Category Archives: Tapered Bench Plane Irons

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.

 

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.

Both  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″.

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 1/2″ 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.