The Cock Bead Plane

The cock bead plane is used to cut cock beading for drawer surrounds, either stuck onto the case sides of applied to rabbets cut into the drawer fronts.  Often found on period furniture, it provides both a visual detail to the drawer as well as protection to  veneered fronts, since the bead covers the edges of the drawer.  The cock bead differs from a side bead in a couple of ways:  There is no fence or depth stop, and the plane will also cut a fillet next to the bead, which is necessary when the beading is applied to the case itself.  When beading drawer dividers, both edges would receive a bead, and the material  between the beads will also be removed with this plane.  On the case sides, where only the inside edges get the bead,  the fillet will allow room for a conventional bench plane to be used to remove the remaining material on the outside edges.  Also, the iron tends to be bedded at a higher pitch because they are used going both directions and will encounter situations of working against the grain.  The plane we are producing was patterned after an original, is bedded at 60 degrees, and is only 7″ in length, making it extremely light weight and nimble to use.  Quartersawn American Beech is the wood of choice.   The bead is boxed using persimmon cut on a bias to match the bed angle of the iron.

The first run was small to test the market, and, judging by the interest, most likely these will be produced again in the future.  Price is $250.

Currently out of stock.  To learn when the next run will be made, and have first opportunity to reserve a plane, sign up for the Red Rose Reproductions Newsletter.

Below are some pointers for using the cock bead plane.

Cock Bead Plane

a comparison of the 7″ long cock bead plane  with a standard 10″ long 3/16″ side bead plane.

John M. Whelan, in his book The Wooden Plane, Its History Form, and Function,  says this of the cock bead plane:

“It is a molding plane with a semicircular groove in the sole. The iron matches and has horizontal cutting extensions on either side.”

I sharpened the iron in this way, and with some experimenting, I found that it was very difficult, if not impossible, to end up with a bead precisely at the edge of the board. Starting the cut was difficult without any fence or other guide.  The bead tended to either run off the board, or leave a fillet on the outside edge.  Next, the blade  was sharpened so that it faded into the corner of the bead on the blind side, and the horizontal extension on that side was ground back so it could not cut.  Now, to start the cut, the plane is tilted, and the semicircular groove served as a guide.  Shown below is the sequence I have found to cut very well.

First, draw some hash marks across the work piece with a pencil to gauge your progress.  Start the cut with the plane tilted slightly away from the work piece; just enough to allow the groove to act as a fence.  Take a couple of passes at this angle.  Placing your thumb on top of the plane in front of the wedge, with your fingers riding underneath against the stock. gives good control of the plane.

Starting the cut with the plane tilted slightly away from the work piece.  Note the pencil lines to gauge progress.

Once a track is established, gradually bring the plane into the vertical position over the next several passes. Once the plane is vertical, the fillet will be across to the escapement side of the plane.  It is important to hold the plane as perpendicular to the stock so the fillet will be flat.  Also, keep the plane against the outside edge of the stock to ensure the bead does not run off the side.

Over the next several passes, bring the plane into the vertical position.

As the plane progresses, keep an eye on the top of the bead.  There is no depth stop, so use the pencil lines to know when to stop. One they disappear, full depth has been reached.  Often, abbreviated length cuts are necessary to keep the depth even.

 

Full depth has been reached.

Once the first side is completed, flip the stock around and repeat the process on the second side.  This becomes a bit more tricky, as you will need to watch both the bead depth and fillet depth in the center.  Leaning the plane a bit either way can help blend the center.  Most likely, there will be some tracks, which can be removes with a narrow scraper that fits into the space between the beads. In the photo below, both the bead and fillet are close to completion.  Note the pencil line on the bead.

Second side bead nearly complete.

Finished beading.  Note the tracks that should be scraped out with a narrow scraper.

Cutting a bead on 3/16″ stock for applied cock beading is pretty straight forward.  Make a pass with the plane tilted first to one side, then the other, to break the corners.  Then plane straight down until the full profile is formed, keeping the plane pushed against the blind side.

