How do you "route" a groove with hand tools? (Planes?)

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How do you "route" a groove with hand tools? (Planes?)

Postby ToneWood » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:20 pm

This is just an academic question at the moment. Context: (as a spearfisherman) I know several people with good woodworking skills who have made high quality, fairly elaborate spearguns using well equipped modern workshops, tools, adhesives, etc. I've been wondering whether it might be possible to carve a decent speargun with very simple hand tools (e.g. axe, knife, draw knife, plane/spoke shave).

Although by no means essential, a groove or "rail" along the top of the barrel to support the spear would be a nice feature. This would have the profile of an arc of a circle, less than a semi-circle so as not to interfere with the spear-line & wishbone, which attach near the rear of the spear to a depth of about half the diameter of the spear (which would be around 6.3/6.6mm, potentially 6.3-7.5mm). I believe this would normally be made with a table router these days. But how would it have been done in the past, with hand tools? I'm thinking that some kind of special plane would be needed - perhaps something like one of those elaborately shaped Dado-rail planes? And how would you keep it straight (using a straight-edged guide plank somehow perhaps)?

The type of groove I'm thinking of would look a bit like the shallow pencil/pen rail in the top of an old school desk.
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Re: How do you "route" a groove with hand tools? (Planes?)

Postby Davie Crockett » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:14 pm

Most grooving planes I've seen have a guide plate to one side, there's a V blade grooving plane on Ebay at the moment. Image
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Re: How do you "route" a groove with hand tools? (Planes?)

Postby Darrell » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:45 am

Common-as-dirt and nearly as cheap, you can pick up a round plane to cut the groove with. The planes only have a sixth of a circle for arc, but you can work them around the groove to make it deeper. I use them to cut complex moldings.

Image

You can also use a scratch stock or beading tool. There are commercial ones, or you can fabricate one from a scrap of wood and a bit of broken saw blade.

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Re: How do you "route" a groove with hand tools? (Planes?)

Postby jrccaim » Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:23 am

Right on, Darrel. You used planes in the old days. I call these things "shaped planes." In the old days a craftsman would have a whole library of these. Various shapes (hollowers, rounders, ogees, you name it! Perhaps in the "lower 48" these planes are easily available. In Alaska they are not. I am into making my own because I am into making custom picture frames. My son is a painter, you see, and we want custom frames for his pictures. So far I have made a hollower and a rounder. The hollower is used to cut a groove. (The rounder rounds off a square "hill".) The radius of the blade determines the profile of the groove. See my blog (http://chalupyacres.blogspot.com) for my current adventures, under the label "shaped planes."

There are also hand routers. Veritas makes one (http://www.leevalley.com sells them. There is also a much smaller version, from Stanley, about 6mm wide cutter. I have the latter. I find it effective but cantakerous. The arbitrary Stanley number is #271. It comes with two cutters, one with a V point and t'other square. "I do not like it, Sam I am," for actually routing grooves. For making a groove I far prefer a plough plane. (Or plow plane, in the USA). Once again, Lee Valley sells a Veritas plow plane. and if you click on the Lee Valley link, their home page shows a picture of the aforesaid plow plane. I have yet to meet a Veritas tool I didn't like. They are pricey, though. You can get asiatic wooden plows for half the price. I have a lovely rosewood plow made by Mr Liu Ban, who knows from where; Taiwan no doubt. A joy to use once you get it adjusted. It takes some practice to adjust a wedged plane. But then, it takes some practice and a fence to use a router properly. Those things have enormous torque and will deviate at the drop of a hat. I hate them. That's why I have become a plane-maker. (Disclaimer: I am a plane junkie. I love planes. Any day now I will make an ogee.)
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Re: How do you "route" a groove with hand tools? (Planes?)

Postby Billman » Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:19 am

The simplest tool would be a scratchstock - just a piece of steel (I use old saw blades) held in a wooden holder which also acts as a guide... You can file the blade to any shape you need - very useful for making small lengths of (missing) mouldings for repair work on furniture. For a deep groove cut it in several passes, exposing a little more blade ever couple of mm..
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Re: How do you "route" a groove with hand tools? (Planes?)

Postby jrccaim » Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:38 am

Scratchstock is a Very Good idea Indeed (VGII), but slow. Could chisel out and then use scratch stock to finish. Could plow plane the initial groove, which is what I would do, but then I own a plow plane. But the scratch stock is still a VGII, and I have filed it in my bag of tricks file. Thanks Sean. Really admire your scratchstock holder, too.
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Re: How do you "route" a groove with hand tools? (Planes?)

Postby xanbodgers » Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:51 am

i actually have the same question. There are simplest tools that you can use to route thank you for the reply.
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Re: How do you "route" a groove with hand tools? (Planes?)

Postby Billman » Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:45 am

There used to be a tool called a TEKTOOL that was used for cutting grooves - examples still turn up on eBay from time to time... Personally I'd buy a cheap second hand Record or Stanley plough such as the No 50
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Re: How do you "route" a groove with hand tools? (Planes?)

