Let's Build an Infill Shoulder Plane! #3: Rough Shaping

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Blog entry by Ripthorn posted 04-12-2013 02:14 AM 4604 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Peining Time Part 3 of Let's Build an Infill Shoulder Plane! series Part 4: Final Shaping »

Alright, I took a little time off from the infill to do some stuff around the house and such, but here we are with another brief installment.

Tools Used:

Belt Sander
Hack Saw
Drill press and bits
Round File
Flat Bastard File
Needle Files
Dremel with cutoff discs and aluminum oxide grinding stones (not the nasty grey ones)
Scratch Awl
Nail Set

So you remember the nasty hunk of metal that we had after all the peining. Now it is time to start making it look nice. The first order of business was to sand down the rivets. I took this to work and sanded it on the big honkin’ Wilton. Funny side story: whoever last used the sander (in the sheet metal shop, mind you) sanded wood with it. Therefore, there was sawdust in the chute. Well, one time I pressed fairly hard, got a couple of sparks, and set the dust smoldering. I used a scrap of aluminum to get the dust out the chute, stomped it out, and all was safe, but I was really curious as to why the machine was smoking for a couple of seconds. But nothing happened, the old Eagle scout training took care of it. Anyway, so here is what it looks like:

Now, I don’t have pictures for the next part, but I drew out what I wanted it to look like and marked the side with a protractor and scratch awl. Then, I marked out the escapement (AKA the most annoying part of the whole project thus far). I chain drilled around the perimeter, then used the dremel with the non-reinforced wheels to cut between the holes. Then I used a hammer and nail set to knock out the piece of metal.

Now that it is roughed out, one of the suckiest things came about: having to get the sides to meed up with the metal ramp. I used the hack saw to cut the slant in the sole to roughly match the blade bed then used a triangle file, round file, and needle files to get it all flushed up.


Next time I do one (which should be just after I’m done with this one) I am going to avoid the metal blade bed and I will also cut the escapement before peining. Additionally, I will cut the sole to the right angle before peining. This will make like much easier (I think).

It’s not 100% perfect, but it’s pretty darned good. We ended that evening with this:

I then used the hack saw to cut the initial mouth opening. So we then have

Next step is to open up the mouth, but in order to do this, we need the blade. Problem is, the head on the blade I bought from Lee Valley is too long. Using a reinforced abrasive wheel in the dremel, I cut it down to size to fit, like so:

Then I drilled and tapped for a 1/4×20 screw in the lever cap and filed a little round area where the pivot piece contacts it. I determined this by putting the blade in and sliding the lever cap in until it ended where I wanted it to (about 1/8” from the end of the blade). I then used the scratch awl to mark the two sides of the pivot piece and used a round file. I had a short hex bolt on hand that I used for testing, and this is what we have so far (there is a lot of shaping left for this guy):

Here is a close up of the escapement before cutting the relief at the front edge:

I then filed the mouth opening until the blade just slipped in and laid flat on the bed ramp. Here is a look at the mouth at that point:

Then I used a hack saw to cut an angled relief at the front of the escapement. A little more work with the dremel and grinding stone.


Use the tan aluminum oxide grinding stones for the dremel and not the grey ones. The grey ones wear too fast and don’t work very well. After a while the aluminum oxide stones will get clogged with the mild steel and not be as effective. I used a star wheel dresser from my bench grinder to true them and refresh the surface. I went through 2 entire stones just to get the escapement the way I wanted

Alright, got the escapement shaped. That allowed me to then open up the mouth so that there is just a small slit of light between the blade and the front of the escapement when the blade is at cutting depth. I didn’t measure it, but it is likely just a couple thousandths opening. Take it slow when filing this and make sure it is straight and square. With the mouth opened a little, it was time for a test drive, baby!

I then used the hack saw some more just to get rid of the sharp corners. A drill bit helped with the inside curve near the lever cap screw, and here is the very definition of rough shaping (and where we end tonight’s installment):

EDIT: I forgot,

Time Elapsed to this point: ~17.5 hrs

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

4 comments so far

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2079 days

#1 posted 04-12-2013 12:16 PM

nice work

-- Joel

View Don W's profile

Don W

18754 posts in 2593 days

#2 posted 04-12-2013 01:08 PM

thanks for the tips. I’m not sure why I never thought of dressing the dremel stones. Duh!!!

what are you are using for a lever cap screw?

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Ripthorn's profile


1458 posts in 3010 days

#3 posted 04-12-2013 01:20 PM

Don, that up there is just a spare bolt I had laying around. I have not decided for sure what I want to do. I have a brass 1/4×20 bolt that I am thinking of making a thumb screw with, but I think I would rather stick with all steel. I’m going to poke around and see what is available. If necessary I will make something myself (which is likely how it will go down). I figure I will cross that bridge after the final shaping of the body and lever cap.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View Mauricio's profile


7144 posts in 3177 days

#4 posted 04-12-2013 06:14 PM

Great tips, its going to look amazing man.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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