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Building a wooden shoulder plane #4: Let's make us an iron!

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Blog entry by Div posted 05-25-2011 10:12 PM 8898 reads 2 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: The mouth. Don't open wide, we are not at the dentist! (sorry Ken) Part 4 of Building a wooden shoulder plane series Part 5: Let's wedge it! »

If this is happening a little too slow for your liking, it is because I have to make sawdust all day long to keep the wolf from the door. That is 10 hours gone. Making these little planes and blogging about it is mostly a night time affair, after taking care of normal daily chores and duties!

We have made a plane body and it is looking pretty good! Time to do some metalwork.
This is what we want to achieve:

At the top is the finished plane iron, below is the material I made it from; an old HSS jointer knife.
There are four dimensions that concern us:
1. Blade width.
2. Blade length.
3. Tang width.
4. Tang length.

BLADE WIDTH.

The blade width needs to be a little wider than the width of our finished plane body. Measure the body width and add a wee bit, say 1/16”. It can always be fine tuned later on. In the end the blade needs to stick out just a teeny bit past the edge of the plane on each side.

BLADE LENGTH

Blade length is determined by measuring the distance as shown in the photo. It is the length of the exposed ramp or landing that was so carefully flattened when we built the plane body.

TANG WIDTH.

The width of our tang must be a little less than that of the tenon or opening. Theoretically it can be a sliding fit but then everything must be perfectly square and centre. By making this fit a little loose we get some lateral or sideways adjustment. This will ensure that the blade can be set parallel to the sole with equal amounts protruding past the sides.
The 3mm (1/8”) difference as shown in the photo will be too much for a real narrow plane like the one I’ve made here (5/8”width). I think it would be fine for a larger plane. If in doubt, make it only 1/16th, it is easy to grind more at a later stage if necessary.

TANG LENGTH.

Obviously it needs to be long enough to go through the plane! It also needs to stick out past the wedge for ease of adjustment. As always, rather make it longer. Again, it is easy to shorten at a later stage, once you are used to the plane.

Once all these dimensions are obtained, mark them out on your blade material. Make sure the tang is centered! The HSS I used is hard stuff and nothing I have in the shop will scratch it for marking. I also couldn’t find something that would write on it. I covered it with masking tape for easy marking.
I cut with a 4” slim cutting disc in a baby angle grinder. The beauty of HSS is that you don’t have to worry about heat; it doesn’t affect the material’s properties. If you are working on an old plane blade, cut slowly and cool often with water. You don’t want the steel to get hot!

Once cut, clean the edges on a disc sander or grinding wheel. Ensure that the edges are straight, square and parallel to each other. Time to check the blade for fit in the plane and adjust by more grinding if necessary. You might need to ease the shoulders of the blade for a good fit. Then grind the primary bevel to 25 degrees. I do this on a bench grinder with shop made adjustable rest to get the angle perfect.

If you are using carbon steel, KEEP COOL! Not you, the steel :^) Have a container with water handy and dip very often.

A few swipes on my whetstone to establish the secondary bevel, some polishing with the strop and we are done! I know some likes to use sandpaper for sharpening. Whatever works for you!

Next we’ll make the wedge and fine tune our plane. In the meantime, why don’t you shave with your new blade tomorrow morning!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."



16 comments so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12302 posts in 2841 days


#1 posted 05-25-2011 10:21 PM

Looks very nice Div. Thanks again for putting all of this together.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View lilredweldingrod's profile

lilredweldingrod

2495 posts in 1851 days


#2 posted 05-25-2011 10:26 PM

Div, Here’s another one for the notebook. Thanks.

View mafe's profile

mafe

9668 posts in 1833 days


#3 posted 05-25-2011 10:29 PM

Looking good!!!
I envy that thick steel.
Do you really mean a 3mm slip for the tang? I made only 1/3 mm slip for it.

Please look at this brother, and if you have doubt ‘yes I’m really happy I managed’ laugh.

