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Building a Shoulder plane

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Forum topic by Hullguitars posted 10-24-2014 12:38 PM 1071 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Hullguitars

10 posts in 1605 days


10-24-2014 12:38 PM

Hello,
My name is Grant, and I am a self employed luthier. Although I build guitars for a living, I spend my downtime collecting, restoring, and building hand tools. I have a shamelessly thorough Stanley plane collection, an 1840’s Disston collection, and yet I still buy tools almost daily. I suffer from addiction to hand tools. It is slowly creeping into every corner of my life.

I have been putting together a hand tool “Kit” so that I can just BUILD SOME THINGS!!!! When you are surrounded by hand tools, its hard to choose what to use,.... and pretty soon every woodworking project turns into more hand tool tuning and restoration. That is why I am building a tool chest, and filling it with the essential tools to work wood. Partly inspired by a long awaited goal, and finally pushed along by the Anarchists tool chest.

So I found myself inspecting my lie Nielsen medium shoulder plane, and my two 073’s….. as well as about a dozen other shoulder planes I have amassed. I then became inspired to create an heirloom tool out of wood. SO with a 5 minute doodle on a napkin…. I began to make sawdust.
I had a beautiful offcut of figured maple from a guitar project,..... and decided to use that for my plane. Its bedded halfway between 45 and 12 degrees. Which is I THINK somewhere in the neighborhood of 28 ish.
I also decided on a 35 degree beveled blade BEVEL UP. I don’t know why I just wanted to try it…...
Well…. I shaped the blade and heat treated it in my kiln…. its O1, and after treatment tested out at 62 Rockwell.

There is a nice little gap under the blade inside the mouth of the plane as shown in the close-up. So I’m sure that doesn’t help. Its late…. and I haven’t really tried it out other than a few shavings. Tomorrow I will cut some tenons and see how it goes. Please give me any input you may have. Thanks for your time and I’m glad to be here.


10 replies so far

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

1964 posts in 1456 days


#1 posted 10-24-2014 01:14 PM

It is beautiful and hope it works as well as it looks.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 954 days


#2 posted 10-24-2014 01:19 PM

That plane looks filthy awesome.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View bobro's profile

bobro

308 posts in 778 days


#3 posted 10-24-2014 05:59 PM

Looks lovely and shapely for the hands.

With a bed angle in the high twenties and a 35 degree bevel up, you have something like a 60+ degree angle altogether, pretty darn steep. I would imagine that you’ll wind up grinding the bevel down to 28 degrees or something. On the other hand, Chinese woodworkers sometimes put the wedge under the iron, for some seriously steep angles. So maybe there is some specific purpose where your setup will shine.

-- Lao Ma: You are so full of anger and hatred. Xena: Everybody's gotta be full of something.

View Loren's profile

Loren

8315 posts in 3116 days


#4 posted 10-24-2014 06:27 PM

Sometimes with a low bed angle on a wood plane
the sole won’t stay straight. I’ve tried it a couple
of times and the results weren’t satisfactory. Live
and learn.

Nice looking plane.

View Ripthorn's profile

Ripthorn

1406 posts in 2453 days


#5 posted 10-24-2014 06:42 PM

Looks great. I made a small batch of infill shoulder planes between guitars a year or two ago, and it’s a lot of fun not just building and using, but also having something to admire. I really like the color on that plane, did you just oil it, or did you do something like an aqua fortis finish? Looks a little dark for straight oil to me, but you never know, I built an instrument recently with some very nicely figured big leaf maple and it was much darker with straight oil than a very nice piece of curly hard maple finished in the same stuff.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View Don W's profile

Don W

17971 posts in 2035 days


#6 posted 10-24-2014 11:35 PM

nice work!

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

View Hullguitars's profile

Hullguitars

10 posts in 1605 days


#7 posted 10-25-2014 06:07 AM

Thanks for the input guys!!! It was a lot of fun to build. I have only a few hours in it. I worked on it on/off over a 24 hour period.


Looks lovely and shapely for the hands.
With a bed angle in the high twenties and a 35 degree bevel up, you have something like a 60+ degree angle altogether, pretty darn steep.
- bobro

I agree…. I may try and step down to a 25 and see if that helps.


Sometimes with a low bed angle on a wood plane
the sole won t stay straight.
- Loren

Well I really hope this one does. Im considering adding brass liners on the sole to help wear and keep it true.

I really like the color on that plane, did you just oil it, or did you do something like an aqua fortis finish?
- Ripthorn

I make my own walnut stain out of ….... wait for it…... Walnuts. I sanded the plane with 220 a few times. Raising the grain between sanding. Then hit it with 400 lightly. Then I burnished it with the back of the sandpaper until al the grain was closed. That way…... the stain hardly takes at all. I fallow that with 1200 grit and some penetrating wax.

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Hullguitars

10 posts in 1605 days


#8 posted 10-25-2014 06:09 AM

I forgot to mention. The pins are made from 4 gauge copper wire. Its hard to tell in the photos….. but that copper looks AMAZING against that maple. I mean friken amazing!!!

View Hullguitars's profile

Hullguitars

10 posts in 1605 days


#9 posted 10-25-2014 06:20 AM

The thing that I am most concerned about is the WIDE OPEN MOUTH. But There was no other way to install the blade and I really didn’t want to make a HUGE opening for the wedge. That would have been the only other way to insert the blade. So maybe this plane will be destined for the scrap heap if I cant get it cutting well. Cant close a mouth…. especially when its the blades only exit! Maybe Ill donate it to cracker barrel to hand on their wall! hahahah…Not giving up yet!!!!!!!!!!

View upchuck's profile

upchuck

540 posts in 1133 days


#10 posted 10-26-2014 02:35 PM

Hullguitars-

Yeah, when I first saw that shoulder plane of yours I, too, wondered about the wide open mouth. I don’t have much experience with shoulder planes. I only have one. It is a SW #92 that I bought at a flea market. It is tuned up as well as I know how and it works fine for how I use it.

What would happen if you mounted the blade bevel down? It seems to me like that would close the mouth down some and it would reduce the overall cutting angle. You might have to sharpen the bevel to something closer to 20 degrees to get a workable clearance angle. 20 degrees would be a bit fragile but for fine tuning joints it might work.

Yours is a beautiful tool. The copper pins are striking against the walnut stained maple. I’d continue fiddling with it to get a fine functioning tool. If it still doesn’t cooperate then make another. You obviously have the skills.

Good Luck.

chuck

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