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Woodworking unplugged

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default Woodworking unplugged

Post by Chilli-head on 24th January 2011, 3:06 pm

Spoon carving is temporarily on hold, and I am back to making more functional items - first up a shoe rack for the hall.

As I mentioned in another thread, since I've managed to sharpen correctly all my hand tools, I'm really enjoying the return to peaceful woodworking. Less noise, less mess and lots less stress !

The trouble is that so many of us have been seduced by power routers etc that it is hard to find good traditional hand tools anymore. In particular I'd really love to have a good plough plane, but the likes of Record stopped making them in the 70's. The only one I could find still made is this one. I certainly agree with the sentiments in their description, but what a price Shocked I think I'll have to stick with the Banshee (router) for a bit whilst I save my pennies, or track down a serviceable old Record 405.
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default Re: Woodworking unplugged

Post by Aberlemno on 24th January 2011, 3:10 pm

Try car boot sales for an old plough plane. You'd be surprised how often they turn up. When my OH was looking for one years ago they were like bloomin' gold dust! Expect to pay £20 - £30 (this is in Wales).

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default Re: Woodworking unplugged

Post by mark barker on 24th January 2011, 4:19 pm

I picked up a haul of traditional hand tools from an old chap some years ago... He was moving from his house to a retirement home and needed to empty his shed and happened to mention to my mum that he needed to get someone in to get rid of all his "junk". At the time I had an old van, so I was "volunteered" and did a few trips to the local tip. One the second or third trip there was a box of tools and I mentioned to him that he should sell them rather than dump them. He didn't want to know, and said if they were worth anything I was welcome to keep them. So I did! Doubt theres any great value there, but they do make the odd bit of woodwork I do a pleasure.

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default Re: Woodworking unplugged

Post by Chilli-head on 7th February 2011, 1:33 pm

So ... I couldn't face trawling car boots, so I resorted to e-bay. Unfortunately what was once just second hand has now become collectable or vintage, which seems to mean much the same thing but with an inflated price. The Record planes like the 405 with a pretty rosewood handle fetch quite a price. Fortunately for me I want to use it, not just look at it. So, I managed to pick up a scarcely used Record 050C (with plastic handle and metric cutters Shocked ) for less than £30.

Works well enough - I cut some groves for a drawer bottom in a beech cabinet, then tried out some of the decorative reeding cutters in some oak. With some care, a lot of fiddling with the depth of cut, and a fair bit of perspiration Exclamation , it can give quite a good result. Using it reminded me of doing "o" level woodwork at school. I guess they don't do that anymore...
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default Re: Woodworking unplugged

Post by bear on 21st February 2011, 6:30 am

You can actually make your own tools, it is allowed :-)
In a plane, the trickiest material would be the steel for the iron. For a plough plane, you could reshape the iron from a bench plane
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default Re: Woodworking unplugged

Post by Chilli-head on 21st February 2011, 10:26 am

I read on a woodworking forum somewhere one guy who advised making your own moulding planes rather than fiddle with a combination plane. There certainly is a good argument for making a specialised plane to cut a 6mm groove 6mm in from the edge, and about 6mm deep. It would probably account for most of the plough plane jobs in basic cabinet making !

The thing that worries me is that it is a bit like making your own woodworking bench, which some say should be the first job for a would-be cabinet maker. The trouble is it can be a bit like lifting yourself by your own boot laces; so much easier to make a second bench when you've already got one ! I'm not sure how the base of a moulding plane is traditionally made - a lot of patience and a scratch stock ?

Do you make your own tools, Bear ? With regards the steel, I wonder if the remains of broken blades from a metalworker's mechanical saw might be useful for something.
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default Re: Woodworking unplugged

Post by bear on 21st February 2011, 12:08 pm

I have made some tools in the past. Until I buy myself a place in the country, I live in an apartment, which restricts my physical creativity.

I'm not sure what kind of saw you mean by "a metalworker's mechanical saw". I suggested using the iron from a bench plane because that steel will have the correct carbon content and more or less the right shape for the job.

