Thursday, December 26, 2013

18th century?

Among a bunch of old wooden planes I spotted the tell tale signs of 18th century Dutch moulding planes. The typical decorative gouge and chisel cuts on the front of the planes are quite short on the old ones and a lot longer on the 19th century planes. These planes are otherwise also old fashioned. The cutout in front of the blade on top of the plane is very deep and well defined. The later ones are usually quite mellow. The planes are made from beech which is exactly radial, also a sign of the better quality back in the days. And last but not least, the irons are thin, only 3mm near the cutting edge. Later ones are 4 to 4.5 mm thick.

But, I can't be sure because there is no makers mark. The only mark is PDO, which looks more like an owners mark to me. The mark doesn't look very old either.

If someone knows more about PDO, feel free to add a comment.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Plow planes

My new German plow is a nice excuse to show off my small collection of plow planes (Veerploeg in Dutch).

From the left, first the metal ones. A Stanley #50 was my first plow plane. Works perfectly allright, but with the two skates it is a bit more work to set up then the Record 044, which comes next. That one is probably one off the best metal plow planes ever produced. Easy to use, foolproof I'd say.

Next is the English wooden plane, made by Moseley. I dearly love wooden planes, but just to be honest, they have a learning curve! And they often need restauration work. Mine works fine, except the fence is not parallel to the skate. I'm not sure yet how to solve that. Just planing the fence until it is square is probably the easiest, but maybe it doesn't look so hot when I expose a fresh piece of beech. Setting up the plane with the wedges is not so easy as the metal ones, but as soon as it gets going, nothing is going to stop it!

Then comes the German plow, allready presented in the previous post. And finally on the right my Dutch one. This is made in 1847. It is a typical 18th century design, but produced some time later. Mine is very beautifull, but lives in the house and not in the workshop. It doesn't really work. The iron I have fits really badly and to make it fit I should make quite a bit of changes to the skate, the bedding of the iron and wedge. I don't really want to do that, so I leave it as it is, a conversation piece.

So far my little collection. I think that I have enough now. Collecting plowplanes takes up a lot of space as you can see in the first picture. And I think I now have most types covered. Only a Japanese plow fails.

Friday, December 20, 2013

German Plow

Not much time for the man-cave in the past few weeks, but here is a "new" aquisition. A plowplane from Germany with their typical screwarms for the fence. There is no brand name on the plane itself, but the iron is marked J.P. Arns, a well known smith in Remscheid. This town, close to Wuppertal has allways been the centre of German edgetool and cutlery making.

There were a few problems with the plow. The most obvious was the iron with a shattered edge. It has probably fallen on a stone floor at some time, with the damage extending way down the face of the blade. So I had to grind back about half a cm and regrind the bevel to get a sharp edge again.

Another problem is that the screwarms are loose in the main body of the plane. You can see them sticking out in the above picture. The square ends of the arms should be more or less flush with the body. For now I have pushed them back, but coming weekend when I have the shop heated up a bit I will glue them again.

Other problems were with the skates. A plow like this doesn't really have a sole, but a skate running from the front to the back, interrupted by the mouth for the plane iron. The front and rear skate were not in line, as you can see in this picture.

The plane has probably warped a little bit over the years. So I removed the skates and used a rabbet plane to straighten the wood under them. In itself this isn't a problem, because the iron is wider then the skates and a misallignment doesn't hurt when making a groove. But it makes setting the fence parallel to the skates more difficult.

The last problem was another misallignment of the skates as seen in this picture. You can see that the straightedge doesn't touch the front skate. The rear one has shifted down. This makes the plane impossible to use. It either bites into the wood or doesn't take a shaving at all.

 I used a file to correct this problem, but made a mistake there. After filing they looked perfectly alligned again, but as soon as I installed the iron, the rear skate was pushed down under the wedge pressure again. The screws of the rear skate were too loose and couldn't be tightened enough. I had to get some larger ones. Luckily the home centre had some. I just had to file down the heads of the screws so they wouldn't protrude. Now the skate is firmly attached again and doesn't move under pressure anymore. The rear skate is now actually a bit too high, but that doesn't harm performance.

And now she is all up and running again. I only have one iron, but at 8 mm it is a usefull size. She works perfectly well. The screwarms make her easy to adjust. There is no depth stop, so you have to stop from time to time and meassure how deep the groove is. I like to take medium thick shavings. You can take much thicker ones with a plane like this, but it helps to keep everything in the right position while planing when you don't have to push with all your might. Here is a test cut in a piece of wallnut.

Monday, December 2, 2013

New saw is finished

Now I have to start a photography course. Making pictures is a lot more difficult. I went outside, but the camera wanted to use the flash all the time. So sorry for the bad pics, but here is the saw. Some data, this is a copy from a big Kenyon saw. Mine is 18" long, 10 ppi, 3 degree rake. It has a steel back, which has been blued. Handle is quarter sawn beech again.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A small chest

A present for friends. Made from Cherry with a bit of curl and handcut dovetails of course. the mouldings are made by machine, I really have to get my moulding planes up and running.