Peter McBride Antique and Old Tools
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Restoring Gunmetal Planes - fitting a steel sole.
I have done a few of these recoveries of badly treated brass planes, and enjoyed the results. I like the steel soles on gunmetal and brass planes, and have some nice wood to remake the infill. Here are some pictures of the road to recovery for a shoulder plane, and a smoother.
This is page 4.
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click on the images for a larger picture
|This is my Norris 50G, the throat opening is 6.5mm (1/4 inch), and the angle of the blade 47.5 deg. is a little higher than the one I am doing, so the throat will have to be wider than 6.5mm with a blade of the same thickness.|
|The small blue line marks the location of the bottom of the blade at 45 deg, I projected that down, and scribed across the bottom with 2 lines 4 mm apart, certain they are in the waste area. Then drilled 2 holes down from the top right hard up against the front.|
|I marked the lines in red permeant marker...|
|...and then marked the iron width on the sole, and cut out the throat, making certain I stay in the waste area. There is plenty of room to get a good size file in here later so I stayed well within the lines for safety.|
|The hole is within the final area to be filed away. The part of the steel sole to be filed away at 45 deg. can be seen from the top.|
|A wide, thin, flat file is used to make the 45 deg. bevel at the back of the throat.|
|I found I needed to move the back of the throat back about 1.0mm, so marked another line as a guide. I won't take too much more out of the back of the throat until the infill is done. I think I will get a good flat surface to work of once the infill is in place. The back of the blade will give me a good reference surface. Once the back is done, the front of the throat can be filed opened to suite the blade thickness, and opening I want in front of the blade.|
I stopped here because I saw that I could raise the blade angle a little, get closer to the Norris angle, 47 1/2 deg., maybe even more which would be a good thing, and still need to file away some of the front of the throat....Want to think on that a while...anyhow I was getting a little tired of working in the metal day and night, so I made the infill for the shoulder plane.
I polished the champher with "emery sticks"...they
are shaped wooden sticks with wet and dry emery paper scribed on the back
as it is wrapped, and then taped at the ends.
The front infill is held with two 3.0mm brass rivets I made by drawing down a piece of brass wire to 3.00mm dia, cut 2.0mm extra in length and riveted into a "micro" countersink on the hole in the side. Then rubbed over a sheet of #360 grit wet and dry emery paper. I have tried to remove rivets in very small countersunk holes, and found it takes very little to hold them securely.
The Blackwood infill was planed to thickness, then cut out with a coping, and other saws.
Shaped with rasps, files, and smoothed with scrapers, sandpaper, and steel
Danish oil followed by shellac has left it a little too bright. I think a light rub with steel wool and wax will look better.
There aren't many pictures of the woodwork, I was having so much fun I didn't think to get the camera out.
|Finally got the time and inclination to finish this smoother. Left the blade at 45 deg. and it has been very good to use for at least a year with a temporary pin through the lever, and the screws for the infill sticking out the side, and the Bubinga infill unsanded and unfinished. I made the infill in the Norris style, and fitted it to the size of my hand.|
Copyright © Peter McBride 2004