When cutting either profile, keep the shavings from accumulating in the throat of the plane.  Thin narrow shavings have little beam strength, and can clog the plane.  Pull them clear after each pass.

The cock bead plane, with sampled of both applied (left) and stuck beading. (right)

 


Newsletter now available

As a means to inform customers of upcoming products and offers, we are now offering the Red Rose Reproductions Newsletter.  This newsletter will be an occasional occurrence, only issued when there is news about soon to be offered tools, and will not clutter your inbox with junk.  It is designed to give you, a valued subscriber, a first chance to reserve a copy of sometimes limited tools.  Sign up now to be one of the first to know what is coming!

Below is a screenshot of part of the first newsletter we published.


Acer Ferrous Toolworks Garters

Paul Peters, of Acer Ferrous Toolworks, has developed additional components for the leg vice wood screw.   The garter, which is used to attach the wood screw to the chop (movable jaw) of the vice, is now available.  This allows the chop to move in conjunction with the hub of the screw when opening the vice.  There is no need to pull the chop open by hand.  The garters are 4″ square, and are split in half to allow for installation around the screw.  Thickness is 3/8″ for the aluminum and 1/4″ for the brass, and will slip into the grove at the base of the screw hub. (The groove is sized for the proper garter.)  Four countersunk screw holes, and supplied screws, are all that is needed for installation.  The garter can be oriented either  square or in a diamond position, as shown.

Acer Ferrous wood vice screw with brass garter and prototype handle.

Garters is available in either solid brass, which can be purchased here, or in aluminum with a black anodized finish, available here.  Both come with matching screws.

Brass Garter with brass screws.

 

Aluminum garter with black anodize finish and screws.

 

 

Spill Planes again in the Store

The current run of spill planes is now available for purchase in our store.  There are three wood options;  American Beech, Black Cherry, and Maple, with some light figure and/or spalting.  All are priced at $135, plus shipping. For more details about the spill plane, click here.

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

Spill planes in Beech, Cherry, and Spalted Maple

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

Spill Plane in black cherry.

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

Spill Plane in American Beech

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

Spill Plane in Spalted Maple

Spill Plane Update

Currently, the spill plane is out of stock.  The next batch is under way, and we hope to have them completed by mid November, and back in the store at that time.  These will be available in American Beech, Black Cherry, and Maple, which has some spalting and curly grain.

Anyone wishing to reserve a plane can do so by contacting us.  Payment will be due upon completion.

Here are a few progress photos:

Spill Planes with wedges cut and ready for bedding of the irons.

Spill Planes with wedges cut and ready for bedding of the irons.

Flattening the irons.

Flattening the irons.

Acer-Ferrous Toolworks wooden vice screws

Acer-Ferrous Toolworks was started by a young man, Paul Peters, whom I have been mentoring in woodworking since he was a boy.  Paul recently graduated from a trade school as a machinist, and decided to combine his two interests, woodworking and metalworking, into a business venture.  He purchased a 1910 Monarch lathe, and made his own tooling to produce wood vice screws.  His first product, a leg vice screw and nut, is shown below.

The 2 1/2″ diameter, 2 threads per inch screw is made of hard maple ( Acer saccharum), riven out of the log to ensure straight grain, and vacuum kiln dried.  The octagonal hub is a separate piece of wood, and is threaded and glued to the screw.  Overall length of the screw is approximately 24″, of which 4″ is the hub.  The hub measures 3 1/2″ across the flats.  There is a 3/8″ moat cut in at the base of the hub down to 2″ diameter for the garter (User supplied.).  A 1″ diameter hole is also bored through the hub for the handle, also provided by the user.

The nut is also hard maple, and measures 8″ x 4″ x 2″, with the threaded hole centered in the face. This leaves plenty of room for mounting holes to be drilled.

As an accessory, garters are also available in either brass or black anodized aluminum.  More information about the garters can be found here.

The two piece design allows the option for making the hub of a different wood, and retaining the maple screw.  Anyone interested in this option, or with requests for other sizes, can contact Paul at prpinthehills@gmail.com

Red Rose Reproductions is currently marketing and selling these screws. Price is $155. To purchase, click here.

