Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category

Spar and Backing Out Plane

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

I finished the backing out plane also called a hollowing plane.   I used a lever cap instead of a wedge to hold the iron in place.   The lever cap makes adjusting the plane iron easier because I tighten the brass thumb screw so that it just holds the iron in place so that I can adjust the depth of cut.  When I have it where I want I tighten the screw until it is snug.  Previously I had tried to harden the plane irons for the spare plane and it did not work. Go herer for the post on Plane Irons. I modified the heat treating forge to use two propane torches instead of one.  I heated the irons up to a cherry red and tested them with a magnet.  When I did the spar plane the two tips on the sides of the iron were not hot enough and the magnet jumped to them.  I put the iron back in the forge and heated it up again.   This time the magnet did not stick to the iron so I knew that I got it hot enough this time.   The iron when into the vegetable oil to be quenched.  I then heated up the backing out plane iron to a cherry red and when it was non-magnetic it when into the vegetable oil also.  I tempered the two irons in a toaster oven at 400 F for an hour.  This should give me a Rockwell hardness of 61/63.   I shapened the spar plane using the scary sharp method and when I tried it out it cut very well.  When I tried to sharpen the backing out plane I had old glue on the sharpening jig so I was not able to get it sharp.  I am going to clean up the jig and try again.

Plane Irons

Monday, May 17th, 2010

In the continuing saga to build a spar plane from scratch, I cut out the planes irons from 3/16 x 1 1/2 x 18″ blank of 01 tool steel. Using permanent marker instead of Prussian blue and an scratch awl I marked the outline of the shape of the iron I wanted.  

I cut the rough shape with a hacksaw and then used a bench grinder to refine the shape.  I also knocked off the edges so the iron is easier to handle.   The iron on the right is for the spar plane and the one on the left is for a backing out plane.

The tools steel is in the annealed state until it is hardened.  To harden the steel it has to be raised to a temperature of 1450-1500°F.  At that temperature the steel is converted to austenite.  The steel become non-magnetic and can be tested with a magnet.  The color of the steel is cherry-red.  I built a propane furnace to heat treat the irons.  Unfortunately I was not able to get them hot enough to go non-magnetic.  I am going to add a second torch to the furnace and if that does  work I will borrow an oxy-acetylene torch.  If I could get the irons hot enough I would then quench them in vegetable oil.  Then I would need to temper the irons because they would be too hard and brittle to use.  To temper the irons I will put them in a oven at 350 to 400°F for an hour.

Spar Plane From Scratch

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Inspired by Bob Smalser’s  article  Making a Spar Plane Inexpensively and “Wooden Planes and How to Make Them” by David G. Perch and Robert S. Lee, I decide to build a spar plane from scratch.  I selected a piece of maple fire wood and cut it down with the band saw to get a rectangular piece about 3 inches on a side and 12 inches long.  I then squared two adjacent sides so that I can cut it down on the table saw to 2 1/2 square and 12 inches long.  Each side is 90 degrees to the adjacent side.

There are three ways to make wooden hand planes, the traditional method with chisels and floats, the two piece method where the two halves of the plane are glued together or the laminated method which three pieces of the plane are glued together.   I chose to do it with the laminated method.  One side is cut off at 1/4 of an inch.  The the center is cut at the width of the blade plus 1/16 and then the second side is cut at 1/4 of an inch.

I used the plans from Popular Mechanics’ article How To Build 3 Basic Hand Planes as a staring point and made some modifications for the spar plane.  I drilled alignments holes in each corner for 3/16 inch dowels.  This make test fitting and gluing easier and the ends are cut off when the shaping the plane.  The mouth is 1/4 wide and made from two cuts so that the mouth won’t be too big when the sole of the plane is shaped.  A 3/8 inch hole is drilled for the cross pin.

The cross pin is made from a 3/4 x 1 x 3  inch piece of Khaya.  I actually made three;  the first one was OK, the second was poor and the third was the best.   Once the cross pin is fashioned the plane can be glued up.    A lot of clamps are needed to ensure even pressure on all surfaces.

A 2 inch ABS pipe has an outside diameter of 2.35 inches which is just right for spars or oars, 2 1/4 inches in diameter or less.   I marked the target shape of the sole on the front of the plane and nibbled away the material with a straight cutting bit on the router.  I could have also used the table saw to nibble away or set up to cut a cove.  The router is slower but allowed me to check after each pass so that I did not any mistakes.

I started with 60 grit sand paper glued to the 2 inch ABS pipe and when I was close to having the correct shape of the sole, I changed to 120 and finished up with 220.  In retrospect, I could have cut closer to the line with the router and that would have save time sanding.  To prepare the sand paper for gluing I would cut a sheet in thirds lengthwise.  I used spray on glue and when I was done with the sand paper I would peel it off.

I used a french curve to draw the profile of the plane.  I like an rounded heel so I use a piece of 4 in ABS pipe as a guide.  Once I have the basic shape of the heel, I continue to adjust the shape until it feels good in my hand.  The left side of the heel is rounded an little more than the right which  allows me to hold and use the plane one handed.

On the next entry Iwill show how I made the blade.

Making A Wooden Plane

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

I took the wooden plane making class offered by the Guild of Oregon Wood- workers. The class was taught by Alexander Anderson. Each person taking the class made a plane. I made a jack plane out of Black Mesquite and I find that it works very well. I am making a scrub plane which is made out of Maple with a sole of Black Mesquite. The third plane that I am going to make is a spar plane. This plane, I think, will be the most difficult as I will be making both the body and the iron.

A New Saw Blade

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

I picked up new saw blade for my table saw at the recent woodworkers show. I have been having problems with burning when I am cutting long pieces of wood with my table saw. The burn marks are unsightly and have to be sanded out which takes extra time. The blade I picked up is a Forrest Woodworker II thin kerf blade along with an anti-vibration plate.

The instructions to install the new blade had me check the trueness of the blade and fence to the table. I found that both the blade and the fence turned in at about 0.005 inches, about the thickness of a piece of paper, at the back of the saw. This may have caused binding when I was pushing the wood through and the source of the resulting burning. I adjusted the blade so that it is as true as I could make it and then adjusted the fence so that it was 0.005 inches wider at the end of the saw. Adjusting the fence this way is supposed to reduce binding. I ran several 8 foot pieces of Alder though and there as a little bit of burning but nothing like before and the cut was smooth like it had been sanded.

I am using the Alder for the faces for the drawer on my work bench in the boat shop. Just one of the many projects that have to be finished as I prepare to start building the next boat.