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Building The Scott Meek Wave Grip Jointer Kit, Part 2

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…

The band saw I used to rough cut the wedge. This saw is similar to my Jet band saw.

One wedge roughed out.

The sander I used to smooth the wedge.

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.

Final shaping of the wedge.

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.

Flattening the sole.

Sole flattened, blade sharp.

Getting some decent shavings with my new plane.

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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Have a question or comment about this post? Leave me a comment below; but I also like email. Use my contact form to send me an email (click here).

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Building The Scott Meek Wave Grip Jointer Kit, Part 1

I HAVE OWNED for more than six months what I think will become a prized possession: a Scott Meek jointer plane – in kit form. But, my excitement for building this plane has been tempered by some anxiety of two steps in the construction process which I think will be easy to mess up. These are making the cross pin and making the wedge. But, I’ll get to my woodworking anxiety in a minute. First let’s talk about Scott Meek’s hand planes.

I like cars and sometimes I’ll make a comparison to a car to make a point. For example, a customer once told me that I sell the Mercedes of carpets. I told him I thought a Ferrari was a better comparison. Scott’s hand planes are moving from what have been like a really nice Mercedes to something more exotic. Especially now that his planes feature both choice, figured wood and his new “checkering” technique (example here). So, I think a better comparison would be to a Ferrari. Scott does with wooden body hand planes what the likes of Ron Brese, Konrad Sauer or Raney Nelson achieve with metal planes.

I have been in the company of Scott on four occasions and while we are not close friends, I do consider him a friend and the idea of owning one of his planes has bounced around in my head for quite a while. When I saw a prototype of his upcoming jointer plane kit for sale at a discounted price, I jumped at it. He only had three prototypes available and I got one. I could have fit this jointer plane kit into my schedule while making my recently completed tool cabinet, but there is that stress thing I’ll get too in a minute.

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TO PREPARE FOR CONSTRUCTION I did two things: I bought Scott Meek’s “Make a Wooden Smoothing Plane” DVD and I pulled from my collection of woodworking books, David Finck’s “Making and Mastering Wood Planes”. If you ever want to build wooden hand planes from scratch, these two teaching guides would serve you well.

In watching Scott’s DVD, there is a lot to making a wooden body plane. A lot of steps which need to happen in the right order and some of these steps require a high level of precision. But, with a kit, some of this precision is already taken care of. The kit comes with the various plywood parts already milled to very rough shape. In addition to the plywood parts, I received white oak stock for the cross pin, wedge and alignment dowels along with a Hock Tools blade (see top photo).

The basic body of the plane.

The basic body of the plane.

I happen to be in Asheville right after Scott made this prototype available, so I met him in his home workshop to pick up the kit. He told me the prototype plywood parts seen above will be further refined before the kit is released for sale. Just as with my Hock Tools Shoulder Plane Kit, the various plywood parts come into alignment by way of dowels. Scott told me that with this prototype two of the pre-drilled holes actually don’t align properly. We discussed how to overcome this; but now, all these months later, I can’t remember which holes are out of alignment. When bringing the various parts together, they were in fact mis-aligned, but not that badly. Due to the alignment issue, I decided to glue the body of the plane in steps vs. all at one time.

Glueing together the parts for the rear block.

Glueing together the parts for the rear block.

Forming the front block.

THE STRESSFUL STEP. Before I can bring the front and rear block together with the sides, I need to make the cross pin which is some tricky business. Scott warned me that this step is the only real challenging part of the kit. The 1/2″ square stock needed to be cut size and then, 3/8″ diameter tenons had to be formed on each end of the cross pin. Scott gave me enough 1/2″ stock to make two cross pins, but I wanted to practice on a few first, so I milled up some of my own and made a jig to hold the stock at the drill press.

Drill press set-up for round tenons on square stock.

Drill press set-up for round tenons on square stock.

Success!

Success!

David Finck’s book had a great technique for holding the 1/2″ stock on end. You can see the jig pretty well in the second photo and I am using a 3/8″ tapered plug cutting bit in my drill press (I need a new drill press in the worst kind of way). The round tenons need to be centered and the same on each end. Following David’s process meant I was able to get a successful cross-pin on my second attempt, and I accidentally skipped a step in his method; so I got lucky.

The cross pin was shaped to have two rounded corners and the ramp on the rear block got a light sanding making sure it was square to the sides. I then hit the curved front ramp with some sand paper. Then it was time to glue everything together…

Lots of clamps. This is all the small clamps I own.

