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tibi

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Hello,

I have ordered Making Traditional Wooden Planes by John M. Whelan, because I would like to try to make some traditional English-style wooden planes for myself. I have even blunted one of my chisels to use it instead of a float (Bill Carter technique). Can you please recommend me some further resources on planemaking? Ideally, I would like to read something from the 18th or 19th century that I can find in the public domain from the actual makers of that era. Or I can watch some videos on youtube or watch some hollywood movies about planemaking. I am not that interested in Krenov style, but the traditional style with all the cheeks and abutments.

I have some single and double irons from old worm-eaten planes that I have inhereted, so I would like to use those first and then buy some extra irons when needed.

Thank you very much.

Tibor
 

tibi

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You seen David's channel, not very "Hollywood" however,
that's what I'd be studying.
Yes, his channel is already on my list. I am going to scroll and pick all Davids's videos that relate to wooden hand planes. Maybe he will give me some order which ones to watch first.
 

D_W

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Yes, his channel is already on my list. I am going to scroll and pick all Davids's videos that relate to wooden hand planes. Maybe he will give me some order which ones to watch first.
I have a set of about 19 in order building a wooden jack plane that should be a lifetime plane. It should be findable under "make a double iron jack plane" , or something similar.
 

Jameshow

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I have a set of about 19 in order building a wooden jack plane that should be a lifetime plane. It should be findable under "make a double iron jack plane" , or something similar.
Deffo on my watch list!
 

tibi

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I have a set of about 19 in order building a wooden jack plane that should be a lifetime plane. It should be findable under "make a double iron jack plane" , or something similar.
Thank you David. I will put those videos into my to-watch list :)
 

D_W

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So, those videos aren't an easy watch - they're partially real time covering the entire process of making and fitting a plane of this type without making any excuses for shortcuts or cross pins or laminations or anything of the sort.





But, toolmaking will teach you a lot about taking some time to fit things and doing nice work, and it'll make other things easier. Making double iron planes isn't something that was documented anywhere (of this type), so I figured it out and posted the original videos (a long try plane) and then reshot another with the jack type. Same process for every plane, so the length doesn't really matter.

I think the jack made in the video is the one in the background in the above pictures - the one in the foreground, i made for someone who wanted to trade. I've made a lot of planes, but only for trade or cost of materials. the last video above is a little bit of a ruse - on IMGUR. I made a shooting plane that would take heavy shavings, and posting pictures of it doing so (stating that it would take a hundredth off of a cherry panel end) led to lots of coaching in the comments below about "try scary sharp, you can get thinner shavings" and stuff of the like.

Posting a jack (heavy work) plane taking thin shavings resulted in a satisfied comment section. Nobody asked "why isn't that plane doing jack work?". There's a lot of errant information about this type of plane ( that it can only cut the width between the wedge fingers, and not the full width of the iron, and that's even in some older texts - it's only the case if a plane is poorly fitted).

The other benefit of following this (if you can stomach it) is you can refit any older plane very quickly and diagnose trouble, and the plane when you're done will plane anything that can be planed by any plane.
 

tibi

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So, those videos aren't an easy watch - they're partially real time covering the entire process of making and fitting a plane of this type without making any excuses for shortcuts or cross pins or laminations or anything of the sort.





But, toolmaking will teach you a lot about taking some time to fit things and doing nice work, and it'll make other things easier. Making double iron planes isn't something that was documented anywhere (of this type), so I figured it out and posted the original videos (a long try plane) and then reshot another with the jack type. Same process for every plane, so the length doesn't really matter.

I think the jack made in the video is the one in the background in the above pictures - the one in the foreground, i made for someone who wanted to trade. I've made a lot of planes, but only for trade or cost of materials. the last video above is a little bit of a ruse - on IMGUR. I made a shooting plane that would take heavy shavings, and posting pictures of it doing so (stating that it would take a hundredth off of a cherry panel end) led to lots of coaching in the comments below about "try scary sharp, you can get thinner shavings" and stuff of the like.

Posting a jack (heavy work) plane taking thin shavings resulted in a satisfied comment section. Nobody asked "why isn't that plane doing jack work?". There's a lot of errant information about this type of plane ( that it can only cut the width between the wedge fingers, and not the full width of the iron, and that's even in some older texts - it's only the case if a plane is poorly fitted).

The other benefit of following this (if you can stomach it) is you can refit any older plane very quickly and diagnose trouble, and the plane when you're done will plane anything that can be planed by any plane.
Thank you David,

I have a jointer plane that I am restoring, so I will take your information into account, when proceeding further. I will try how it planes after I sharpen the iron and restore the cap iron and then I will see if any wedge geometry adjustments are needed. What are your thoughts on abutments vs crosspin?
 

D_W

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Abutments are better on a wooden plane. Because of the rigidity of brass, it's probably neutral on an infill (all infills are the lever type whether the lever cap is loose and retained by a cross bar or held in with pins from the side invisibly).

There are a lot of of shortcuts to try to make planes more cheaply than the English early double iron types, but for everything other than final smoothing, there is no better plane that can be pushed (continental planes were made essentially the same way, just with the mouth placed further back).

Cross pins, shortened wedges, more highly sprung chipbreakers, very low wear - all of that stuff is reducing costs a little at each step to make planes more producible with less hand work or complication in feeding. The only thing I'm not a fan of is the very highly sprung chipbreakers in combination with the short wedge or cross pin. It works, but it's sloppy and they don't set as easily. The early english type is better, but I'm sure it costs much more to make and the whole plane needs to be more neatly fitted.

