From the Workshop

May 8, 2019

Workshop blog no 23 – No 985

Looking back on the last posting and it has been a whole month – I have been away for a while and life just seems to get in the way of work sometimes. Was having a look at what retirement could be like, but I can’t afford it!

A quick photo of work on the upper blade bed. The amount of work here was greatly underestimated in my planning. It is always difficult to estimate in the first place and then I keep tweaking and tuning as I go along. Why spoil the ship for a ha’porth of tar. I don’t think I will ever be rich but I can aim to be the best.

I will retain radio silence for a little bit longer until I have something more interesting to show.

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March 8, 2019

Workshop Blog no 15 – No 985

I was hoping to have some more pictures on the No 985 but I had a lot of other work to be done. Here is the same method of fixing on the No 982 plane. Showing the final torque on the screws after applying thread locking compound

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The bolts being trimmed off. This is how I will be doing the No 985 soon!!

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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.

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November 27, 2018

New Workshop blog 2 (post retirement)

Some more components for the No 98 plane. Showing the integral rivets being cut in situ

finishing cut on bun boss

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Finished items are the front and rear handle bosses. All in stainless steel as usual.

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June 28, 2017

Photos of A31 Thumb plane

Filed under: A31 Thumb plane — Tags: , , — admin @ 4:17 pm

The A31 Thumb planes are now finished. The snakewood has come out really well

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August 14, 2015

Window to my Workshop No 96

Filed under: No 984,Window to my workshop — Tags: , , — admin @ 5:08 pm

It is always tempting to rush off to the next stage, like the bottoms. But once the side profiling is complete there are still quite a number of other operations to be completed and these sides just scream to be finished. The polishing of the sides is a major undertaking and it eats up a lot of my time.

Holtey No 984 w

I use four abrading grades and at each stage everything is continually blued which helps me avoid any form corruption.
 
Holtey No 984 x

With a few purpose made spacers I am able to keep the edge polishing true and sharp without any deformation.
 
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It could be embarrassing to mention how much time this operation takes but if perfection is required …..
 
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These sides are now waiting for stamping and another surface grind on the inside faces, for its final texture.
 

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.

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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.
 
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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 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.
 
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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 ;-)

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.

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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).

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