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

Acer-Ferrous leg vice screw.

 

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

Bench screw hub.

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Hub base showing garter moat.

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

Screw threads

 

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

Bench screw nut

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

Assembled screw and nut

 

 

 

Building a Spill Plane

We thought it would be helpful to detail a bit the process for making a spill plane here for those who may have purchased the Plan Kit and would like to learn more about the process.  Begin with a billet of a hard, quarter sawn, close grained wood.  Beech, Cherry,  Birch, and Maple are all good choices.  Avoid soft woods, as they will not hold up well to wear.  Also, open grained woods should be avoided because they are not a uniform hardness throughout.  The billet should squared up and sized at 10″ in length, 2″ high, and 1 3/4″ wide.  Quartered grain runs side to side, with face grain showing on the top and bottom.  The width is 1/8″ wider than finished size to allow for the saw kerf when ripping the left face off.  Once the billet is sized, lay out the screw holes, and drill and countersink for the screws. Be sure to drill 1/8″ deeper than the screws since that will be lost during the ripping operation.  It is also good to countersink the heads far enough below the surface to allow for finish planing of the side when assembled.  We use a template to lay out the holes, but for a single plane, simply using the full size plan as a pattern will work well.

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

Using an awl to mark the holes prior to drilling the holes.

The bottom is then cut using a dado blade to create the fences on each side.  W leave a 3/8″ fence on the right side, and 7/16″ on the left.  The left side is then ripped off using a table saw with the saw fence set at 3/8″.  By removing the side, the mortise becomes much easier to cut.  Cutting the mortise is also done at the table saw, by tilting the blade and using the miter gauge set for the appropriate angles.  This can also be done with a hand saw and layout lines.  Notice in the second photo below that the bed cut is deeper and penetrated into the fence, which allows for the blade to do likewise.  This will be cleaned up with a float after reattaching the face.  Remove the remaining waste using a chisel and floats of rasps, making the surface flush with and parallel to the fence.

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

Holes are drilled before removing left face, and bed and breast cuts are then made.

 

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

Removing the throat waste, using care not to damage the sides.

After the waste is removed, the sides of the body and fence can be dressed with a hand plane, and reattached with the included brass screws.  We recommend pre threading the holes using a steel screw first, to minimize the chance of twisting off the softer brass screws.  Use a wax based lubricant to reduce friction when driving the screws.  Once the side is reattached, the bed needs to be extended into the sides of the plane using a 1/8″ edge float.  It is critical that the cutting edge of the blade extends into the fence on both sides of the sole, and that there is some wiggle room to allow for lateral adjustment of the blade to ensure it is square to the sole.

Next, the wedge needs to be made.  Start with a piece of stock 7/8″ wide and at least 7″ long, (to allow for holding and adjustments) with the quarter sawn grain direction running the same way as the plane body.  Rip the bed side to the angle shown on the print.   the breast side is a compound angle, and needs to be held in some type of fixture to use on a table or band saw.  Shown below is the fixture we use.  (The wedge blank shown should be longer if possible.)  Alternatively, a hand saw and plane can be used.  Regardless of how it is cut out, it will need to be refined with hand planes for an exact fit to the body and blade.

Wedge cutting fixture for use on the table saw.

Wedge cutting fixture for use on the table saw.

After fitting the wedge, the blade can then be bedded.  This process is accomplished by coating the back if the blade with a dry erase marker, fitting it into the body, and setting the wedge.  Tap the blade down through the plane to loosen the wedge, and remove. Any high spot will show up as places where the marker is rubbed off.   These high spots can be carefully leveled with a bed float or fine rasp.   This is a trial and error process, and should be repeated until there is even rubbing across the iron, especially at the bottom.  A hollow area in the middle is not a concern, but any low spots at the bottom will likely cause chatter in use.  As can be seen in the photo below, there is a high spot in the center that must be leveled out.

Bedding the iron using a dry erase marker and bed float.

