Toolmaking
September 1, 2007
Entry Details
 

# 588
Chris Gorman
Ottawa, ON
Dimensions (inches):  
  Width:   .375-.5
  Height:   2
  Depth:   5
Materials:   Brass, rosewood, walnut, carbon steel

Small brass infill shoulder plane

I have designed and fabricated a number of  woodworking tools over the last couple of years. These brass infill planes (3/8” and ½” wide) always draw the most interest. This was my first attempt at building an infill plane. I wanted to have some fun with the shape and had Moby Dick imagery in mind when I constructed a 3-D computer model of the plane as an assembly of parts in CAD.
After building the ‘virtual plane’ on the computer, I created manufacturing files for a 3-axis computer-controlled milling machine. This approach allows for easy design modifications. For example, changing the width of sole is only a matter of changing a few dimensions in the computer model. All of the parts were machined by double-side tapping and pinning stock pieces to an  Arborite board mounted on the bed of the milling machine.
1/8” diameter brass rods were peined over to lock all of the pieces together. The sides were carefully lapped to the correct width, and the sole was lapped using a square steel reference block on abrasive paper. This allowed me to square the sole and minimize the size of the mouth. To maximize the clamping pressure at the front of the blade the wedge is relieved on the bottom middle section. The blades are modified shoulder plane blades. An abrasive cutoff wheel was used to reshape the blade after which it was ground, tempered and honed.
The walnut holder provides safe storage of the completed plane. The oval finger hole on the back allows for refined extrication of the plane.
Edges that the user’s hand contacts are beveled. The planes mass creates a momentum that gives it a wonderful feel when adjusting shoulders. The plane is a pleasure to use, a great conversation piece and should last a lifetime or two.

Dimensions:
Weight 11.8 oz
Walnut case 2.5X7.5X3/4”
Plane sole length 5”, 2” high
 

Custom walnut storage/transit case
 

Assembling plane
 

Details 1
 

Details 2
 

Judges Comments
Brian : Absolutely beautiful proportions and workmanship
CS : This plane has all the classic touches of a vintage infill shoulder plane. Nice lines (I like the tear-drop shape of the escapement). Nice heft. Works very well. The French-fitted case is a nice touch. My only cosmetic quibble: the riveting of the sidewalls to the infill is a little too close to the edge for my tastes.
Clarence : A well-done infill.

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