At the end of the last blog, #3 in the series, we had finished gluing up the body and cheeks of the round bottom wooden hand plane we are making. This plane will be used to make the barrel stave’s concave to match the radius of the inside bottom. Here once again is a picture of the ancient bucket (photo 1) we will be crafting with the tools were are making (see photo 2 below).Today’s blog concerns a little throat surgery on the sole of the plane and the glue-up.
THE PLANE SOLE
Step 1. I had a nice piece of white oak laying around that I took a slice off with my band saw. One side is nicely planed and the other side still has the BS blade marks. I plan to use the smooth side of the sole as my glue joint. I have already jointed the bottom of the plane body.
Step 2. In the photo below, I have placed the plane body on the sole. Please note that I have cut the sole a little wider than the plane body with a little under 1/16” proud of both sides.
Step 3 Here I have used some carpet tape to temporarily fix the sole to the plane body for the purpose of marking the throat opening (photo 1). The 2nd photo shows me marking it. In photo 3 you see the results.
Step 4. Now the tricky part. Using the the line traced across the sole (back of throat opening) we will extend that line to the edge of the sole and then mark a 45 degree line on the sole edge starting from the extended line and downwards towards the front of the sole as shown. This line represents an extension of the ramp that the plane iron will rest on all the way through the sole. See photo 1
Don’t be fooled by the vertical line forward of the bottom end of the ramp line shown in the next photo, it will be used as a layout line for an opening to be cut just ahead of the ramp. This opening will be cut at 90 degrees and the resulting hole will make it possible to chisel the 45 degree ramp through to the bottom of the sole.
Step 5 the next two photos show where I have marked a line across the top of the sole which is even with the bottom mark for the ramp, then I’ve drawn another line ahead of that which is a little less than 1/8” wide. The part marked ‘X’ will be cut out. I used my scroll saw for this. If you don’t have a scroll saw, you can cut it out with a jeweler’s saw or a coping saw. But it needs to be accurate, so take your time with it.
Step 6. Cutting the hole out ahead of the ramp. You will of course have to drill a 90 degree starting hole for you saw.
Step 7 Now its time chisel the ramp on through. Here I’ve used the original wedge cut out from the plane body. (next photo). The wedge is carpet taped so that the leading edge of the 45 degree angle is right on the remaining layout line. This wedge is used as a support for your chisel to insure an accurate result.
Step 8. Photo 1 shows the chiseling set-up. Please note that I have a flat piece of wood underneath the sole to prevent breakout. Photo 2 shows the finished ramp after about 40 seconds.
Step 9. Photo 1 shows the sole bottom and photo 2 shows a test fit with the plane iron. Too tight. Back to the scroll saw (photo 3) after carefully marking up a new line in front of the bottom of the ramp to give a little more clearance for the blade. I took this in small increments to sneak up on the right fit which I think is a clearance of a little under 1/16”. And finally (in photo 3) the fit I am looking for.* And photo 4 shows the opening from the top of the sole. If you have a better way to do this do it!
Step 10. Now it’s time to prepare for gluing up the sole to the plane body. As you will see in the series of photos below, I will first carpet tape the sole onto the plane body carefully lining up the ramp in the body with the ramp in the sole. Next I will drill a dowel hole at the very front of the sole and one at the back. these dowels will insure that the sole doesn’t ship during glue-up, a very critical procedure which can save you a lot of grief. After gluing the sole onto the body and banging in the dowels it is again ready for clamps and a natural place to end this blog.
Next time we will discuss 3 subjects: the horn, the back pusher block and the wedge pin. The horn and pusher are optional and can take whatever form you see fit. the plane can be used without them, but not by me! I will also try to show you how to round your plane iron on the grinder, but this may have to be covered in the last blog on building the plane.
There is another way to do the pin and it is shown in Blake’s wooden plane blog http://lumberjocks.com/jocks/Blake/blog/7822 . With his method you have to insert the pin before you glue the cheeks onto the body. Too late? Do it my way then.
Thank you following along. I’ve found that doing the blog is a lot harder than making the plane, but I am enjoying it and I hope you will too.
-- Mike, American in Norway