Monday, 30 April 2012

Small mitre plane base...

This is getting really good now, and I'm enjoying the time in the shed making something from all of these parts that wouldn't normally go together. I have been thinking about the infil for the plane, maybe it will be some Rosewood that I have left over from the last plane, but somewhere in the shed, there is a piece of Apple that has been around for 11 years or so, since we moved here, and it would be fitting that the house is now going through a change again, so I may use that...

This is the piece of Gauge plate from Robert. I was going to use a slightly thicker piece, but when I found that this was very similar thickness to the side walls of the plane, and Bill did say to me at the auction, some people use material that can be too thick, so, I changed my mind..2.63mm it is...

Cut down to width, I then draw filled the edges, to ensure it was square and true, then I marked on the wall thickness, the waste and ensured that the internal width was 23mm, the same as the bridge and front piece widths.

After cutting through the mouth part, I then filed both faces square,
so that when it's reassembled later it will all keep straight

Here is the bed for the plane blade, I'm halfway through the filing, in this shot..
The blade will be set at 15 degrees

Here you can see the scale of the plane parts.
I have cut the groove, for the tongue on the front piece, to fit into

and here is the tongue, I need to do some more work on the escapement at this point

The plane base is in a sash cramp, gently holding the parts in place, the quality of the joint at this point doesn't look as good as it will later, don't forget the outer 3mm is waste..

Now you can see what the escapement will look like, none of these parts are finished yet,
they will all get fine tuned just before assembly

Lastly, the body is sitting over the bottom, and I will scribe the joints in the morning..

This is now getting quite addictive, and I new that it would, from the last time I made one. You get drawn into every detail and push of the file over the steel or brass. I'm happy with the results so far and I hope that you as a reader, looking into how these planes are made are enjoying it too.

I welcome any comments from you, it has been a while since any woodworkers have commented, come on guy's, say what you're thinking.....

I have a small stand at a 'bring and buy' coming up soon, all being well, will have the plane there, finished I hope, and if anyone would like to try the plane out, I would welcome their feedback..

One final thing, Rosewood or Apple..?  I could do with some help on that one, what do you think??

All the best


Sunday, 29 April 2012

Small mitre plane continued...

The width of the plane is set out on my drawing, and the piece of brass had arrived from Droitwich. I'm trying to keep all of the parts as local as possible, this can be looked on from two different perspectives, firstly, when the plane is finished it's as local as I can get, that's good for other business's. Secondly, I don't want to waste fuel and unnecessary time driving around trying to find parts, so it's as Eco friendly as I can get, anyhow, my time is best making things. It's what I enjoy...

Here is the bridge marked up ready for the JH design and the 2012

I really like the idea of having the plane year of manufacture ( for this, my first year working for myself and it being an Olympic year for the United Kingdom) quite prominent, and you can't get more prominent than up the side of the bridge. 

The JH is offset to the left to allow for the 2012 down the right hand side, I've also marked out the curve on the bottom edge..

These little beauties have been in our family a long time, I think they were rescued by my Dad from a house sale, I'll take them over to Ian and Clive at Chalco to see what they make of them.. Some are Addis, Henry Taylor, with Beech, Rosewood and the odd Ebony handle..anyhow I managed to find the right shape that I wanted to engrave with..and it was sharp enough to use..

I used a fine pen to mark the JH, and carefully slid the gouge over the surface of the brass, and just kept on going until it looked like this. Then I cut away the shoulders and the rest of the bar..

The curve on the bottom edge I decided to round off onto the surface, I wasn't after a clean sharp look, here I'm after a smooth flowing area to go with the shavings that will pass through..

So here is the bridge and the front piece, both 23mm wide, I've got two lines marked onto the front piece, the lower one is the one I'm working to at the moment, once the body is peened together I'll file to the second line to ensure it's flush before putting the bottom on...

Here I'm checking the fit of the through tenons before assembly. I'm really pleased with how it's all going so far, the marking out is good, and the files are great, I do have the habit of checking and re-checking that it's all going right, the last thing I want right now is for something to go wrong..

With the front piece dry fitted you can see the filed away double dovetail, later this will be peened over to hold it all can also see the front piece is too long as I said once it's all together I'll file it flush...

I bent the body around a stainless steel tube, the way Bill does, using a sash cramp. Then opened back out again to fit the bridge and the front, it's a really nerve racking time, too much bending and the brass could case harden and break, not enough and the piece is distorted..anyhow the peining is done for now...

the bottom is next..

I have to say, that there are easier ways to make a plane, and I'm really glad that I deceided to do this. To go through what Bill does, to acheive the remarkable little planes is great way to start my plane making career. The last time I was in contact with Bill and Sarah I told them that I was going to have a go at one, and they said they would really like to see the results..

Bill, I hope you like what I'm doing so far..I'll be in touch.

All the best


Saturday, 28 April 2012

Small mitre plane

So, this little mitre plane is underway.

It's a Bill Carter type mitre plane, which is where Bill uses the brass back from an old tenon saw as the body of the plane. I have wanted to make one of these for ages. To build a plane by hand is not an easy task, when you are making one from new parts, but when you are trying to make one from old tools and get everything right from marking up the dovetails, to bending the body of the plane to get it all to line up is going to be some kind of fun.

