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A Roman Plane - my 21st century re-creation #1: Preparing some steelwork

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Blog entry by YorkshireStewart posted 06-08-2008 12:45 PM 2883 reads 6 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of A Roman Plane - my 21st century re-creation series Part 2: Finishing the plane body »

It must be about four years since I first had a vague idea of reproducing this Roman plane from around the second century AD. The original has an ivory infill body, and is remarkably complete. I gained permission from the curator of the Guildhall Museum in Beverley, East Yorkshire, England, to take some measurements and photographs when the plane was removed from its environmentally controlled cabinet for its periodic inspection.

This blog is where I originally touched on the subject, and here is the finished project.

Roman Plane 1

Roman Plane 2

My method of construction is very very different from the craftsman of 1800 years ago (!) and is perhaps unorthodox, but it suits the materials I had around as well as the limited skills I possess, especially in the metalworking field. Blacksmithing certainly isn’t in my repertoire, so I chose to fabricate the soleplate

Here, I have roughly cut the sheet steel and angle with a cutting disc in the angle grinder.

Roman Plane 3

Roman Plane 4

Beginning to rivet (and epoxy) the main soleplate components using the dome-headed rivets I had to hand. Countersunk ones would have been better.
Roman Plane 5

Ten rivets in place. The sole plate is set against the archaeologist’s drawings of the original plane.

Roman Plane 6

The soleplate marked out ready for cutting the mouth. More handfiling than I have ever done since school has brought the edges to a decent state.

Roman Plane 7

Squaring up the mouth and filing the 65° angle.
Roman Plane 8

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business. http://www.folksy.com/shops/TreeGems



14 comments so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12290 posts in 2762 days


#1 posted 06-08-2008 12:49 PM

Very interesting. I will be watching this one as you make progress.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Grumpy's profile

Grumpy

19472 posts in 2516 days


#2 posted 06-08-2008 12:56 PM

Some amazing history there Stewart. Thanks for sharing. I am amazed it had a metal sole, was it bronze?.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View YorkshireStewart's profile

YorkshireStewart

1112 posts in 2566 days


#3 posted 06-08-2008 01:31 PM

I’ll try to upload some more details today Wayne. It’s actually iron Grumpy. There are several Roman planes in existence with iron soles, but I believe this is the most complete.

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business. http://www.folksy.com/shops/TreeGems

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12290 posts in 2762 days


#4 posted 06-08-2008 01:32 PM

Thanks sir.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Grumpy's profile

Grumpy

19472 posts in 2516 days


#5 posted 06-08-2008 01:41 PM

Of course, makes a lot of sense.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2487 days


#6 posted 06-08-2008 02:07 PM

Thanks for the post, Yorkie. This is going to be a nice reproduction when you are finished with it.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12290 posts in 2762 days


#7 posted 06-08-2008 02:09 PM

Are you going to share it with the musem?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View teenagewoodworker's profile

teenagewoodworker

2727 posts in 2433 days


#8 posted 06-08-2008 03:10 PM

this is very cool! i think that my history teacher would love to see this!

View YorkshireStewart's profile

YorkshireStewart

1112 posts in 2566 days


#9 posted 06-08-2008 03:17 PM

Wayne – The curators are visiting me next week to see the tool in action. They’re really interested & I might end up presenting it to them when I’ve had time to enjoy it.

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business. http://www.folksy.com/shops/TreeGems

View rikkor's profile

rikkor

11295 posts in 2539 days


#10 posted 06-08-2008 05:23 PM

Stewart, you always have the most interesting projects.

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2653 days


#11 posted 06-08-2008 06:32 PM

This should be good!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View SteveKorz's profile

SteveKorz

2131 posts in 2379 days


#12 posted 06-08-2008 10:51 PM

Wow Stewart, this is fantastic…

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Kipster's profile

Kipster

1076 posts in 2418 days


#13 posted 06-30-2008 07:47 PM

This has been the best history lesson I have had the pleasure to read since joining LJ’s

Thanks for the post.

-- Kip Northern Illinois ( If you don't know where your goin any road will take you there) George Harrison

View YorkshireStewart's profile

YorkshireStewart

1112 posts in 2566 days


#14 posted 07-01-2008 01:12 AM

Thanks Kip (and everyone) for your comments.

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business. http://www.folksy.com/shops/TreeGems

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