A pair of infill shoulder planes #1: The journey begins

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Blog entry by Ripthorn posted 04-23-2013 02:56 AM 2288 reads 2 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of A pair of infill shoulder planes series Part 2: Update »

If you’ve been following along, you know that the prototype plane is completed, so I’m ready to start another. If you haven’t seen it, the other blog series is here. In that one I go through a lot of tips and things I picked up along the way. In this series, I will also share new things I learn, but I anticipate going at a faster pace, as I have learned a lot of stuff. All the same tools are used here, so I won’t go over them again. This is meant to be a little less of a tutorial.

Now, one thing that I mentioned a lot is using precision ground steel. After shopping around some, I found Enco actually had precision ground steel for a good price and much tighter tolerances than McMaster-Carr and other industrial supply places. For example, the stuff I got has thickness tolerances of +/-.001”, width of .005” and squareness to within .003” per inch thickness. That means that my 3/16” steel for the sides is square to within .00075” (less than a thousandth). My smallest feeler gauge is twice that thickness. I bought a 24” length of 3/16”x2” mild 1018 steel for the sides, an 18” length of 1/4”x5/8” O1 steel for the sole and lever cap (they didn’t have mild steel in 5/8” width), and an 18” length of 1/8”x1” O1 for the blades. Now this stuff is not cheap. Those three pieces cost about $75 after tax and shipping, but totally worth it. Also, it is enough for two planes, so I’ll be doing a pair at the same time.

I got the steel today, and it is glorious. It is flat, square, and awesome. I put the 5/8 against the 3/16 and checked with a square and there is not light through it or anything. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Infill will be indian rosewood from a 2×2x18 turning blank I have. Will try to go with a steel knob. Blade will be home made and home heat treated from the O1.

First thing I did was set up the table saw to that I cut my rosewood to be just slightly thicker than the 5/8 steel. There is probably 1/32 extra material, this was just in case the wood was out of square or some other such thing. You know what they say, you can always take more off, but you can’t put more back on. Here are the materials.

After that, I cut the 40 degree bevel on the rosewood. I used the infill wood to set my combination square protractor. Then I used that to cut the rough angles for the bed pieces. One thing I did differently than the last plane was to cut two separate pieces for the sole. What this does is allow for a tighter mouth. I also rough cut the sides and then drilled holes for the escapement. Here are some pictures of where we stand after tonight’s work:

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

2 comments so far

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2017 days

#1 posted 04-23-2013 03:00 PM

Good start, what are you going to do with the extra plane?

-- Joel

View Ripthorn's profile


1454 posts in 2948 days

#2 posted 04-23-2013 03:19 PM

I will likely sell the extra. I just figured I would take advantage of having enough material for a second. Also, it just seemed like fun to build two at the same time.

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

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