• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Moulding Plane Fettling

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Jelly

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2012
Messages
1,366
Reaction score
322
Location
Sheffield
Whilst working on a panel for a bookcase this evening, I ran into some trouble with one of my moulding planes... this particular one is odd in that it's unmarked and made of solid boxwood, I aquired it some months ago with this project in mind, quickly lapped the back of the iron, oiled it and stuck it in a box until needed.


Halfway through the second edge of the panel, I started to get an increasingly poor finish, and took the iron out to find that a previous owner had resharpened the bevel; badly, establishing a distinct secondary bevel with a number of inconsistent angles.
Having already started, I touched up the secondary bevel in the same way I do with moulder knives at work and reassembled the plane, noticing as i did that the wedge was somewhat compressed from previous overzealous setting, which made it a swine to set up again... and finished off the panel.

However, I can't keep resharpening that secondary bevel, not only does it blunt more easily in places, but it will slowly form an arris on the concave of the ogee; slight as it currently is, i think that imparts a certain charm to the moulding, but it will get distinct and ugly if i have to do it again. My initial thought was to take a template off the sole, and get the works toolroom to sort it on a profile grinder; however, the vast majority of the original bevel is intact, and I could hand file/stone the edge back into good condition, with less risk of overheating the iron...

On top of this the deformed wedge means that i have to belt it quite hard it in order to initilt set the plane, worsening the problem each time; is this worth persivering withor should i look to aquire a boxwood offcut to make a new, tougher wedge for best results?

Any advice greatly appreciated.
 

GazPal

Established Member
Joined
30 Jul 2010
Messages
1,136
Reaction score
0
Location
North East England
Jelly":742uhudn said:
Whilst working on a panel for a bookcase this evening, I ran into some trouble with one of my moulding planes... this particular one is odd in that it's unmarked and made of solid boxwood, I aquired it some months ago with this project in mind, quickly lapped the back of the iron, oiled it and stuck it in a box until needed.


Halfway through the second edge of the panel, I started to get an increasingly poor finish, and took the iron out to find that a previous owner had resharpened the bevel; badly, establishing a distinct secondary bevel with a number of inconsistent angles.
Having already started, I touched up the secondary bevel in the same way I do with moulder knives at work and reassembled the plane, noticing as i did that the wedge was somewhat compressed from previous overzealous setting, which made it a swine to set up again... and finished off the panel.

However, I can't keep resharpening that secondary bevel, not only does it blunt more easily in places, but it will slowly form an arris on the concave of the ogee; slight as it currently is, i think that imparts a certain charm to the moulding, but it will get distinct and ugly if i have to do it again. My initial thought was to take a template off the sole, and get the works toolroom to sort it on a profile grinder; however, the vast majority of the original bevel is intact, and I could hand file/stone the edge back into good condition, with less risk of overheating the iron...

On top of this the deformed wedge means that i have to belt it quite hard it in order to initilt set the plane, worsening the problem each time; is this worth persivering withor should i look to aquire a boxwood offcut to make a new, tougher wedge for best results?

Any advice greatly appreciated.

You could - depending on wedge condition - re-humidify the wedge for 24hrs while it's removed from the plane, as there's a reasonable chance it could swell to somewhere close to it's original form and potentially be re-seated.

The angle of your iron and how it presents itself to the sole could make copying the profile a tad tricky, but you can re-profile the iron's cutting edge by setting it in place within the plane and marginally proud of the mouth. You can then scribe the blade and dress the edge to match the profile of the sole more precisely. :)
 

Cheshirechappie

Established Member
Joined
30 Jan 2012
Messages
4,909
Reaction score
221
Location
Cheshire
Badly sharpened moulding plane irons must be very common. As you know, all parts of the edge must be sharpened equally if the clearance behind the edge is to be maintained, even if only parts of the edge have dulled. However, using a slipstone is a slow old job, so many a plane owner has tried to 'get away' with just a quick hone on the dull bits. That, of course, may work once or twice, but stores up work later when the iron needs reprofiling.

Instead of getting the toolroom to do the job, it may be worth investing in a small set of diamond needle files. Try www.arceurotrade.co.uk who stock several types. Another possibility is wooden or soft metal slips dressed with coarse grinding paste or diamond paste (arceurotrade again). Once the profile and proper clearances are reestablished, polish the edge with slipstones in the usual way.

The wedge really needs to be a good fit. I gather that the wedge surface in contact with the iron should ideally put pressure at it's tip (near the iron's cutting edge), and near the top of the wedge mortice, with slight relief between the two points. It might be worth checking that the wedge distortion hasn't caused it to apply it's pressure away from the iron's cutting edge. Other than that, provided it fits the mortice snugly and doesn't have any clearance at it's tip to cause a trap for shavings, it should be OK.
 
Top