Time to start putting things together. The top of the sole is sanded, as are the insides of the sides (I really should have done the outsides too but got lazy and it kinda bit me). Then a light pein to lock things in position for soldering. Since the dovetails fit really well, I don’t have to move much metal at all, which means light hammer blows, which means I don’t need a buck, just an anvil and wood block to keep the plane on its side (I’m only going to pein the steel pins and I didn’t bother to do any of the “double dovetail” stuff you usually need to do to join infills, that’s why I “glue” with solder). As things fit so well, I suspect this peining would have worked fine in this case.
Here are two close-ups of the same area; on the left, I’ve peined the tips of the pins and you can sorta see how good the fit is. On the right, after soldering and clean up. You can see where the steel has moved the brass up. Scale: each pin and tail is about 3/8” and the sole is 1/8”.
Soldering keeps the front and rear edges of the side plates from flapping in the breeze, not likely a problem but good for peace of mind. My boo-boo: by not cleaning the outside of the sides, there was enough grunge that the solder didn’t flow as nicely as it should have, not a strength issue but you can’t see where the solder has flowed and you have to “help” it move to where it needs to go.
And finally, the shell has been assembled, cleaned up a little and is now ready for wood.
In case you are wondering why one side is pinker than than the other, it is because, when brass gets hot, some zinc boils off (bogus terminology there), leaving copper. In this case, it is a surface affect only.