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Making a brass infill plane (Hattori Hanzo, DP)

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Hattori-Hanzo

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Thanks Ian.

Yes the second plate back hangs down by 1.5mm so as to catch in the saw cut.
You can just make it out in this photo.



I use eclipse junior hacksaw blades to cut the notches. I knock the set off of them completely and grind down half way of the first inch of teeth.
This gets the cuts as narrow as possibly and grinding the teeth helps the saw to start.

I did manage to cut one of my saw plates with a hacksaw and a 32tpi blade but I had to keep it low in the vice to stop it screeching and binding, I could only cut a few mm at a time then I had to reposition it in the vice, it took forever!

I used an angle grinder after that but to be honest I'm not fond of them, too noisy and messy.

I too was surprised by the profile on the Vallorbe. I had another look at it today and took some pictures next to the Bahco for reference.

The Bahco is on the left. You can see how much wider the Vallorbe is on the "narrow" edge compared to the Bahco.



The Bahco comes to a much finer edge, which I felt made it better for higher TPI sets. Same as you I don't like small pointy teeth with huge gullets, I find they "grab" more





I'd also forgotten that I had already bought a Vallorbe file previously so compared the older one with the newer one.
Bought from the same place under the same listing just at different times.


You can see the older one (which is on the left) comes to a finer edge to. So I'm not sure what's going on with the new vallorbe file, maybe a duff?
Pretty sure its a genuine Vallorbe, it has all the same markings as the slightly older one.



They are great files nonetheless. Very high quality finish and cut very nicely, like I say I think they would be best suited to saws around 12tpi

However I think the Bahco will be my new favourite for saw sharpening, I'm really impressed with it, cuts brilliantly and has the best profile for me for higher tpi saws.

It may even cut 32tpi but I don't want to go there......yet :)

Good tips on not cutting the teeth to full depth as you go. Like you say it's better to do a few strokes then come back and refine them once they are set out, this way you give yourself the best chance of getting them even.

Thanks again for your reply I really appreciate it.

Cheers.
 

Jameshow

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Can we have a picture of your teeth cut???

I think I'll get a bahco once my cheapo one wears out.

Cheers James
 

Jameshow

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Nice work!!

I think I'll get a bahco once my cheapo one wears out.

Cheers James
[/QUOTE]
 

Hattori-Hanzo

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Thanks James.

Hard to get a good picture on my phone in bad light.

This one is the gents saw shown in the video at 20tpi.




And this is my 16tpi gent saw cut with the first guide I made.



I don't think you'll be disappointed with the Bahco, I'm finding it to be great file.
 

IWW

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Dan, I think I can offer a solution to the puzzle - we are comparing apples & oranges!

Those Grobets you show have very coarse teeth & I suspect you have either a 1 or a 2 cut, much coarser than the 4 cut I normally use. With needle files, the teeth get finer & the corners sharper as the number increases. Here is a picture of two 150mm Grobets, a 6-cut (left) and a 4-cut in the centre, beside a 5 inch DEST Bahco (that's the finest I have & it will be a notch or two coarser than a 4 inch DEST).

Grobet vs Bahco.jpg


The 6 cut is well-worn and looks less sharp than it was new but I think you can still see the difference clearly enough to make the point. The Bahco is not as fine as yours, of course, I use these up to 12tpi only.

I find Bahcos to be the best of a poor lot as far as regular files go. At least most batches I get are usable, but they are always a bit brittle for my purposes, and the corners chip quickly, especially when cutting teeth from scratch. I used this file a couple of days ago to re-form the teeth on a 250mm 12 tpi saw after a heavy topping:
Bahco used.jpg


As you can see, there is much chipping, especially at the point where the stroke is started & this corner of the file has done its dash. Chipped teeth tend to catch & skip & make it difficult to keep the strokes smooth & consistent.

There was much moaning about the poor quality of files on forums around the world about 10 years ago. I got to a point where I was using up two files to cut a set of teeth in a 300mm 12tpi saw! They have all lifted their game since, but imo, they are still a long ways from the files we got 30-40 years ago. And I don't think that's just nostalgia or faulty memory; I occasionally get my hands on NOS Wiltshires or Nicholsons from the 60s or 70s and these files tend to go 2-3 times the distance of the new ones....
Cheers,
Ian

PS: Forgot to compliment you on your teeth - you've done an excellent job!. I reckon you could set yourself up as a saw doc & earn a few bob on the side..... ;)
 
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Hattori-Hanzo

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Cheers Ian :)

Thanks for the info on the files, for some reason I've always thought needle and saw files only came in a fine cut.

