Moderators: Random Orbital Bob, nev, CHJ, Noel, Charley

User avatar
By marcros



I have bought a small plane casting from ebay. It is brass or bronze, not sure which. It arrived today. For scale, it is approx 1/2" wide X 4" X 2"

Where do I start with this?

I was wondering to mask off the plane and to get somebody to sandblast the recessed area to clean out the rough casting. A wirebrish or scotchbrite disk would be easier because I have one I think. Then get a new file or files to clean off the edges and finally lap the sides and base on some abrasive paper.

Making the blade and wedge, plus cutting the mouth is for consideration further down the line.

Any thoughts appreciated.
By Mr_Pea
Am I being thick or does it have a bit missing ?

Bill Carters blunt chisel method works well on soft metals
By Mr_Pea
Isn't it a small shoulder plane ?

if it is, it should have two sides holding the wedge and iron in place.

Or is is it some variation on the Stanley 99 Side Rabbet Plane ?
User avatar
By marcros
i presume that it is a small shoulder or rebate plane. I would think (but am no expert in the matter) that once the blade is wedged, that it should be held firm enough. it it isnt, I will have to look at options for adding something to retain it. My intended use is for cleaning up rebates on boxes, so probably only 1/4" deep.
User avatar
By AndyT
I think it's all there and your plan is sound - but I've not worked on a casting straight from the mould like this one.
For cleaning up the inset bit, I'd try a little wire brush in a Dremel. Mostly because that's what I have, but also so I could decide how much to do and when to stop. That's harder for someone else to guess for you.
User avatar
By Bm101
This Sauer and Steiner blog might give you some pointers and inspiration. ... tings.html
In it he says one of the difficulties with working with castings is getting it square and is probably the single most important thing with a plane of this type. Whatever that type is!
Very interesting looking casting if it's intended to be used (one sided) like that. Certainly no expert but here I've never seen one like it. Very cool. 8) I think I'd be looking to add some sort of contrast finish to the recess once it's cleaned up, antique patina or maybe summat completely mad like turquoise enamel.... bling it up baby! hmmm.... best to leave it to you! :D
The casting looks sound, no major pittings etc and square from the picture. Wonder if it was machined at some point as a batch then forgotten on a shelf.
I have a bullnose on the (longtime) go. Put it down when I started the loft extension. Haven't picked it up again yet. It keeps staring at me when I walk out the back door. 'Helllooooo. Here I am! How rude!' As I avoid its stare and shuffle quickly past. Whistling.
It was a lot rougher than yours when I started. And getting it square was indeed the hardest part with no reference. If your sides are parallel you only need to flatten the bottom if indeed it's even out.
Here's my one at the beginning to make you feel better about yours. :D

Look forward to updates!
Last edited by Bm101 on 02 May 2019, 15:55, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By AndyT
I've remembered a tip I read on here, for when you get to lapping the sides. When you've got your abrasive paper clamped onto your flat surface, arrange a batten at one side, along the length. Then you slide the casting back and forth, resting against the batten. The batten gives you nice straight lines which look deliberate. Work up through the grits until you get to your own preference between shiny enough to look finished and so shiny it shows every mark.
Apologies if this is obvious, but I'd not thought of it myself.
User avatar
By Bm101
One more tip I read (on here I think) was make the iron before you think you will need it. Possibly not so important in this case because of the open side but it's good to have it done in my (very limited) experience. It will stop you taking a guess at some point at least if you are anything like me. :oops:

I have used Coventry Grinders (because they were recommended on here by someone who knew what they were doing) several times and they have always delivered ('scuse the pun). O1 2" x 5/32 (4mmish) x 18" will set you back about a tenner. Can't see any reason to go thinner than that in O1 personally when you are making your own wedged plane. Any sharpening disadvantages offset by less chatter and hardening issues. (Just beginners guesswork mind, this is defo not 'advice').
The iron I made for my little 101 blockplane conversion seems to hold an edge better than any other iron in any plane I have. Have no idea why. Blind luck while hardening more than any skill obviously. Must have done summat right to please the Fire Gods though! The Virgins I sacrificed were worth all that trouble after all. :twisted:
Actually it was no trouble. Just offered free Fortnite Games at the local Gamestore. No one said the Virgins had to be female. :-$ ... uge-plate/
User avatar
By marcros
Thanks all.

I was actually wondering about using some of the stabilised and brightly coloured timber that I got from secret santa for the wedge, and a matching humbrol enamel for the rougher casting. Great minds ponder alike!

I have ordered some new files and will get some wet and dry. This is a slow project, but I may get to try a couple of bits over the weekend.
User avatar
By marcros
I have ordered some wet and dry, Dremel brushes and some polishing supplies which arrived today. A couple of files arrived in the week too.

I have cleaned up the recessed bit (wire brush worked well on that) and given everything except the sole the lightest rub over to degrime it.

Most of it is pretty Square and it looks a good quality casting. I am going to lap the sides and sole tomorrow and will take a couple of WIP shots.
By Keith 66
I have a similar but longer shoulder plane that is cast from brass or gunmetal.
It is a finished piece & quite well made. It has decorated side panels that look for all the world like the pattern was cut from lino. Wording on one "Bristol 1943", I suspect it was an apprentice piece.
User avatar
By marcros
Some progress pics.

I covered the side in sharpie pen, to see the sanding progress. It still needs a bit more work, but at 220grit, it is starting to look nice. The casting is good, the odd pit here and there, but they are small. This is a user plane, so whilst I may choose some nice wood for a wedge, and polish it a bit more than necessary, the odd pit isn't an issue. I presume that it is brass rather than bronze.

plane side.jpg

I have a slight issue with the bed of the blade. I have slightly misfiled it. I must have rocked with the file, it is difficult to keep it perfectly parallel.

plane error.jpg

The blade is bedded at 20 degrees. Lie Nielsen bed theirs at 18, so I have the option of sorting out the error by having it put onto a milling machine. The ends also need squaring- I can do this on the pro-edge.

plane angle.jpg

I have an HSS planer blade to use as a blade, and am going to put a steel sole on it from (probably) a hard point saw. The bed is the part that is causing me concern at the moment.

The other consideration is that the cutout is not 100% square. I have the option of leaving it as is, squaring it, or opening it up a little on one side like on some wooden rebate planes. no rush on that at the moment. It is hard to measure how out of parallel it is, or is with the limited equipment that I have.
plane error.jpg
User avatar
By Ttrees
About the bed
I found some hardwood blocks to be necessary for this, squared on the shooting board
The sides of the plane need to be square for the block to register against.
You can then rest the file on the block as in page 3 on this thread.
(I really meant to finish my thread on this off, with the plane actually in use on a window job, but didn't use it in the end.
Plane threads look best with a few shavings in the end pic :oops: )

A tip figured out the hard way :)
To match the angle of the bed at the mouth now, (if not using a milling machine)
Make the back of the bed higher so it tips up the cutter firmly onto the bed at the cutting edge, you can reduce material from the end of the bed, gradually lowering the rear of the cutter flat onto the bed.
If you happen to have the rear end of the bed lower it will tip up the cutter and it won't have contact with the bed at the cutting edge.