- It makes the sole less “heavy” visually. To my eye, a 1/4″ sole looks too thick for this size plane but I want the thickness to get a longer ramp. Somewhere on the fat side of 5/32″ looks right to me.
- It gives me sight lines when I’m cutting the ramp and tails.
- The shell self aligns.
- The joint will be light tight (I got this idea from Karl Holtey’s blog).
This step is optional.
- I scribe a line to the original inside dimensions, not what the shell actually is. Unless something happened (they were both supposed to be 1″, the picture tells the story) . This way, I don’t worry about the ‘waviness” of the shell sides. I’ll hand tune it later.
- A handy tool for scribing the layout lines is a pin marking gauge. I modified a junk one with a 1/16″ tungsten electrode.
- I set the shell on and align it to the marks, then scribe the inside of front and back. No measuring so I don’t care that I made the shell short in the previous step.
- I write the width on the sole so I don’t forget when milling. I also write the gutter width so I can do quick checks while milling.
- Mill away.
- I tune the fit using files with safe edges. Or should anyway to avoid carving grooves that are a pain to remove later.
- The sides should fit tight, the ends are not critical as they will covered or hard to see
- I could just braze up the plane and it would be fully functional (as a block plane), so I did that for one of the planes. Lots more warping than I anticipated and silver everywhere. More experimentation needed.