I'm unsure what cut mine are as it doesn't say on the listing but I've just looked on another web site and it seems the available cuts are 0, 2 and 4.

I may pick up a 4 to compare , as looking at mine I assume they are either a 0 or 2?

I'm still a little confused as to why my two Vallorbe's have such different profiles though. Both bought under the same listing but one of them has double the edge radius of the other. I can only think it was a duff that got through quality control?

Either way they both cut nicely and I'll probably grind a safety face on the duff one and use it for a corner file as my current cheapo one is getting dull.

Cheers.

Oh just to add, I'd heard about the poor quality files that where coming out some years ago.
I was fortunate enough to be given some old Stubbs and Nicholson saw files, the double ended ones of various sizes and probably from the 60s if not earlier. Most had hardly been used if ever and after a vinegar bath they came up like new.
I use the larger ones more on my planes than saws but there is one 6" extra slim which I'm saving to use on a saw.
The quality on these older files is great, even after all these years they are holding an edge and cutting amazingly well. Why can't they make them like this anymore.
 
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IWW

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I'm unsure what cut mine are as it doesn't say on the listing but I've just looked on another web site and it seems the available cuts are 0, 2 and 4.

I may pick up a 4 to compare , as looking at mine I assume they are either a 0 or 2?

I'm still a little confused as to why my two Vallorbe's have such different profiles though. Both bought under the same listing but one of them has double the edge radius of the other. I can only think it was a duff that got through quality control? .....
Dan, if your files are genuine Grobets, the cut number should be stamped on the handle. It's somewhat random just where the number appears, but it will be there somewhere (I have had a few where the stamp didn't hit properly & it was hard to read). I strongly suspect your two files are different cuts and definitely at the coarse end. Grobet are a very old, very reputable company & I can't imagine they would allow a sub-standard out, though of course Murphy's law must apply in Switzerland just as it does anywhere else...

I like he 4s for cutting teeth, but I usually keep a #6 for the really fine stuff. They leave an almost polished surface & it's a bit easier to control a #6 when sharpening very fine teeth. They still cut surprisingly fast on thin plate, though. However, the 4 cut does a good job, & in my opinion, is adequate for teeth up to 24tpi, so it's the one to have on hand if you don't go beyond about 20tpi...

Cheers,
Ian
 

Hattori-Hanzo

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Thanks for the info Ian. Think I'll keep an eye out for a 6 and 4 cut to add to the collection.

I had another look at my files today and both are stamped with a 2.



and another picture of the two, somethings definitely not right with the one on the right.



But even the one on the left doesn't come to as sharp a corner as the Bahco. Could be the Bahco is a finer cut like you've mentioned.
I'd like to get hold of a 6 cut Vallorbe to compare but I've yet to find any where that sells one.
 

IWW

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Yes, that's a pretty big difference alright, much more than Grobet should be happy with! I'm most surprised, I have used a lot of Grobets over the years & always found them to be very consistent, file to file & batch to batch, whereas the big brands, when they first went "offshore", were all over the place - you'd get at least that much variation in the same box of 10 files. I really hope your file was a mistake & got the wrong stamp or something that, & not a harbinger of declining quality! If it were really an "0" or a "1", the teeth should be a little coarser, but I can't see any difference in your photo (though the difference would be small & probably not discernible without more magnification).

