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Building a wooden shoulder plane #5: Let's wedge it!

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Blog entry by Div posted 1188 days ago 4753 reads 5 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Let's make us an iron! Part 5 of Building a wooden shoulder plane series Part 6: Tune me finely...but how do I adjust the iron? »

It makes me REAL happy to see that some guys have been inspired to make their own planes! For that reason, I will patiently bear the slowness of my backwater farm style dial up connection…..

The last part to be made is the wedge. Just a simple piece of wood but with a very important function! Not only does it hold the blade firmly in position, it also acts as a chip breaker of sorts.

Remember when we made the plane body (Part II) there was this little off cut piece to be saved? This gives us the exact angle for our wedge. What, you can’t find it? Well, all is not lost except a fair amount of fiddling to establish that angle again. The angle of the wedge is important. Look what happens if it is not right:

WEDGE ANGLE TOO HIGH.

If the wedge angle is too high, there is only contact between the wedge and the plane body at the top of the tenon. Because the blade is now not supported near the mouth, chatter lies ahead! You will not be happy with the performance of your plane!

WEDGE ANGLE TOO LOW.

If the wedge angle is too low, there is only contact between the wedge and plane body at the bottom of the tenon. This is better than above, at least the blade is supported near the mouth. Since the blade is not supported/wedged all the way it will never be wedged firmly. With a wedge not making full contact, the plane will continuously need adjustment; the blade will keep slipping and won’t stay where you want it, especially if you hit a knot or some difficult grain. Better to get that angle just right!

A FEW POINTERS WHEN MAKING THE WEDGE.

1. If you want, make the wedge from a different contrasting piece of wood. Just be sure you have the grain running length wise.
2. Shape, carve or otherwise embellish the fat end as you feel. The IMPORTANT thing is to have the blade go past the end of the wedge for ease in adjustment.
3. I should have mentioned this earlier. Some roughness on the plane bed/landing is good; it helps to increase friction for holding the blade tightly. Same goes for the wedge. Leave it natural and unfinished for the same reason. Oil only that highly decorative carving that you spent so much time on! (This for Bertha!)

4. See where the wedge ends? It needs to be some distance back from the mouth. Cut off where required and gently round over the end to help the shavings glide over it.

5. Here is a little secret that Mads discovered by himself whilst having his coffee, with pipe and tobacco, no doubt! Hollow the bottom face of the wedge very lightly, along the length. This little trick helps greatly in supplying compression in all the right places. We want the wedge to hold the blade firmly, especially near the mouth. THIS IS IMPORTANT! Not having good compression near the mouth is the most common cause of a chattering or badly performing plane!

OK, my wife wants me to watch a DVD with her. I’m already in trouble with the “boss” about spending too much time on LJ’s :^( Next, we will fine-tune our plane. Still to come is an installment on properly adjusting the set of the blade. Finally, we will look at ways to turbo charge a wooden shoulder plane! Stay tuned!

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



12 comments so far

View mafe's profile

mafe

9491 posts in 1721 days


#1 posted 1188 days ago

Hi my dear Div.
Thank you for another wonderful and informative blog in this inspireing series (100 times better than watching tv). Mathilde (my daughter) and I watced slumdog millionaire tonight and that was a wonderful movie though.
And after saying goodnight to you now I will go and see the movie Beautiful, that I have been looking forward to see for a while.
In my country we say ‘need learns the nakid woman to spun’, so yes I figured out the hollowing of the wedge.
The very best of my thoughts,
Send my love to M and say I look at Caroline every day now with a smile thanks to her.
Mads

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

View Bearpie's profile

Bearpie

2586 posts in 1650 days


#2 posted 1188 days ago

Thanks for all your instructions and I will be making one soon.

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Div's profile

Div

1653 posts in 1572 days


#3 posted 1187 days ago

Hey Mads, yes we watched DVD last night so I was off line.Slumdog millionaire is a brilliant movie! Gave your message to M, she happy and sends love back. Me too!

Bearpie, no problem. Please do make one, it is most satisfying to see those shavings curl out eventually!

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

View mafe's profile

mafe

9491 posts in 1721 days


#4 posted 1187 days ago

Today I watched the Spanish move Beautiful and I cant remember the last time I cry so much, that is truely a masterpiece of a movie wauuuu. Get it and see it! Thank you for the hello it warms my heart.
Best thoughts,
Mads

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

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1325 days


#5 posted 1187 days ago

Mads, wauuuu, agree to all above; I haven’t teared up so much since Amistad. I needed this tutorial and it was delivered in real-time; poor Div needs to get some sleep :) Suffice it to say that I pushed a plane (that didn’t exist before your post) against some wood and made nice shavings. A peek into the essence of life.

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

View Schwieb's profile

Schwieb

1499 posts in 2093 days


#6 posted 1187 days ago

Hi Div, You are doing a really great job on this blog. I haven’t been able to work on this project much yet. Presently I am up in Ohio visiting family. I hope to find an old plane iron while I am up here, for sure I am carrying back some hardwoods with me (walnut, ash, birds eye maple, and maybe some buckeye). I’m not as talented as you but I intend to make you proud!! Best wishes to you and the girls.

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

View bigike's profile

bigike

4031 posts in 1920 days


#7 posted 1187 days ago

nice

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://www.icombadaniels@yahoo.com

View Div's profile

Div

1653 posts in 1572 days


#8 posted 1185 days ago

Ken, have a good visit! I’m sure you’ll find an old iron, and certainly enough wood by the sound of things!
Promise to show your finished plane? Best to H.

bigike, thanks.

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

View stefang's profile (online now)

stefang

12937 posts in 1966 days


#9 posted 1176 days ago

Thanks Div. I like the wedge hollowing idea, sounds right to me.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Div's profile

Div

1653 posts in 1572 days


#10 posted 1176 days ago

Pleasure Mike. It works well, ask Mads!

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

View cyclops4069's profile

cyclops4069

60 posts in 209 days


#11 posted 129 days ago

div, many thanks for all these amazing blogs/projects about plane making. I have learnt so much here from your builds and from others (mafe)....there are some truly beautiful tools being made….and I find them all very educational and inspiring.

-- regards, cyclops4069

View mafe's profile

mafe

9491 posts in 1721 days


#12 posted 129 days ago

We miss you Div!

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

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