Friday, November 15, 2019

From outer space...

In my previous post I asked what plane was making the thick shavings shown on picture. Most would have answered a Jack plane but it was more than that. It is a jack plane from outer space!

A jack plane from a sci-fi comics, the Millers Falls #714.

I am the lucky owner of that Millers Falls #714 type 1 from the so called "Buck Rogers" era.
Some says that this plane is a collector for its exceptional design but an awful plane to use. While I must admit that its design makes it a piece of exception in the plane world, I disagree about its quality as a plane. This plane is a beast of jack plane!

What a shape!

First it is heavy and I like that. Second its massive tote makes it really enjoyable to handle for someone with big fat hands like me. Last, using a plane looking like this one is like driving a convertible Chevy Corvette  from the 50's on a sunny Sunday.
This plane cuts thick large shavings and eats wood like nothing else and I really love to use it.

But this is only the beginning of the story, there is more about it.
This massive big boy has a little bro, and I am lucky enough to own a #709 type 1 too.

The little brother, the Millers Falls #709

Again, comments about that plane are the same, a collector but not a user and as a smoother it is terrible as the mouth cannot be closed... well only blabla.
Like any other plane the mouth opening can be set the way you want, just that it is not really convenient as the third screw is under the tote that needs to be removed.

The tote removed reveal the third screw for mouth setting.

So to  set mouth opening you need to remove blade assembly and the tote to reveal the screws. I must admit it is not very convenient. But how often do you change your frog settings? I do not know for you but for me it is near to never.

When properly sharpened and set, that plane is as capable as any other smoother.

Some quite thin shaving.
I tried it onto some scrap wood and it gaves me a silky smooth surface, same as my other smoothers if not better,  but in a stylish way!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Elbow grease and sweat: resawing by hand

For the bottom of the drawer I currently build, I will use some 1/2 ship lapped pine boards like for my previous one. For my last drawer I used my table saw to resaw 1"1/2 board that I planed to get two 1/2" thick boards. At that time I tried to resaw by hand but got disappointed by the result so I turned to the table saw. This time I wanted to make everything by hand, even resawing, and I will not turn back to the table saw.

You may wondering why not to take a 3/4 board and plan it as it would be simpler. Well it would be simpler for sure but where would be the fun? Moreover it would cost me near to nothing to make these boards by hand and it will be a good training exercise to improve my resawing skills.

So here we go, I took my lumber, cut it in five 14" long pieces as at the end I need 10 boards, I marked the center line all around the boards and the fun began.

I used the usual well documented and explained process of sawing from one corner then turn the board etc, no need to explain this here as you can find all this in numerous blog posts and article on the web.

I tried to make use of two different saws, both well sharpened, to find out which one would be the best. The first one is a Canadian Disston D8, 10 tpi.

My Canadian D8...
...10 tpi.

The second one is a Disston D8, 5 1/2 tpi.

The D8 beast...
... with monster teeth.

After having saw the 4 first boards it is obvious that the two saws are very different.
First the Canadian D8. The blade is shorter and a bit less flexible, however it requires more effort to be pushed through the wood. 
On the other hand with the 5 1/2 D8, the blade is longer and more flexible what makes it, for me, harder to keep it on a straight line, but the cut is far more aggressive and requires less effort to be pushed through the wood what is helping down the line. That saw is going through like in butter!

The result I got while resawing were mixed, the best I could do is this:

Best result I could get...
...not bad but not a perfect saw line.

I guess I need more practice! Anyway after resawing the board I have to plan them flat and to the right thickness. This is what the end result looks, not bad.

A flat board, flat enough for a drawer bottom.

Now a little challenge... what is the plane that gives these nice thick shavings?

A bunch of nice thick shavings...

The answer will come in a future post!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Record 50 combination plane

Working on my shop drawer I needed a plough plane for the drawer bottom.
For my previous drawer I used a vintage Stanley #45 back from end of 1800's. Since then I got a Record #50 that came from England and was brought to me by my father but did not try it yet... well until today!

I am lucky enough that the plane is complete, all and every pieces are there. Even the user manual is there.

Record #50 Manual
Looks like this one was sold by M Howard Kirby.

This is the original manual showing plane usage and parts.

How to use that combination plane.

Cutters and parts description.

This plane comes with a set of 15 cutters.

The Record #50 set of cutters.
It also comes with short and long rods and with a cam and 2 cutters used for narrow size cutter.

Cam and narrow cutters set.

That plane is in very good condition. It was full of wood dust so I guess it was really used, but the cutters are sharp and do not show much wear.

Dusty plane body.

I took it apart and cleaned it. I used my weapon of choice to clean it, an high tech brush that benefited years of improvement.

A highly evolved brush. The red handle could be
unbreakable tenite but is just... plain ordinary plastic

After brushing it to remove dust I oiled and  waxed all parts and put it back to work.

All pieces back together ready for some shaving.

After a short honing session I tried it with s 1/4" cutter, the one I need for my drawer.

The Record #50 in action.

Some more shaving porn.

I really like the handle on that plane, it fits my hand perfectly. Also it has a more compact form factor than my Stanley #45.
Some says that the metal handle is uncomfortable during cold months in winter. Well I must say that up here if you don't heat your shop in winter you will certainly find everything uncomfortable!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Another drawer and a real project

After having built my supports for drills and braces I am back to my backlog of work, and the first item that came was to make a drawer like my first one.

