|Project by JayT||posted 08-02-2015 10:43 PM||6024 views||50 times favorited||39 comments|
When the Plane and Spokeshave Swap was announced, it was an opportunity to attempt a plane build that had been bouncing around my head for a while. I had wanted a shooting plane, so rather than invest in a vintage Stanley or a new Veritas or LN, decided to build my own. The darker colored plane in pic 2 was the prototype for the other one that was sent to terryR as part of the swap. Parts and ideas from so many sources were combined, I have no idea what they should be called.
Starting with a couple of transitional frogs, courtesy of DonW, the rest of the planes were built up from there. It’s taken me a while to warm up to the look of infill planes, but the ones that really speak to me are the overstuffed style, so mimicked a bit of that look in the design. Both the base and side are precision ground O1 steel. 3/8 for the base to add mass (a serious benefit on a shooter) while also moving the center of gravity down to help with stability. The side is 1/8 thick, just enough to resist abrasion and not wear like a wooden side would. The steel was attached to the wood with brass screws and epoxy, while the two steel pieces were joined with brass machine screws. All the screw heads were then ground/sanded flat.
Irons are bedded at 45 degrees, to match up with the transitional frog, while also set at a 20 degree skew to help slice through end grain. The net result is about a 40 degree attack angle. Those angles are very similar to the Stanley and LN #51 shooting planes. The shape of the nose is kind of reminiscent of and heavily influenced by those, as well. Using the transitional frog allows all the controls to be similar to iron planes, but with the thickness of the body, no tote is needed. The body was shaped to allow an easy, natural place for the hand.
The darker prototype is ebonized walnut (done with a vinegar & steel wool solution). The one sent out was made from apitong trailer decking cutoffs. I like finding uses for wood that may otherwise just become trash and the apitong’s weight and density were an asset in this application for adding even more mass. Not sure what the final tally is, but I think Terry’s plane probably tips the scales around 10 pounds, with the prototype being maybe a half pound lighter. A small brass medallion was added to commemorate the 2015 plane swap.
In addition to the shooting planes, I also ginned up a couple complementary shooting boards. Both are Baltic Birch with apitong trim—the darker one got the same steel wool & vinegar solution as the walnut, while the apitong on all of the pieces sent to Terry were finished first with a coat of dark walnut Watco Danish Oil. Both sets then got a couple coats of natural Danish Oil and wax.
Fences on the shooting boards have holes for 90 and 45 degree work, just by removing a couple bolts and flipping the fence around. The holes are slightly oversize to allow for micro adjustment, if needed, and matching allen wrenches were made to keep with the shooting boards. Both shooting boards have cleats on the bottom, as well as drawer liner, so that they can just be plopped on the bench and the user will not have to worry about them moving around.
Terry reports he has been getting a little use out of his.
Finally, since any shooter should be enjoyed with a good cigar, a couple cigar spokeshaves were made from pencil sharpener cutters and wood to match the planes. I had seen this on an Instructable sometime and finally had a chance to try it out. Works pretty well for small, hard to reach areas and tight curves.
All in all, this was a great opportunity to try something new, learn a few skills and end up with a new tool for the shop. I’m still not sure what to call them, though. Transitional Infill Shooting plane, maybe?
Thank you for looking and hope you enjoy.
EDIT: Since this project was posted, I did build another one of these and blogged the whole process so that someone else could follow along and build their own. The eleven part series starts here.
-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson