Never mind the question. Just saw the updated pics. Great job there.
Never mind the question. Just saw the updated pics. Great job there.
On the other hand, I still have five fingers.
The lever cap was rough cut from the same 1/4" stock as the sole using a hacksaw and as with the other parts a brought it down to final dimension using the belt sander.
The width of the lever cap is just slightly less than the sole. The sole was 3/8", so I made the lever cap ~25/64" wide.
The round over on the nose was just done freehand on the belt sander.
I created a recess where the lever cap meets the bridge. This was just done freehand with a 3/8" diameter file. The recess was then cleaned up using sandpaper wrapped on a 3/8" rod.
I'm not sure how apparent it is from the photos, but the recess does not have a uniform depth across its width. It is actually slightly shallower in the center than at the sides. This creates a single contact point in the center of the bridge allowing the lever cap to pivot very slightly from side to side. The thought here was that this would allow the contact point at the nose to set the side to side angle of the lever cap. In other words, it is supposed to allow the nose of the lever cap to rest on the iron across its entire width (provided the nose of the lever cap is flat). How well does this really work? The lever cap is so narrow anyway that I cannot say for sure that it really offers an advantage. It seemed like a good idea at the time though, and it is actually easier to cut the recess slightly shallower in the center rather than struggle to make the recess perfectly flat across the width of the lever cap.
At this point, I drilled and tapped for a 1/4"-28 lever cap screw.
I shaped the top of the lever cap to match the general shape of the top of the plane.
I also added a bit of taper from the top down towards the nose just for aesthetics.
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Last edited by Jeff Wittrock; 03-07-2011 at 7:59 PM.
I really enjoyed the read. Thanks for posting your process!
I will say before hand that I'm not sure that this is a very good way to make a lever cap screw. I'm sure if I had looked around a bit, I could have found a screw with a large enough head to use as a starting point, but in the interest of keeping with the "buy it at the hardware store" theme, I decided to try to make the screw using what I had on hand.
I started out with a stainless steel 1/4-28 x 3/4" hex head bolt. I didn't have to use stainless, but I didn't want to use a zinc plated bolt. I simply cut the head from this bolt with a hacksaw.
To make the screw head, I started out by drilling and tapping for 1/4-28 in a piece of 1/4" mild steel.
Next I used the hacksaw to cut out a square somewhat over the final diameter of the head. I then used the bench grinder to form the square into an octagon close to the final diameter of the head, and finally I used the grinder to and belt sander to form the octagon into a circle.
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Next a threaded the stainless steel bolt into the head with a small amount of super glue on the threads towards the cut end. I left a small amount of bolt protruding from the head which I then ground flush with the belt sander.
I now drilled a 1/8" diameter cross pin hole through the head and bolt. I cut a pin from the same 1/8" mild steel rod used to make the rivets for the rest of the plane. This was then peened in place, and then ground flush on the belt sander.
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Next I chucked the screw in the drill press and used 100 grit emery cloth to to clean up the sides of the head and to give the head a slight convex shape. I then used 220, 400, and finally 1000 grit paper to polish the head.
To cut the knurling, I just used a small triangle file. There are probably some good tutorials on doing this far better than I can describe. I simply cut at 45 degrees to the screw axis one direction, the reversed and cut at 45 degrees in the other direction. I didn't attempt to do any kind of layout but just "eyeballed" the distance from one cut to the next.
I started out make fairly shallow cuts, then after the first pass in both directions, I came back and cut do the final depth.
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I made the knurling fairly course since the screw head diameter is not very large and is tucked in kind of low on the plane. I wanted to make sure it would provide a nice easy purchase for my fingers when tightening.
I think cutting knurling by hand is something of a skill in and of itself, and it is a skill I have yet to acquire, but this lever cap screw is certainly serviceable.
Hi Jeff, I really enjoy this thread! Would you mind, if I copy that design? Cheers Pedder
Last edited by Pedder Broockmann; 03-09-2011 at 12:35 AM.
I used Honduran Rosewood for the infill.
I started out with a slab a little over the 3/8" thickness I needed.
To make the front infill, I first trued one edge that would seat on the sole using my small infill smoother. Not necessarily the job for a smoother, but I'm still filling out my plane inventory, and this is the only plane I currently have the does a descent job on reversing grain.
Next I cut the angled surface that will mate with the front face of the bridge, and also a reverse angle below this that will allow the infill to clear the ramp. This doesn't need to be precise at this point. I cut these angles first so that as I plane the infill down to thickness, I can slide it all the way into the plane body up to the bridge and identify the areas that need to be relieved.
