From the Workshop

April 8, 2019

Workshop blog no 22 – No 985

I wish this stainless stuff would cut as easy as the plastic. The plastic is very useful for setting up.

This is quite a heavy cut for my machine and she it is getting quite old. So it always nice to put these jobs behind me.

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With the recesses now cut I am still not out of the woods as the drilling for the custom made screws makes me worried about tool breakage – set up is critical. The drilling stage is three different tools.

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The tapping is the most dangerous part of this stage and I always take a sigh of relief if I finish without incident. One tap breakage means I am minus a plane – that is a lot of work gone down the toilet! It is not like a production line and every plane is relied on to show a profit.

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Every stage of this work has to be a well planned operation to avoid any casualties.

March 22, 2019

Workshop Blog no 19 – No 985

One of the things about the smoothing plane is that it is for finishing only and this is better achieved by keeping the plane as short as possible. In the past a smoothing plane was a smoothing plane and usually about 7 1/2″ sole length, obviously here we are not trying to straighten or flatten the wood, this means very fine cutting. You have to follow into imperfect surfaces which bigger planes wouldn’t reach.

For this plane the adjuster had to go. I wanted a full rear handle but had to lose some of its height, which is fine as most people are happy with just holding with three fingers leaving the index finger to rest on the side of the blade for orientation and feedback.

I have had to make a compromise on the length of the sole as I could not get down to 7 1/2″ but settled for 7 7/8″. One of the reasons it was hard to keep the length down is that I managed to retain a 50 degree working angle on the rear tote which makes the plane much more comfortable to use. Not to be confused with the blade angle which is 54 deg.

As mentioned previously the plane is in 416 stainless steel and the wood used for the handles is the same as the No 984 – Dalbergia Stevensonii. This wood has a nice texture, hard, dimensionally stable and retains its contrast and colour.

The lever cap and thumb wheel are in a similar design to my No 984 plane also. The handles are extremely rigid and show no sign of their fixtures (another example of hidden work). As my blog progresses you will see more about them.

This is a designed and engineered tool. I feel that I am fulfilling my object of always surpassing the standard which has gone before.

I thought this was a good stage to let people know what this plane looks like. I have added two drawings though I do get paranoid about being copied.

Holtey No 985c

Holtey No 985a

March 12, 2019

Workshop blog no 16 – No 985

Lots of work and very boring but worth showing. Here are the No 985 bottoms after milling from stock, they go on to be precision surface ground on four sides. This is to maintain sectional precision. The rest of the work to follow is on my CNC mill.

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All the parts are clamped together after milling the edges so they can be rotated for the opposite side without any disturbance.

I think I am the only person on record to work to this standard. It might be over the top for some but the achievements speak for themselves.

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Now over to the CNC for the next processes.

March 1, 2019

Workshop blog no 14 – No 985

I was hoping to get a little bit further than this but too many interruptions. I have finally made the decision to cut up my 416 bar for the bottoms – scary, can’t go back now. But I have been procrastinating for long enough. Especially since the bar cost £1100. Like most of my materials it is a rolled bar which needs to be planed just as you would with a piece of wood but harder work in stainless steel.

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This is reducing the bar down to its finished size. I am looking forward to the rest of the work.

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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 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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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 7, 2018

New Workshop 4

Just a few more pictures as I get near to finishing these new No 98 planes

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December 4, 2018

New Workshop Blog 3

No 98 bronze lever caps

lever caps

These are the last lever caps of this type. I also used them on my mitre planes. Gone forever as the foundry closed down and my patterns are lost.

profiling cut on lever cap

After preparation including flattening, squaring etc, the profile is cut out.

No 98 lever cap part machined

The lever caps after profiling also showing centering hole to be bored to make ready for tapping

No 98 lever cap 7a

Tapping after the boring

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The machining for the keep recesses so the lever cap can be released after 2-3 turns on the thumb screw

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Ready for final shaping and polishing

Discussion

Filed under: Discussion,Window to my workshop — Tags: , , , — admin @ 10:14 am

I am hoping to get some feedback here, so please register if you haven’t already and comments will be appreciated.

Snecked Blades

In the course of my research I have found that the only planes that were made with snecked irons were shoulder planes, and the occasional thumb and chariot planes – these were side snecked as in my 11-s smoothing plane here (double sided sneck).

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Mitre planes usually have top snecked irons, as in my No 10 shown here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I can’t understand why smoothers and panel planes etc did not have snecked irons. Of course top snecking would require a longer blade as lever cap or wedge would restrict their use. A side sneck should still work on these planes.

Is it possible that the use of chip breakers had something to do with this?

I am working on a development plane at the moment and planning to make it a non-adjuster plane. I feel that having a snecked iron will make a considerable difference in setting up the blade. I am also wondering if users choose to use a non-adjuster plane because it is better or is it an elitist thing?

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