Shoulder plane progress

Meanwhile, I have started to work on the shoulder plane kit. So far, I haven’t made much progress, and, as you expected already, I don’t have work-in-progress pictures yet. As usual, I promise to deliver soon… In this case, I have a good reason, because I’m not working  in my shop or at home, but at work (after hours, of course), and I didn’t bring a camera with me. So far, I have cut the dovetails in the steel sole, and I discovered that sawing steel is quite different from sawing wood. In particular, getting a cut started is a lot more difficult – my usual technique of using the thumbnail as a fence did’nt work as well as I thought – in one case, I quite missed my scribed line, resulting in an angle of something like 50° instead of 60. I hope that I can correct for this with peening (peining?) in the later phase. (If I can’t, I’ll keep this as a lesson and build the next plane without mistakes…)

The plan for my lunch break today is to do some careful filing to fit the sides to the sole, I brought my small needle files for this. And next in line is to file the “undercuts” for the double dovetails- this process is a bit difficult to describe, but the instructions that came with the kit do a very good job here.

This weekend, I’m going to do some rough work instead of fine joinery – the birch that I mentioned has been taken down by now, and requires some cutting, splitting and so on. For a nice overview, see, Steve has made a nice job of describing possible ways of processing. Furthermore, a taken-down aspen tree is awaiting the same treatment. We need a fence around the raised bed that we are building (raised bed in the sense of gardening, just in case you were wondering), and maybe I can use some of the lumber for this purpose, at least those parts that are not pretty enough for woodworking. I hope I find a froe buried somewhere in the shed, otherwise, I have to improvise somehow. And if I’m lucky, I find the time to do some greenwood turning.

So much for now, thanks for reading!


~ by Michael on March 24, 2010.

2 Responses to “Shoulder plane progress”

  1. Kuhl. Metalwork is very slow, unforgiving, and builds character. I’ve been doing so much of it lately (building custom parts for a mitre box saw and restoring saws) that whenever I put a saw or chisel to wood, it seems like sailing through styrofoam! Building that plane will be a real achievement. I’m watching to see what your experience is like because I’d also like to build a few planes. Having had some bad experiences with a hacksaw, when I saw an old Sears power hack saw at the flea market, I jumped at the chance to buy it. Unfortunately, that’s turning into another flea market redemption project! But it’ll make very discreet, repeatable, straight, and accurate cuts much quicker and more accurately than I could do by hand, or with one of those metal-cutting band saws.

  2. I took a look at Aled’s site, very nice! There is something wonderful about these little shoulder planes, I can feel the weight of the brass in my hand from here.

    You should get a copy of ShopNotes Vol. 15 issue 88 from 2006. You can buy the whole volume at for $29.95 (they don’t appear to sell individual back issues). It has an article on making a dovetailed brass/steel/wood infill shoulder plane from scratch, as well as an additional article on metalworking techniques. I plan to build one of these, someday, with my copious spare time…

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