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Practical Plane Making (Part II)


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Practical Planemaking 2

By W. J. Armour

Moulding Planes

As a rule, all moulding planes are made 9 1/2 in. long, and as they mostly work on the spring, they are not required to have the grain of the wood so straight as in a flat plane. Hollows, rounds, and rebate planes, however, are excepted; these should be as straight as possible, because the rebate plane, owing to its being cut through, is liable to cast if it is not straight-grained; and most of the hollows and rounds being very thin, are liable to cast if not of straight, mild, and well-seasoned wood. To make the half set of hollows and rounds, they should all be cut from one piece of wood, which should be as free from knots as possible. The sizes graduate from 1/2 in. to 1 7/8 in. in width, and they are all 9 1/2 in. long; the mouldings of all are parts of circles varying from 1/4 in. to 5 in. in diameter. After having to all to one length and planed square to the different sizes, proceed to rebate the larger sizes. The rule in all moulding planes is to allow the handhold to be 1/4 in. wider than the rebate; for instance, in a moulding plane 1 3/4 in. wide the rebate taken out would be 3/4 in.

Fig. 11. - Pattern of Pitch Board for Cabinet-makers Moulding Planes.
Fig. 12. - Pattern of Pitch Board for all Common and Flat planes.
Fig. 13. - Backing Plane (Mother Plane) for Ovolo Sash Saddle template.
Fig. 14. - Saddle Template for Ovolo Sash bar.
Fig. 15. - Cod Plane (Full Round Moulder).
Fig. 16. - Common Ovolo Scale.
Fig. 17. - Common O. G. Scale
Fig. 18. - Springing Square with Fence to Back of Plane to Set Out Moulding.

After this is done, measure from the fore end on the sole 3 1/2 in. and strike the bed line; from this line measure 3/16 in. and strike the mouth line; from the bed line strike on both sides of the wood the pitch of the bed. The pitch of the bed is according to the work the planes are to do; for instance, the pitch for joiners is 50 degrees and for cabinet makers about 60 degrees. The latter is called half pitch. Fig. 11 shows the pattern of pitch board used for cabinet-makers' moulding planes, and Fig. 12 the pattern of pitch board for all common and flat planes. Then from the line in top measure 1 in., strike a line, and from that line on both sides a line to the mouth line on the sole. This is the size of the mortise. Then gauge for width, which is always a third of the width of the handhold. Then gauge for the springing-on of the sole, which graduates according to the different sizes from 3/16 in. to 3/8 in. Then with a saw cut in the mouth along the bed and front line down to the springing line on the sole and through the side just to the handhold; with a small chisel push with the hand and knock the core out, and with a thin chisel sink down to a level with the springing line and the back line of mortise; then bore from the centre of the mortise to the centre of the mouth, and take a small saw float and open the mortise; pare the bed clean, and with a square float (see Fig. 5, p. 8. No. 461) level the bed, and then stick the moulding. Always stick the hollow first and square with the back; see that it does not wind, then stick the round to it; then let in the iron and pare away to the thickness of iron for mouth, and clean and finish the mortise for the wedge, which must next be let in. File in the iron, harden and temper, grind the face straight and the back a little hollow; then, if the bed is pared a little hollow likewise, there will be no difficulty in bedding. Plane the wedge so that the pressure goes to the bottom of the mortise, and when driven home it will slightly spring on top; afterwards shoot the ends and trim.

The foregoing instructions apply to all kinds of moulding planes, the only difficulty is in setting out the different mouldings; the method of doing this will be explained further on.

Bead Planes

Next to hollows and rounds, bead planes (Figs. 13 and 14) are the most used moulding planes. They are generally made in sets of nine from 1/8 in. to 7/8 in. All beads have a slip of Turkey box let in to bear the hard work of the quirk. The best beads have two slips, the second one to bear the work of the fence. The method of letting in the slip is to plough down with an ordinary plough to the depth of 1 in. and about 3/16 in. width for the larger ones; the smaller ones are ploughed down from 1/4 in to 3/8 in. in thickness, and all are fully boxed. The box is cut from a log about 8 in. in diameter; it is cut on the cross at an angle of about 45 degrees, in cakes of an inch thick, and then slipped in thin pieces and let into the planes so that the working edge is half on the end way of the wood; it is afterwards glued in and allowed to dry for a day or two.