I thought that I would start with a mock up, this way I can keep a track of the setting out, with the positions of the dovetails, the mouth position and the bridge position. All of these are most important. I will add the picture of the finished mock up tomorrow.

With the length of the tenon saw governing how long the plane would be. I would like the logo that is stamped into the brass, to sit in the centre of the back of the plane. The drawing above shows all of the setting out needed to be done.

Here is the cutting of the dovetails, the base is marked, so is the bed angle for the blade. The base thickness is 2.76mm Gauge plate, a gift from an local engineer, who is going to sort out machining the blade for this plane, it was taken from an old smoothing plane. Robert's going to machine it down to 3mm, with only a slight taper on it.

I'm staying faithful to Bills methods of construction of the plane, so here I have cut into the waste, and used an old Stanley Black chisel to knock over the waste 'pins'.

The waste removed from some of the body, the Vallorbe files are brilliant, the half round has a great flat surface, then for the roots of the dovetails I used the three square, followed by a needle file to ensure to root is clear.

I will add more tomorrow

All the best


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

A plane at last...

I had been lucky enough to come across a 14" Taylor tenon saw a while ago, that had seen better days, unfortunately, I removed the back and didn't take any photographs of the saw complete. After meeting up with Bill Carter again, and seeing his beautiful collection of tools on show, I just had to find the saw back out again. It was tucked away down the back of my bench, I gave it a wipe over and started to make one of his fabulous little planes. I'm planing on starting with a longer, thinner plane, the reason for this is that I have an old blade with some damage and would like to experiment with extending the blade with a joint that may or may not have been seen before, we'll see...

This may take a while because of the building of the house and other work.

So, I started by cutting the back down the middle, what a pain that job was. I used a hacksaw blade to cut the back down, with a cloth around the end, to aid the holding, and stop it from cutting me, this took longer than expected, but, it was great to open up the two parts and expose them to the sunlight after such a long time since the piece was folded. I cleaned up the inside surface and started thinking about the blade, the bed angle, and the timber.

So, it's under way..

Over the last few months some of my tools have been used for all sorts of jobs, some that under normal circumstances I would not have used, I needed to check through what I had got and buy some new tools that would do the job properly.

The short list consists of
  1. A couple of Swiss files, to use on the dovetail joints
  2. A file card to clean up
  3. Some Bi-metal hacksaw blades
  4. Metal cutting discs for cutting blades
I had already found a shop on line, in the Jewellery Quarter, in Birmingham. Cousins, here I could try the files, and feel if they were right for the metal and for me. After a short drive, and a bit of luck with the parking, (right outside) I was there, and these guy's had got just about everything, and I spent a little longer in there than I thought I would. I bought a small jewellers hammer, This has a better size and shape of head to use on setting the blades. Then I found a Hide mallet, I've been after one of these for a while, but was never happy enough with the quality of the hide, and two fabulous Swiss files, to start me off.

These are the files, Habilis and Glaredon Vallorbe

The raw hide mallet is Birmingham made,
the jewellers hammer will save me using cross pein hammers to set planes..
I know...

All the best

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Another one added to the Carving section Swan

Just added this to my Carvings section

I hope you like it, it was made from the offcuts of engine bearers, in Pine, from a motor yacht I worked on.

I welcome your comments on the swan, if I have off cuts from anything made I always try to use them on something. I loved making this, contact me if you would like one made, the offcuts are starting to stack up under the blue canvas.

anyhow, what do you think...

All the best


Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Ian Norbury chisels..

After putting the Torso in the carving section, I had to see what Ian Norbury was up to. It's been a while since I had seen some of his work, and It wasn't disappointing to see, the man is just brilliant, his work is just so good.

Anyhow, I noticed on his website that he had some tools for sale. From small chisels to Arbor Tech equipment, and carvers cramps (sounds like an illness) for me, it was the chisels that would mean a lot and being a hand tool, especially a chisel is so personal, you grow with a chisel, you grind it, taking care with the heat and the edge. Then the honing, keeping it steady throughout the movement across the stone. Aware of the usage of the stone. Last but not least, the polishing, I feel getting the back of the chisel polished is the difference between using an electric razor, and having a wet shave, for me, they are a world apart. The difference it makes to carving at wood is just...brilliant.

These are the last chisels from the website sale.

a detailed picture

I will keep these chisels together, no two makers are the same, there are Addis, Marples and Bristol design to mention a few, then blade type, and handle for that matter.

At some point each chisel will be documented, then oiled and kept wrapped up until I either make the box or need to use a certain chisel.

All the best


Saturday, 14 April 2012

Camera issues...

If you have been following my blog, you'll know that on occasions my camera has failed to focus properly, well the other day I was in the middle of taking a load of pictures when...
Nothing.. stopped, that was it. The zoom went back in, the message on the screen was,

Turn the camera off and on again,

I did this a few times and was starting to get frustrated with the whole thing. I got my phone out and took the rest on that. I was gutted. The camera does a good job, that's what it's designed for, the phone.. it's okay, but not a patch on the camera.

