Thursday, May 2, 2013

Exotic wood, glass and steel.

I needed to make some retaining strips for the glass for the display case. This was clearly a job for my new rabbet plane.
Since the strips were designed to be only 11 x 11 mm (7/16" square), I had to make some sort of improvised work holding.
I found a piece of plywood that was lying in the workshop. I attached a thin board to the top of it, by clamping both to the workbench. I mounted a small screw to act as a planning stop. I double checked, to make sure that I wouldn't hit it with the iron of the plane.

Making the rabbets all by hands was a bit more work compared to making them on the table saw, but there was no burning and they looked nice and crisp.

After the rabbets were made I made a chamfer on the opposite corner of the rabbet, where the screws would go.

I had cut the glass yesterday, and I cleaned it thoroughly. After I cut glass, I normally remove the sharp edges by using a fairly coarse old grinding stone. Just a couple of strokes, and there is no risk of cutting the fingers on the edges.

I drilled clearance holes in the glass retaining strips and pilot holes in the frame itself. I had found some old brassed steels screws that were perfect for the project. Having a bras screw breaking in such a delicate frame as this one is not funny. So the harder steel screws were most welcome.

I tried my new Dictum wood wax as a finish, and it was easy to apply after a minute in the microwave oven. I settled after two coats.

I finally installed the steam engine on the base, and put on the top part of the display case. Now I just need to find somewhere to put it in the house where it will look good.
Personally I like the way the different materials compliment each other. glass and exotic wood enhance the steel of the steam engine in a way that is hard to do otherwise.

The work holding for rabbeting the glass retaining strips.

Close up of the planning stop screw

One rabbet down, eleven to go.

The finished result.



  1. It turned out great! I really like that wax, but it is hard to see in the photos how the finish turned out. What do you think?

  2. My camera is really crappy. I bought it at Aldi a couple of years ago. I think it was around 80$. So the value today would be close to 20$ for an equivalent camera.
    I can try to take some pictures using the family camera. That ought to do the trick.
    I applied to wax using a soft rag, and not a pollisseur (or how you spell it). It doesn't shine, but I think it has a nice look. I think it will make a huge difference if it is applied using compressed straw.
    Actually I made a polliseur myself using some hay from the stable. I just never tried it. I was afraid that the frame was too delicate, so it might break if I applied too much pressure.

    1. Sounds like it is time for a test. Perhaps a blog post!

  3. The Veritas rabbet plane is one of the tools on my must have list. Perhaps I can convince my wife that it would also make a nice 40th birthday present. I think that you are correct in saying that rabbets on the table saw aren't as nice. I do it at need but it seems to me that they are difficult to get perfectly accurate. I end up using a router plane to clean the bottom as well.
    I really like the wax finish. I've been waxing all of my drawer parts and have experimented with it as a finish coat and I am really impressed. The finished case looks great. I think it would work in the house or the shop.

    1. I first tried out the Veritas skewed rabbet plane 2 years ago at a workshop class, and I have been wanting one ever since.
      I honed the blade and adjusted the position before starting to plane away. It is really a nice tool which I can fully recommend.
      My father gave me an old Stanley rabbet plane, but the fence is so far away from 90 degrees it is close to useless.
      Maybe I should make a comparison test one day, featuring an old wooden rabbet plane and the Stanley and the Veritas.

    2. I hated my Stanley #78. The fence is terrible. I think it was a bad design move to use only one post. I think the Record equivalent has two, which should be much more stable. Nowadays I have been having good luck using my old woodie with no fence to do rabbets. But, there is nothing quite like that moving filletster of yours to cut cross-grain.