If small teeth are going to be your thing, definitely try to get a couple of 6s, but 4s will manage 24tpi ok,as demonstrated. The slightly slower-cutting of the 6s is a bit easier to control in small teeth, & they do leave a very slightly cleaner surface. OTH, if the Bahcos are fit for purpose & less expensive, stick with what you know works.... :)
Cheers,
Ian
 

Droogs

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@Hattori-Hanzo Just to let you know my dog now hates you as he's had to wait an hour for me to take him out for a poo cos I started watching your saw tooth jig vid (y) excellent work Dan
 

Droogs

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In the Video the shape of the valorbe and those from Tome Fetiera are to give you the proper size gullet in the tooth profile. You are using the wrong size file to create your 18 and 22 tpi. XXXslim is for 18TPI and above, they are hard to gt though esp in the UK

Also you need to take a steady full length stroke of the file not wiggle it as you do in the video. not getting at you just pointing out a way to improve your teeth profile and prolong the life of the file
 

Hattori-Hanzo

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Cheers Droogs, glad you liked the video, hope your dogs feeling better now ;)

No worries I'm always open to advice. I normally try to use the full length of a file to even out wear when filing other things but sort of get into a rhythm with saw sharpening that seems to help with angle consistency. I'm no expert so will definitely try to work on my technique in the future.

I was not aware of a triple x slim saw files, I thought double extra slim was the smallest.
I have a double extra slim Nicholson saw file which is pretty comparable to the Bahco in profile.

I had a quick look for triple x saw files but didn't turn up much.
Although a lot of mention of a 4" double extra slim maybe appropriate for 22tpi and above?
But even those seem elusive.

I also read sizing is not consistent between brands so maybe pot luck, guess I'll just have to buy a lot more files :)

Cheers.
 

Droogs

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Dan what you are looking for for the fine saws is these for XXX
Manufacturer: Pferd Order No: 1239 EAN: 328286
Ultra slim tapers

comes in a box of 10


PFERD LTD.
4 Westleigh Hall, Wakefield Road Denby Dale
HD88QJ West Yorkshire Telephone: +44 1484 866149 Fax: +44 1484 865938 E-mail: info.uk@pferd.com

your closest known dealer is

Wellington Welding Supplies Ltd
Unit 25 Mitchell Close
PO15 5SE Fareham
Tel.: +44 1489 573548
Fax: +44 1489 564610
E-mail: fareham@wellyweld.co.uk
URL: Welding Supplies | MIG Welders | TIG Welders | Welding Equipment
 

IWW

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I was going to make a comment on the "unconventional" filing technique in the video too, but I always hesitate to criticize someone else's methods - my motto is what works for you works for you. I was schooled by a fitter uncle who would've clipped be over the ear if he saw me dragging a file backwards over the work - it's supposed to wear out the file quicker. Not sure how true that is, because the 'lessons' were so drilled into me I rarely do it. One day I'll have to do a trial & see what difference it really does make (if I can overcome my fear of having my ear clipped by a ghost & after I figure out how to objectively assess any difference!) ;)

For myself, I do know that by using deliberate, separate, strokes I can maintain consistency better. With very small teeth, lifting the file for the return stroke is a bit of a pain because you have to drop it back in the right spot each time, adding to the difficulty for an optically-challenged old git like me. Fortunately, it only takes a couple of strokes to form the gullet for tiny teeth & as mentioned above, I like to do my toothing in stages so I can watch the flats & make any necessary corrections. For large teeth, I make two or three strokes per tooth depending on size, just enough to make it clear which tooth has been filed before moving to the next.

There is also endless debate about whether you should file alternate teeth on rip saws from opposite sides and if you do, which alternate gullets you should file from which side. Frankly, I don't find any of the reasons given by exponents of any particular style convincing, there are pros & cons however you approach it. I mostly file rip teeth (particularly small ones) from the same side because I find it much easier to maintain a constant rake angle - most of us tend to bias the file a little, & that will double the difference when you file from opposite sides. You can use a guide, of course, but they are a nuisance when just a quick touch-up is required, I only use a guide when toothing fresh plate, or re-forming a set of very badly messed-up teeth after a heavy topping.

My advice is always to chose a method that seems logical to you, & stick at it 'til you can do a satisfaactory job. If you sharpen enough saws you will undoubtedly change & refine your technique over time, that's natural.....
Cheers,
Ian
 

Nigel Burden

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With regard to drawing the file back after the forward stroke, AES of this forum, has this to say in his very comprehensive post on files and filing.

At the end of the forward stoke, the cutting action must be disengaged from the work. In the picture below I've exaggerated this, trying to show the file lifted well clear of the job. In fact this exaggerated lifting is not necessary - it's actually not desirable, as light contact with the job should be maintained on the return stroke. You'll soon get into a slow, steady rhythm where the downwards pressure on the file is relaxed as the file comes to the end of the forward stroke and then starts drawing back to the starting position - with almost no downwards pressure applied. This "light pressure disengagement" of the file from the job is very important as it's this action which allows the chips to be cleared ready for the teeth to start the next forward stroke without being clogged up.

