Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Making The Plane, part 1

So, the first step in making my plane was to do some research.  I have a couple of sash planes that I use often.  I looked at these planes first and did a detailed drawing of the better looking plane.
After reading a couple of texts on the subject I knew that I had to either make or purchase a float.  The floats at Lie-Nielsen are quite nice but a little pricey for me.
I decided to make my own.  I went out looking for steel.  I needed something that was soft enough for me to file but would also hold enough of an edge to file wood.  After running into some dead ends someone at Winks Hardware said I should try key stock.  For about a $1 I got a 1/4" square piece of metal.  I was a bit skeptical at first.  

I filed about half a dozen ridges in it like what I had seen in some books. It was extremely easy to file.  

Here is what it looked like after a few ridges were filed in it.    It works wood brilliantly and I have used it for other tasks since I made it.  I am very pleased with how it functions.

The next thing I made was the pitchboard.  It was a fairly simple template that marks out the cuts that need to be made for the escapement area.

Iowa or Bust

photo courtesy of S. Licht, architect
A unique project has come my way.  I was asked back in December if I would like to build some sash for a project in southwest Iowa.  The structure is a ferry building that was a part of the Underground Railroad network.  The date that the building was constructed was 1850.
We finalized the paperwork in April and I got started right away.
A couple of challenges that I faced were making a sash plane, and working with a material that I rarely work with (Southern Yellow Pine). I'll dedicate future posts to the making of the sash plane as well as the journey of the sashes from their first stages to their installation in Iowa.  

Coquille Lighthouse

Here are some pictures from the finish of the Coquille Lighthouse project.  
Due to some unique challenges I decided to make the sash by hand myself.  I had a lot of fun doing it and am looking forward to my next sash building project.  I would like to thank my friends at Creative Woodworking for providing me with some excellent Alaskan Yellow Cedar.

Making the glass rabbet with the moving fillester.

The tenon for the bottom rail.

Intersection of the muntin bar and bottom rail.

Exterior finished.

Interior finished.