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.
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.
Next posting will be of the finished plane.
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.
As with many of my components these are fabricated from solid bar. The three pictures shown below are starting from a raw bar, removing the excess and shaping then the finished product.
This has probably been one of the most labour intensive of all the parts. Now that they are done, with the exception of polishing (which is no mean feat), I am very happy to move on to the thumb wheel and pressure pad.
Update: A modification has been made for ergonomic purposes. An additional chamfer has been added in case there is any contact with fingers or knuckles.
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.
Next is polishing of the edges, which I love soooo much.
The blades arrived back from heat treatment and after many hours grinding and polishing they are now finished. Just packing them in oiled paper until the planes are ready.
The hardening is the only thing I outsource. Everything else is made inhouse.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Now I have a finished lever cap and the picture is a reminder that it is cut from a solid stainless steel bar.
The plane is now finished and is due to be on the website by the end of the week.