Planes

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Re: Planes

Postby nnykamp » Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:40 pm

ToneWood wrote:. Somebody who knows how to sharpen and maintain a tool can probably make inexpensive tools perform better than a very expensive tool maintained by less experienced hands............. I did come across an article on glueing plane handles. I think they recommended polyurethane/Gorilla glue



I've done a fair amount of tuning of various planes, from a new Stanley like you have pictured to some wooden jack planes from the 1880's. Almost any deficiency can be overcome, excepting an overlarge mouth on a steel plane. Any Bailey-style (Stanley, Record, etc) will allow you to move the blade ahead, but you start loosing support and your blade will begin to chatter, especially on wood with contrary grain. You are much better off buying pre-WWII planes, the mouths are tighter, and you pay the same for a significant uptick in quality. Don't be afraid to try wooden ones either, I've got a $3 wooden coffin smoother that walks all over my brand new Stanley.

If the cost of gorilla glue is putting you off, regular wood glue does just fine. Use a wire brush to clean any junk in the joint, and the use the screw running through the handle to help you align the joint. Clamp for a few hours/overnight, and you are good to go.
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Re: Planes

Postby ToneWood » Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:17 pm

I'm surprised that you value small/close plane mouths - opening up the mouth of mine, by moving "the frog" back was the key to getting it working. I was wondering about the wooden planes. My Dad had one, probably thrown away :(. My brother said he saw some at a car boot sale this last weekend - he knew I'd be interested but wasn't sure enough to purchase :(
SeanHellman wrote:...I do use mine on green wood and would also consider them a green wood tool...
I think you are right. Without realising it or making any conscious decision, using a plane seemed wrong/cheating to me (but eminently practical). I tried to work out why that might be. The only rationale I can think of is that planes (like this anyway) were a product of the industrial revolution and would never have been made by a village blacksmith, nor used by a woodsman before the the industrial revolution. But planes have been around for centuries and certainly pre-date the Industrial Revolution, and quite likely plane irons (blades) would have been made by blacksmiths.

I plan to carry on using planes for certain jobs, especially for coarse-leveling with the mouth open wide - but I am wary of overusing them, as their finish can be too good, obliterating all the tool marks and giving a handmade work item a machine-like finish, which is the opposite of what I am striving for. It's a fine line, as I do want to improve the finish of my work items. David Fisher has pulled it off.
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Re: Planes

Postby jrccaim » Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:58 am

ToneWood wrote:I'm surprised that you value small/close plane mouths - opening up the mouth of mine, by moving "the frog" back was the key to getting it working. I was wondering about the wooden planes. My Dad had one, probably thrown away :(. My brother said he saw some at a car boot sale this last weekend - he knew I'd be interested but wasn't sure enough to purchase :(
SeanHellman wrote:...I do use mine on green wood and would also consider them a green wood tool...
I think you are right. Without realising it or making any conscious decision, using a plane seemed wrong/cheating to me (but eminently practical). I tried to work out why that might be. The only rationale I can think of is that planes (like this anyway) were a product of the industrial revolution and would never have been made by a village blacksmith, nor used by a woodsman before the the industrial revolution. But planes have been around for centuries and certainly pre-date the Industrial Revolution, and quite likely plane irons (blades) would have been made by blacksmiths.


The Romans used planes. They had bronze bodies (found in a lot of archeological sites) and probably bronze blades (none has survived so the experts are not sure). The wood infill has not survived. Look at Garret Hack's The Plane Book, previously cited. The Romans even had planing benches. But the plane is a furniture-making tool. Historically bodgers were not furniture makers. They made turned piecework for the furniture manufacturers in wherever city. So they did things like shave horse work and pole-lathe pieces. They were not cabinetmakers.

If I am doing stuff on a pole lathe, or chopping out a bowl, I have no use for a plane. Main reason for a plane is to flatten wood out to .05mm. Secondary use is to plane out a profile on a piece of wood. Tongue and groove, or an ovolo or ogee molding. Need a specialty plane for all that. Can't buy them anymore, superseded by routers. Well, my son and I have a project to do custom picture frames. He paints the pictures and I frame them. I refuse to use routers. So I am making my own custom planes as we speak. I have to start simply: I am making a semicircular hollow and and a round. Will it work? No idea. But I am reviving an old craft, the planemaker's craft. Not entirely reviving it, all by myself, but this gets us off-topic.

