Sunday, 28 March 2010

A7 - part II

The rear infill on the A7 is now installed and the sides and sole are lapped flat and square. I used brass pins this time and really like how clean the sides are.

A detail shot of the rear infill and adjuster.

This was a tricky photo to take, but it shows the scribe lines of the bed and the leading edge of the mouth. These are the lines that I file too.

This is the setup I use for cutting the mouth opening. The two scribe lines on the sole are the same width as my hacksaw blade. The two steel blocks clamped to either side act as a fence. When I am positioning the blocks, I use a small knife edge square and bring the blocks up to it. This helps to ensure that I am cutting a mouth perpendicular to the sole.

The tape around the clamp threads are to keep the threads from marking the sole. That tape has been there for years.

The most nerve wracking part is starting the cut. The above photo shows the beginnings of the kerf being established. This is one of those “workmanship or risk” parts (and I love working this way).

A few minutes later, the kerf is deep enough that I can take a breath. The teeth are buried at this point.

And a few minutes after that - the kerf is deep enough to stop and work at it from another side.

Here is the same photo as the previous one with the fence and clamp removed for clarity. Notice that the kerf is centered between the scribe line.

This next photo shows the kerf defining the bed of the plane. There is a little left to file down, but the kerf is pretty close to the scribe line. I really took this photo to highlight the position of the plane in the vice. Notice that the radius of the mouth opening is below the vice jaw line. This is intentional. When I am starting the cut with the hacksaw - the blade sometimes slips, as is evident from the deep scratches along the back edge. This area is going to be removed, so it does not matter, but by keeping the radius below the jawline - I have “protected it” from a sliding hacksaw blade. The blade hits the tops of the jaws before it can damage the radius on the plane.

The mouth has now been cut - time for lots of file work! This is a clearer shot of how close the sawing gets to the scribe lines.

The wedge has been fit to the plane now. I leave out the adjuster for the fitting process... it just gets in the way.

And here is the wedge roughly shaped on the bandsaw.

And finally the finished plane. As luck would have it - I was able to deliver this plane this past weekend. It is always a bonus to be able to hand the plane to the new owner.


Anonymous Adam Palmer said...

Those hacksaw cuts must be nervewracking. I wonder, what kind of hacksaw blades do you prefer? Is there a specific kind that you find does a better job? I'm just getting into metalworking, (just using a Taig lathe so far) and I leave a lot of room for my clumsy hacksaw cuts. And therefore a lot of filing.

29 March 2010 at 19:50  
Blogger Konrad said...


Stunning work on the plane and photo log of the processes involved! I've always loved the lines of the A7, it has such a "balanced" look. Thanks for continuing to post despite your busy schedule.

On a side note, I've cut into one of those lignum vitae bowling balls I mentioned to you a while it over a year ago?!? Tempus really does fugit!!! In any event, I've discovered that I may be allergic to it!!! After planing a bit of it, I noticed a tingling in my fingers and a curious sensation in my nose. I used a mask when cutting it initially, but figured I'd be safe to plane it as no dust was involved. I guess I was wrong. Have you developed any irritation working with these woods?

All the best,


29 March 2010 at 20:43  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Louis,

Somehow, I managed to delete your comment - so I cut and paste it into the field. Sorry about that.

Glad you enjoyed watching the A7 come together.

Sorry to hear about your reaction to Lignum. I have been very fortunate and have not reacted to anything. That being said - I will not work with Cocobolo as it is a sensitizer wood and I am not prepared to take any chances.

Best wishes,

29 March 2010 at 20:46  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Adam,

Yes - they certainly are. I need to be in the right frame of mind before I will do it. But once I get going - it goes according to plan.

As far as brands of blades go - I am not that fussy. I usually buy them in bulk and cannot remember which ones I am using now... I think Lennox maybe? you generally get what you pay for so I usually do not buy the least expensive blades. I have not had any real lemons yet:)


29 March 2010 at 20:51  
Blogger Tico said...

That is a beautiful plane. Thanks for documenting the process so clearly. I'm interested in all the files that you use, and will go back through your posts to find out about them, but in particular what do you use on the mouth once you've sawed the opening? It must be very thin, indeed.



30 March 2010 at 06:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a little off topic, but I just wanted to say that your planes are absolutely beautiful. I had a chance to see and handle one at the Tools of the Trade show in Pickering on this past Sunday. I was very, very impressed. Time to set up a special savings fund. The No. 5 Smoother I saw was more than just tempting.

Once again, well done. Well done indeed.

30 March 2010 at 21:06  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Tico,

I use Japanese saw files for working on the actual mouth opening. For the bed of the plane I use more typical files - 8" single cut mill bastard files work well. They are slow, but do a very clean job. I am always on the look-out for files with safe edges. They work perfectly for shoulder planes when filing the bed. I orient the safe edge towards the leading edge of the mouth so that I do not inadvertently remove material. When I am working a little higher, I flip the file and place the safe edge towards to back of the plane.


30 March 2010 at 22:24  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks for the kind comments. Glad you had a chance to see a few of the planes this past weekend at the Tools of the Trade show. I seem to recall someone looking rather intently at the Ebony filled A5ss smoother. It is too bad I did not have a bench at the show - it would have been fun to try the plane as well.


30 March 2010 at 22:26  

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