Preston Router Plane1399P

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New member
26 Aug 2023
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Canberra Australia
I am new to this forum. I am an amateur woodworker that has recently committed an act of apostasy and joined the ranks of the live steamers. I have been using FreeCAD to make plans for a steam engine and as an exercise I have made a near copy of a Preston pattern-makers router plane in FreeCAD. These planes are advertised on a well known auction site with a price tag in the region of 500 pounds. They are a nice looking tool. I note that Paul Sellers has several and is marketing the metal fittings for a wooden router plane. I have a Record 71 or equivalent. There is an American outfit that has been selling a chunky copy in bronze too. My FreeCAD model incorporates draft angles so that it can be used as a pattern for an actual casting in cast iron. The casting would need to machined on the sole and then lapped. Holes for threaded rods would need to be drilled and tapped and keyways cut suitable for the cutters- most likely the Veritas cutters. Admittedly it would not be a genuine Preston and admittedly I may not be much ahead financially but at least I would have the satisfaction of knowing that I had made it. I could also have my name cast into the casting. I am happy to share the stl file with anyone like-minded provided it is for personal not commercial use. If anyone has a Preston 1399P I would pleased if they could share key dimensions with me to ensure I am close to the original. Attached is a screengrab of the finale version in FreeCAD.


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That looks very cool. Never used freecad,, but I guess the idea is to 3d print is and cast that.

I’m going to get back to casting fairly soon, wouldn’t mind a go at it. Brass or bronze might be a better bet - I’ve found cast iron difficult to do as getting my furnace hot enough is tricky, I’ve managed to get cast iron to melt a bit but never runny enough for casting.

if you do it in cast iron, scraping may be better than lapping.

Broaching keyways isn’t much fun without an arbor press and appropriate broach. I’ve done it using a home made HSS broach and using the quill on my mill, but its far from ideal.

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