How I make small mitre planes, part 9: Nailed

This part assembles the shell to the sole. Bronze nails are used to add visual interest (I put a lot of effort into the joinery! I want you to see it, otherwise I would have just welded the thing).

Before doing this step, chamher and sand/polish the toe and heel. It is easy to do it now and touch them up later, not so fun to do the whole thing later.

With the bridge installed, the shell is complete and can be attached to the sole.

Nailing shell to soleThe holes are 1/4″ deep and I use 5/16″ long 3/32″ silicon bronze welding rod as nails. Brass would probably work just as well, I use bronze because I tried it and liked it.
I use needle nose pliers to hold the nails and tap them in with a small hammer.
The vise aligns the holes and keeps the plane from moving.

Pein the pins and tails (on the shell and sole) to close any gaps. Nailing the shell to soleI’m not consistent in my “visible joinery” rhetoric, here I want the joins visible only if you really really look for them. Otherwise, just pein the tails if there are gaps between the sole and shell. Be aware that the silver “glue line” really stands out so it needs to be a consistent width (eg if you were a bit sloppy cutting the pins and tails, pein).

Be very, very careful when peining towards the sole, there is no wiggle room to lap out any divots. Use tape or metal plate as protection as a precaution.

I use a hacksaw to cut slots in the tails (sole) so I can put a punch in the slot and bend the sole over the pin. This also locks the pin tight to the sole in case there was a gap there.
Don’t use too much force! The sole should only bend where it is tapped.
I use the vise as a peining buck or just use a thick slab of steel.
Here, I’ve mushroomed the tops of the nails, but I now think it would be better not to, so the silver can flow through them to the sole (silver flows through gaps of 0.003″ – 0.005″).

After peining, silver braze the the nails and peined joinery (I don’t braze the toe or heel). I could have probably just used green Locktite on the nails, something I’ll need to experiment with. The sole will warp but so far it is the toe and heel that drop (which is, I think, the only way they can move), which can be lapped out without effecting the mouth.

To clean up, I mill to about 0.004″ (piece of paper thick) proud of the surfaces. Be very, very careful not to mill into the sole. After that, I lap on 100 grit sandpaper glued to a flat surface (my bandsaw table). I also square the sides while sanding. I could chuck it back in the mill and face the sides but it would probably take more time to jig it up than to sand.

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