As for traditions, my notion is that they can be inspirational, but what counts is, that I have an understanding of and an ongoing creative process with what I'm doing.

Were I to make a plough plane, I would probably shape it using a router and an angle grinder. I don't mind using power tools for some jobs, but using them constantly disturbs my inner peace
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default Re: Woodworking unplugged

Post by Chilli-head on 3rd March 2011, 5:02 pm

Oh my word, just take a look at this for a handmade plane that is surely a thing of beauty:


http://www.petermcbride.com/planemaking/page4.htm

Mind you, he is a jeweller so used to making things look pretty. But look at the dovetails joining steel and brass ! And it has a skewed throat too. I want one (I've recently been diagnosed with TAS, or Tool Acquisition Syndrome Wink)
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default Re: Woodworking unplugged

Post by bear on 3rd March 2011, 8:14 pm

Great site. Bookmarked it instantly.
Beautiful plane.
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default Re: Woodworking unplugged

Post by mr_sfstk8d on 3rd March 2011, 11:49 pm

If I'd have been drinking anything at the time, it would have probably left my face forcibly, ruining my keyboard. This is amazing!
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default Re: Woodworking unplugged

Post by Chilli-head on 22nd February 2012, 12:43 pm

Last night I made a pile of wood shavings on the workshop floor. Nothing else, just shavings.

But these are very special shavings, because they are made with my first homemade wooden moulding plane Exclamation Very Happy
Inspired by Bear's suggestion, I decided to give it a go. Me being
me, it woudn't do to start with a nice simple plane - what I wanted was a
panel raising plane to make some cabinet door panels, and to do that
means it has to work across the grain too, so needs to have a skewed
blade. Getting the geometry of this right, especially the blade, made my
head hurt.

Does seem a bit ironic that to make an old fasioned
wooden plane I used 4 metal bodied planes of various sorts, and angle
grinder to cut the blade ! Making and fettling one of these does give a
new appreciation of the skills of old craftsmen though.
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default Re: Woodworking unplugged

Post by Chilli-head on 8th March 2012, 2:17 pm

Well, having moved to using planes and scratch stocks for the fancy bits, I thought it was time to have a go at starting with rough sawn timber and thicknessing it by hand. So, starting with a 4 metre long 1" board of rough sawn oak, I've made some nice boards for my current project, and a HOOGE pile of wood shavings !

So, what I learned from it so far ? Well, the result is in many ways better than machine planing. The finish is superior - no little ripples like you get from a power planer, and I can easily get it flat to within about 0.2mm. Contrary to the impression I got from the web, there is no need for pricey modern tools, or hours spent fettling. My 50 year old Record Jack plane, with no more than a grind and a sharpen, did a great job. But the sharpen is important; which takes me to my two top tips - firstly, the time spent sharpening is more than repaid by how much easier the job is; you need to sharpen after just 10-15 minutes planing on a tough timber. The second hint I found on the web was to scribble on the sole of the plane with candlewax. This makes an enormous difference to how the plane glides over the surface, really glad I found that tip.
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default Re: Woodworking unplugged

Post by Chilli-head on 6th July 2012, 10:08 pm

This is what I finished this evening:



Since I've decided to start with rough sawn timber, and I prefer hand tools, I figured I'd like a scrub plane. Rather than spend yet more money, I thought I'd have a go at making one; according to some reviews I've read, wooden ones are good, and because it's for rough planing and not a precision job, it need not be the last word in accuracy. The wood all comes from the frame of an old sofa, and looks to be hemlock and meranti. The metal bits I found lying around - a bit of brass rod, some steel plate and a nice knurled bolt, which I might yet shorten. The hard part - the cutting iron, is hand ground from a power hacksaw blade - being M3, a high speed steel, I could cut it out without having to anneal and re-harden it.

It even seems to work Very Happy
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default Re: Woodworking unplugged

Post by Dandelion on 6th July 2012, 10:58 pm

How clever is that?????

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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default Re: Woodworking unplugged

Post by freebird on 6th July 2012, 11:40 pm

Oh wow! What a lovely bit of kit.
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