Sole of a new plane


To me, this is a funny photo, I just hand pressed the blade to the frog and took some shavings on a piece of maple; I think the plane will work.

The sole is pretty much done, had do some [re]thinking about how to attach it to the body. I was going to glue it on but I need to take things apart (I just have to) so that wouldn’t work, then five screws but space is a bit tight and getting the holes on the sole and body aligned would be a PITA so two inline attachment points. Screws, by themselves, are no good for alignment or transmitting thrust (pushing the body pushes the sole which pushes the blade …) so the big thrust bearing at the front. ¼”x20 flat head screws keep the sole tight to the body.
I don’t like big gaping mouths, this one is 1/8″ (the blade is ¼”). If you are working an edge (eg adding a chamfer), it can get stuck between the blade bevel and the back of the mouth. The ramp matches blade bevel and is actually a pocket (the ramp would be longer than the bevel otherwise). It took me three tries to get it right, I had to finally make a CAD drawing because I had trouble visualizing what the numbers were trying to tell me.
I made some thread serts from 3/8″x16 all thread, ½” long, drilled and tapped ¼x20 (a pain to make) and epoxied them into the body. To keep the bearing from rubbing on wood, I glued in a piece of copper water pipe.
The bottom is covered with a skim coat of epoxy to give it added durability.

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5 Responses to Sole of a new plane

  1. Jay says:

    Neat. Are you going to put a bun or knob on there for your left hand? I’ve been thinking of making a heavy, monolithic stainless #3 high angle smoother for hardwoods. Since my mill is in parts I’ve been thinking of just rudimentary tapped stuff with solder to fill in cracks. It’s interesting to see the solutions you come up with for your various projects. I’m hot on your heels with my own MF #2–wish me luck!

    • Zander K says:

      I’m not sure how I’m going to finish the front of the body, current plan is just to leave it square with a mild round over – there isn’t very much room: 1 5/8″. I’d also like to put a strike button there. This one is 50º, my 55º infill rocks on US domestic hardwoods of any figure.
      I want to see your #3 (probably my favorite size) – that will be uber cool. I hope your mill is stout and you have proper tooling, SS can be a bear. I haven’t figured out how to mill the mouth on a one piece plane, I’d like to see your solution. I silver brazed my SS infill, silver bearing solder isn’t very pretty (I made several other planes that way). I have a chunk of SS I can NOT braze with silver or brass. Some SSs are very malleable, great for peining.
      Good luck on the egg beater! They are so pretty. I have a pile of all kinds awaiting rebuilds. Maybe someday I’ll learn to cut gears and make one.

  2. Jay says:

    It’s just an old Atlas horizontal, and it’s in pieces, but it should be plenty stout when I get it running. Never used it before, but I’ve heard they can plough a one-inch trough in a railroad rail all day long.

    After dealing with some reversing-grain hardwoods, I was ready for a high-angled plane, something narrow. Rust has also become very tiresome, and if I’m going through the trouble, why not stainless!?! Why not? It’s also very pleasing to have a plane that’s heavy in the hand. So I was thinking of something along the lines of a very heavy bevel down with a Norris adjuster, and an adjustable mouth with a simple mechanism; it’s only purpose is as a smoother so It would be set-and-forget. I also don’t like how adjustable-mouth knobs can come loose when you’re concentrating on the task at hand, and all of a sudden the mouth is flopping open all over the place. First I have to set up that mill though. For that I’ll need to get bearings . . . There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza . . . .

    • Zander K says:

      I’ve never used a horizontal but I’ve heard if you want rigid, that’s what you use.
      I used 304 SS on a plane and it takes a wonderful polish that looks the same years later (the one in the top of page photo). I’m not fond of heavy, using a #7 for any length of time is a lot of work. If I need ramming speed, it usually isn’t pretty.
      I also dislike sole plates that move for adjusting the mouth (although Marcou makes a sweet looking one) but really like adjustable frogs (well, excepting Stanley Baileys) to avoid dead nuts machining of the mouth (and worrying about iron thickness). I’ve made three different styles now and think it is worth the effort.
      Why narrow? I have 2″ in 55º, 60º and 1½” in 50º & 55º (BD & BU), the one I grab is determined by the size of the work, taking a 2 thou cut doesn’t need a lot of force. I like small planes (the Gordon palm plane is a honey) but if the board is big …
      Good luck with the mill, old iron is good iron.

  3. Jay says:

    Why narrow? My feeling was that pushing a 55º-60º plane would take more momentum than pushing a similar plane bedded at 45º, so a narrower #3 width would mitigate that somewhat. At that configuration, and set that fine, it would be all about the finish, but you know, maybe you’re right. That’s a good point about an adjustable frog, too.

    I have a War-era thick casting Stanley No. 8. It’s a frickin’ steamroller with a plane blade attached. When you get it going it just zips right through wood knots. I love it.

    The Atlas is interesting, it’s basically one of their smaller 6″ lathe heads on a small mill casting with an x-y table on a knee. I plan to use cone pulleys and a variable running machine motor to get it going. No bull gear, no spindle, no bearings. There’s a hole in the bucket . . . .

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