Beads are mostly slipped on the side to the 1/2-in. size, the usual way is to have the wood 1/4 in. larger than the size wanted and cut out with a saw, planed, cleaned, and put back. If this is done well it will be hard to see the join; the object of slipping is to enable the plane to work close up to a moulding. The same rule applies to mouthing as in hollows and rounds; the moulding is stuck by a backing plane the reverse to the bead, (see Note 1) but if this is not to be had the moulding will have to be stuck by sharp rounds called cod planes (see Fig. 15), (see Note 2). These are planes used by plane makers for getting out mouldings to drawings, and are of various thicknesses from 1/16 in. to 3/4 in. They are seldom used by other mechanics.

All beads are the exact half circles with a quirk. It is important when filing in the iron of all beads that the bevel of iron should be filed well back, otherwise it will not cut at the side, and the shaving will choke.

O.G. and Ovolo Planes

After hollows and rounds and beads, the two next planes in common use as moulding planes are common O.G.'s and ovolos. The method of setting out these two planes will now be described, and the sizes, taken by way of example, will be 5/8 in. for an ovolo (see Fig. 16) and 1/2 in. for the O.G.'s (see Fig. 17); in the former instance the size of wood would be 2 in. Gauge a line 1/2 in. from the back of the plane on the sole and each end; this is the fence line. Then take the springing square S, and place the fence F of the square firmly to the back of the plane, as shown in Fig. 18; draw a line A B on the end from the back to the fence line on the fore end of the plane; then reverse the plane, and do the same on the hind end, being careful when once the spring is fixed not to alter the springing, so that each end will correspond. Next bring the long end of the springing square to the point of the fence line, and draw a line B G, which will be at right angles to the first line drawn called the springing line. Then take a pair of compasses and measure 1/4 in. from the springing line down, bring the short end of the springing square to the measured point, and strike a line C D. This gives the depth of fence, and is the line of the square of the ovolo down.

All common ovolos and O.G.'s stick on the same distance as they do down. Take the compasses and measure 5/8 in. from the square of the ovolo line down, and take the short end of the springing square and strike a line F G from the point measure right across, which gives the stop fence line; then measure with the compasses from the point where the fence line meets the stop line 5/8 in. along the stop line, and take the springing square to the point measure and strike a line HK; this is the line of the square of the ovolo. Then measure with the compasses a full 1/8 in. on each square line of the ovolos to give the sizes of the squares; then with the compasses strike an arc touching both points of the square. The same method is applied to common O.G.'s; should the moulding be wanted flatter or deeper, the distance on or down must be varied accordingly.

The scale boards required in setting out moulding planes are illustrated in Figs. 19, 20, 21, and 22.

Planemaking from Architect's Drawings

The way to make a plane to an architect's drawing, as for instance Fig. 23, will now be explained. Assuming that the size of the moulding measures 1 3/4 in., the size of the wood would be 2 7/8 in., to allow for the stop fence and springing measure from the back. With the gauge set to 9/16 in., mark both ends and sole; then take the springing square, fix the spring required, and strike the line A C (see Fig. 24); then draw line B C from the point C; this is the fence line. From C measure along line C B a distance of 15/16 in., and draw line D E at right angles to C B; this is the stop fence line, and indicates the depth of the moulding. Then take a tracing of the drawing; place this on the end of the plane, and mark the different lines of the moulding so as to get angles for the different members. Then with the springing square mark the lines from the points made from the other tracing. With a pair of dividers mark the other end exactly to correspond with the fore end. When this is done cut the mouth with a slight tap of the hammer, so as to prevent the moulding from springing when the iron is in. Next, with a rebate plane, rebate out the angles at F, G, H, and K (see Fig. 24), and plane off the springing, being very careful not to go through the line, otherwise the whole of the moulding will have to be set out again. After this is done, take a cod plane (see Fig. 15) and make the bead A (Fig. 25), then with a smaller cod plane make bead B; then with a hollow make scotia C, from time to time comparing with the drawings to see that the work is being done correctly.

Sash Template

The method of making a template for a 5/8 in. ovolo sash bar is as follows: The wood size is 8 in. long by 1 1/2 in. by 2 1/4 in.; plane up square, and with a plough or tongueing plane plough down about 5/8 in. to the square of the moulding (see Fig. 13 and 14); then take the backing plane and plane down until it stops.

NOTES:
Backing Plane: Also called a mother plane. This plane is the reverse shape of the desired moulding and is used to cut the profile on a plane blank more quickly and consistently.

Cod Plane: A full round moulding plane used by plane makers to custom cut profiles to special order. Not a common terminology.

Click here for Practical Plane Making (Part III)

Part I   |   Part II   |   Part III   |   Part IV

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