Sunday, January 22, 2017

Spill plane build 2, constructing the body.

After the blade had rested for approximately 24 hours in vinegar I took it out and cleaned it with a steel brush.
There are a few places with rust pitting, but nothing more than what can be ground away.
I think the vinegar I used was a bit weak compared to what I have used at home, but it got the job done all right.

The blank was first planed flat and square on two reference surfaces that would then be used for laying out the various lines.

For the body I have relied heavily on this article by Darrel LaRU. As Kari Hultman discovered, there is a small thing that is not mentioned in the article, namely that the blade shouldn't sit parallel with the bottom of the plane.

Armed with all this excellent information, I marked out an angle of 60 degrees and one of 10 degrees. The 60 degrees would work fine since my blade is somewhat wider than the blade used by Darrel LaRu. The 10 degrees frog angle would allow me to make a screw up and still stay in the ball park.

In order to find the angles I resorted to some good old trusted mathematics and used a tangential function of a calculator. I did this mainly because it is easy and it was faster than going all the way up to the bridge and borrow a drafting angle.

Making the cut out for the blade was done using a hacksaw (as usual) and some chisels. I ended up using a file to smooth out the bottom so it was as flat as I could get it.
The thing to aim for is that the two corners of the blade are parallel with the top of the plane body. I think that I could have made my cut out a little bit deeper, as that would have allowed me to advance the blade a bit more without getting a thick shaving. Instead I'll have to move the outside fence in a bit on the body. But that is OK with me. The function will still be the same.

After making a wedge to fit the angle, I drilled the escapement hole. I used a 20 mm drill (a bit more than 3/4"). I used the large drill press for that operation.

I ripped a piece of beech to make the back fence. This fence will cover the hole for the blade, and it will also hold the wedge. I just planed one face and one edge of this piece, and mounted it temporarily with the help of a couple of clamps to test the plane.

After the test I marked out the position of the fence and glued it in place.
I like it best when wooden planes are glued together. I may regret that if I have to make some serious adjustment later on, but I think it will look fine.

I am following a bit of the same principles when I am building a small chest out here. I try to make most of the inaccuracies to the outside, and then once all is complete I can square it up and make it look nice.

De-rusted blade. Note the darker area is where the hardened steel is.

Lay out on the blank.

Cut out made for the blade.

Testing the fit of the blade.

Escapement hole drilled.

Initial test.

Back fence glued on.


  1. Now you need to take up smoking cigars!

  2. Hi Jonas,

    is the fence on the side you show enough? Is the wood pulled against this fence? Think to make one for my father, who could use it to light his oven.


    1. Hi Pedder
      It can be done with pulling the wood towards the fence, but a fence on the other side is much better.

      Andrea from Italy pointed me towards a plane that his friend Leo had built. That one only uses one fence. The major difference is that the blade is secured with a screw instead of a wedge.
      I strongly thought of doing it that way, but I wanted the more traditional look with the wedge. But the other version seems to be an easier build, with no difference whatsoever in the performance.