From the Workshop

July 6, 2017

Window to my Workshop 115

Filed under: Drawings,No 983 block plane — Tags: , , , — admin @ 9:04 am

In conversations over the years I have always been praised for my (primitive) drawings as CAD is the way now. (See the dinsaour card on my Facebook page – thank you David) I have never had to time to learn CAD. The hardest thing was to learn an early Heidenhain control unit for my mill. I am just starting a new batch (yes, I know I am supposed to be retiring :-) ) of these No 983 planes, mainly because I sold the last one which was mine, I am going to use this opportunity to explain some of the workings in more depth. Maybe because I am getting older the work seems to expand but I have never allowed economic restraints to get in the way.

Going back through some of my drawings, which are very untidy, I decided to post some up. Starting with this side layout of the No 983 – warts and all. This is how I work and then I have to convert it into a suitable dialogue for my Heidenhain. Luckily I am the only person who has to understand this.

No 983 outline 1

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.

CI3A3622

July 17, 2015

Window to my Workshop 93

Filed under: No 984,Window to my workshop — Tags: , — admin @ 5:27 pm

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.

Holtey No 984 n

The hardening is the only thing I outsource. Everything else is made inhouse.

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
 
Holtey No 984 j
 
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.

January 23, 2015

Window to my Workshop 85

Filed under: A28 — Tags: , , — admin @ 4:21 pm

I am occasionally asked how to dovetail. It is a bit of a cheeky question and it would take me several months or more full time to teach this properly. Sometimes people seem to forget I am running a business.

I have been making dovetailed planes for over 25 years now and I still keep trying to improve my system. Another plane maker described my dovetails as made on the CNC and are very cold and clinical – is this how one would describe a precision job? Then guilty as charged.

Here are some photos of part of the dovetailing process.
 
Holtey A28 b

Holtey A28 c
 
Sometimes it is frustrating that I have to do this much work before closing a plane up. The pictures above show a Boxwood spacer which supports the sides whilst peining the dovetails. Sometimes I use aluminium for this process but as I am only making 6 planes it doesn’t have to do much work. Also the sides of the plane will not be scratched when removing the spacer. A lot of work for a piece of tooling which will be discarded after six uses.
 
 
Holtey A28 d
 
Showing everything in place ready for clamping in the vice. Note that the clamping plates support the dovetails as well. There is no movement and everything stays true to size.
 
 
Holtey A28 f
 
This is the first stage of peining. You will see that the peining looks quite messy and untidy as I am stuffing the extra brass into the voids.
 
 

Holtey A28 e
 
The last stage of peining the dovetails is the sides. Again the assembly is clamped in a precision vice with a spacer plate between the uneven peining on the underside so true reference is maintained.
 
The use of bimetals will show up any untidiness.
 
Easy isn’t it :-)

June 10, 2014

Window to my Workshop 80

Filed under: A27 Bullnose,Window to my workshop — Tags: , , — admin @ 3:59 pm

The bullnose and shoulder plane blades must be the most work intensive. Once finished I celebrate with a photo!
 

Bullnose blades 2
 
 
Bullnose infills
 
Infill/adjuster housing/plane bed – whatever

Always a good feeling when nearing completion, although there is still a lot of fitting and finishing after they are separated.

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 10, 2014

Window to my Workshop 76

Filed under: A27 Bullnose,Window to my workshop — Tags: , , , — admin @ 12:29 pm

A27 pic1
 
This is one of only six A27 Bullnose planes I made many years ago. This was made by casting as were the original Norris. There were one or two downsides to this method of production so for some time I have been contemplating making a fabricated version using traditional dovetails. Now that time has arrived. It will be a limited edition, and as you will have realised I am moving away from traditional infill planes so unlikely that I will make these again. This is the second plane in the set of three low angle planes I have been making for some of my customers – A27, A28 and A31.
 
 

A27 drawings

 
A quick line drawing of the proposed plane. This is being made with naval brass sides (CZ112) and malleable cast iron for the bottoms, fore-end and bridge sections. I will be using a traditional wooden wedge and the adjuster housing is also rosewood. To my knowledge a Bullnose plane has not been made since Norris’s time in the 1920s – when it cost 23/- (shillings). I shall have to charge a little more. I have also moved the goalposts in regards to quality and precision.
 
 
O
 
The sides being routed on the CNC mill. All the precision work holding tools and jigs I made myself before starting this. Every plane I make has individual jigs and work holding which are surface ground to a high precision. My tool room has been built up over many years and is, I believe, the only one of its kind. You will not find this standard of precision anywhere else.
 
 
O

 
The riveting holes, include a 60 degree chamfer, which provides the jig fixing and positive location.
 
 
O
 
The mouth being cut out last as a separate job as it needs an additional clamping to support the front end – which can be seen to the left hand side of the picture.
 
 
O
 
Here is the finished side except for the dovetailing. It includes its mirror partner completing the pair.
 
 
As usual to be continued when I next have an opportunity.

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).

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