Last repurposed hand plane (for now)

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Forum topic by luthierwnc posted 06-05-2016 01:59 PM 424 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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113 posts in 1197 days

06-05-2016 01:59 PM

Hi All,

Over the last six months I’ve been adding to my plane till with a few bought and a few redone. I just finished all but the bright-work on the last of four I reconstructed for specific uses. This one was highly-pitched for work on figured woods.

The plane started life as a Stanley No. 4 Type 6. The plan was to reinforce the bed at 25 degrees and use a bevel-up iron ground at 30 degrees—so 55 degrees altogether. The two wooden pieces are laminated 5/4 scraps of cocobolo.

To get the bed right I made a test bed piece of maple (not shown) that would keep the angle even all the way to the mouth. That took some subtracting and adding of shims until it bedded accurately. Then I glued a piece of scrap to extend the bed all the way to the mouth. After Dremeling the paint near the mouth I blobbed some PC7 glue into the gap between the frog bed and the mouth and clamped the test bed tight until the glue squeezed out the sides. A little filing and it supported the full length of the blade. In the close-up you can see a dull dark gray surface from the mouth back.

Even with the test bed, I had to do more adding and subtracting to get the permanent cocobolo piece to lay flat. The original bolt holes in the body were chased to 1/4-20. The front bolt is bent to the matching angle. The back one is straight. Two door-hinge screws hold it in place up front. I plan to leave the wood rough. Smooth is prettier but I like the extra grip in my hands.

The blade is some 3/16” X 2” O1 steel from McMaster Carr. I heated it orange-red with a couple torches and quenched it in 5-30 motor oil. Then I baked in the oven at 375 for half an hour and let it cool slowly for temper. If I do this again, I’ll make a little forge out of kiln bricks so I can treat further back on the blade than 1/2” or so.

The iron cap is some scrap 1/4” brass with 1/8” brass soldered where it contacts the blade and near the bolt to give me some extra threads. I routed a slight groove with a 1/4” veining bit to match the stainless cross-bar. If you are wondering about the holes in the end of that, the rod didn’t fit as tight as I had hoped so I drilled the ends with a center finder and punched them on the anvil to splay out in the hole.

In the close-up you can see a couple set-screws at the bottom. Those are to hold the blade in place. That really wasn’t necessary since the bolt crushes the blade down but they are also a de facto lateral adjustment for those really fine shavings. The bolt is just a brass hose-cap sawed-down with a brass 3/8” bolt PC7-ed into the center.

It works very well. Also included is an obligatory shaving shot on a piece of ash with swirling grain. Very smooth. I need to “safe” the very corners of the iron to keep from leaving a ridge but the main tests were a complete success.

Other than reaming the bolt holes, no planes were harmed in this project. Getting the PC7 out of there would be no fun but it could be done.

Thanks for reading and good luck with your projects, sh

PS: Very few of these ideas were original. Thanks to those who came up with most of them. sh

4 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

17878 posts in 1989 days

#1 posted 06-05-2016 04:27 PM

Interesting remake.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View luthierwnc's profile


113 posts in 1197 days

#2 posted 06-05-2016 05:28 PM

Thanks Don. I may rasp a thumb indentation on the back wood but that can wait.

I didn’t mention it earlier but this thing is pretty heavy. sh

View waho6o9's profile


7120 posts in 1998 days

#3 posted 06-05-2016 07:08 PM

I like it, good job!

View luthierwnc's profile


113 posts in 1197 days

#4 posted 06-05-2016 11:49 PM

Thanks waho6o9,

I have lots of bench planes but this is one of only two that don’t have a stock 45 degree pitch. The other is a low-angle project I made out of a Sargent 414 (see my other threads for that one).

I’m really glad I made both. Never having owned or used either a low or high angle plane, I didn’t appreciate how much of a difference it makes for some applications—much more than incremental length or width differences in the Stanley line. One of these days I’d like to get my hands on an old Norris York or middle-pitch plane in fine fettle just to see what I’ve been missing.

Cheers, sh

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