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By rxh
Last year we had the Silchester Plane thread:
This contained interesting discussions of various subjects including: tool making, metallurgy, history (e.g. Roman work benches) and also some humour. Quite a few people have liked trying out the plane that resulted.

In the same thread, Andy T and Bugbear drew attention to another ancient plane in the following links: ... 96-201.htm ... e-art.html
- the much smaller Sarre Anglo-Saxon plane. The original was found in 1863 buried at Sarre in Kent and dates from about A. D. 600.
I decided it was time for making another ancient plane copy. At least three replicas have already been made by others so I won’t exactly be breaking new ground but I thought it would be fun to make and interesting to see how it performs. Progress reports to follow…./.
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By tobytools
Looking forwards to seeing it, I can speak for everyone when I say everything you make is sublime :)
Keep them comming

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By rxh
Thanks Toby,
I began by making a scale drawing.
By Paddy Roxburgh
Just read the silchester plane thread and other links. Fantastic. Really looking forward to following this build. Thanks for doing this.
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By AndyT
I too am certain that this will be a good one!

A great way to find out more about an alternative approach to plane design plus the pleasure of watching the quality of your work.

Will you be using horn or wood? The description by the great Bill Goodman says it was red deer antler for the body.

After all, you wouldn't want to use something that would decay after only a few hundred years! :wink:
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By rxh
Thank Paddy & Andy.
I don't know where I could get a suitable piece of bone or antler. However, Douglas (condeesteso) has kindly given me a nice piece of boxwood. Here are the first few photos:
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By rxh
No, I cut it from 1/8" thick gauge plate (O1 steel). The supplier's name is a happy coincidence :)
By Alan Smith
What an interesting subject, made all the more so by the fact that I am reading it as I sit in a pub in Sarre!!
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By rxh
Thanks Alan. That seems like an ideal spot to read about this subject :)

Here is the next batch of photos, concerning some of the metalwork of the plane. The sole is made of 1/8” thick brass (I don’t know where bronze sheet can be obtained). The “turned up end bits” were made separately because I couldn’t make 180 degree bends in the sheet without cracking it. Even the 90 degree bends required the metal to be annealed several times during bending. The end bits were attached by pinning and soldering.
Drilling holes for the rivets in the sole
Cutting out the mouth
Filing the mouth
Pinning the end bits
End bit ready to solder
End bits soldered in place
Sole cleaned up
By blackrodd
A Stunning, really interesting, and worthwhile WIP. Yer a man of many skills, most enjoyable, Thanks for sharing.
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By AndyT
Fascinating work, especially with the complicated fabrication at the ends of the sole.
Have you been able to get a good look at the original plane and deduce how its ends were made?
By Corneel
Wonderfull! I like your exploits into the history of the plane. Any ideas about trying an old Greek model yet?

When you have trouble forming brass, then you choose the wrong mixture. I have used MS63 (CuZn37) with great succes to make backsaws. I do get a bit of surface cracking but nothing serious. Annealing the brass helps too (heating to red and let it cool down again).
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By Sheffield Tony
Did the brass start out as brass flats, or brass plate ? At my local metal stockist at least, the flats seem to be CZ121 (good for machining, not for cold forming) and the plate is CZ108 (better for cold forming).

But in any case, it is coming along rather nicely.