This is an interesting project because the construction process has me doing some things I don’t normally do. Case in point is the wedge for the jointer plane. This part is the second component in this project which I have been stressing about. My thinking is that for the wedge to properly hold the plane iron in place, it has to be perfectly shaped in thickness. If while forming the wedge, let’s say the left side is a little thicker than the right edge, the plane iron probably won’t stay in that perfect spot while in use. The perfect spot is where a tissue thin ribbon of full width wood is effortlessly removed from some wood (like at the end of this video).
But, one thing I have going for me is Scott Meek’s Popular Woodworking video in which Scott explains in great detail his process for making wooden body hand planes; things to look out for and what to do if something doesn’t go just right. I had been watching this video on an as needed basis and realized I had not seen him make the wedge. After watching the video my confidence was enhanced. Before I move on, if you are interested in building a wooden body hand plane, I highly recommend Scott’s DVD.
Once the wedge is rough cut to shape, Scott uses a spindle sander to smooth out the cut. I don’t have such a tool, but I am a member of the Alabama Woodworkers Guild which has a fully equipped professional level workshop just an 18 minute drive from my home and the monthly meeting was coming up, so I timed my work to be ready to shape the wedge after the monthly meeting. I thought about using my own band saw to make the initial cuts, but my work week was full and I simply ran out of time. No matter, the Guild’s Woodworking Education Center, where the monthly meetings are held has several band saws to choose from…
Back in my workshop, I fine tuned the shape of the wedge following the technique Scott used in his DVD. Simply load the iron, insert the wedge and look for a gap between the wedge and the cross pin. Sand more favoring the thick side. I took a lot of material off because my wedge was simply too thick. Not much of it was insertable between the iron and the cross pin.
Once the wedge fit well, I could then progress to flattening the sole of the plane as well as touching up the Hock Tools blade.
So, I made use of a nicely tuned band saw and a stationary belt sander; I need to get my Jet band saw tuned up and maybe purchase a stationary sander (or just use the Guild’s tools).
Next up: All that is left to do is shape the plane, which is no small task. There is a lot of plywood to remove and I’ll need to buy at least one new rasp; probably two. This will be the fun part of the project because even though I am getting good shavings from it, presently the plane looks a little rough and is not very comfortable to use.
See part one of this project by clicking here.
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