Fall Class Schedule

We have two dates set for our fall hollow and round plane making classes.  These are three day classes and will introduce the students to the art of making side escapement planes. Topics covered include cutting the mouth, excavating the mortise and fitting the wedge, and bedding the iron.  The sole is profiled and the iron ground to match.  Heat treating will be done also, along with sharpening and tuning the plane. Dates are as follows:

  • September 6-8. 2018
  • November 1-3, 2018

More information can be found here.

The “Milkman’s” Workbench

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After making several portable workbenches for our plane making classes for use by students, we have received numerous requests for the complete bench by customers. In response to these requests, we have added them to our product line.  Dubbed the “milkman’s workbench” by Chris Schwarz in his Popular Woodworking article in June 2013, this tabletop bench is designed to clamp to any solid surface and is equipped with a full range of clamping options in a compact footprint. Here are the details:

  • Overall dimensions of the bench less the screws are 30″ long, 7 3/8″ wide, and 1 5/8″ thick.
  • The bench is built of European beech, including the screws.
  • Clamping capacity:  Wagon vice between dogs is 23 1/2″, Moxon style front vice 19 1/2″ wide x 1 7/8″ deep.
  • Jaw liner applied to wagon vice jaws and back of Moxon vice.
  • Screws are 1 1/2″ octagonal grips and are threaded at 1 1/4″ diameter with 5 threads per inch.  The wagon vice has a wood garter underneath so the vice jaw travels with the screw.
  • Two front screws can be positioned in any of the four tapped holes in the front apron.
  • Steel angle iron brackets are mounted to the end and back for mounting to the work surface with “F” style clamps.
  • Bench dogs are 3/4″ diameter and made of ash.  They have ball detents to secure them in the holes.Two will be included.  More details below.
  • The front corners are pegged bridle joints, and there is a lag screw through the front rail into the bench for strength to resist clamping forces of the front vice.
  • Two coats of oil-varnish finish will be applied.  Screws will be waxed.
  • An extra piece of jaw liner is provided for those who wish to add it to the dog and Moxon screw faces.

One change we made was to replace the square dogs with 3/4″ round dogs from Time Warp Tools. The square dogs are somewhat delicate and subject to compression failure on the front faces.  The larger dogs will be more robust and the round holes will add the versatility of various woodworking accessories in the market.  These dogs are made of ash, and have flat clamping faces that are slightly angled to give good grip at the top.  They feature a ball detent to hold them in place at any setting desired.

Price for the complete bench is $495, plus shipping costs. Now available in our store.

We also offer the screws, made by Acer-Ferrous Toolworks, for those who wish to build their own bench.  They are available here.

“Milkman’s” Workbench

 

Wagon Vice.  Note pegged corner joint and jaw liner.

 

Angle iron bracket for mounting bench.

 

Moxon vice

 

 

Jaw liner for better grip.

 

Branded logo

 

Round dog holes

Stool Kit from Acer-Ferrous Toolworks

Paul Peters, of Acer-Ferrous, has developed a wooden screw and nut system that is designed for use as a shop stool.  The large 2″ thick by 8 1/2″ square nut is sized with room for four splayed legs to be attached through tapered holes. (Very much like a Windsor chair seat,or staked furniture.)  The threaded stem is 2 1/2″ diameter and threaded at two threads per inch.  The top end has a 2 1/2″ long by 1 1/2″ diameter tenon for mounting a seat on by boring a hole through and wedging from the top.  The stem is 15″ long overall with 12″ of threaded length, allowing for about 9″ of height adjustment.  Also included is a jam nut, which is spun against the base nut once the desired seat height is set.  It will keep the seat from turning while in use and also removes any play in the screw and nut.  All components are made of maple.

Price for the kit is $110.  They are available now in the store.

Assembled screw and nut.

Jam nut.

Tenon for mounting seat.

Sample stool made from kit. Jam nut not shown.

Improvements to the Acer-Ferrous Leg Vice Screws

Paul Peters, of Acer-Ferrous Toolworks, has made some changes to his leg vice screws.  They now have two garter slots; one for external garters, which is at the base of the hub, and one set back 1″ from the hub for those who wish to use an internal garter.  Both slots are 1/4″ wide and 2″ diameter, which will fit the brass garters we carry.   We still have several original black anodized aluminum garters that are 3/8″ thick which we are offering in conjunction with a matching screw. (These screws have a single garter groove for external use only.) The package is discounted and is priced at $175 for both the screw and garter together.  It is available here.

He is also offering this screw with a tiger maple head for those who want to add an extra flair to their bench.  These screws are priced at $175. This option may be purchased here.  See photo below.

Double garter grooves for both external and internal garters.

Optional tiger maple hub.

Leg vice screw with black anodized aluminum ga

Restock of Winding Sticks.

We again have winding sticks available in both the 14″and 22″ sizes.  This walnut came from a different supplier and some may contain sap wood, which has been steamed.  Steaming reduces the color difference significantly and produces a nice two tone appearance to some of these winding sticks.  Other than that, they are identical to previous batches.  More information can be found here.  Available for purchase in the store.

Cock Bead Plane restock, now in two sizes.

The cock bead plane has been restocked and is available in both 1/8″ and 3/16″ bead sizes.  Price for either is $250.  These planes are small, at only 7″ long, with an iron bedded at 60 degrees.  Additional information can be found in the blog post here describing the plane in detail, and showing how it is used.   Available for purchase now in the store.

Beading planes back in store.

