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wooden shoulder plane

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Project by jmp posted 03-27-2011 02:45 PM 4113 views 5 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi, This is my first attempt at a shoulder plane based around the plans in Woodcraft Magazine Aug/Sept 2008. I was greatly helped by Karson’s detailed blog. It is an inch wide fitting around a Stanley 93 plane iron. The main wood is European oak with a sole out of walnut, sycamore sides and a maple wedge. I can’t wait to cut a load of tenons to try it out properly. Intial trials have been promising but I think there may be a problem with the wegde not holding the iron firmly enough and, never having used a wooden handplane before, I am finding adjusting the blade height quite a challenge ( any tips welcomed). I also had some very helpful advice from Philip Edwards , who makes some beautiful planes. I am hoping to have a go at his small shoulder plane also detailed clearly in his blog.

It was relatively straightforward to make and I would encourage others to have a go themselves. I shall certainly be attempting some other hand built tools now.

Cheers
Jonathan





13 comments so far

View woodzy's profile

woodzy

416 posts in 1365 days


#1 posted 03-27-2011 03:05 PM

Nice work. This is a real classy little tool. I’m sure that you get a ton of pleasure using it. I like the look of the contrasting woods. I’ll have to give this project a try. Thanks for sharing.

-- Anthony

View nobuckle's profile

nobuckle

1120 posts in 1447 days


#2 posted 03-27-2011 03:08 PM

Very nice. It’s rewarding when you see the chips that your handmade tools create.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1801 days


#3 posted 03-27-2011 03:31 PM

nothing is like using homemade tools :-)
congrat´s with the build
now to your question and truobles , if your bottom is 200% flat and your iron is
sharpened square you can place the plane on two piece of thin paper placed sisde by side
with a little gab between them so the iron rest on the table and the sole on the papers
then thighten the wedge with your thum

there is other way´s of doing it but then you have to surch for vidio´s here on L J and you-tube

I will surgesst you make your wedge a little shorter than the iron so you can use a little mallet
and a tiny brass hammer if you have to adjust on the fly

good luck with the plane and on the slippery lane of unplugged woodworking

Dennis

View MShort's profile

MShort

1727 posts in 2104 days


#4 posted 03-27-2011 04:24 PM

Well done. The shopmade tools are always and attraction for me on this site. Thanks for posting the details in your description. Looking forward to seeing your smaller shoulder plane.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1340 days


#5 posted 03-27-2011 04:38 PM

Use a very light hammer to adjust the wedge and the blade. 2oz is best. Jewlery supply stores carry them, brass heads are non-damaging to irons and nylon inserts are easy on plane bodies. Use a light touch, tap tap not bang bang. Strike the iron to adjust it down the back of the plane to move it up and the front top of the plane to release the wedge from tension. It takes some fiddling around with at first but you will be surprised how quick you catch on.

http://www.amazon.com/Metalworking-Brass-Hammers-Goldsmith-Tools/dp/B000RAWCJK/ref=sr_1_29?ie=UTF8&qid=1301235957&sr=8-29

Good job.

One bit of constructive criticism though. Walnut is pretty soft for a sole material. On a joinery plane this is not a big deal since you are usually cutting cross grain and the surface finish does not matter. This plane will give you years of great service. However when you get into making bench planes with VERY tight mouth openings, choose a really hard species so you can slow down the wear and keep that throat opening tight for longer. (does not have to be the whole sole or the whole plane you can make an insert of Lignum Vitae that goes into the sole just before the plane iron as this is the area that endures the most wear.

Keep it up and enjoy making lots of shavings.

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

View Ole's profile

Ole

67 posts in 1763 days


#6 posted 03-27-2011 04:46 PM

Jonathan,

your plane looks excellent. What angle did you make the bed? It looks really steep, and with the iron bevel up the cutting angle looks almost vertical. I think you might have real trouble getting the cutting action you’re looking for. If you are indeed wanting to cut the end grain on tenon shoulders this angle would seem far too high.

Again, I’m not trying to put down your building effort, it looks great. I’m just saying it would seem to me like you will have trouble using this plane in the application you chose for it.

Ole

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

15082 posts in 1875 days


#7 posted 03-27-2011 05:57 PM

Well done and congrats!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View jmp's profile

jmp

40 posts in 1378 days


#8 posted 03-29-2011 07:26 PM

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions which i found very helpful. The bed angle is 30 degrees and the blade angle is 35 degrees so overall 65 degree cutting angle. Ole, I just followed the instructions and so am surprised that it might be difficult to cut tenon shoulders. Would i be better to use it bevel down? If I do this though i would have to widen the mouth opening. \would this be advisable?

cheers

jonathan

View Div's profile

Div

1653 posts in 1626 days


#9 posted 03-29-2011 10:37 PM

Plane making is good fun! My 2 cents: 65 degrees is steep and will make the plane very hard to push. A high cutting angle IS good for highly figured woods; it becomes more of a scraping action thus less tear out.
Looking at the photo,(I could be wrong) it seems that the bedding angle is 30 degrees off the VERTICAL, thus 60 degrees off the sole. Bevel up would then give you 90 – 95 degrees!. As a general rule 45 – 47 degrees off the sole(horisontal) is a good for an all purpose plane. Bevel down.

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View Div's profile

Div

1653 posts in 1626 days


#10 posted 03-29-2011 10:47 PM

Some info for you, these angles are all between sole and blade :
45º – Great for planing softwoods and North American hardwoods such as maple and walnut and such. It can handle figured maple well, but will have problems with figured cherry and walnut. This angle is the easiest to push/pull.
47° – A good compromise between good tear-out performance and effortless use.
50º – Great for North American hardwoods with some to lots of figure. It can handle pine, if needed, and can take on straight grained tropicals, too. This plane takes more effort than the 45 but is not hard to pull/push.
55º – For highly-figured American hardwoods and figured tropicals. This plane takes more effort to push/pull than the others, but easily gives good results on figured woods.
60º – For extremely hard-to-work woods and for use as a scraper plane. It takes the most effort to use this plane.

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1340 days


#11 posted 03-30-2011 02:48 AM

I divide into a bit more of a simple system than Div (all his info is good though) 45 is the ultimate compromise between ease of cutting and the results left by the cut. Lower than 45 eases the cut making it advantageous in end grain and cross grain applications. Higher than 45 increases the difficulty of the cut but will produce better results in figured and reversing grain woods.

I personally believe that with a tight throat opening and a sharp blade bedded at 45 degrees you can hand 99% of what you are going to come up against. But that’s another blog post.

For your plane the lower you can get that angle the better (as a joinery tool it will do most of it’s work in either cross or end grain) but don’t take my word for it. put a good edge on the tool and take one or two shaving in the bevel up position and then switch to the bevel down position. Examine the results, think about how hard it was to push, and then draw your own conclusion.

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

View jmp's profile

jmp

40 posts in 1378 days


#12 posted 03-30-2011 05:29 PM

You are absolutely right, i was effectively planing at 90 degrees as a scraper. I have moved to bevel down but this will still leave an angle of 60 degrees which looks like this is how the plane was designed. I am going to have a go at making a 3/4 inch plane next but i will see if i can modify to give a shallower angle
cheers

jonathan

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1801 days


#13 posted 03-30-2011 05:34 PM

Jmp :-)
why don´t you just lieve it as it is
and make a new one with 45 degree or lower so you have two planes your iron can be used in :-)
one day sooner than you might think you will run into some realy gnarly grains
and then you will bee glad you still have this one

Dennis

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