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Making plough plane cutters from bar stock

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Forum topic by shampeon posted 12-04-2012 05:14 AM 3647 views 4 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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shampeon

1378 posts in 936 days


12-04-2012 05:14 AM

Topic tags/keywords: plough plane plane iron cutters diy heat treating stanley 45

I recently bought an old Stanley #45 plough plane, and it was missing some cutters and the short rods. I could pick them up from eBay, but thought this would be a good opportunity to try to make some new cutters from bar stock.

So, off to McMaster-Carr for some O1.

I also ordered some 25/64” tool steel rod for the short rods.

I’ve never heat treated anything before, so this should be fun.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."


28 replies so far

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Tedster

2290 posts in 964 days


#1 posted 12-04-2012 05:34 AM

You definitely grabbed my attention. I recently got an old #45 into somewhat working condition, but I only have the 1/4” blade that came with it. I’m sure it’s more practical to cut dadoes on the table saw, but it would be fun to make a few standard size blade for this plane.

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th

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Christophret

148 posts in 754 days


#2 posted 12-04-2012 11:58 PM

I’m interested to see how this goes.
Please post your progress as my #55 is missing a few cutters as well.
I’ve used this plane a few times for beading and its really cool once you get the hang of it.
I love how the shavings roll out of the tool. Satisfying and it justifies owning it…

Chris

-- I cut it twice and it's still too short!

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shampeon

1378 posts in 936 days


#3 posted 12-05-2012 01:40 AM

First I measured another cutter to get the length (a little more than 3 3/8”) and marked it on the bar stock:

Then cut it off with a hacksaw:

Like this:

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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waho6o9

5301 posts in 1330 days


#4 posted 12-05-2012 02:03 AM

That’s awesome Shampeon, very good.

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doordude

1085 posts in 1736 days


#5 posted 12-05-2012 02:09 AM

nice way to make your own tools. can’t learn with out trying

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Gshepherd

1689 posts in 954 days


#6 posted 12-05-2012 02:15 AM

Well the cutter has been cut to length and??? How did you shape it? Make the notch?

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

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shampeon

1378 posts in 936 days


#7 posted 12-05-2012 02:18 AM

Patience, my child. This is a work in progress. 8^)

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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paratrooper34

760 posts in 1705 days


#8 posted 12-05-2012 02:33 AM

Shampeon, this is interesting. It appears that you could make a whole gallery of cutters. Think of the money you could save by making reeding cutters, etc which go for big bucks. I am going to stay tuned to this.

-- Mike

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Gshepherd

1689 posts in 954 days


#9 posted 12-05-2012 02:35 AM

Shampeon, ok I will relax a bit here…... How thick is your steel compared to the actual cutter? I assume it is HSS and what grade? Do they offer this steel in Black Nitride? Lots of questions I know….

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

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shampeon

1378 posts in 936 days


#10 posted 12-05-2012 02:48 AM

Gshepherd, no worries, and keep the questions coming. I probably won’t have all the answers, ‘cuz I’m a rookie on this stuff.

The steel is 1/8” thick O1 tool steel from McMaster-Carr. It matches the thickness of the old cutter exactly. It is not heat-treated yet (you can be sure I’ll document this process here), so it’s easier to work. I’ll rough shape the cutters and notch them, then heat treat them. Unless there’s a reason I shouldn’t do it in that order….

paratrooper34: I’ll probably make some reeding/beading cutters after I’ve made some simple dado cutters first, once I know what I’m doing.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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shampeon

1378 posts in 936 days


#11 posted 12-05-2012 07:34 AM

To the WorkSharp 3000!

I ground a 30 degree primary and 25 degree secondary on the 1/2” blade, and a 35/30 on the 1/4”. No need to get too fine with the grind, this is just to make it easy to grind the angle now. Final grinding will take place after heat-treatment.

Then mark where the notches should be.

Astute readers will see where I am about to screw up. I notched it to depth with a hacksaw, and then expanded the slot. A little trial and error led me to this bit in my Dremel:

followed by some filing with a small flat file with smooth sides to keep the slot from deepening.

My screw up was marking the notch on the wrong side of the blade on the first one I filed. No biggie, just grind another one on the other side. The second I made the tolerance a lot tighter, so there isn’t as much slop in the depth adjustment knob.

The test fit works.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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shampeon

1378 posts in 936 days


#12 posted 12-08-2012 11:54 PM

So instead of figuring out a DIY forge I’d have to assemble, I talked to a friend of mine who is a metal artist and instructor at the local art school. He brought a toaster oven, I brought some peanut oil, and we got down to business. Heat treating tool steel! Yes.

Wait, we can’t find a metal container for the peanut oil, for quenching. No problem. Mike just sorted through the scrap pile and MIG welded up a container in 3 minutes. Solid.

And here’s the forge (sorry about the blur):

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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Don W

15572 posts in 1320 days


#13 posted 12-08-2012 11:58 PM

Cool project.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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shampeon

1378 posts in 936 days


#14 posted 12-09-2012 12:10 AM

Here’s a better picture of the forge, after we turned it off.

I didn’t get any pictures of me heating the blade, or quenching. The forge was HOT! It only took about 30 seconds for the blades to get bright orange. Then I quickly quenched them in the peanut oil, putting them in straight vertically, and dunking them a few times before swirling it around. I then put the blade in the preheated toaster oven for tempering.

Mike was a little worried that we over-quenched the first blade. I’m curious what the experts think about this. I left the first blade in the oil for almost a minute.

Mike set the timer on the oven, and we went to get a beer and some lunch around the corner. Making your own tools is great! So relaxing. We got back a little over an hour later. The blades were still hot, but handle-able. I cleaned off the oil and took a look.

Not bad. Back at home I went back to the WorkSharp to regrind the edge and flatten the back.

So there you have it. Provided you have access to a forge, total time to go from a shaped untreated blade to a hardened, honed cutter is 90 minutes. And that includes fabricating an oil container and a leisurely lunch with beer.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

1742 posts in 987 days


#15 posted 12-09-2012 12:40 AM

Just for the record, you probably don’t have to heat treat the whole blade. I’ve heat treated just the 1 inch or so up from the cutting edge using a plumber’s torch. Mapp gas is hotter and faster, but you can get the heat you need eventually on an inch or so of small blade like this. Suggest not heating from the sharpened edge, but approach the edge from higher on the blade so you can control the heat in the thin part of the blade. You can “burn” the steel and it becomes worthless.
Shampeon, you were wise not to sharpen the blade before treating to prevent the burning. I was afraid you might have gotten it too sharp, but it seems to have turned out OK.
You will have fun shaping other profiles. The Dremel with diamond burrs becomes your good friend. I’ve found the interior corners of a profile to be the most difficult. Will be interested to see what you come up with.
DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com

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