BtW the wider the throat opening on a plane the thicker the shaving. So adjust the throat to the thicknesss of the shaving you want. A scrub plane can tolerate (indeed, demands) a 6mm throat. If you are making fine shavings on a chair leg make that 0.6 mm instead.
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Re: Planes

Postby ToneWood » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:31 pm

The Romans had iron & blacksmith forged steel ("good iron") apparently, so perhaps their bronze planes had iron/steel blades that rusted away.

I've seen some of those odd planes on ebay - would love to see them in action. Quite specialized though. The village carpenter lived nearby when I was growing up, I remember him showing me and my father his first (table) router. He was making a fancy staircase and was delighted at how much easier and more precise it was than the hand tools he'd used previously.

I like using the plane, now it is adjusted - apart from the handle that still needs to be re-glued (I needed to work with the plane before the glue had properly set). For some reason it is a tool I strongly associated with my father - I guess it made an impression when I saw him using it. For the coarse planing I do perhaps a different plane (#5/Jack/scrub plane?) would be more appropriate. I can't justify multiple planes but that frog adjustment makes my #4 plane quite versatile.
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Re: Planes

Postby jrccaim » Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:09 am

Oh such a good question. It is true that for a lot if not all of Bodger's work there is no use for planes. But I love planes. Never would have guessed, would you? I own about a dozen. And I am now into making my own planes. But if I heroically restrain myself, and tell you that what a bodger might use to best advantage is a scrub plane. This has a rather wide throat, maybe 5-6 mm. It has rounded corners on the blade, not rectangular edges. Takes a great big shaving . You use it to flatten wood before you do anything else with it. I found mine useful when making a shaving horse. I needed a flat surface here and there. Mind you I made my horse direct from the log. I still needed to flatten some surfaces and I found the scrub plane most useful. I converted it myself, a cheapie (like $4 at the hardware store) 4"/10cm plane. You can buy things labeled "scrub planes," of course. Save your money. DIY.

There are times when mass is your best friend. So for $3 I found, long ago, an Asiatic plane. It was labeled a jointer and masses about 2 Kilos. It is 18" or 45 cm long. At first I believed this label. It really needed work. The machining was pitiful. But again, so was the price. A basket case as we say. I learned to tune planes with this guy, following Garret Hack's directions (I've already mentioned him). One day I bought a new iron for this plane, 'cause the old iron had more problem than I could solve back then. For three bucks, what do you expect? I then took the old iron, ground the square edges off. Rounded (probably over-rounded) the edges. What a dream! Instant scrub plane. This monster does all I ask of it, and will power through absolutely anything. And if I really want to joint anything I'll put a regular iron on it and adjust throat and depth of cut. I use this plane very often. Super-scrub I call it. The 45 cm is often too long but the two kilos is unbeatable.

And then, I think, we really don't know what a real old-style bodger really might have used. We weren't there. They did not write up detailed journals. So if a plane fits, use it. Just please don't use a power router. I know for sure they didn't have any :)
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Power tools - drills

Postby ToneWood » Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:34 pm

I haven't rejected power tools wholesale but I am not drawn to them as some people are. I just tend to favor hand-tools. I'm quite happy to use my cheap old Focus mains hammer drill (£15? comes with spare motor bushes :)) to drill holes, although increasingly I find myself using the less destructive hand-drill (Pa left 2 + plus a rusted brace which I've soaked with WD-40 in the hope that I might be able to use it). I'd quite like a decent, smallish, variable speed, battery-powered drill that could also be used as a screwdriver - but they seem shockingly expensive in this country ~£70-£130 (were much cheaper in the USA, ~$25-$70).

My brother asked an electrician friend about which drills he prefers - apparently he just buys cheap ones, because he often looses them on site.
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Re: Planes

Postby jrccaim » Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:13 am

ToneWood wrote:I haven't rejected power tools wholesale but I am not drawn to them as some people are. I just tend to favor hand-tools. I'm quite happy to use my cheap old Focus mains hammer drill (£15? comes with spare motor bushes :)) to drill holes, although increasingly I find myself using the less destructive hand-drill (Pa left 2 + plus a rusted brace which I've soaked with WD-40 in the hope that I might be able to use it). I'd quite like a decent, smallish, variable speed, battery-powered drill that could also be used as a screwdriver - but they seem shockingly expensive in this country ~£70-£130 (were much cheaper in the USA, ~$25-$70)....


