Thursday, 23 September 2010

A post for JW - cleaning up an Emmert Vice


JW requested that I post a few photos of the Emmert vice restoration. I wrote about this bench a few years ago now - and sadly, I have not finished the restoration. The above photo shows it in its original condition - or at least the condition I found it in. There are quite a few photos of the base restoration here.




(the parts after the first “toothbrushing”)


I would consider myself a minimalist when it comes to restoring things. I clean and fix things that are broken, make sure that parts interact properly, but I am not a re-paint make it look like new guy. I like patina and the evidence that things have been used. I view myself as the current keeper of the vice and will undoubtedly impart my own wear (and tear) on it.

The cleaning process involved taking the whole vice apart and scrubbing it with an old dry toothbrush. It is amazing how much crud a toothbrush can remove! After all the loose dust was off, I soaked it in Varsol for about 15 minutes. I then used the same toothbrush and removed everything else. There were a few stubborn parts that I used a brass bristled brush to remove. For a few really bad spots, I did use steel wool being careful not to brighten the castings too much.




This photo shows the level of clean I was after. The little bits of green paint do not bother me - it is all part of the story of the vice.




There were no missing parts and only a single broken part. I was able to purchase a replacement collar from CS Machinery. It was not a perfect type match - but I was fine with that. For anyone interested in Emmert Vices - this site is an amazing resource - I found it very helpful.

I kept my camera handy and took a few photos as I took the vice apart to avoid forgetting how it went back together.




Here is a photo with the screw removed. I also replaced these two slotted screws - they were stripped.



The Allen screw and collar that hold the screw in place.





Here is the vice back together with leather lining the jaws. I also made a new handle for it (which is a little too long).




And with the jaws wide open.

I have used this vice many times now and I am very impressed with it. I am able to hold anything. The only issue I have to resolve is the cam seems to loosen sometimes which makes clamping a bit awkward. I suspect I just need to tweak the way a few of the parts interact and it will be fine.

Oh, one other thing - I did lap both sides of the cam and the locking nut to ensure flatness. They were a little rough. I also waxed all the surfaces.

JW - I hope this helps.

3 Comments:

Blogger JW said...

Awesome! Many thanks, Konrad.

19 October 2010 08:38  
Blogger Konrad said...

You are most welcome - I hope it was helpful.

Cheers,
Konrad

19 October 2010 08:39  
Anonymous Brad said...

I've recently gotten into stripping castings with an electrolysis process. It takes a while but it isn't like you actually have to do much of the work. The castings sit in a bath of water and washing soda, with a low-voltage current, and low and behold, all the grease, dirt, paint and rust falls right off. And no degradation of the casting (not so for Aluminum but we're talking old tools)

22 October 2010 16:53  

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Saturday, 18 September 2010

Another Boxwood plane & a ridiculous first shaving



I have just completed the largest Boxwood filled plane I have made to date. Working with Boxwood poses one really serious challenge - how to keep the wood clean! It may not seem like a big deal, but Boxwood will pick up even the smallest amounts of dirt, dust or grime. On some days, I must have washed my hands a couple dozen times. When I was shaping the rear infill and the tops of the steel sidewalls, I had to take extra care when draw-filing to keep the hard steel shavings from embedding in the Boxwood. I would draw one stroke, clean the file (aka, wiped it on my shorts), take another stroke and repeat.





It has been a very long time since I have made either a jointer or panel plane without an adjuster, and I have to say - it was really fun. The lack of adjuster allowed me to use a handle treatment which Joe and I used on the very first panel planes we made. You can see it clearly in the first photo. As the top of the handle comes towards the blade, it drops quickly and then forms a gentle ogee curve that leads into the slot for the cap iron. Well... most of the original examples I have seen do not lead into the cap iron slot... but it is much cleaner looking when they do.



The other interesting aspect to this plane was the inclusion that appeared on the front bun. It is fairly common for Boxwood to have inclusions like this as it is a very slow growing scrubby tree that is often quite twisted. I personally love these anomalies - it is what makes Boxwood (and wood in general) so amazing. I have seen one of my planemaking heros, Bill Carter, use these inclusions to great effect. Thankfully, the inclusion was completely solid so there were no structural issues. I was most pleased when the customer contacted me saying he loved it as well.











When I am filing a mouth, I have to start with a fully tuned iron so I can accurately see what is happening. During the fitting process, I inevitably get a ding or two in the iron, which I always re-hone out before taking a few test shavings. I usually take the first test cuts on a fairly tight grained wood like cherry or pear and take both a heavy shaving and then a light cut to make sure the plane is working well in both situations. The mouth on this plane is between 0.004" and 0.005". After the mouth was done, I took a heavy shaving first. It worked perfectly. Then I tried a fine shaving. The above photo is what I got. I was pretty amazed. It is not very often that I get a shaving like this within the first few test cuts.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello konrad.true machanical beauty and artistry.i can only look on in amazement.thank you for this site and a glimps into your day.true talent.lou

19 September 2010 18:24  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thank-you for the very kind words Lou. Glad you are enjoying the site as well.

Cheers,
Konrad

19 September 2010 19:21  
Anonymous Francis Beaulieu said...

Beautiful! Is this a 16 1/2"?

Also, what are the pros of a plane with no adjuster? I am thinking about building a plane for my own use, and I'm still unsure about whether I should use an adjuster or not.

