Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Smith & Wesson 629 presentation case 2, getting groovy

The build continued today with a bit of work on the sides and and ends of the presentation case.

First I straightened one side of all pieces, and then I marked out for the final height of the box.
I ripped the pieces slightly over sized, so I could plane them to the final dimension. I made sure to keep an eye out for grain orientation which helped a lot.

I marked the individual pieces with some carpenter's triangles, and again I made sure to keep an eye out for grain direction , since I had to make some grooves on the inside of all the pieces.

After looking at the top and bottom, I decided to use the 1/4" grooving iron. It was the same one that I had sharpened last time I was on board, so I knew that it would work.
The iron was installed in the combination plane, and I made a few test swipes on a piece of scrap, to check if was adjusted OK. It might have been sheer luck, or it could be that I I am slowly getting better at setting up the plane - but anyhow the plane took a nice crisp shaving right from the start.

For the first grooves the workholding wasn't a big deal. I clamped a large piece of wood in the vise, and used some clamps to hold the pieces onto that large stick.

The challenge came when I had to make the set of grooves destined to receive the bottom of the case.
I couldn't turn the pieces around and plane from the other end unless I wanted to effectively ruin it all with tear out.
So after a few experiments I made some sort of a sticker board, and planed the bottom grooves from the same side.
I managed to make some really nice and crisp grooves on all pieces, and there was practically no tear out. It is nice to see that a little forward thinking on grain direction actually can help.

The next step will be to cut the sides and ends to their final length and shoot the ends of those pieces, when that is done I am going to lay out some dovetails.

Planing all pieces to the same height.

Workholding for the bottom grooves.

Sides and ends with grooves.


  1. So, there is a good reason why combination planes have long fence rods.
    Is it possible to place the fence on the other side (with the risk of the two grooves not being parallel or not equally spaced on the different box sides)?

    1. Hi Sylvain

      Thanks for commenting.
      On this plane it is not possible to change the side of the fence. The two fence rods also act as rods for the blade holding mechanism. So if I try to mount them on the other side of the plane, There is no way that I can attach a blade in the plane anymore.

      I could perhaps make a set of inverter rods. I have often found that it could be a great help if I could choose to plane left or right.

      I guess that I could try to look into that once the presentation case is completed.


  2. Great post title. Goes with being cool, I guess. :)

    1. Thanks.
      I think it is some years back that the groovy was cool, so it fits perfect with me :-)