But before coming to this, some great news! I received a command from my wife. She asked me to build a new TV stand for her sister new TV. I have a month and a half to complete this as we want to give it to her during Christmas time. After having thought about that for the last few days and changed my mind multiple times, my sick brain came up with this plan:

The TV stand first draft.

I still need to set my ideas things like legs shape and how I will attach them to the apron but this is the design I have in mind. It will be triangular as the stand will go in a corner of her living room. There will be a shelf mid height so she can put her cable receiver and dvd player there.

More to come about this later but now back to the drawer. I like to work on drawers, I feel restful when I work on a drawer, don't ask me why, as I said I have a sick brain.

As usually I started by cutting all pieces to length then marked the face and side to cut the box joins I will use for the assembly. This time I directly saw the waste without making any kerf, in fact I now find this easier and faster. Also for my first drawer I did some cut side by side and chopped out the waste but this time I have something better, now I have a coping saw!

Using the coping saw to cut out the waste.

Using that saw is far quicker than chopping the waste using a chisel. However I need to practice to be able to cut as close as possible to the bottom line to make the cleanup even faster.
I was first using the blade that came with the saw when I got it but soon...

Broken saw blade. That blade did not seem
to be of high quality anyway.

But as I am often planning ahead, I got a set of replacement blades along with the saw.

The replacement blades I got

I have no knowledge about coping saw blades but these look much better than the original blade and cutting far better too.

Waste cleaned

I have been very surprise this time by the density of that poplar board. The previous I used was pretty soft but this one is the total opposite and is quite hard. I was not expecting such a difference.
Nevertheless, after a while I was done with the face joinery.

Joinery for the drawer face done.

Next I will do the same for the rear and I will turn to the drawer bottom but now it is time for a cold one.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

A man, a plane: Christmas day!

Yesterday, back from a hard working day I found this in my mail:

What the heck is this?

I was wondering what was inside and found this:

A box that contains a box, someone must be kidding me.

So I opened the second box...

A box full of foam, damned it!

Hidden in the middle of the foam I found this:

Someone is sending me a ball of paper, what the...?

But finally, the treasure was revealed:

Santa sent me this shiny Cadillac!

Ok it is not Santa, not really, but still! Ralph, The Accidental Woodworker in his infinite generosity sent me the Millers Falls #9 that he restored. And he did a heck of a job!

Look at that shiny sole!

No need to say how much grateful I am to Ralph for such a gift, it will have a central place in my shop without a doubt!

Some more Millers Falls porn.

Ralph, you are THE man, low hat and much much thank you!

After minor settings I put it to test.

First shavings

And to satisfy everybody's thirst for shavings here is more details (beware Matt, lot of emotions below :) )

Nice thin shaving...
...close up (18+ years old only)

I love my Millers Falls planes!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Block planes

After having cleaned and put back to work my Stanley #12, I did the same with a Stanley #112 that I got a while ago. It was in very good shape and just needed to be cleaned so I rubbed the sole and sides to remove signs of oxidation and clean all the junk from the japanning.
This one was coming with a blade that I sharpened and burnished. I can see a faint Stanley etch on the blade but I do not think it is the original blade for that plane. I will see later to get a new one like for the #12.
I also put 2 coat of shellac on the tote and knob that were showing some sign of fatigue.

Testing the Stanley #112.

After reading a post from Bob, The Valley Woodworker about block planes, I realized that I have a bunch of block planes that need some care. Here is my set:

My block planes set.
From left to right there is a Stanley #220, a Footprint #220B, a Millers Falls #1455B low angle and a small Darex #102. They are all in good shape but definitively need care and sharpening.

Let start with the Darex. This one comes from my grand father toolbox and I would like to keep using it.

The Darex #102 pieces

The blade is somewhat rusty and dull. Not sure what was used to sharpen it but looks like it was filed more than sharpened.

I cleanup the sole and polished it to get its shine back.

A now shiny sole.

Next was to clean the rusty blade. I used my usual green slime and then polished the blade to get it back in better shape.

No more rust.

After some elbow grease it was sharpened to 8000 grit and honed on the leather strop.

A better looking edge.

Time to give it a test run.

Nicely cutting along the grain...
...and across the grain.

Even if this one does not look a great plane, especially with its plastic wheel, I like the small size and I am pretty sure I will make good use of it.

Now looking at the Stanley #220 and Footprint #220B, they are looking very similar.

Footprint on left, Stanley on right.

Size and blade adjustment are exactly the same on both planes. Only visible difference, the Footprint knob is held in place by a screw while for the Stanley the knob is screwed onto the sole (the knob is threaded). Also the Footprint has recessed side for the thumb.

Stanley #220 (left) and Footprint #220B (right) face to face.

When cleaning them I was able to find a major different though... The Footprint sole was severely cupped and I spent easily 15 to 20 minutes grinding it on a plate covered with sandpaper to get the sole flat enough.
After some sharpening fun the two are now ready to do some shavings.

Finally our friend Bob, The Valley Woodworker, previously posted a comment about push drills that I would need. Here are the two I own, both Millers Falls, a #188A and a #100 "Buck Rogers":

Millers Falls #188A (left) and #100 (right) push drills.

The #188A was coming with some bits in the handle while the #100 was complete with box and bits set. They both work fine and I find them very convenient to drill small leading holes for screws or nails.