Monday, 9 February 2015

A Teak Wooden Bodied Smoothing Plane

There has been much renewed interest in old wooden bench planes over the past few years. I guess people want to get back to the artisan ways of making things and using a wooden bodied plane is one such route.
To facilate the manufacture of such planes Veritas recently announced that they would make available hardware kits using their mechanism based upon the Norris style adjuster.
The kit comes with all the parts and a choice of O1, A2 or PMV11 blades. All you have to do is supply the timber of your choice.

My build

I had some teak on my wood racks that was almost the same size as the requirements. Veritas recommend a piece of wood 8”x 2-1/4”x 2-1/2” or larger.

The piece I had was 2" x 2" so I glued another piece to make it 2" x 3" x 18" long. I decided to use some contrasting pieces for the side cheeks, again from teak, but it is a slightly different shade. When glueing teak you have to wipe it down with some acetone or mineral spirits first of all to remove the natural oil on the surface of the wood.

The next thing to do after the glue sets up is to cut it down to 1-11/16" wide and 2-1/2" tall.
Then one block is cut at 3" long and the other needs a 45 degree cut. I left this piece still long just in case of mistakes with cutting the pocket of which there were a few!

The small 3" long block required a 4" radius cut machining into it so I did this with the bandsaw and oscillating spindle sander. There is a 1/4" section that is left square to what will become the sole.

Sketchup representation of the inner blocks.
Sketchup makes it looks as though it is faceted. In
reality it is a true 4" radius.

The next part to cut was the pocket for the adjusting mechanism. I use a 7/8" Forstner bit to machine the two ends of the slot and chiselled out the remainder. The teak is extremely hard wearing on your tools and I had to have several attempts at making the slot. The first couple of times the bit simply ran off the centre mark as it was not cutting. I had to cut the 45 degree a couple of times and thankfully I had left plenty on to do this. I resharpened the Forstner bit with some diamond files and got a good cut. Teak is really, seriously tough on tools!

This is what the finished sloping bed block should look like.
Mine did but I had no photos of this part.
Then I milled the side cheeks down to 5/16" thick and glued the inner blocks to the outer cheeks leaving excess on to trim off later.

The inner blocks were sat flat on the benchtop with a plastic sheet in the way.
They are separated by 5mm to create the blade slot. I calculated this
using SketchUp to give 3/64" clearance when the blade is present.

After glue up the plane has very straight sides
The next thing to so whilst still in the square condition was to mark out the position of the holes for the brass cross pin, This is all relative to the tip of the 45 degree "point" so is easy to do.

Shaping for aesthetics

Using a combination of bandsaw to create the rough shape, oscillating spindle sander to smooth it out and a couple of spokeshaves to finesse the shape I ended up with something that is nice to the hand. It is not in the same class as Scott Meeks or James Krenov planes, nor is it intended to be, but it is a first off attempt.
Shaping with a spokeshave

Smoothed and finished to 220 grit on the sides and
320 grit on end grain

Makers brand applied. After wiping over with acetone
a single coat of shellac was applied. There will be
several coats of poly applied over the top of this.

There is no need to coat the sole as the teak has
a natural oil which will lubricate long term.

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