So, onto You Tube to see what I can do about it, there's a guy on there that goes through a series of methods to try to fix the problem. He does give fair warning that as you go through the attempts, some of the later ones may harm the camera. So, if this has happened to yours, then you too could try this, but at your own risk.

Ensure the battery is fully charged.

Between each of the following stages, switch on and off pointing down

  1. Turn the camera off and on again, with the lens pointing down.
  2. remove the battery for a few seconds, replace and switch on and off.
  3. Switch on and off pointing down, but also tap the outside of the extended lens gently with a pencil.
  4. I then got a hairdryer, on cold, and tried to blow out whatever was in there.
The next part sorted out my problem

 I cut some paper and slid it into the small gaps around each part of the lens.

Being very careful,  I was shocked at how much dust and muck was on the paper, this was done a number of times, with a clean piece of paper each time. Off and on again, wiping dust from the lens case, it was done.

I would recommend you watch it being done before you try,

But do it at your own risk.

All the best


      Thursday, 12 April 2012

      Half term week...Dr Who?

      Ok, so if I was still in the rat race, I'd be working this week and the kids would be off out with Lynn somewhere, on a trip here or an outing there, the kids would have a great time and I would have missed out yet again...

      Not this time..I'm taking a couple of days off with the girls.

      Lynn found out about this guy who has been collecting Dr Who props and costumes, as well as Star Wars, Red Dwarf and Captain Scarlett, so off we went.

      We had deceided not to tell the girls where we were going too, so all through the hour journey they just kept guessing, to the point where I just wanted to blurt it out, but managed to hold on untill we were in Bromyard. Lola (the Sat Nav) told us the way, and when we were about 500 yards away, I parked the car. The girls were getting more wound up by the facxt that we were so close but they hadn't a clue, then as we walked up the hill towards the square, Lynn turneed and smiled, I could see the sign post and board outside, that was it, the girls knew and were quite excited. I must say, after following Lola's directions, the place was well signposted, from the direction we came in from.

      follow the signs..

      On entering the shop, it was like being thrusted into the set of an episode of Dr Who, I felt the setting just inside was pre-war and very inviting. The old type cash desk and office looked great and well suited the experience, and everywhere you looked was something from the TV, it was wonderful.

      there were no less than six different Daleks, from different periods

      This is the door that takes you to the collection below,

      I want to show you more of the photo's we took, and we took quite a few, around 100, but if you are thinking of going it would spoil it for you. Some of the displays have sound effects, and the lighting makes you feel really involved and part of it. On our way around the ground floor we chatted with the owner, Andy, a really good guy, as opposed to some of the characters that you can see there. We chatted about the collection and how long he has been working on it. He's a friendly, approachable, and will tell you about each piece if you ask. A brilliant place, it was a bit pricey for us, having the four girls, but, when you walk away some time later, and the kids tell their friends about it, and you think that this is only an hour away, it's good value really. I'm not as big a fan as the girls and Lynn are, but I found it really interesting and a brilliant collection.

      Andy, keep up the good work

      all the best


      Tuesday, 3 April 2012

      Review of the Home Building and Renovation Show NEC.

      I know, another show, well they were free tickets, and the girls could come along to see things that they might like in their rooms, so..

      All six of us this time, I had told the girls that the show would be full of ideas for their rooms, so they were happy to come along, I was after some info and examples of methods of retaining the heat in the garden room and then just about anything else that would spark an idea or save cost.

      We walked from the car park, because the queue for the bus was fairly long,
      and we were in the shade, so it was pretty cold.
      Past the lake, where the geese were sunbathing..

      One of the first things that we saw was a garden building, with the perfect heating system,
      a Pot Bellied Stove, really cute, the girls liked it.
       It would suit our outside room..

      The sales guy went through the construction of the building with me,
      it all made good sense, this will be similar to ours...

      Lynn and I like this, the lady on the stand made large glass pictures, some went into windows, others were hung as you would a picture, but this one was fitted as a hob splash back
      We liked the idea...

      This was part of an oak framed show house, I liked the effect of the background
      click on the picture to enlarge, and look at the detail in the carving..I want to do more carving

      There was a really good lighting stand that we all liked most of the exhibits,
      It turned out to be a UK company with Italian products...
      This one uses iridescent finished acrylics, and it changed colour as you walked around

      These large wax type shades look good. I do like modern stuff as well as old..

      It was around this time that the girls discovered Freebies, it started with one guy offering Mel a sweet, she wouldn't take one until I did, then they started to think about what was going on here, sweets, crisps, and toys, someone was giving away small ice cube shaped LED lights with their logo on, Mel asked another child where it was from, and that was it, within seconds three of our girls had one each, Ellie turned around to go and get one but wanted someone to go with her, while they were choosing who would accompany her, the guy off the stand came over and saved Ellie's embarrassment, She thought he was a thoughtful man after that.

      Lastly, this has given me an idea for how to finish the slope off behind the garden room..
      and I may do some inside too...

      The girls were great, there wasn't much really to do with their rooms, but it did give them an incite to trade shows, marketing products, sales people etc..

      All the best