hole is drilled whilst still in the lathe. They are then tapped with an 8 x 1.25mm thread; this is for the bun screw.

The 3 x 6mm fixings are drilled on a manual milling machine using an indexing head as shown.
 
 


 
With the three index holes now drilled I only need a tool change to tap these three holes whilst still in the chuck.
 
 


 
Now that all my fixing holes are complete it is back to the lathe to form a small spigot where the bun in engaged.
 


 
The last job on the chairs now is to finish the bottoms to the 15 deg offset to the front buns. A small fixture has been made for this purpose. The chairs are mounted with the three bolts.
 
 

 
The chair is held in its fixture and secured on the saw for cutting
 
 


 
Whilst the chair is still attached to the fixture it is clamped onto the tilting milling vice for surfacing to the desired dimension.
 
 

 

September 7, 2011

Window to my workshop 54

The final part of the A6 construction.
 

Drilling and countersinking frogs for the rivets.
 

The bottom has been slotted out for mouth and drilling for the corresponding  frog rivets.
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August 9, 2011

Window to my workshop 53

Adjuster components for A6
 

This item is most commonly known as the banjo and it is the most work intensive component in the whole plane.  This picture shows that it comes out of a round bar.
 


 


 

 There is a lot of preparation but this is not a step by step instruction manual, it is just a few snapshots.  In these pictures, after lots of preparation I start to ball generate the round part of this component. 
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August 2, 2011

Window to my workshop 52

A6 Part 2

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All of the woodworking has its edges squared up on the milling machine as I have a bit more confidence in this machine than I do a planer.

 

A pair of infill sides being drilled for riveting spacers. At this stage all edges are trued up

 

This is the infill side with the spacers pressed through the handle testing for fit. The two sides have yet to be separated.

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July 31, 2011

Window to my workshop 51

The last batch of A6 planes part 1

After receiving a commission for an A6 smoother I decided to make a batch of six. The A6 is probably the most time consuming of the infill planes (well perhaps the A7 is worse!). When using the designation A6 one should realise that my A6 is not to be compared with the Norris or any other plane of this type – it is made to a higher precision and has some innovations not seen in the original. This standard is beyond the scope of those without a tool room; I am not aware of any comparison. I work from a reasonably equipped tool room; not a production line. All work is done in house with the exception of heat treatment for the blades.

Although this model has been blogged before I am running it through again as this A6 is just that little bit more special. I always try to make the current plane better than the preceding one. Also these will be the very last Holtey A6 planes. For all my innovations and upgrades my work is veiled by the Norris history and I feel it is time to move on.

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The first part of starting the plane is to get the timber chosen and prepared so giving the wood some time to settle whilst making a start on the metal work.
 

Here is a stunning piece of Cocobolo (Dalbergia Retusa) which was cut from a very nice log that I acquired from Timber Line a couple of years ago – thanks to a friend who spotted it on a visit there. This is the basic roughing out for the infill components.
 


 

With the wood put aside to rest, a good starting point is the blades as they need to be sent away for the heat treatment. This shows the milling of the faceted end and slot.
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