Bedding the iron using a dry erase marker and bed float.

Once the bedding is complete, the escapement hole can be drilled.  This hole is parallel to the bed of the plane, and tangent with the front of the blade when installed in the plane.  Layout the location of the hole on the side of the plane body by transferring the bed line across the top and down the side.  Mark the height according to the print.  Make an wooden “blade” the same thickness and taper as the real one, and install this into the plane along with the wedge.   This will ensure there is no damage to the drill that can result from using the steel blade.  Use a drill press with a Forstner drill bit and a method to hold the assembled plane at the correct angle.  Drill through the side of the plane, and as far as possible through the wedge without hitting the far side of the body.  This creates part of the shape needed on the bottom of the wedge.  Notice the wedge is longer than needed, which allows for the drill to be completely buried in the wood to minimize the tendency to lead off.  Also notice the drill is breaking out slightly on the bed side.  This is what you are after.

Drill press and fixture being used to drill escapement hole.

Drill press and fixture being used to drill escapement hole.

Mark the bottom of the wedge front where it meets the sole, and remove.  The bottom of the wedge can now be cut away approximately 1/8″ above this line, parallel to the sole of the plane.  A round rasp can then be used to complete the contour left by the drill.   Be sure to leave the leading edge of the wedge sharp where it contacts the blade so shavings do not become entrapped.  the top of the wedge can now be contoured to your liking.

Wedge, top, after drilling. Bottom wedge has been finished.

Wedge, top, after drilling. Bottom wedge has been finished.

The escapement hole should be funnel shaped on the inside to eliminate places for the spill the snag.  All surfaces need to be smooth.  Test the plane using pine or similar straight grained soft wood, watching for jamming or irregular cutting.  Modify as needed to get a smooth cut and straight, finely curled spills.  Round over the ends of the plane, and clean up all surfaces in preparation for finishing.  We like to use Minwax Antique Oil finish, topped with paste wax. You now have a very unique wood plane;  the only plane where the shavings are what is used!

Completed spill plane with spills

Completed spill plane with spills

 

 

Ordering

The primary emphasis of Red Rose Reproductions is  the production of side escapement molding planes. We now have a steady supply of American Beech, and the techniques for producing planes is becoming more streamlined and the designs more refined.  Hollow and rounds, side beads, and other custom planes, along with numerous planes planned for the future make it very difficult, if not impossible to keep all these planes in stock.  Therefore, we encourage customers with a need for specific planes  to contact us for a quote and timeline.  Obviously, orders are given a priority over production of planes for inventory.  Once production is about to begin, we will request 1/3 of the price as a down payment, and the remainder upon completion. Pictured below are a couple of custom planes that are not part of our regular offerings, but were special requests.

Prices for our current offerings are as follows:

Hollow and Rounds, pair                        $425

Side Beads, each                                   $265

Panel Raiser                                            $595

Custom                                                   Will quote

If you would like to request a specific plane or planes, contact us here.  Will will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and give an estimate for delivery.

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

Custom Double Bead Plane

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

Custom Sash Plane

Side Bead Planes

Side beads, or beading planes, are used to put a bead along the edge of a board, and can be used in many situations, such as back boards, the bottom of table aprons, or along shelf fronts. A very versatile plane, these were, along with hollow and rounds, perhaps the most common molding plane produced.  These are one of the easiest molding planes to use, with an integral fence and depth stop, and no spring.  (The plane is held vertically.)   Simply hold the plane against the edge of the stock being profiled, and make passes until the depth stop prevents any further cutting.  For a different treatment, running the plane along two sides of a corner will produce a 3/4 bead on that corner.

Our planes are made of  quarter sawn American Beech.  The tapered O-1 tool steel iron is bedded at 55 Degrees for use in hardwoods, and is sharp and ready to use.  The bead is boxed with persimmon, which is cut with the grain on a bias to match the bed, to ensure a long tool life.  We produce these planes in 1/8″, 3/16″ and 1/4″ beads, the most common and useful for furniture use.   It should be mentioned that our sizing is a measurement of the bead itself, and that the actual profile, including the quirk, is about 1/32″ wider than the bead size.  Thus the 1/8 is 5/32″ wide, the 3/16 is 7/32″, and the 1/4 is 9/32″.