Best of my thoughts,
Mads

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

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1437 days


#4 posted 05-25-2011 10:30 PM

^me too, Mads. Mine seems wimpy in comparison.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Div's profile

Div

1653 posts in 1684 days


#5 posted 05-25-2011 10:59 PM

Mads, 3mm slip on a large plane, say 25mm wide. Your plane is very small. Plus, I know you work accurately. In theory, no slip is neccessary if everything can be done precisely :^) In the text I suggested 1,5mm just to make it easier for first time builders.
That HSS is 3mm thick, one of the reasons I like it. Even though the thickness is not really neccessary, it still just looks good! :^)
I waited a long time and downloaded the video…Looks wonderful! Do you really plane that fast or is it just the video? I would be dead at the end of the day at that speed….

Al, thick is not necessary, just ask Paul Sellers :^) It just makes me feel…kind of japanese I guess! When do we see yours?

Wayne, no problem, I actually enjoy it. Just wish I had more time for it….

Rand, you might recognize some of the photos :^) I had some other LJ’s asking for pics, decided to blog it.

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1437 days


#6 posted 05-25-2011 11:07 PM

Div, mine’s over in my blog titled “Div Inspired”! I used an old Stanley as substrate, very non-Japanese. Paul would approve!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View patron's profile

patron

13156 posts in 2085 days


#7 posted 05-25-2011 11:09 PM

you guys are something special

crystal clear instructions

thank you

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View mafe's profile

mafe

9668 posts in 1833 days


#8 posted 05-25-2011 11:29 PM

On my version I think actually a thick Iron would make a difference for the stability.
No I do not plane that fast normally, but I was really happy, and then you know how we kids are!

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

View Div's profile

Div

1653 posts in 1684 days


#9 posted 05-25-2011 11:53 PM

David, glad it makes sense. Trust you are well in your piece of heaven!

Mads, I laugh! Excitement takes over. The rhykenology kids! It is my bedtime now, M is asleep already! We talk again tomorrow night….

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View BigTiny's profile

BigTiny

1664 posts in 1632 days


#10 posted 05-26-2011 06:21 AM

Hi Div.

Looking better and better!

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View stefang's profile

stefang

13623 posts in 2078 days


#11 posted 05-26-2011 11:05 AM

Lots of different options. I like that. Thanks Div.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Schwieb's profile

Schwieb

1568 posts in 2205 days


#12 posted 05-26-2011 12:40 PM

Great instructions Div. Even I could do this, and I will.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View sras's profile

sras

3928 posts in 1873 days


#13 posted 05-26-2011 05:28 PM

It has never crossed my mind that I could make a plane – much less that I should make one. I have used HSS planer blades and I now have a handmade plane on my list! but – - – its a long list! Thanks for the blog!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1437 days


#14 posted 05-26-2011 05:33 PM

Hey Div, I asked Mads the same question: I’m considering chamfering the edges of my iron. Can you think of a good way to execute this operation? I can’t jig it on the wetgrinder, grab it with my Eclipse jig, or figure out a scary sharp method. I’m perplexed. Between the Div and Mads bedding angles, I’m going with 37.5 degrees. I’m curious to see how this pans out!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Div's profile

Div

1653 posts in 1684 days


#15 posted 05-26-2011 10:24 PM

Big Tiny, getting there hey!

Stefang, many ways to skin a cat..

Schieb: Ken, please make one, you’ll find it very satisfying. I promise!

Sras, you should try it, nothing like making your own plane and seeing those curls unfold!

Bertha: Al, I would to it on my 8” slow speed bench grinder. I made an adjustable toolrest from timber and use this contraption to grind primary bevels on all my tools. It has a slot cut in it, slightly wider than the grinding wheel and sits real close to the wheel. This toolrest hold the iron at the exact angle I require. It would be easy to grind side bevels with this device. I replaced the crappy grey wheels you sometimes get with these machines with white aluminum oxide ones. I’ve been using this set up for years. Just can’t get myself to justify the cost of a wet grinder system with all its fancy jigs. They cost a fortune down here!

That 37.5 degrees should be great!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

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