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   Class is filled.
  • November 1-3, 2018    Class is filled.  

Note:  Fall classes are filled.  Please sign up for our newsletter to receive an email when spring classes are listed.

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

Accepting pre-orders now.  Contact us if interested.

The panel raising plane has undergone some evolutionary changes to its design the last time they were made.  These will be made from time to time in small batches.  Price is $650 plus shipping. Because of the limited number available, we accept orders for those wishing to reserve a copy.  A deposit of $100 is required when production starts  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.

 

New product: “Milkman’s Bench” screws

In the June 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking, Chris Schwarz wrote an article about a portable workbench dubbed the “Milkman’s bench.”  It is designed to clamp to any solid surface and provides a full range of clamping options for most tasks in a compact package.  I built several following the plans with no changes other than adding jaw liner to the tail vice for plane making and found them to be perfectly suited for holding the plane billets in any position needed.  Its compact size makes it easy to store and transport to demonstrations too. Chris wrote about his experience using this bench here.

It is a relatively easy project to make except for the wooden screws.  However, that just got a lot easier with the introduction of our new Acer-Ferrous wood screw set designed specifically for use on the Milkman’s bench.  The set includes two screws used in the twin screw area along the side of the bench and a single screw with a garter slot for use in the wagon vice.  These screws are made of hard maple and the threaded portion is 1 1/4″ diameter with 5 threads per inch.  The handles are octagonal in shape and provide plenty of grip for tightening. Width across the flats on the handles is 1 1/2″

The set of three screws is available for $85.  They can be purchased here.

Builders will still need to thread the holes for the screws but that is easily accomplished  using a 1 1/4″-5 tap available from the Beall Tool Company.

 

 

 

Screws shown with completed bench.

 

 

Complete bench with Acer-Ferrous screws installed.

Restock of Bench Hooks & Spill Planes

Bench hooks are back in stock with both right and left hand available.  Made of soft maple, bench hooks are used for small sawing or paring jobs at the bench with no need for clamps.  More information about bench hooks can be found here.  Purchase here for $50 a pair

Also, we now have a variety of spill planes with different species and figure.  Sill planes are a tool lovers favorite and can rapidly produce large quantities of tapered wood shavings called spills that were used in colonial days to transfer a flame from the hearth to a candle or pipe. Moe about these unique planes can be found here.  In the store for purchase here.  Price ranges from $135 to $145, depending on wood species.

Bench hooks, foreground, in both left and right hand, and spill planes in a variety of woods.

Right and left hand bench hooks.

Cap Irons now available.

We are pleased to now offer cap irons to our line of tools.  Cap irons, or chip breakers, when used in conjunction with a cutting iron, are meant to control tear out in double iron planes. By setting the leading edge very close to the cutting edge, the shaving is forced into a tight curl that breaks the fibers before they can lift in front of the cutter, which is the primary cause of tear out.

We worked with contemporary double iron plane maker Steve Voigt, of Voigt Planes, when developing these cap irons.  Steve has done extensive research in double irons planes and has numerous articles and links on his site about the theory and use of cap irons.

Our cap irons are made of mild steel, and are not hardened.  The front has been formed with a bend to ensure tight contact against the cutting iron.  a smooth radius is machined onto the top surface and the tang is machined with decorative bevels similar to our tapered irons.  A threaded hole and screw are included.

Please note that a bevel will need to be honed onto the leading edge of these cap irons.  The leading edge is as machined; it has not been deburred.  We recommend the bevel to be .020″-.050″ wide, and at an angle of 50° or so.  This bevel is critical for the cap iron to work properly; too small and it won’t work. and to large and the plane will clog.  It is also critical that the leading edge be thoroughly deburred using medium and fine stones, followed by a strop.  Because the steel is soft, this burr can be persistent and will take some back and forth to remove it entirely. Keep the edge sharp during this process so shavings cannot jam under it.

Once the edge is dressed, it should not need any maintenance for years, if ever.  When planing resinous woods, resin can build up on the cap iron.  Simply remove with a rag dampened with mineral spirits or acetone.

Prices vary from $30 to $36.  They can be purchased here.

Three sizes available:  From left, 2 1/2″, 2″, and 1 3/4″

 

 

Leading edge showing bend to ensure good contact with the cutting iron.

 

Smooth radius machined on front. A bevel will need to be honed across the front.

Cap iron with screw, which is included.

 

Cap iron shown assembled with included screw to a tapered iron, sold separately,

Detail of included screw.

 

Beech Billets again in stock

After a rather lengthy delay, we have been able to restock the large bench plane billets for making smooth, jack, and try planes.  This wood has been dried the same way as the previous beech, and the only difference id there is heart wood present on some billets.  This is only a cosmetic difference, with the sap wood being a much more brown in color.  The characteristics of the wood remain the same. Wedge stock comes with all sizes, and tote stock with the try and jack billets.  More information about these billets can be found here.  Tapered irons for making planes are also available and can be found here.

Beech is notoriously difficult to dry without waste, and this run was no exception.  These billets are limited in number, and restocking is unpredictable.  Our goal is still to produce a reasonably steady supply moving forward.

Try, jack, and smoother billets ready to go.

Billets are at or near quarter sawn.

 

Tapered Bench Plane Irons

We are pleased to now offer tapered plane irons to those who wish to build a wooden bench plane.  Input for these iron designs came from two contemporary plane makers:  Steve Voigt of Voigt Planes, and Darryl Gent, who is on Instagram.  These two makers shared their experience and insights about irons, and, in particular, double iron plane making.

These irons are made of O-1 tool steel, and have the same 1/2° taper as the molding plane irons we use in molding planes.  We start with 3/16″ thick stock for all sizes of these irons, with the finished thickness at the cutting edge slightly less than that.  The tang end is approximately 1/8″ thick, depending on which size, as they all have different lengths.

There is the option of a cap iron slot for those wishing to make a double ironed plane.  Slots are all 7/16″ with with a hole at the tang end that is 3/4″ in diameter for the cap screw head to slip through.  Overall slot length is 3 1/4″.

We have added another tapered iron option; the 1 3/4″ size in an unhardened state.  These are meant for those who wish to make a profiled plane, such as a panel raising plane, and need to do extensive shaping of the cutting edge.  There is also no bevel on these irons.  Heat treating will need to be done by the user.  Available here.

Tapered irons in three sizes, with and without cap iron slots

 

Irons are tapered and beveled, and the tang is profiled.

These irons have been heat treated to a hardness of 60-62 Rc, and given a cryogenic treatment (-300° F).  The cryogenic treatment is meant to reduce internal stresses and improve the wear resistance of the cutting edge.

Currently we are offering three sizes as follows:

Smoothing plane,  1 3/4″ wide by 7″ long.

Jack plane,  2″ wide by 7 1/4″ long.

Jointer Plane,  2 1/2″ wide by 8 1/8″ long.

These irons have not been flattened or sharpened.  They do have a 30° bevel, and the heat treat process was professionally done by a vendor who specializes in blades.  Warping has been in our experience minimal.  The cost of the material and the manufacturing processes of these irons is fairly high, and in an effort to offer them as reasonably priced as possible, we chose to not do any final sharpening.  Also, the customer may want a camber or a radius on their iron, so it makes sense to leave them in this state.

Prices range from $64 for a smoothing iron with no slot to $79 for the jointer iron with a slot.  This is a limited run to test the market, and if there is enough interest, more will be made, and possibly additional sizes.  Available for purchase here.

From left: Jointer, smoother, jack irons.

 

Profiled tang.

Unhardened irons with no bevel.