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Planemaking – Casting An Iron Chariot Plane


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Planemaking
Fig. 7. -- Chariot Plane, in Section. Fig. 7 A. -- Ditto, in Plan.
NOTE: Click on image to enlarge.

Home-Made Tools.
By J. H.

III. - An Iron Chariot Plane.

In this article I will describe and illustrate a common iron chariot plane. The remarks made in a previous article with reference to the soundness of the casting, and operation of filing, will apply in the main to these examples also, and need not be repeated.

The main illustration is that form of smoothing plane called sometimes a "chariot plane." These are made in various sizes, but the dimensions given in the illustration, Fig. 7, are the most useful for general bench purposes. This plane differs from each of the forms yet described in this respect: that its pattern cannot easily be made like its casting, because of the presence of the bridge piece which takes the resistance of the wedge, and it is therefore properly cored out -- that is, the interior is formed of a core made in dried sand, and prepared in a special box distinct from the pattern itself.

Fig. 8 shows the pattern of this plane with the outlines of the casting indicated thereon. Fig. 9 shows the core box by which the interior is formed. A comparison of the figures will render the following description clear:--

A piece of wood is planed to the thickness, A, corresponding with the inside dimensions of the plane, also to the depth, B, and one end is cut to the shape of the end, C. Upon this block are nailed the two pieces, D, D, forming the plane sides and the end E; and this completes the pattern. The portion marked F is the core print, into whose impression the core made in the box (Fig. 9) is placed. The core box is framed together with grooved ends, as shown in Fig. 9, and its inside length corresponds with the length, G, and its width with the width, A, in Fig. 8. Into this box are fitted the pieces shown, which correspond with the interior faces and fittings of the plane. Some of these, it will be observed, are nailed on the "bottom board," A, which is a piece of wood dowelled on the box bottom specially to carry them. The piece, B, which takes the resistance of the wedge, is slid through holes cut in the box sides, and is drawn out sideways after the core is rammed, and before the box sides are taken apart. Screws, or else wooden clamps, hold the box sides together during the ramming of the core.

I think this description will be quite clear even to those who do not happen to have any knowledge of the processes of pattern making and of moulding.

The pattern might be made equally well by making the core print continuous with the out sides of the plane, in which case the pieces which are to form the plane sides would have to be planed to thickness, cut to outline, and put on the inside faces of the core box.

Planemaking
Fig. 8. -- Pattern of Chariot Plane. Fig. 8 A. -- Ditto: Plan.
NOTE: Click on image to enlarge.

It is a matter of indifference which method is adopted; the important point in either case is to have absolute coincidence of dimensions in corresponding parts of pattern and core box, so that all thicknesses, etc., shall be accurate in the casting.

The filing and fitting generally will have to be done pretty much on the same lines as in the other examples. The underface of the bridge piece should have careful attention, in order that the wedge shall slide smoothly, and bed equally on the iron. The upper face of the V piece, B, in Fig. 7, must be filed very true also, so that no possible rocking or chattering of the iron, due to imperfect bedding, shall ensue.

In order to prevent the bruising of the plane -- which follows on frequent repetition of hammer blows at the hinder end, for the purpose of loosening the wedge or cutting iron -- it is a frequent practice to tap a screw into the hinder end. The hammer blows are then delivered upon its head, and the body of the plane need never be struck. A 1/4 inch button-headed screw will be suitable, and it should be tapped in at about the central portion of the face of the back end of the plane. The screw is turned in until its head beds down firmly upon the face.

It will be noticed that the bevelled facet of the iron is placed upwards in this example, instead of downwards, as in previous examples. This arrangement is frequently followed in iron planes, as tending to sweeter working. The angle at which the iron is set in the block is correspondingly lower, so that there is really no difference in cutting angle in the two cases. In the former, however, while the lower or clearance angle is being constantly varied by resharpening: in this it remains constant, while the angle of top rake varies with the sharpening of the bevelled facet.

Planemaking
Fig. 9. -- Core Box, viewed from Top. Fig. 9 A. -- View of Side and Section.
NOTE: Click on image to enlarge.

The great advantage which iron planes have over those of wood is, first, that they cut sweeter than wood, being more entirely rigid; and the other, that they are unaffected by changes of temperature. For cabinet makers, pattern makers, and joiners they are, therefore, of much service. There is a good deal of elasticity in hereinto in a plane made of wood which is absent in those of iron. Elasticity of wood tends to produce more or less of chattering and choking, especially on working hard, cross-grained timber. A good iron plane having its cutting iron well fitted, well bedded, and secured, will operate in any direction or condition of the grain in a superior manner to the best wood plane.

If any workman finds difficulty in following out the instructions I have given, I trust he will communicate with the Editor and so give me an opportunity of putting him in "Shop." I shall also be glad to hear from any workman who may be desirous of information on the method that he may best follow in making any special tool that he may require. I shall always be ready to help to the best of my power.

The above article has been taken from the 1889 trade publication "Work" (Saturday, April 13, 1889 - Vol. 1, No. 4). It should be noted that it is unsure at this stage just who exactly "J. H." may be, but they do seem to possess some interesting knowledge and insight into the casting process and planemaking in general.

For Part I on Casting An Iron Trying Plane, click here.

For Part II on Casting An Iron Smoothing Plane, click here.

For an article on Casting An Adjustable Block Plane, click here.

For an article on Casting An Iron Rebate Plane, click here.

Last Updated: May 9, 2015 @ 10:54 pm

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