Out of the clamps.

Cross pin.

Shaping will begin next this week.

So, pretty rockin’ I think. Since this is a kit, Scott has taken some of the usually necessary brain power out of the construction making this a lot of fun project so far. The basic body of the plane is glued up. One more stressful step to go – next, I’ll make the wedge and with the wedge and blade installed; flatten the sole. Then I can start shaping it. Making the wedge where the curved shape is parallel to the flat back will be challenging, but just as with the cross pin, a little at a time; nice and easy and everything will be OK (plus I have enough stock for two wedges in case I mess up the first one).

ON A SIDE NOTE: I have returned to using my little point and shoot digital camera. For recent blog posts, I have simply been using photos I put on Instagram. And while cell phone photography works sometimes pretty well, I have been disappointed with such photos on my blog. So, it is back to learning Photoshop. Does anyone know of good on-line tutorials? I have been watching these YouTube videos which are good. But I feel I am learning specific tasks and not how principles of Photoshop.

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Have a question or comment about this post? Leave me a comment below; but I also like email. Use my contact form to send me an email (click here).

Free Woodworking Plan: The Jackson Dresser

Free 34 Page Woodworking Plan and a Fully Detailed SketchUp Model.

When I create a woodworking plan, it is usually the result of a finished project, or a design that takes bits and pieces of various projects I have built over my past 33 years of woodworking. This woodworking plan is different. It is the first one I have published based on a reader request. I was contacted a few weeks ago by a reader who built two bedside tables based on one of my free woodworking plans. He and his wife wanted a matching double dresser. While I have built one dresser before, I have never created such a woodworking plan, and after a long break, I was getting the itch to make a new plan. So, The Jackson Dresser woodworking plan took off.

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I have been complemented in the past on how detailed my woodworking plans are. I view these plans as teaching documents which hopefully move beginner woodworkers into more complex projects. The Jackson Dresser is about as detailed a plan as I have ever made. Each step is discussed and hopefully the images I have created explain the process better than my words. This plan is longish at 34 pages. For the first time, I have included a cutting diagram for the plywood components. I still don’t do this for solid stock because defects in lumber and finding the best grain in a board make cutting diagrams for wood marginal at best.

Some example pages…

Orthographic views of the front and side with major dimensions.

Orthographic views of the front and side with major dimensions.

The cut list; lots of parts with this dresser.

The cut list; lots of parts with this dresser.

The main exploded view showing a general view of construction.

The main exploded view showing a general view of construction.

A typical page showing a detailed illustration as well as text.

A typical page showing a detailed illustration as well as text.

Plywood material cutting diagram.

Plywood material cutting diagram.

I consider this as an intermediate level project due to the raised panel sides and fine fitting needed for good drawer movement. While I don’t specifically recommend hand planes in the plan, using a smoothing plane on a drawer side makes a good fit so much easier than sanding (if fitting is needed). Plus, this project has a lot of parts to fabricate using a hand-held router and a router table. I did design simplicity into the plan where possible. Instead of a multi-part web frame between rows of drawers, I opted for a single piece of plywood. Many of the drawer components are the same, so making these parts in batches helps keep the build process simple.

Download the Plan and SketchUp Model

So, let’s get to it. The link to download the plan is below (file size 14.5 MB)…

FREE PLAN – DOWNLOAD THE JACKSON DRESSER HERE

I have triple checked the plan for accuracy; a grueling task since there are so many numbers in it. I verified the part size individually using the SketchUp Cutlist extension. And then I checked it two more times. Also, this plan contains Amazon affiliate links on the Sources page. I now spend about $40.00 a month in fees to Adobe for software used in creating these plans. I want to keep these plans free, but I also need to at least break even on my investment, hence the reason for the affiliate links. You don’t pay more money for affiliate items, rather, Amazon sends me a small commission when I bring someone to their site.

The Jackson Dresser SketchUp model is available for download from the SketchUp 3D Warehouse. Using SketchUp, which is also free to download, you can look at the Jackson Dresser in 3D, pull the model apart and see in greater detail how the project goes together. Plus, if you are a SketchUp user, you can take advantage of the pine and plywood materials on your own SketchUp models. The file size is 23.3 MB.

FREE – DOWNLOAD THE JACKSON DRESSER SKETCHUP MODEL

A fully detailed SketchUp model.

A fully detailed SketchUp model.

Read all the way through the plan a couple of times before you get started. If you have a question, contact me using the form on my About page.