My rule is to use hand drills for all "crafts" projects. If I am doing construction (building sheds, putting in a window, whatever, then I will use power. I have two battery-powered drills, both secondhand, yard sale stuff. You might look around. Often the batteries on these drills wear out. Then the owner throws the thing out. There are internet sources for cheapish replacement batteries. But do not buy any battery drill without the charger. Prefer 18 volts to any other; these have a lot more muscle than the 12V ones.

Re your rusted bit brace. On my blog there is a thread labeled "rustoration" on how to restore old rusted tools to working condition. My current miracle cure for rust is plain old distilled vinegar. It is slow (2-4 days) but it works. Take the brace apart if you can and dunk the chuck pieces separately. Take the top mushroom off too if you can. Usually three screws under the mushroom set it free. Electrolysis probably better. But my battery charger, source of 12V DC, failed in the process of electrolysis. Now the charger was an antique. I got it for free, owner throwing it out. It charged my car up quite a few times so I mourned it. Bit leery after that; my current charger is being babied.

Hey -- aren't we off-topic just a tad? This is supposed to be a plane thread :)
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Re: Planes

Postby witt » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:22 pm

Yes, I do like planes; perhaps not as much as adzes and axes. As a tool collector I prefer wooden planes to iron ones, I also prefer what in the world of French collectors are sometimes called "mountain planes" which are roughly made out of a raw piece of wood. So I happened to carve 2 or 3 hand planes either in boxwood or in holm oak which is hard like steeL I wanted gaîac wood but the cost was too much for my wallet. I possess one in gaïac that's why, and it's just a wonderful piece.
All this long hyperbolic introduction to tell you that recently I split what I call one "lip" of one of my favourite hand plane by hammering the wedge in place (one must be very careful with boxwood). I don't know what to do because I hate when a plane is not carved out of a single bit of wood (I'm rather irrational with that, I know). I'll probably make a piece of bronze crossing the bridge between the two ex-"lips".
Here is the thing :
[Image

Uploaded with ImageShack.us][/img]

[Image

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Re: Planes

Postby ToneWood » Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:15 pm

That's an amazing looking tool, I've never seen anything quite like that. Very curvy and smooth - must have taken a lot of sanding. I guess winter is long in the alps!
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Re: Planes

Postby witt » Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:12 pm

Thank you Tone. I carved this plane in Stockholm which is rather far from the Alps. Anyway, it's true, I had more time for leisure at that time.
I'm sad it's broken. I'll try to repair it with a piece of cast bronze which I will design (when I have time). I'd love to carve more planes, my inspiration comes from early tools, like the one plane appearing on Durer's Melancholy.
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Re: Planes

Postby jrccaim » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:48 am

Oh my golly what a beauty! Speaking in my plane-maker persona, a beautiful effort. My only concern, when I make planes, is whether they work well or not. But I admire things like that last one!
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Re: Planes

Postby ToneWood » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:30 pm

Witt, I hadn't realised that you carved that plane - incredible. It looked like the sort of thing that is no long made. Good to see that there are some that can still make such things . :)
witt wrote:...my inspiration comes from early tools, like the one plane appearing on Durer's Melancholy.

Durer's Melancholia, 1514 - almost 500 years ago. the plane is at the bottom:
Image
http://richardelwes.co.uk/category/art/

Albrecht Durer is the earliest watercolorist that I have come across (he often appears first in watercolour histories, a few hundred years ahead of others :)). Some of his pictures are incredible by any standard/for any time, a self-portrait (in oil) & his sketch of a hare (watercolor) come to mind.

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Re: Planes

Postby witt » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:15 pm

At that time I didn't really know how to season box. I could therefore only make a small plane with the seasoned box I had.
When I'll be somewhat richer, I'll try to carve a gaïac plane, it just a question of time, I know that.
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Re: Planes

Postby Billman » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:33 pm

I met a supplier of boxwood at the Westonbirt Treefest a few weeks ago (he lives in nearby Crudwell) - he used to supply tons of the stuff to Marples for their chisel handles - he now specialises in supplying wind instrument makers.. He may still have pieces large enough for making a plane... Tony Aubrey, for his contact details see: http://www.musicaaeternum.com/instrumen ... -woods.htm
Collector and restorer of old agricultural edge tools, especially billhooks
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Re: Planes

Postby ToneWood » Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:14 pm

Box Hill in Surrey, location of the recent Olympic (Bike) Road Races, is named for the box trees there (according to the Ladybird book of trees :)).
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