From the Workshop

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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June 9, 2017

Window to my workshop 113

A photo of the infills before they go into their bodies. This Snakewood has had six coats of danish oil. As with previous work using Snakewood it hasn’t cracked whilst building up the danish oil. It does look a bit good.

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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 :-)

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June 8, 2016

Window to my Workshop 105

Filed under: No 984,Window to my workshop — Tags: , — admin @ 10:14 am

With all my component parts finished I was just left with some wooden handles which should have been finished off earlier as they need to be oiled and cured.

It seems an opportunity to show that there is a lot of hand work in my planes.

Now there is the fitting, milling, grinding and final tweaking. So Claire had better get those baize bags done.
 
Holtey No 984 handle a
 
Thought I would mention that the riffler I am using here is one of Noel Liogier’s. It is probably about the only one I have come across that can handle these exotic hard woods without getting tired. In fact it is so efficient that I am having to learn not to be so heavy handed. I would really recommend these rifflers because I have always had a problem with shaping some of these hard exotic woods. The double ended rifflers were given to me when I was exhibiting in Munich in 1998 by Zoltanne Nagy – they have served me very well but unfortunately I can’t find anymore to replace them. Noel’s are supplied with fitted handles.

 
Holtey No 984 handle b
 
Next posting will be of the finished plane.

January 22, 2016

window to my workshop 102

Filed under: No 984,Window to my workshop — Tags: , — admin @ 4:13 pm

Lever caps assembly now finished

 
Sorry for the slow progress to those that are waiting, but life is not getting better at the moment. I have my mother’s funeral to go to next week and I also have to make a decision about whether to put down my very poorly dog.
 

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September 16, 2015

Window to my Workshop 97

Filed under: No 984,Window to my workshop — Tags: , — admin @ 6:38 pm

Sorry for the long gap, and probably a few photo opportunities missed. Now on to the bottoms of the No 984.
 
Holtey No 984 pic 1

 
I had to make many visits to the drawing board to finalise the drilling for the handles, as I felt paranoia was setting in and a lot of double checking and tweaking was needed here. As you can see I have five holes to receive the 5 mm integral rivets for the front bun fixture. It may look a little excessive but I have seen what happens if a plane is dropped and lands on the bun. The original No 98 had three rivets. Four wasn’t right but five just seems to be correct. I always work in odd numbers for some reason. Funnily all office chairs have 5 feet.
 
Holtey No 984 pic 2
 
For the rear tote I shall use 2 x 6 mm rivets, which are integral to its chair. This is one area that I have thought long and hard on, making this fixture as tough as possible. It is very limited by its parameter of being an open handle. This arrangement will be as strong as you will ever need. In the event of any impact the handle will be the first thing to break – so best not drop it – but it is wood after all. The handle can be replaced. With these two holes I am now committed, the rest of the handle will be tweaked a bit before I start.
 
Holtey No 984 pic 3
 
This is my holding arrangement for the integral rivets on the bottom of the plane. This was my second attempt, as I was not confident with the rigidity of the original arrangement. The setting up is where most of the work takes place.
 
Holtey No 984 pic 4
 
With all my milling and drilling I always use the very best tools available. These rivets are cut full depth in one go to get the most use out of the cutter. This first cut is taken with a ripper which will cut the rivets slightly oversize and then follow up with a finishing tool, which will size and texture the rivets. It takes a lot of trial and error to get the optimum spindle speed and feed rate. The best instruments for this are my eyes and ears. It has taken me a long time to perfect this and these are the last planes just when everything is coming together.
 
Holtey No 984 pic 5
 
The last operation with the rivets is applying a very small chamfer which helps to prevent any splits forming whilst peining.
 
Holtey No 984 pic 6
 
The riveting finished.

August 12, 2015

Window to my Workshop 95

Filed under: No 984,Window to my workshop — Tags: , — admin @ 6:03 pm

Since the last posting it has been a bit hectic with family visiting. Also I revisited the drawing board a few times as I wasn’t happy with the side profile. I have re-contoured and re-programmed several times until now I am happy with the profile.

These are a few pictures of the current progress.

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Next is polishing of the edges, which I love soooo much.

July 7, 2015

Window to my Workshop 91

Filed under: No 984,Window to my workshop — Tags: , — admin @ 5:03 pm

A little bit more of my daily drudge :-( and a little bit more pain.
 
Holtey No 984 h
 

Holtey No 984 i
 
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This is not so kind on my mill. I use 4 cutters in the forming of this detail for the front and rear bow. When the milling operation is complete there will be at least two days polishing them. Lots of sore hands and fingers. The last time I did this (on No 983), I had to have my hand stitched up by the local doctor.

June 23, 2015

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As I have said on my web page the No 984 panel plane is to be my last. This is the beginning of the promised blog. I have been a bit slow starting as I have been busy with stock sales and many enquiries. Thank you very much for all your nice comments – I am not actually retiring as most people I knew retired and died, I will keep up the coffin dodging and I have many other things to do. These No 984 planes will keep me going for about 3 months.

Holtey No 984 a

This is the 420 stainless steel that I am using for the bottoms and sides of the plane. The plan is to start knocking some weight off them. I am trying not to let the weight of the finished plane go over 3 kilos. All surfaces will be milled and ground. The steel that I have here is enough to make a limited batch of 12 planes.

Holtey No 984 b

Here begins the slog, there is a lot of material to come away. This picture shows a bottom starting out 12 mm thick and it will end up just over 10 mm in the finished plane.

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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