Kickers (I got the term from Karl Holtey’s excellent blog) are used to center the blade while allowing for lateral adjustment when things aren’t quite square. There are lots of ways to do this; for example, Karl uses brass buttons and LeeValley/Veritas uses set screws in the sides of their planes. For my bevel down planes, I just make the mouth slot narrow. For bevel up planes, the long recessed bed allows more places to put the kickers. Right at the mouth (as in the bevel down planes), tapers or a ways back (as in set screws). I used the latter because it seems simpler.Other things to note:
- Argh: As I was cutting the front ramp (a climb cut on one side), the end mill took a big bite of the side wall and, as my mill has several miles of backlash, launched into the bed. Luckily (as it were), the mill is belt driven so belt slipped and the chuck stopped spinning fast (ie no damage to the machine or tooling). But it did dig a hole though the bed. I was kinda of upset and words that shall not be spoken, were. I fixed it by filling the crater with silicon bronze (TIG brazed) and remilling the bed. TIG brazing is the process of using an TIG welder to heat the filler to melting but not hot enough to melt the base metal. Fast and heat/distortion is minimized but things need to be clean, clean, clean (no flux is used). Brass can’t be used as filler as the zinc in it will vaporize explosively.
- Use a smaller endmill so it will take smaller bites (I switched from 1/4″ to 1/8″ for disaster recovery). Since the smaller endmill is quite a bit shorter, I have to use a collet chuck because the mill quill would hit the sole before the cutter did. A collet chuck is basically a rod that holds a collet, mine holds ER-16 collets (finger diameter), has a 3/4″ shank and is about the diameter of a R8 collect (standard Bridgeport type collet).
- The ramp is TIG welded on. I got about the same level of distortion as brazing so that is a win as welding is much faster, cleaner and no nasty flux to breath. Note that this is a fusion weld, no filler. One disadvantage is that if I just tack weld (instead of a continuous bead), the welds cool very fast and are very hard. And you didn’t think mild steel had enough carbon to heat treat. It does. It will blow the edges off regular high speed endmills but treated carbide ones work fine. I’ll probably try TIG brazing in the future to see what happens.
- You can see divots at the mouth – I finish mill with a 1/16″ endmill and mill into the wall so the mouth width is what I want, no filing.
- No dovetails. I’m using box joints with secondary bevels cut into the sides of the shell fingers.