Finish is Minwax Antique Oil Varnish, with a coat of paste wax added for a smooth even sheen and inviting feel.

Side bead planes in, from left, 1/8′,   3/16″ and   1/4″ sizes.

After the initial run of these planes, some refinements were made.  The wedges now graduate in size from 5/32″ to 7/32″.  This makes the planes have a more uniform appearance, but more importantly, they are narrower in width in the grip, which makes them lighter and lowers the center of gravity.  Easier to use with better feel and less fatigue  are the end result.

Price is $275 per plane.  Each is sharpened and test cut before shipping, making them ready to go right out of the box.  Currently, the 1/4″ size is available here.

 

Graduated wedge sizes are apparent in this view.

 

Heels are stamped with sizes.

 

Planes are 10″ long with a 55 degree bed angle.  Note the chamfer at the escapement, which makes it easier to locate the iron against the blind side when setting up.

 

Beads cut with all three sizes of beading planes.

 

Beech Billets for Plane Making

 

Billets are again in stock.

In the past, the preferred wood for making wood bodied planes has been American Beech. (Fagus grandifolia)  Beech has the qualities sought after for plane making, with the right combination of hardness, a tight grain, good wear characteristics,  and the ability to quickly acclimate to its environment.  Old Street Tool has a good article that goes into depth about beech as a plane making wood here.

The big challenge is finding beech in any form, let alone quarter sawn thick stock.  I have had the good fortune to find a sawmill willing to cut and dry beech to my specifications.  I expect this sawmill to be a regular supplier for me, and because I am buying large quantities at a time, it seemed appropriate to offer billets to plane makers who want just enough to make their own planes.  these are available now in the store.

Bench plane billets have been sized for common Try, Jack, and Smoother planes. This wood has been dried in a vacuum kiln, and has a moisture content of 6-8%.  All stock is rough sawn, and dimensions given are rough sizes.  Some blanks may be bigger than the stated size, as I tried to measure the smallest ones. The Try and Jacks include wood for both a tote, and a wedge, both quarter sawn.  The totes are approximately 5 3/8″ (quarter sawn direction) x 6″ x 1 1/4″ thick.  Wedge stock is about 2 3/4 plus” wide for the larger planes and 2 1/8″ for the smoothers. (Quarter sawn direction) x 3/4″ x 8″, leaving enough to hold onto while shaping.  The quartered grain on the billets and wedges is within 15 degrees or better of true quarter sawn.  The handles may vary more than that, but quartered grain here is not as critical. The billets and wedges are primarily sapwoood, but may contain some heart wood at the top.  Wedges and totes also are mostly sap wood.

Moulding plane billets are cut to make side escapement planes, and also include wedge stock.  These measure 11″ x 3 1/2+” in size, and currently come in five widths:  3/4″,  1″,  1 1/4″,  1 1/2″,  1 3/4″.  These are oversize, and will finish at the advertised thicknesses.  These billets are not all perfectly quarter sawn, with some having grain approaching rift sawn. (See photo below of the end of the billets.) This is an issue I am addressing with my sawyer for future cutting to obtain more quartered grain.  However, an examination of antique planes will show it was quite common for planes to be less than quartered grain. These contain both sap wood and heart wood.  They may also contain some spalting, but the wood is sound, and the sole of the plane will be spalt free.

All pieces are guaranteed to be sound wood, free of knots, checks, splits or worm holes.

Please note:  Because of the size and weight of these billets, shipping costs are fairly high.  We do not mark up shipping costs, and these rates reflect what we pay for labels.  Thank you for your understanding.

 

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

Bench Plane Billets

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

Moulding Plane Billets

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

Large Moulding Plane Billets

VLUU L200 / Samsung L200

Various sizes of billets available. Rough cut length is shown.