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Shoulder Plane - Well pleased

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Project by USCJeff posted 11-12-2011 02:41 AM 1708 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve had this on my short list for a while now. I like to use hand tools at times, but not so much that it warrants paying a good bit for quality specialized planes. Since it’s so specialized in what it does, I decided to give a wooden plane a chance (although the Veritas and LN look very pretty). I didn’t use a particular plan, but used several similar projects posted here and elsewhere to get the general idea. There are a couple good blogs on LJ’s if anyone is going to try one.

Anyways, this started off as what I was going to use as a prototype before committing my limited higher end species. In the end, the Oak worked and I’m satisfied with this one. The design looks great with dark exotics and brass pins through it (if pretty is your thing).

The body is made much like any wooden plane. I had to glue up to get it to a thickness that allowed all the planing and sanding that has to happen. After drilling the clearance hole and some marking, you cut equal sized sides off the center portion of the plane. The iron determines where your going from there. I made mine from a concave card scraper that I haven’t touched in a year or so. I’ve also used planer knives and block plane blades before and all will work. If you buy the iron, you must built the plane to match it’s size. I liked making the plane and then making the iron to sneak up on the right widths. The iron is nearly the size of the blade ramp. There is a little lateral play. The ramp angle is also a personal choice depending on what you’ll do with it. Mine is in the 50 degree cutting angle ball park. 20 degree low angle versions seem popular as well. The wedge is made from a cut off when cutting the middle parts.

The one aspect that I’m uncertain on is the mouth of the plane. I really didn’t know how much room was needed. I also had to take more of the sole off when squaring everything after a jointing mistake. I think this will work, if not I’ll have to add a new sole to close the gap I left the iron a tiny bit longer just in case of this.

-- Jeff, South Carolina





10 comments so far

View jjw5858's profile

jjw5858

1132 posts in 2063 days


#1 posted 11-12-2011 02:58 AM

Awesome job on this!..Love the pattern and design, thanks for the post!

-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

5257 posts in 3343 days


#2 posted 11-12-2011 02:26 PM

Hey Jeff,
That is nice. And you made your own blade too. Cool.

It is a fun project to work on too. It is just about the right amount of futzing to keep you interested yet not drive you crazy. And you get something for the shop when you are done.

The mouth does look a little open. But proof is in the pudding.

Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

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USCJeff

1062 posts in 3529 days


#3 posted 11-12-2011 04:30 PM

Right on, Steve. I played with it on some scraps last night and it’s a bit too aggressive with the mouth as is. I think I’ll go ahead and glue up a sole on it and file it to match the contour of the clearance hole but much more closed. Easier to open a too tight mouth than close one. Hope I remember that next time. A dark hardwood sole would give it a finer look as well. I’m also planning to turn some cross pins with whatever species I use on the sole. I’m afraid a too hard tap to the wedge could make the glue ups fail. Again, better to overdo it then try to make repairs after the fact.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

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SPalm

5257 posts in 3343 days


#4 posted 11-12-2011 04:45 PM

Have you tried a tap on the front? To set up mine, I place the plane on a flat board, rest the blade all the way down, and press the wedge down. Then pick up the plane and gently tap the very front with a small hammer. The blade will descend a micro-scoach with each tap. A tap on the back will loosen the wedge for storage.

Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View USCJeff's profile

USCJeff

1062 posts in 3529 days


#5 posted 11-12-2011 06:30 PM

I do a similar setup routine. I have MDF on my tablesaw fence and normally setup my planes on it since it’s flat and also in arms reach of where I store them. I might be able to correct it with finesse. I kind of like the look of two toned planes and might be biased to change it anyhow. But really, should looks matter if it gets the job done? I’d like to say I’m not vain. :)

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View mafe's profile

mafe

11137 posts in 2550 days


#6 posted 11-13-2011 09:02 PM

Hi Jeff,
What a nice plane.
You might also find it usefull to make a wedge that comes longer down, in this way you will get more support for the blade and so prevent ‘chatter’.
The size of the mouth don’t need to be a problem.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View USCJeff's profile

USCJeff

1062 posts in 3529 days


#7 posted 11-14-2011 11:04 PM

Thanks all. I did close the mouth with a Mahogany Sole and noticed little difference if any. Mads made the right guess as to the issue that solved it. I noticed that the blade did chatter a little in use which defeats the whole purpose of using the plane. I made a Mahogany wedge this time to compliment the sole and made it longer on both ends. The former wedge left little striking surface when hammered securely. The chatter issue went away and I’m getting the results I was looking for. On a side note, this iron was a card scraper at birth. It’s a little thinner than some other sources. I’d recommend using an old plane iron. It would definitely make chatter less likely as it’s much less flexible.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

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mafe

11137 posts in 2550 days


#8 posted 11-15-2011 12:03 AM

Ahhh, I’m happy Jeff!
I had the same problem when I made my low angle version, it really needed all the support it could get, and then it worked perfect.


A last trick is to ‘hollow’ the wedge a little, just a little – in this way you will make sure there are a optimal pressure on the front of the wedge.
(The picture is for my low angel, blade has bevel up).
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View USCJeff's profile

USCJeff

1062 posts in 3529 days


#9 posted 11-15-2011 06:07 PM

Mafe, Thanks for the diagram. Couple questions though. The hollow is a good idea. I did that with a Krenov style block plane a while back and it didn’t really enter my mind this time to do the same. The extra “spring” from the hollow seemed to have made a difference. I notice the sketch shows the blade ramp doesn’t cover the whole blade bottom. Is that an issue? Since my iron is bevel-down vs. you low-angle bevel up, I aimed to have the tip of the ramp touch the shorter side of the bevel. That was just what I assumed would be best, but this has been a guess and check adventure.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

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mafe

11137 posts in 2550 days


#10 posted 11-15-2011 10:31 PM

The sketch is for a low angle version and that is why the ramp cant go all the way, the wood will be too fragile, but go as long as possible, the more support close to the cut the better.
Smiles,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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