Postby anobium » Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:23 pm

I have a Tektool but it will only cut a flat-bottomed groove. You could use one and then round the groove with a scratchstock but if you can find a moulding plane of the correct diameter that should suffice. Bristol Design normally has a good stock of moulding planes.
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Re: How do you "route" a groove with hand tools? (Planes?)

Postby SeanHellman » Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:28 pm

In cannel gouges were used to create perfect grooves in wood by the pattern makers. You would need to find one with a cranked handle. As said before a scratch stock is probably easiest.
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Re: How do you "route" a groove with hand tools? (Planes?)

Postby Billman » Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:33 am

The Stanley 043 is the smallest, single handed, plough they made - normally (like the Tektool) supplied with square blades, but they can be reground to a circular cutter form..

Wooden moulding planes, more correctly known as round and hollows (as they are not a moulding, but a wooden bodied, plane of the same genus) usually have tapered sides, so will not cut a parallel sided groove , nor a semi-circular bottom.

You would need to reprofile a small round body and iron to cut a parallel sided groove - however the rarer draining board blane often has parallel sides and a fullly rounded cutter...

Image

As Sean says, for a one-off a scratch stock will be cheapest and easy to make - use a bit of old handsaw blade for the cutter - to cut it to size, score with a tungsten carbide ceramic tile cutter, hold in a vice and snap off the surplus....
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Re: How do you "route" a groove with hand tools? (Planes?)

Postby TonyH » Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:58 am

Billman wrote:The Stanley 043 is the smallest, single handed, plough they made - normally (like the Tektool) supplied with square blades, but they can be reground to a circular cutter form..

[pedantic]Ahem - point of order. Stanley didn't make an 043; it is one of the very rew original Record designs. Others copied Record (e.g. Rapier) [/pedantic]

Wooden moulding planes, more correctly known as round and hollows (as they are not a moulding, but a wooden bodied, plane of the same genus) usually have tapered sides, so will not cut a parallel sided groove , nor a semi-circular bottom.


The original requirement was for a less than semi-circular groove I think, so a round would probably be the best way. You might start with a shallow flat botomed groove made by something with a fence to guide the round.

As Sean says, for a one-off a scratch stock will be cheapest and easy to make - use a bit of old handsaw blade for the cutter - to cut it to size, score with a tungsten carbide ceramic tile cutter, hold in a vice and snap off the surplus....

They are easy, and need not be as fancy as the ones pictured earlier in the thread. 2 blocks of wood, 3/4" th ick will do, 3 1/2 x 2 1/2" say, screw them together, saw out one corner to leave an L shape. Loosen the screws and clamp the cutter between them - the two internal faces of your L serve as fence and depth stop. Old hardpoint saw steel is great for blades; aside from the teeth, the rest is a spring steel which can be cut and shaped by hacksaw and file, but will keep an edge.
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Re: How do you "route" a groove with hand tools? (Planes?)

Postby Bob_Fleet » Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:47 pm

ToneWood wrote: I've been wondering whether it might be possible to carve a decent speargun with very simple hand tools (e.g. axe, knife, draw knife, plane/spoke shave).
I've been wondering how you'll replace the replace the rubber/synthetics which give it the power with something hand made too.
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Re: How do you "route" a groove with hand tools? (Planes?)

Postby Billman » Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:00 pm

TonyH - thanks for the correction - Stanley did make a 43, but as you say it's the Record 043 (also made by Rapier) that I am thinking of - old age makes one forgetful.... The Stanley 43 is a different beast, it's a 2 handed type (like the 44, 45 etc).....
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Re: How do you "route" a groove with hand tools? (Planes?)

Postby ToneWood » Mon Aug 11, 2014 2:20 pm

Bob_Fleet wrote:
ToneWood wrote: I've been wondering whether it might be possible to carve a decent speargun with very simple hand tools (e.g. axe, knife, draw knife, plane/spoke shave).
I've been wondering how you'll replace the replace the rubber/synthetics which give it the power with something hand made too.

I wouldn't (why would you?), I would use normal speargun "bulk rubber", which is made of latex rubber in the USA.

If you are thinking from a bushcraft/survival perspective, then a hand-spear or a bow-&-arrow would make more sense. There are a few classic spear/arrow designs specifically intended for landing fish. However you could perhaps use some pieces of inner-tube to fashion a rubber-band. If you "allowed" access to a rubber band of some kind, then a simple polespear (a rubber-loop fixed to the end of a fish-spear) or "Hawaiian-sling" (similar but with the addition of short pipe handle/barrel) would provide much of the functionality/benefits of a speargun without the actual complication of a speargun, e.g. http://www.speardiver.com/spearguns-pol ... spear.html
Polespears look set for a bit of a revival over the next few years - in the right hands & rigged appropriately, they can be very effective for fish of all sizes.
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