I've just got around to finishing off the plane.
A blade lever cap plate was made, again from some teak, about 3/8" thick x 1-5/8" wide x 3-1/2" long. A 30 degree bevel was cut on the leading edge and the back end rounded off. A 3/8" hole counterbored to 5/8" was drilled at the far end. A brass shouldered and threaded insert was pushed into place. The brass adjustment screw was inserted.
The lever cap needed slight adjustment on the top face to slide under the cross pin with ease.
Then it was coated with some lacquer.
After a couple of coats of shellac I applied another few coats of a waterborne gloss lacquer from ToneTech simple with a foam brush. When the lacquer had cured I set about clearing the slot of any remaining lacquer.
Then the sole of the plane was trued using some self adhesive sandpaper on a convenient cast iron surface (my table saw). The teak really does suit being used as a wooden plane and it was very easy to obtain a true surface.
The first thing to insert was the 1/4" diameter brass cross pin. This is a push fit into both holes and went in with some tapping from a deadblow mallet.
Next to be fitted was the bearing cup. This is dropped into the mortise made by the 7/8" Forstner bit and fits perfectly. I did have to remove some of the lacquer again and just had to square up the bottom of the mortice slightly as it was out by a couple of thou. This made the cup parallel and co-planer with the bed.
The bearing cup was secured with the supplied brass screw.
Next the blade adjustment assembly was inserted. This simply sits in the cup.
The blade, bevel down, is inserted and engages the location pawl.
The final piece to be put into place is the lever cap and that is it.
Adjusting the plane involves using a mill file on the flat leading edge face of the slot. However in practice I had no need for any adjustment as the gap was around 1/32" of an inch when the blade was in place. I seem to have got it right first time.
The first tryout of the plane was really successful. Veritas have designed the adjustment mechanism as their factory made planes. This is back and forth and side to side all using the same knob. The classic Norris style adjuster works well.
The blade I bought was a PMV11 ground to 23 degrees with a 2 degree microbevel. It did not need any honing at all out of the box. The shavings produced on some scrap teak were continuous and came out rolled up. If you are used to chip breakers then it is quite different. Of course you can move the lever cap closer to the blade edge but you limit the clearance for the chip to come through.
I was more than happy with the results. My smoother is quite lightweight especially when you consider that I normally use a Lie Nielsen bronze #4 which weighs about 4-1/2 pounds. This one seems quite light in comparison but is similar in scale to a #2 or #3 pattern smoother. I tried it out on some oak too and was producing very thin 1 thou shavings. Again making this woodworker very happy.
I have designed two more planes with 50 and 55 degree beds respectively and will make them in the next few weeks. These will help in those more difficult to handle highly figured pieces.
So if you fancy making a wooden bodied plane then the Veritas kit is well recommended.