Nigel.
 

Hattori-Hanzo

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Hi again all, it's been a little while since my last update but like they say "time flies when you're having fun"...or not so much if you're stuck in the gloom of yet another lockdown.
I hope every one is keeping well and staying safe, we surely must be getting close to having some form of normality back.
I have been enjoying the Benchtalk series, so that's one good thing to come out of all this.

I've been trying my hand at plane making again, hopefully this time with something a "little" different.

I've been interested in making a luthier plane for many years after watching a video of a guitar maker constructing sound boards and bracing.
I'm not musically inclined but it was fascinating work. The use of small planes to shape the boards and bracing to change the sound of the guitar was a nice example of skilled craftsmanship.

As usual before starting I searched for luthier thumb planes and a few examples stood out but non so much as the brilliant Scarab plane by Oliver Sparks.
I've been looking through Ollies work ever since I started making my first plane and I find his work so inspiring, it's exceptional quality and his eye for design is on another level. In my eyes he's certainly up there with the best plane makers.

I didn't want to copy Ollies plane exactly but I certainly based mine on his design and you will see some similarities.

I saw that a lot of luthier planes had curved soles for shaping, but I decided to keep my first attempt with a flat sole, mostly as it made it easier to make and because mine wouldn't be used as a true luthiers plane but more a very small thumb plane.

I started this plane before Christmas and working through my lunch breaks only finished it this weekend.
Although it's small size would suggest it would be easier to make this has probably been one of the hardest planes I've made so far, and certainly the most difficult to peen without a doubt!

Unusually I've got the finished photos ready before the build photo's, there is a mountain of photos to go through and I'll hopefully post a build log soon too.

I'm really pleased with how this plane turned out, and for such a small plane it works very nicely. There are of course some things I'd like to improve upon but the majority of the build went smoothly and according to plan (which was a nice change :))

As always I welcome any comments and critique. I'm hoping the more you look at it the more you'll wonder how it's made.

Starting with the box which is made from oak and padauk. Finished with French polish.



Mitred construction with the padauk liner.



I left the gap as a design feature but It also servers to aid opening the box



The top half of the box lifts off to reveal the plane inside.





I had some new stencils made and etched my name onto the back of the blade.



Also designed a new makers mark for the front of the blade.



The plane is made from brass and 01 tool steel with padauk infills and wedge.
I left the sap in the wood as I thought it looked quite striking.



I French polished the wedge and infills



Dovetailed sole with through tenon at the rear.





The sole dovetails and round tenon at the rear. the small dovetails near the back are only 4mm wide, the chance of snapping them off when peening was high!





I flattened the sole and polished it to a high shine



I designed and added this feature to the top of the blade with the intention to carry it on, onto future planes but considering the amount of time it took to hand file it I may change my mind on that one :)



Standing next to a ten pence for a reference of scale





It sits nicely in the hand


Closer look at the etching on the back of the blade. I think its pushing the limits of vinyl etching at this size, cutting and weeding the stencils was delicate work.



I added a little cupids bow to the bottom of the wedge in homage to Mr Carter who always honours me with replies to my e-mails.







The wedge is held in place with a rod of silver steel peened through the sides.





Thanks for taking the time to look through my builds so far, this will likely be the last one for the foreseeable future as my work has put an end to any private work for insurance reasons. I'm hoping to sort something out in the summer so I can continue with my passion.

Cheers
Dan.
 

Bm101

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I hope you can find a means to an end Dan and an exit from your situation to a better point. It will come. Just keep pushing.
More stunning stunning work! I'm not even at the skill level I can begin to discuss this sort of tool. Incredible. Thanks for posting, is there a need for tools this beautiful? I don't know. Is the world better for it. No doubt. Stunning achievement. All the beauty in one tiny place.
Regards
Chris
 
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thetyreman

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that's a gorgeous little plane daniel! I've also been enjoying bench talk 101 a lot, couldn't make the last one but hope to be in the next one.
 

Droogs

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Excellent work yet again Dan, may have to start calling you the Hugh Heffner of planes lol
 
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