Side beads are again back in stock with a new 3/8″ size now available.  All planes have been profiled, sharpened, and test cut for a true ready-to-use tool.  Some of these planes display light spalting in the wood.  This does not affect the performance of the plane in any way.  If you do not want any on your plane, let me know at the time of ordering and I will try to accommodate your request. These planes tend to sell quickly and once they are gone, it may be a while before restocking can occur. Get yours now here in the store!

From left:  3/8″, 1/4″, 3/16″, and 1/8″

3/8″ side bead plane

The search for beech continues

Finding suitable beech for plane making has been an ongoing challenge.  We cut a large amount ourselves that we are air drying, but that will be some time before it will be dried enough to use.  In the meantime, a source of 4″ square European beech billets has been located.These are rift sawn, and it takes a good bit of work to get nice quarter sawn billets form them, but the reward is beautiful ray flecking on the quarter sawn faces. (One of the pieces of beech in the photo below shows how it would be cut to obtain a nicely quarter sawn smoother billet like the one in the foreground.)  European beech has more prominent flecking than American beech. A limited amount of this wood is suitable for larger billets such as jack and try plane stock. We also have secured wider stock for use as totes.   To learn more, click here.  To see current beech billet offerings, click here.

Hollow and Round Plane Making Classes

Last year, I taught a couple of classes on making a pair of #8 (1/2″radius) Hollow and Round molding planes as a trial run to see how things would go.  The students all seemed pleased and left with completed of nearly completed planes.  I have decided to proceed with more classes as part of my offerings.

My shop is small so class is limited to three students per class.  Each is given their own work space and a “Milkman’s” bench to work at. (See photo of the bench below.)   These clamp on benches work beautifully and will hold the planes in any necessary position for the extensive hand work required.  These classes are  taught in a way that the student can go home and make more planes using the same techniques with minimal investment in tools or fixtures.  Emphasis is almost entirely on hand tools with the exception of a drill press to start the mortise and bench grinders to grind the profile onto the irons.  The primary goal is to complete the round in class.  This is then used to shape the hollow.  It may be possible to complete the hollow also, depending on the student and how class progresses.

We will be making the round plane first, starting with the billet and cutting the mouth with a back saw.  The mortise will be sunk in and the wedge fitted.  The iron is then bedded to ensure a good tight fit. Profiling the sole is done with a block plane and the shape is then refined with sand paper.  The iron will be ground to match the sole of the plane and we will then be doing heat treating and tempering to harden the blade.  Final detailing and sharpening will complete the round.

If time permits, we will proceed to the hollow, using the completed round to profile the sole.  Finish will be discussed also.

Class is $475 per student.    Billets of quarter sawn beech can be provided at $10 each and blade blanks at $22 each. Each three day class runs from 9 am to 5 pm, Thursday through Saturday, with an option to start earlier on the second and third day of classes.  Below is a detailed class description and policies and also a tool list of needed tools.

Class Description Hollow and Rounds

Plane Making Class Tool List

Classes are scheduled for the following dates:

  • September 6-8, 2018   
  • November 1-3, 2018      

To sign up, click here.  A down payment of $150 will be required at the time of sign up to hold your place in the class.  This will be applied toward the total class cost of $475.  This is nonrefundable if canceled less than three weeks before class, as stated in the class description.  Once signed up, a class description with additional information will be sent out via email.

Each student will receive a full scale drawing of the #8 hollow and round planes being made.

The Milkman’s bench.  Each student will have one to use for the duration of the class.

A completed pair of planes.

Improved Panel Raising Planes

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After making a prototype with some design changes of a panel raising plane, we are beginning production of a small run.  These should be completed about the end of January, 2018.  Price is $595 plus shipping. Because of the limited number available, we are accepting orders for those wishing to reserve a copy.  A deposit of $100 is required with the remainder due upon completion.  Shipping will be calculated at that time.  For those interested, send us an email, and we will send an invoice via PayPal for the deposit.

The changes from previous runs include the following:

  • The iron thickness has increased at the cutting edge to 3/16″ from 5/32″, and will be professionally heat treated.
  • Redesign of the throat geometry, specifically a higher wear angle.
  • Cosmetic changes to the wedge and the addition of a cove along the right side of the plane.
  • Refined nicker and wedge design.
  • The profile remains unchanged.

Below are a few photos of the prototype.   Based loosely on a design by plane maker Tod Herrli, this plane will cut a 1/8″ deep fillet around the field of a panel, along with a 1 3/8″ wide bevel that slopes down to the last 3/8″, which then becomes a 1/4″ thick tang that will fit into the groove of the stiles and rails in the frame.  When inserted into a frame, the reveal will be 1″. The plane includes a depth stop along both sides of the profile for consistent results, and will stop cutting when final depth is reached.  A nicker improves cross grain cutting.  With a blade bedded at 45 deg and skewed at 30 deg, it will cut cleanly on both long and end grain. The plane is different from most panel planes in that it is only 10″ long; similar in length to molding planes.  Being shorter is an advantage when raising short or narrow panels, as it is easier to control. Because the panel would already be flat, the extra length is not needed.  The back is contoured for the user’s palm to sit comfortably when pushing. Iron is made of tapered O-1 tool steel. The wood used is quarter sawn American Beech, finished with Minwax Antique Oil Finish and paste wax.

 

Sample panel showing both long and cross grain cuts.

Rounded heel for user comfort.

 

Spring line is clearly visible as a visual aid when using.

 

Top view showing skewed blade.

 

Nicker and wedge for clean cross grain cuts.