I now slowly planed the infill down to thickness. It pays to go slow during this step. I just took my time and after every few swipes with my smoother, I test fit the infill in the plane body.
Once the infill was planed down to the proper thickness, I started fitting the surface that contacts the bridge. I found it easiest to just clamp the infill in my leg vice, and work the mating surface with my smother and test fit the plane body often.
Once the I had a good fit at the bridge, I rough cut the infill where it extends into the escapement. Final shaping of the infill inside the escapement will be done once the infill is mounted.
The rear infill is done in essentially the same manner.
Normally I would pin the infill in place. As I worked on this plane, I debated whether or not to have the infill slightly overstuffed. Eventually I decided to just have it flush with the plane body, but couldn't bear to commit myself, so instead of pinning the infill in place, I used a small amount of epoxy to glue the infill in place. The thought here was that if I eventually change my mind, I could heat the body up a bit to soften the epoxy and dig the infill out. Hopefully it will never come to this, and I may yet pin the infill although I suspect the epoxy will still be holding the infill long after I'm gone.
Last edited by Jeff Wittrock; 03-08-2011 at 6:38 PM.
I want to see the smoother next!!
Next, I shaped the infill flush with the side plates.
Before I mounted the infills, I had already rough cut them to within about 1/8" of their final size, so there wasn't much material to remove.
For the outside surfaces, I used a spoke shave to bring the final dimension as close to the metal as I dare. I then finished up with the belt sander and lastly used sandpaper on the granite tile.
For the inside surfaces (escapement), I used a small knife to remove most of the material, then a round file, and finally several grits of sandpaper wrapped on a round form.
I try to sand rosewood as little as possible. I have something of an allergy to to it, so I try to generate as little dust as possible. The shavings have never been a problem, but I probably need to be more careful than I am. I would hate to develop a full fledged allergic reaction and never be able to use this beautiful wood again.
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I have showed things out of order a bit as I actually did some of the metal finishing before the infill was fitted. If I had pinned the infills in place I would probably have waited with most of the metal finishing until after these were fitted as I would have had to sand the rivets flush.
Finishing of the metal can be one of the more tedious parts of the job. Now is the point where all of those nasty scratches I have put into the metal up till now had to come out.
This just involved various grits of wet/dry paper, a flat surface, and some elbow grease.
Since I used 100 grit belts on the belt sander, I started with 150 grit paper on the granite plate. I then worked through 220.
After working all the surfaces over with 220 grit, I added a chamfer to the sides of the plane. This was done with a small triangle file at 45 degrees. Once I had an even chamfer on the front, top, and back sides, I polished the chamfer using 220 grit paper on an oak backer. I would not recommend trying to polish the chamfer or any of the surfaces without a solid backing or flat plate. This may just be personal preference, but I really love to have a nice sharp edge, and rubbing the surfaces with sandpaper using a soft backer or your finger will quickly round things over.
From here I repeated the polishing with 320, and finally 500 grit paper. After each grit, I would alternate the direction to clearly show up scratches from the previous. I don't really like a high polish on tools. To my eye it just shows finger prints to easily, so I see no reason to go beyond 500 grit.
On the final sanding, I tried to have all of the scratches in a direction parallel to the sole or, for the edges, following the chamfer. This is probably just personal preference, but it just looks good to my eye.
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Well, not quite done yet.
I just used several coats of BLO on the rosewood followed by some wax.
I have not done the final flattening of the sole as I still need to make and fit a good iron.
Sorry my posts are scattered around this thread a bit, but I honestly don't know how to keep them grouped together, so I just numbered them.
I hope some of this post is useful. If nothing else, I hope that it provides some encouragement to others who think they might enjoy making their own tools. Honestly, If I can make something useful then I am certain a trained Gorilla (or an untrained one) could do the same.
Please post any critique. If you see that I did something that just ain't right, then sing out. I just learn as I go, and honest critique is an excellent teacher.
Last edited by Jeff Wittrock; 03-08-2011 at 9:00 PM.
I don't know your profession, but you certainly have an eye for design. Your plane in profile has a classic look, yet originality. Inspiring to say the least, thanks again for sharing. And your resourcefulness is equally inspiring.
How to make this plane would be an ideal high school shop class for our young kids today who sometimes go through school without ever learning the satisfaction of making something with their own hands.
What a great looking plane!!! I have been toying with the idea of building something similar since I read your original posts. First, how difficult would it be to modify it to a BU plane?
Also, any leads on good suppliers of smaller pieces of steel?
This thread is truly inspiring. I am toying with the idea of making a similar set of these planes instead of buying the LV shoulder planes but I am not sure if I have the patience.
@Andrew: Onlinemetals-dot-com has a good selection of steels, brass and such.