Peter McBride

Antique and Old Tools
Updated :- Tuesday, 24 October 2017

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TOOL MAKING PAGE

 click on the images for a larger picture 

Making a dovetailed brass sided smoother. 
13th January 2007
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No tails or pins, just finger joint cut into both the sides and base -  the metal must be peened into a recess ( seen here ) but cut into both the base and sides to form the double dovetails. I tried this " finger joint " method on the plane because of the lessons learned when I made the little bull nose chariot where I didn't cut a tail on the base or sides and it worked very well.

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25th January 2007

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Came to a bit of a hurdle here...next step is the knob and lever cap...do I cast of fabricate..?? I made some smaller block planes to trial a few ideas. click here and a miniature brass smoother with a steel sole lead soldered on. click here

chariot10_b.jpg (65410 bytes) mini_smoother2.jpg (77647 bytes)

27th August 2007

I wanted to make my own knobs, and wasn't thrilled with the diamond knurling tool I already had, so I made one myself. It's a piece of silver steel I cut up using the flex drive on my Jeweller's bench. They are very forgiving of misalignments and such, they will turn and turn until all the high spots have been pushed down. The one at the back came in a box of old tools, it makes a nice fine pattern.

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I cut the lever from a solid block of brass with a hacksaw, drill and files. The planes behind are a Mathieson and an unmarked plane with a side profile I like. These help with some of the critical angles and dimensions.

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10th September 2007

Here is the lever in the plane, with a dummy block of wood behind the temporary blade set. I made a narrower lever at the same time for a rebate plane, which will be the next plane I make...perhaps using a row of countersunk screws in place of dovetails to attach the sides..

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15th October 2007

Made a start on the wood infill, using some Australian Blackwood. One coat of Danish oil just for initial sealing, more finish on it later. The next step is to stamp my mark into the lever.

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I used a particularly handy, but simple device when doing the woodwork...a second smaller vice fixed to a short plank of wood held in the bench vice. This brought the work up to a good height, and I could hold the wood all around the vice and at any angle I needed.
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20th October 2007

Stamping my mark on the lever.
I made a tool holder for my maker's mark punch to stamp my logo onto the lever cap using the "Fly Press". I heat the brass to just under red hot and quickly align it under the punch. The black area is just oxidation on a recently filed area where I was refining the shape a little. It will clean up with a soak in acid solution, and then some emery and polishing
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24th October 2007
After a few minutes in acid solution, and then some emery and polishing the lever looks good again. 
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Getting close now...I drilled and countersunk holes for the screws to hold the infill, and temporarily fitted steel screws. I also did more filling on the chamfers and the front and rear at the base, and shortened the lever screw to a more pleasing length. Next step is to make a blade set in tool steel, 3 /16 inch blade and 1/8 inch back iron, then open the throat a little at the front to get the finest of openings to suite my blade set.
2nd November 2007
After a week using the plane, on and off I thought the handle was a little straight, not enough bulge in the base, so I made a new one - center below. The blade set in the plane is by Marples, and I'm very happy with the way it holds an edge.
  smooth_24.jpg (73441 bytes)   
3rd November 2007
Almost 6 months have passed since I started, and now the plane is finished....
smoother_side.jpg (66613 bytes)
smoother_fr2.jpg (80604 bytes)  smoother_back2.jpg (85156 bytes) smoother_fr_detail.jpg (87751 bytes)

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...and I sharpened the Marples blade again and wispy thin shavings are a curling out of the throat.
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Copyright Peter McBride 2007