Help with an older ULMIA Horned Moving Fillister Plane... No Depth Stop! (HOW I MADE ONE)

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15 Mar 2024
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Benton, Pennsylvania, USA
Hello Brothers...
I retired three years ago and got back into hunting, fishing, etc.
Well, lately (after a decades-long absence) I have been blissfully back in the wood-shop! :)
I have been unboxing, cleaning, and organizing my plane & tool collection. I have also been building some cabinets to house my plane collection (pic below). The cabinet is made with scrap wood I have long collected. Seeing lumber prices lately, I am so glad I was a dumpster-diver!
The right door is swung open, the left door has yet to be built. More on that perhaps in a future post.
01 OPEN DOOR dsc03070.jpg

I have been doing most of the work with hand-tools, in an attempt to refresh the skills I have not nurtured in the past many years. To that end, I got out the plane seen below to cut some rabbets.
06 ULMIA MFP ON BOARD dsc03005.jpg

Somewhere along the line, I obtained this "vintage" (older model) ULMIA horned moving fillister plane that was lacking a depth stop. VERY odd IMO. No depth stop made it a real PIA to use!
01 ULMIA MFP LEFT dsc03007.jpg

The plane has the older Lignum Vitae sole, rather than the Hornbeam or White Beech used on the current models. There were two wedged plugs in place of where there should be threaded inserts for the depth stop retention screws used on the newer models. Note: the knicker locks with a screw from right side. The screw is exactly the same as the screws for the fence.
02 ULMIA MFP RIGHT dsc03078.jpg

Newer model ULMIA moving fillister plane below. Note: no horn, and knicker now locks from the left side:
Ulmia Red Beech Filletster Plane with Single Iron over $200 White Beech Sole 03.JPG

Note the depth stop wraps around under the body, towards the knicker and blade.
Ulmia Red Beech Filletster Plane with Single Iron over $200 White Beech Sole 04.JPG

The plugs were well-executed, and I wonder if it was factory-done, or inserted by some prior owner of this fine plane. The fact that the knicker locks from the right side with the same screws as used on the fence suggests to me that it came from the factory w/o a depth stop.
So why then drill the holes at the factory and go through the trouble of plugging them? None of this makes sense to me.
It has not seen a lot of use. I could find no other example of this plane on the net.
Anyone out there have one?

So, after much research and contemplation, I decided to try to make a depth stop for this plane. I found some 1/2 inch thick plastic material in my scrap pile that was relatively soft. Soft-enough so that you can leave an impression with a fingernail, but still stiff-enough for this application. I thought I would make this prototype first in plastic, then if it worked, I would make another out of some exotic wood from my collection. As it turns out, it seems to work fairly well as is (exception below***), all aesthetics aside.

I first drilled-out the wedged plugs and inserted some threaded brass inserts. I then cut the plastic to make the depth stop. The plastic was recalcitrant to machining and sanding. I ended-up carving the sides to get a smooth finish.
I also replaced the factory knicker screw with a set-screw to fit flush with the plane body and give clearance for the depth stop. Hence the hex key in the photo.

Wood Musical instrument Tool Gas Hardwood

05 ULMIA MFP FENCE UP BASE dsc03090.jpg

In closing, I will note that the current-production depth stop wraps around the upper body pointing towards the blade and knicker (see above pic of newer model). ***I can see where it would be very useful to have the depth stop closer to the blade and knicker. So, I will probably attach a brass or exotic wood strip to the lower face of my depth stop.
I would be very curious to hear if anyone else out there has one of these, or other ideas about a depth stop for me to consider.
Best wishes...
Ulmia Ott TM 01.JPG
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More planes than Boeing!

(Wish I was as neat as you!)
Yes... I may have too many! (Don't ask me to define that :)) And the "neatness" is truly limited to the extent of the photograph only! In lieu of actually doing any woodworking, I frequented yard sales and auctions, throwing all into boxes piled high. I am now opening the boxes! Every day is like Christmas, as I have forgotten much of what I had purchased, and each box is a revelation...

BTW, I hope to soon post the final version of my "prototype" depth gauge.
My thanks go out to rxh, who gave me this idea from his "Small Chamfer Plane" plane project!

The hex key is a snug fit in the plastic fence body, with a rare earth magnet to provide an extra measure of retention.

001 HEX KEY dsc03209.jpg

001 HEX KEY dsc03210.jpg

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