An artist prepares for weeks, months, and years...but lives only for moments. Moments, then that have no sense of time.
Gustave Leonhardt, harpsichordist
This is not a "how-to" post.
I just want to pass on some things I learned about assembling them. I hope these tips help you.
I assume many of you are interested in making these neat little grooving planes, but haven't gotten around to making a pair yet.
Bob Easton was the first person to bring them to my attention, be sure to check out his blog.
I am grateful that Lie Nielsen has posted Matt Kenney's great article on how to make them. Click here for the article.
Accidental Wood Worker also has a great post on these little planes, click here for that posting.
I am making these planes so I can cut the saddle slot in a guitar's bridge without using a table saw. The skate depth is 4mm and the plane's fence is 5mm from the iron.
This morning, with Mr. Kenney's article on the work bench, I started glueing parts together.
When I started glueing the "bed" for the iron I had a devil of a time trying to keep it in it's proper position, it kept shifting under the clamps' pressure even after the glue got a little tacky.
Everything turned out fine, proper skate depth, etc., but I wanted to eliminate the risk of the next piece moving under clamp pressure.
Then it hit me...all I needed were some brass brads!
I didn't follow Mr. Kenny's instructions and made the plane about one half inch bigger than what his plans call for. I learned long ago to make tool parts larger so I can make them smaller, you know, "room for mistakes".
This extra wood gives me room to use "registering nails".
All I do for this is snip off the head of a brass brad and chuck it into a drill. This is my drill bit. Now with the wood clamped where I want it, I drill the number of holes needed and insert brass brads, that still have their heads, home into their respective holes.
Then I remove the brads, apply glue to the piece in question, re-insert the brads, position the piece, push the brads home and then apply clamps. Nothing should shift.
Pretty simple, huh?
I use this technique when I glue veneer onto the head stock of a guitar neck.
I did the same thing for the other blank to complete the plane.
I then ripped it to finished width on the table saw and trimmed it to length on my sliding compound miter saw.
Making the plane work.
I tried to keep the mouth opening to under 1/64th of an inch, it's a little wider than that, but the big problem that I ran into was the shavings constantly clogged the mouth.
I rounded over the very end of the iron wedge so the shavings would ride over it, but the size of the escapement became the next problem.
I had to chisel away some of the area in the escapement that is just above the mouth and just below the wedge, you'll see what I mean if you follow Mr. Kenney's instructions to a "T".
On the next plane, I am going to use a 3/16" or so drill bit chucked into the drill press to remove this offending area. And don't forget to make the skate a little narrower than the iron, that part is in the instructions, it really helps make the plane work better.
I finally got decent shavings from a piece of California laurel after about a half hour of fiddling with the plane.
The plane works like a dream and is well worth the time and effort.
And remember - Hand tools rule the school!
If I have posted this video before, my apologies!
Scott Tennant is an incredible musician and I really like this piece by Couperin!
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