From the Workshop

November 5, 2014

Window to my workshop 82

Filed under: A28,Chariot Plane,Window to my workshop — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 11:33 am

During the working of this A28 plane I have been neglecting this blog but now I am ready to update which I will do over the next few weeks.
 
 
Holtey A28 f
 
All the sections I use are cut out of stock material and brought down to size, by sawing and milling.
 
 
Holtey A28 g
 
As most of my working and setting out depends on a high degree of precision (which has never existed before) surface grinding in the early stages allows me to achieve my goals.
 
 
Holtey A28 h
 
This picture shows the edges being ground. This is also important to have a true pinch dimension. I need this for the dovetailing.
 
 
Holtey A28 b
 
Jigs and work holding fixtures are also all made to precision. After much preparation work to the brass, similar to the steel work as described. Then rivet positions are drilled and I am able to screw these sides with purpose made bolts to the fixture for profiling and chamfering.
 
 

Holtey A28 c
 
After routing out the profile then the chamfering is completed whilst the sides are still jigged.
 
 
Holtey A28 d
 
Just overall set up pictures.
 
 
Holtey A28 e
 
 

Holtey A28 a
 
Here are the some sides already milled and some pre-prepared waiting for profiling.
 

September 1, 2014

Window to my Workshop 81

Filed under: A28,Chariot Plane,Window to my workshop — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 2:52 pm

This Chariot is the last item in the series of low angle planes I have been making recently. I have only made a few of these planes and that was a long time ago in my early days of plane making. Then my side profiles were cut by hand and I made up a template which I would scribe round. Now that I CNC these the machine can’t see my template so I have had to re-draw it showing co-ordinates to write a programme from.

This line drawing by today’s standards might look a bit primitive but I have never had the leisure to learn to use a CAD. With a drawing showing contours I can write this in to my control unit. Drawing contours is more instinct than anything and I just know when it is right however long it takes (I would be ashamed to tell you how long these ones took).

Holtey Chariot Plane - Copy

April 30, 2014

window to my workshop 77

Filed under: A27 Bullnose,Window to my workshop — Tags: , , , — admin @ 10:53 am

Back working on the Bullnose after so much downtime with the grinding machine maintenance:

 

A27 Bullnose Holtey 1
 
 
A27 Bullnose Holtey 2
 
 
Pictures 1 – 4
This is the cast iron infill for the Bullnose. As you can see this is a complex shape so I will let the pictures speak for themselves. As with most things I design and make I go places that have never been visited, making these planes very unique.
 
 
A27 Bullnose Holtey 3
 
 
A27 Bullnose Holtey 4

 
 

A27 Bullnose Holtey 6
 

This shows the pin side of the dovetails being milled.
 

A27 Bullnose Holtey 5

 

Rebating the tops of the dovetail area, which provides a light stop and gives the dovetails a better form. Again this system is unique to my planes.

February 6, 2013

Window to my Workshop 66

I thought it about time I wrote some more in my blog. Looking back on my past entries I notice that there are some gaps which I intend filling here.
 
 


 
 

At the beginning of any project the metal is a good place to start (after design and drawings are done of course). In all my classic designs I use mild steel – I have tried it in several different forms; hot rolled (which is very good and has little stress in but comes with a lot of scale to deal with), BMS (which is nice and clean but has a lot of stress in it), sheet metal (which still has a difficult scale to deal with and some stress). Stainless steel would be my favourite choice, but not on the classic type of planes. I therefore choose mild steel as this is a nice ductile material once the stress problems have been dealt with. To relief the stress I have to cut it to manageable sizes and send it off for heat treatment. This picture shows the material in two stages – after heat treatment and some after surface grinding.
 
 


 
 

As you can see from the picture my grinding machine is a Jones and Shipman 1430. It was made in the ‘60s and it has been reconditioned by Andmar who are more ‘Jones and Shipman’ than the company themselves. It has been the main stay of my workshop since I purchased it 10 years ago as all my work including tool making passes through here. That is every jig and every piece of work holding (as well as plane components). It sets the standard for all my work.
 
 


 
 

This surface grinder uses a 24” x 12” Eclipse magnetic chuck which needs re-surfacing every 12 months. This can take up the best part of a day. The nice true surface is so good I just had to photograph it (sad isn’t it!).
 
 


 
 

My current project is A1 14 ½” Panel planes. I have documented this before (use this link http://www.toolworkshop.co.uk/blogarchive/) so I am just putting a few pictures to look at.
 
 

 
 


 
 

November 8, 2012

Window to my workshop 65

Filed under: A31 Thumb plane,Window to my workshop — Tags: , , , — admin @ 2:03 pm

These Thumb planes are now finished but I didn’t have time to blog it. However the techniques are the same as on all my other planes.

They are available in Cocobolo, African Black Wood and Boxwood at £3,750 (+ vat if applicable).

March 6, 2012

Window to my Workshop 60

Was it really Christmas Eve since I last blogged!!!!!!

The first batch of planes are now finished, they were not easy but it hasn’t taken me 10 solid weeks to get this far.
 

 
I seem to have landed here without any pictures of separating the bottoms into front and rear. This picture now shows the beds being milled. There is a surprising amount of material to move and has cost me a considerable amount in tooling. Stainless steel does have its disadvantages.
 
 

 
The front end of the bottom. There are two operations here. The first one is to machine the angle for the front end of the mouth then a small rebate is machined to catch the sides of the mouth from the rear section. This will lend a desirable amount of support, especially when it comes to peining the dovetails otherwise this part of the dovetail will cave into the mouth. It also provides additional rigidity to the plane body because any stresses could force the two halves of the plane to jiggle. It doesn’t sound very technical but it is descriptive. It could show a step where the front and the rear of the bottom join. Of course we are only talking very small amounts here (+/- 2 thou).

