Chisel Plane

Long time, no blog.. I've mostly been doing finishing work lately, so nothing that exciting to take photos of and blog about I'm afraid. The Box Elder bass featured in previous blogs is almost ready, so I'll be updating the gallery section shortly. I also have a couple of other projects which I'm about to make a start on, more on those soon ;) As a little side project this week (to kill time while waiting for lacquer to dry), I've been making a wooden hand plane, here's a few pictures and info for anyone that's interested.

The idea was to make a simple 'chisel plane', for which the main use would be to remove dried glue squeeze out from body and neck blanks. Unlike a traditional plane, a chisel plane has a blade fitted at the front, so it acts more like.. yes you guessed it, a chisel. It has the advantage of having depth control, so it cuts flush without the risk of damaging the wood.

The block plane blade I used is made by Quangsheng and cost £10.50. The Satinwood and Maccassar Ebony was from my stash of exotic off-cuts.

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Once the wood was cut roughly to size and glued up, I cut and sand the 20 degree angle and install a threaded insert.

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Next I needed to make something to hold the blade firmly in place.. after a lot of head scratching, I came up with the idea of using one of the Ebony knobs I use on my guitars. I drilled through the knob, added a countersink and then locked it down with a nut and washer on the underside.

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To make the cap, I used another piece of Ebony, fitted with a countersunk metal ferrule to help spread the pressure so the Ebony doesn't split when the knob is done up tight.

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After checking that the knob/cap holds the blade firmly, I moved onto the fun part.. shaping. I rounded off the back on the belt sander and then attacked it with rasps and sandpaper until I was happy with the shape. Once sanded, I applied a coat of hardwax oil and left it to dry overnight.

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The next day I applied a coat of wax and after honing the blade (25 degrees, with a 30 degree micro bevel) I assembled everything and gave it a test run. My first impressions are very good, the blade is held firmly in place and it makes light work of removing dried glue.. it certainly beats using chisels, scrapers or razorblades :)

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