19 September 2010 20:56  
Blogger Konrad said...

Yes - it is 16-1/2" long. I am not really sure there is an inherent “advantage” to a plane without an adjuster - it really depends on how you work. Some people like adjusters - some do not. A plane without an adjuster is just as effective as one with an adjuster. If it does not have an adjuster, you will need to develop the skills to use a small hammer to set the iron. If you have an adjuster, you will need to develop the skills to use it.

I would suggest your first plane will be much easier to make without an adjuster. The learning curve is pretty steep and not having to worry about an adjuster might be a good thing.

Cheers,
Konrad

19 September 2010 21:33  
Blogger Adrian Baird Ba Than said...

Wow,just wow!
I love,love,love Boxwood in planes & that is one massive & beautiful chunk of Buxus Sempervirens.
Of course it doesn't matter how pretty a plane is,& that is one very,very pretty plane,unless it works well.That shaving is insane & proves that this isn't just a vacuous blonde but a workhorse to be reckoned with!
What does she weigh & have you tried the 1 finger push test,I'm sure given the mass & gossamer quality of that shaving that this plane will peel wood without any downward pressure...
Cheers bud,
Black

20 September 2010 00:14  
Anonymous Steve Branam said...

That is a gorgeous hunk of metal and wood and a magnificent shaving!

21 September 2010 06:00  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Black.

I have not tried the one finger push test... I will try to remember before I ship it out. It is not as heavy as it looks - Boxwood is not like African Blackwood. I will have to do the crude test... on the bathroom scale:)

Cheers,
Konrad

21 September 2010 11:21  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Steve.

cheers,
Konrad

21 September 2010 11:21  
Blogger Steve Kirincich said...

Hi Konrad,
I love the plane and the boxwood. I am expecting some serious tool porn for WIA! Have you ever worked with hornbeam, and if so, how does it compare with boxwood? Thamks.

Steve

29 September 2010 12:34  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Steve,

Yes - WWIA will be a dangerous place - and for the toolmakers as well. We are just as drawn to beautiful things as the next guy or gal.

I have worked with Hornbeam before. It has a similar density to boxwood, but seems stringy in comparison. Is Hornbeam a stable wood?

Cheers,
Konrad

29 September 2010 14:13  
Anonymous Brad said...

That is friggin' ridiculous! Keep those shavings away from static or you'll have a fire in your shop!

As always, Incredible work Konrad. One day my friend, ONE DAY!

Brad

9 October 2010 19:10  

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Thursday, 9 September 2010

A cute little plane


A 1/2" wide, 3-3/4" long, dovetailed rebate plane. The bed is Boxwood and the wedge is birds-eye/figured Boxwood.







I just had to use lamb’s tongues to terminate the chamfers!

12 Comments:

Anonymous Charles Davis said...

Wow, the interesting figure in the wedge complements the sleek steel body nicely. The lamb's tongue termination of the chamfers is a nice detail that I don't believe I've seen in a metal-bodied plane before. Well done! Definitely a "cute little plane"

9 September 2010 19:01  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Charles. I spent a few minutes with a negative template of the wedge placing it over the boxwood to find the best figure. There was a great cluster of eyes that just fit inside the end of the wedge. Glad you like the lambs tongues. I have used them a few times on these small rebate and shoulder planes. It is nice little touch that is easy to do.

Cheers,
Konrad

9 September 2010 19:07  
Blogger Tim Raleigh said...

I love your photography completely compliments your writing.
Are you still using the Nikon Coolpix 4300 or have you moved on to something else?
Tim

9 September 2010 20:00  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Tim. Yup - still using the Nikon Coolpix 4300. I re-charge the battery every morning and keep my fingers crossed... but it is still a great little camera.

Cheers,
Konrad

9 September 2010 20:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I quite like how you designed this tool. However I would like to see it with a chamfer inside the throat, perhaps having a lamb's tongue even with the front part of the plane on the curve and concluding in a lamb's tongue even, though skewed, on the straight part around the wedge-mortice. Or perhaps a thinner chamfer with a simple curl to start and conclude before the wedge mortice. Nice work, would like to make one myself now.

10 September 2010 04:12  
Blogger Konrad said...

Anonymous,

I am always curious when someone posts a very thoughtful and deliberate comment like yours but opts not to identify themselves. Care to share your identity? I am not sure I follow your suggestion completely and would like to understand it better - sounds interesting.

Cheers,
Konrad

10 September 2010 08:31  
Anonymous Steve said...

It's too cool to be cute Konrad, and I'm loving the birdseye wedge, your wood stash delivers yet again!!

Cheers,
Steve

11 September 2010 21:46  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Steve - glad you like it. I have the finish on the boxwood now - I will post another photo of it.

Cheers,
Konrad

12 September 2010 19:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

have you ever thought of etching the sides of the plane to show the metal grain? It's a risky proposition but the look is interesting.
With that said I personally like brushed/polished metal with ebony. But grain markings are always interesting especially when you realize the work involved.

13 September 2010 04:32  
Blogger Konrad said...

I have not considered etching before, but I have considered engraving. For some reason, engraving seems to work really well on smaller planes, and this one would be a good candidate for sure. Thanks for reminding me.

Cheers,
Konrad

13 September 2010 06:33  
Anonymous Shannon said...

Well done Konrad, that lamb's tongue is just too much! The merging of metal and wood here is really stunning.

17 September 2010 09:34  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Shannon. The lambs tongue is not that hard to do - maybe I should do an entry on how to do them?

cheers,
Konrad

17 September 2010 19:05  

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