14 August 2013

On Thicker Plane Blades.

I bought a Lie-Nielsen blade for my antique Stanley #4 USA a few  years ago but always seemed to prefer using my Record 030 without really knowing why.

The other day I was trying to fettle the #4 because the shavings were clogging up in the mouth, something that never happened before.  I first lapped the chipbreaker on the back surface so that it seated flush with blade, and then I stropped the front edge to allow shavings to flow over unhindered.  This didn't work.

I then tried moving the frog forwards and backwards-this didn't work either.  Too far forward & the plane mouth closed up, and too far backwards and I couldn't adjust the blade downwards-the adjustment screw reached its limit.

There was only one thing left to do.  I moved the chipbreaker further back along the blade, leaving a much larger gap.  This seemed to work fine, even though I've read that the gap has to be much smaller.  Maybe Stanley planes were not designed to take other blades?

Aside: In the background of the 1st picture is a Paul Sellers-inspired hand tool applicator.  take home-use machine (inorganic) oil only!

16 May 2013

Box in Partridge Wood & Oak

Completed Box before finish.
Continuing with my love for making boxes, I made this from scrap pieces of Partridge Wood (Panga Panga) and White Oak.
The two short ends fitted into rabbeted sides and 3 nails were hammered in for support as well as looks.
The bottom was recessed into a rabbet and ship lapped.  There should be no significant wood movement on such a small piece so the ship lap was more for effect.
The Partridge Wood top was re-sawn and book matched.  Because it is an oily wood and thus difficult to glue, I first used a 2 part epoxy to glue the two pieces together.  Then I added two butterfly inlays for added support. 

Completed Box after finish-those aren't feet, they're my dog holes.
I added a photo before the finish was added to show how the finish brings out the beautiful grain.  Finish used was the old faithful Danish Oil and wax.  Not shown is how the lid fits in place.  I used a shoulder plane to cut a custom rabbet all around to fit the not-so-perfectly-square box without rattling around. 

A new home for my Record 043.


21 February 2013

Wagon Vice


 When I built my Roubo bench I installed a traditional leg vice as shown.  I was never happy with the grip of this vice, and so when I installed my old Record vice and the tail end of the bench, I found myself using this all the time.

I suppose I could have stuck leather onto the leg vice, or bought a better quality threaded screw.  I'm not sure if that would have made a difference? The fact that the leg vice didn't have a quick release also played a large part. 

So seeing I liked the Record vice so much, I decided to move it to the front, and to make a wagon vice using a shoulder vice screw from Lee Valley.

I faced the following problems:
  1. I needed to chop out a large hole for the wagon vice as well as drill more holes through the bench for the Record vice.  This would not in any way weaken the 4" (100mm) thick Ash top, I just don't like doing it.
  2. Flipping the bench over to Rout the bottom hole (to prevent blowout) was, well, flipping difficult.  The Roubo bench is designed to be massive.
  3. Holding the Record vice upwards against the top while threading the bolts was very difficult if doing it alone.
  4. There was no ideal place to put the Record vice as the bench leg is very thick, and the bench itself is very short (1400mm).  I decided to put it in front of the leg, which meant that the vice is near the front edge.


  You will notice the wagon vice hardware on top of the bench, and the coach screws that secure the end piece are not evenly spaced because I had to make allowance for the Record vice which was previously there.

After marking out the "through mortice" for the wagon vice, I drilled a series of large holes and then used a hand held router to remove the waste-part of which is sitting on top of the bench.

Then I cut a square mortice in the end of the bench to accept the wagon vice screw.  This was done both with a hand chisel and a palm router.  The little hole is a pilot for the threaded rod and is exactly in line with the row of dog holes.

 Next I drilled a 30mm hole with a Forstener bit, held straight with the DJ-1 drilling jig.

This picture looks difficult to fathom, but I used a traditional method for the underside part of the wagon vice runner.  I picked Rhodesian Teak (a distant family to African Rosewood) as it is self-lubricating to a degree.


You will notice that I have two rows of dog holes and my outer row is closer to the edge than most I've seen on the net.

This plus the wagon vice screw is actually a shoulder vice screw and therefore shorter, restricted me in some ways.

It works well, in that it is very fast and doesn't need much force to hold a board still.