Chapter Eight, plane number one.
Small Mitre plane, measures in length 175mm (6 7/8") overall, the body is 153mm (6") and the width is 29mm (1. 1/8")
The plane body was taken from a 14" tenon saw made by Taylor of London, I have used the ADVANCE logo, with the animal, hallo and flag in the centre of the back of the plane, with the Taylor London on the left hand side as shown in the photos.
The brass used for the bridge was from a strip bought locally, from a metal suppliers in Droitwich. I marked out the JH and 2012 design and engraved it myself. Using stamps for the 2012, I really wanted the year in a prominent position due to the Olympics in England, the Queen having her 60th year on the throne and myself starting my own business.
The base of the plane, 2.6mm Gauge Plate, was given to me by Robert, a local engineer who makes parts for restoring old motorcycles. It had been sitting around his shop, it came from a batch of metal after the closure of Rover cars at Longbridge.
The timber for the plane was one piece out of the three Boxwood logs, I bought back in 1992 when my furniture was exhibited at Sandown Park for the Woodworker show in London. They had been under my bench since then. Each time my bench moved, the Boxwood logs followed. I was aiming for a classic design, the front bun is a smaller version to those used on panel planes, and I wanted it to be comfortable in use and offer different positions to hold the plane.
The rear infill is set at 17 degrees, with it 'over stuffed' at the back blending into a scroll. The scroll hides beneath the blade, and is not really noticed until the plane is picked up, this works well with the classical design and suits the plane.
The wedge is shaped so that it is easily pushed into position, the back bead is set so that it sits comfortably to the back of the palm of your hand in use.
This plane not only looks good, but I have ground the blade so that it is between a high pitched smoothing plane and a scraper plane. This means that on timber that rips out when using other planes, this one glides over the surface and leaves a smooth finish with a gloss sheen, beautiful.
Eight One plane vs. Record 0601/2 block plane
I always wanted to make a plane that makes a difference and stated through the blog, that this would be a plane for bandings and edgings. So when I set the blade into the plane through the construction process, I found it to work really well, the iron is brilliant and stays sharp, but the cut on Ebony strips was not that exciting, it was better than my Record, and left a polished sheen, but I still wasn't happy.
So, I left it for a couple of days...
I came to the conclusion that the blade angle needed to be changed, and I wanted to have more control over the end of the blade. And why does the end of the blade have to be ground at 25 degrees?
Look at what Bill Carter does with the square end of a chisel..and for anyone who has tried it, will know it works.
Up the angle goes, in 5-9 degree increments, then I lapped the base of the plane even more, to open the mouth out. I then changed the way that I have sharpened blades for years, I turned the blade over and sharpened an 8 degree bevel on the back of the blade. This goes against every method, but all I'm doing is sharpening it like a straight carving chisel, and they are great, two bevels, I sometimes pick mine up and use it in joinery...
I was quite nervous through all this, I have invested a lot of time in this little plane, and was back and forth to my makeshift outside workshop, grinding, sharpening, honing, Diamond stone, water stone, drying the iron before putting it back in place. Setting up the little plane and then trying it out on and awkward piece of Ebony.
Eureka..I got there, the finish was fabulous, a big smile came across my face, I've done it..
But just to be sure, I sharpened my Record plane 1200 grit, then 600 grit, took the burr of on the palm of my hand, set it back in place and compared. When I used my plane, the finish was far superior and left very minor ripping out, but when I went back to the Record it was brutal in comparison.
And there's something else, because the iron is at the higher pitch, I 'm sharpening the iron far less than the Record..
It works so well, it's a shame it has to be sold..
But I can get on with the next one now..
All the best