Something that always amuses me on the traditional mitres is the tongue and groove joint. This does absolutely nothing.
 
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December 24, 2011

Window to my workshop 59

Mistakes – what is a mistake?
There are those that will always deny making mistakes and there are those that can keep smiling when they have made one as they have thought of someone to blame it on. So many projects can go off course along their journey, or find that the goalposts have been moved. Those with the creative thinking processes, for good or bad, can always find a solution; then only count its merits.
In the case of the No 10 plane, and its simplicity, there seemed nowhere to go wrong, but to be 100% sound in my mind I need to alter some of its dimensions. Having slept on it I have decided it is folly to rescue anything I am not completely happy with. This doesn’t sound much – just need to remake the sides and procure some new infill material. I have come too far now to take any risks. Reputations can’t be compromised. Luckily I haven’t had to use the reject bin too much over the years – it is due to put on weight.
Apologies to those waiting for their planes but as you can see from the blog below there is still steady progress.
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In the making of my planes I rely quite a lot on a manual mill. So far throughout the making of these planes the machine has been in constant use.
 

 
There is a lot to be said for a good quality manual mill with a DRO. The skill is in setting up and operating these machines and along with essential hand working I am able to achieve standards that are impossible to achieve with hand work alone. In my cabinet making and joinery days there was always a division between machinists and hand workers. Why? I have always wanted to be involved in every aspect of the project from initial thought to the finished item. This is why I never outsource any of my work.
 
 

 
For some reason I have never looked forward to doing this stage of the work in stainless steel in spite of all the experience I gained with the No 98. With a good plan of attack stainless steel will lend itself to quite a lot of cutting and manipulation. There are some that shake at the knees at the mention of stainless steel. This picture shows the first stage of roughing out for the dovetails and in the following picture it shows the milling in the final stage with a forming tool. Note that the bottoms having the compound dovetail so they are made in mirrored pairs to simplify things.
 
 

 

 
Dovetails finished with all the mess cleaned away.
 
 
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November 1, 2011

Window to my workshop 58

Filed under: No 10 smoother/mitre,Window to my workshop — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 12:27 pm

The work has started on the stainless steel bottoms of these No 10 smoother/mitres. This will probably be the only batch of infill planes I will make using stainless steel. This particular batch is 304 which was cropped from a sheet. The problem with this is the bruised edges have work hardened to the point that nothing will break through the hard skin which has been generated from the use of a break press. Never the less I am committed to progress now.

I do plan to use stainless steel on my non-infill planes in future for the obvious advantages. However with infill planes some of the metal has to be worked dry after the infill is fitted as I cannot use coolant. I am not happy working stainless without the use of coolant. Stainless steel is a complex alloy, any cutting needs to be done with the correct surface speed and it also benefits from some cooling and lubrication.

A little anecdote:

Many years ago I spent a short amount of time gliding. The club that I was flying with were using some fairly old gliders that had a wooden skid which was more suitable for landing on grass. Most of the landings at this airfield were done on concrete. This meant that they were fixing steel strips to the undersides of the skids to take up some of the wear. Unfortunately these didn’t wear too well and it was constant work fitting new strips. Upon my suggestion we replaced these strips with a stainless steel plate, preformed to the curvature of the skid, expecting to achieve a longer life. This was certainly fulfilled.

Unfortunately there was a slight side effect. Because of the problems from abrasions on landing and a high surface speed it created a considerable amount of hardening. Causing the stainless  to repel anything when there is a high surface speed.

 Those who have ever flown this type of glider knows that it was useful to press down on the front of the gilder using the skid as a brake, as the brakes never worked well  but to use the skid as a brake is bad form and bad for the skid. With the stainless steel on the skid the  effect was like landing on ice!  The club’s no 1 instructor, who was forever moaning about using the skids as brakes, overshot on his first landing with the new skids and got into an argument with some barb wire and a hedge. The club rapidly decided to do something about their poor brakes.

 
 

Face milling the bottom blank.
 

 

Showing the extremely rigid clamping fixture to ensure repeatability and regular thickness of this plane bottom.  This is a lot more complicated than surface grinding.
 
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October 24, 2011

Window to my workshop 57

Showing the continuing work to this non-adjuster blade. 
 

Work on the blades recommences now that they are back from hardening. 

This picture shows one of the many grinding operations.
 

Even the snecks have to be ground on one surface before they are assembled.
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October 17, 2011

Window to my workshop 55

No 10 smoother/mitre

A very patient customer asked me to make a small mitre plane. He wanted a 11/4” wide blade to be bedded at 25 deg and bevel up with a short body. No adjuster was required.

I would classify this plane as a smoother/mitre. The small mitre plane has always seemed to be surprisingly scarce for its usefulness. Having got my simple sketch approved the first batch is now well on the way (the sketch can be seen on the website here http://www.holteyplanes.com/).

It is a combined stainless steel bottom with naval brass dovetailed sides and brass lever cap and thumb screw. The blade is in my A2 original specification and has a top sneck. The length of the plane is 43/4“.

Despite its apparent austerity there will be no lacking in specification and quality. The designation will be No.10. Delivery will be end of November 2011.

What better place to start than the blades.  Here are the A2 blanks being drilled and shaped.  These are now away being heat treated (the only work to be done out of house).
 


 

Brass sides have been cut from sheet and trued up into rectangular blanks. 
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