Let's Build an Infill Shoulder Plane! #4: Final Shaping

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Blog entry by Ripthorn posted 04-16-2013 01:54 AM 4670 reads 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Rough Shaping Part 4 of Let's Build an Infill Shoulder Plane! series Part 5: The End »

Well, the finish line is well in sight now, boys and girls! This is the second-to-last installment of our series, so let’s get going!

Tools used:

Belt sander
dremel with aluminum oxide grinding stones (see tips in last episode)
spindle sander
needle files
triangle file
flat mill bastard file
granite plate
block plane

So first things first, I went to work to use the beefy belt sander again. I used it to shape all the convex curves. This made it much faster. A big strong belt sander sure helps. I bet a handheld belt sander would also work well, as those things have boatloads of torque. My belt sander is just my ridgid combo belt/spindle sander and the belt attachment doesn’t let you really bear down on it. Anyway, after another fire-free episode at work, we have something like so:

With this taken care of, I got the infills down to width. This was a more time consuming process than I had anticipated. I think that this will be another benefit of precision ground stock: you can use the planer to get the stock to just thicker than the width of the sole piece. Then when it comes time to fit, a hand plane can take just a couple shavings to final fit. I ended up trimming on the table saw and using a block plane to final fit. I put them in and used an awl to trace the shape and rough trimmed on the band saw to just over the line. We’ll use a belt sander and spindle sander later to get it all down to where it should be.


I epoxied in the infills. Because the rear infill is going into a confined space, I cut some saw kerfs into the side and trimmed off the very tip of the infill so that any excess epoxy has a place to go.

After it dried, I used the sander to get everything looking nice. While drying, I worked on the lever cap. I just used sandpaper to get sanded up to 400 grit. It looks pretty good if I say so myself:

So here they are together (so happy together…)

So the final touch now is a chamfer along the sides. What I did was use my calipers set to half the width of the side steel pieces and locked the measurement in. I used this as a scribe, since the tips are hardened. You can sort of see it here:

I found that this was a little hard to see in practice, so I used a black sharpie along the lines and re-scribed. Here is a shot of that:

You could just as easily use bluing, but I don’t have any.


Don’t scribe the line too deep, otherwise it will be a bear to get sanded out, especially this late in the game.

So I went to work with primarily the flat file. This was actually surprisingly quick work. The hardest part is inside the curve. If I had a full size half round file, it would be gobs easier. As it was, I used a half round needle file. That made things not so fun. I followed up the file with sandpaper up to 400 grit.

After the chamfer, I just sanded the sides up to 400 grit. I then put it all together just to give it another use. After these shots, I put some Formby’s low gloss tung oil finish on it. The next installment will cover the lever cap screw and some final tuning.

Time Elapsed to this point: ~22 hrs

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

12 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile


6929 posts in 2597 days

#1 posted 04-16-2013 02:04 AM

Wow…really looking good.

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2052 days

#2 posted 04-16-2013 02:22 AM

great work

-- Joel

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 2653 days

#3 posted 04-16-2013 02:29 AM

This is pretty darn impressive.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Mauricio's profile


7144 posts in 3150 days

#4 posted 04-16-2013 03:57 AM

Wow, I love it. At first I wasn’t sure about where you were going with the shape but now I really think it is turning out great! Looks amazing man!

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

View Mosquito's profile


9305 posts in 2290 days

#5 posted 04-16-2013 04:18 AM

Man that looks great. Excellent work.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View Don W's profile

Don W

18715 posts in 2566 days

#6 posted 04-16-2013 11:39 AM

Unless you’ve done this, you don’t realize how much work went into this. Very well done.

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

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2802 days

#7 posted 04-16-2013 11:40 AM

Gr8 build

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Ripthorn's profile


1458 posts in 2983 days

#8 posted 04-16-2013 12:06 PM

Don, you’re not kidding. Though I do figure that if I use better stock, that alone would have saved me 5-7 hours on this build. I have additional process refinements in mind that will hopefully get me to the 15 hour mark or so from start to completion. Of course, that will be a different blog series once this gets all finished up. And let me say that the finish on the walnut makes the contrast really pop! Hopefully the next blog entry will be in 2-3 days when it will be all done. Then I’ll just have to figure out how to adjust the darn thing :)

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

View waho6o9's profile


8190 posts in 2575 days

#9 posted 04-16-2013 01:08 PM

The oval and the curves have an appealing look to the eye.

Me likey the proportions of your fine work.

A suggestion if I may? Infill knob for the top of the screw adjuster?

View Don W's profile

Don W

18715 posts in 2566 days

#10 posted 04-16-2013 01:26 PM

My last build was with precision ground. You are correct, its a much better experience.

I bought way to many of the knobs waho6o9 posted above. If you want one its yours, just PM me your shipping address. (I think they are 1/4×28 threads)

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

View Ripthorn's profile


1458 posts in 2983 days

#11 posted 04-16-2013 01:30 PM

I was thinking of making an infill knob sort of like what wahoo posted, but since you offered, Don, I’m totally PM’ing you, as that will save me a bunch of work!

I am actually looking forward to using precision ground stuff. Should be fun.

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

View waho6o9's profile


8190 posts in 2575 days

#12 posted 04-16-2013 02:06 PM

+1 for DonW

2 cool

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