Thursday, March 8, 2012

Second Session of Plane Making Class

     Last night was the second session of the class and unfortunately one of our members was absent.  Hopefully we'll get her caught up over the weekend, I'm sure we will.  At the end of the first session everyone had their main body parts cut, the recess for the chip breaker blade screw had been routed out, dowels were made, and things were ready to go together.  Jay, who is making a plane similar to my version of a scrub plane, had a bit more work so he came by over the weekend to my shop to finish a few details.  Now that the body is put together the next step is making and attaching the sole.
     Before that can be done, the bottom of the plane needed to be trued up and square to the sides.  This was done with a combination of planes and, as Lupe is doing here; using a piece of sandpaper on the flat and level surface of the table saw:

Checking the Plane Body for Square

     Jay is working on the same process, notice how his plane has a handle.  That's the part that is taking him a little more time since it needs to be formed, drilled, etc. to where it feels just right in his hands:

Jay using a Block Plane to true up the bottom

     Luckily, he has a shop at his house so he can work on his plane and not fall behind since his design is a bit more complicated.  To attach the sole to the body we use 3/16" dowels to register them together.  This is very important since the mouth opening (where the blade comes out) needs to be carefully made.  Theoretically speaking, the smaller your mouth the finer your cut.  I had them make their own 3/16" dowels for this purpose.

Making Dowels, Cutting out a Mouth, and Gettin' it Done!

     Last of all, work was started on making the wedge needed to hold the blade in place.  They all drilled out the location for the 1/2" dowel for that and we're good to go!  Next week we will first hone our blades and then see what kind of cut they are able to achieve.  Once that's done the final step will be forming the body to fit their hands.  That's accomplished with the bandsaw, spokeshaves, files, sandpaper, etc.
     Looking forward to seeing how well their planes will perform -- hopefully it will meet the expectations they had when they signed up for the class.

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