Cross pin, short abutments, short wedge, low wear - all of that stuff still results in a usable plane - just a little less nice to use. You could do a life's work with the "shortcut" planes. My thoughts on the English type are generally that if you're going to go to the effort to make something by hand, you don't need the shortcuts, and the better you make your tools (in design, not in prissy visual perfection or adding exotic bits), the more likely you are to *not* find something nicer that causes you to put your own tools on the shelf).

I arrived at figuring this stuff out due to a desire to make planes, but I made a bunch of planes before this and pushed to figure out the double iron planes (after buying about 25 and finding which ones worked the nicest and set the best, etc, what weight, what proportions) because it was easy to prefer something other than my tools. Now they're more or less even up with a nicely refitted mathieson or griffiths or any other good English plane. I threw away all of the other ones - which made making them a massive waste of time, but keeping them when you know you'll pick something else to use is also a massive waste of space).

The videos are up because it seemed fair to share if there are 5 people who want to go to the trouble.

Not downing other people making tools however they like - I just tended to move toward older designs after selling TS, BS and jointer (and rarely now using a thickness planer). it's less effort to use better planes and a deal stopper to use self-made tools that don't go through wood as fast (infills) or as cleanly (single iron planes).
 
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dannyr

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Sorry I don't have time now to find the links, but there's a couple of good planemaking films on the Hawley collection museum website and an old Swiss film of a Geneva plane maker at work .... all films of 'the last at their craft'.

To me, at least, compulsive viewing.
 

tibi

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Abutments are better on a wooden plane. Because of the rigidity of brass, it's probably neutral on an infill (all infills are the lever type whether the lever cap is loose and retained by a cross bar or held in with pins from the side invisibly).

There are a lot of of shortcuts to try to make planes more cheaply than the English early double iron types, but for everything other than final smoothing, there is no better plane that can be pushed (continental planes were made essentially the same way, just with the mouth placed further back).

Cross pins, shortened wedges, more highly sprung chipbreakers, very low wear - all of that stuff is reducing costs a little at each step to make planes more producible with less hand work or complication in feeding. The only thing I'm not a fan of is the very highly sprung chipbreakers in combination with the short wedge or cross pin. It works, but it's sloppy and they don't set as easily. The early english type is better, but I'm sure it costs much more to make and the whole plane needs to be more neatly fitted.

Cross pin, short abutments, short wedge, low wear - all of that stuff still results in a usable plane - just a little less nice to use. You could do a life's work with the "shortcut" planes. My thoughts on the English type are generally that if you're going to go to the effort to make something by hand, you don't need the shortcuts, and the better you make your tools (in design, not in prissy visual perfection or adding exotic bits), the more likely you are to *not* find something nicer that causes you to put your own tools on the shelf).

I arrived at figuring this stuff out due to a desire to make planes, but I made a bunch of planes before this and pushed to figure out the double iron planes (after buying about 25 and finding which ones worked the nicest and set the best, etc, what weight, what proportions) because it was easy to prefer something other than my tools. Now they're more or less even up with a nicely refitted mathieson or griffiths or any other good English plane. I threw away all of the other ones - which made making them a massive waste of time, but keeping them when you know you'll pick something else to use is also a massive waste of space).

The videos are up because it seemed fair to share if there are 5 people who want to go to the trouble.

Not downing other people making tools however they like - I just tended to move toward older designs after selling TS, BS and jointer (and rarely now using a thickness planer). it's less effort to use better planes and a deal stopper to use self-made tools that don't go through wood as fast (infills) or as cleanly (single iron planes).
Thank you David for throughout explanation. That is my point, too. I have seen way too many woodworkers who have published a video on how to make a wooden plane (mostly the laminated Krenov type) in various forms and sizes, but in every other video, they use their polished LN bronze planes or LA jacks. I personally want to make only those tools that would be my (daily) user tools, although If someone wants to make tools just for decoration, that is fine too. I have a rule that If I want to make something, I need to restrict myself to the tools that I have and do not postpone the production until I buy some fancy stuff unless the tool is absolutely necessary. E.g. I have postponed the purchase of the 12 inch Starrett combination square because I have figured out that I can make myself a simple beech try square and by making it precisely, I would learn much more than by sending Amazon my money. I already have 6 inches Starrett combination square, and I would use the 12 inches just for making perpendicular lines, so a precise try square will be sufficient at the moment. The same goes with planes, totes, saw handles, etc. I do woodworking as a mental counterweight to my daily work as a data analyst. So it is therapy for me. Thus I am not forced to buy a tool quickly and get to produce furniture just to pay my bills. I can progress as slowly as I am willing to tolerate and have the nerve not to over rush.
 

matkinitice

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The English Woodworker.

You need to create an account but the video is free. I've no affiliation just a happy customer from the workbench video which I also recommend. About an hour long, very good detail. Plus a couple of other videos about use/configuration.

Edit - just noticed you mentioned not the Kernov style, so this video won't be what you're after. Still I recommend it.

 

tibi

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The English Woodworker.

You need to create an account but the video is free. I've no affiliation just a happy customer from the workbench video which I also recommend. About an hour long, very good detail. Plus a couple of other videos about use/configuration.

Edit - just noticed you mentioned not the Kernov style, so this video won't be what you're after. Still I recommend it.

I have earlier watched this video, but it would be good to remind myself of the content again.
 

JohnPW

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The following article by William J. Armour was originally published in four parts in “Work, The Illustrated Journal for Mechanics” in early 1898. Armour was a plane maker from the Pimlico area of London and is noted in W.L. Goodman’s book “British Planemakers From 1700”. A number of his hand planes, saws and other woodworking tools have surfaced over the years as he was in business for some 35 years or so. At the time these articles appeared in “Work”, William Armour was located at 47 Hindon Street, Pimlico.

W.J. Armour appeared to have an association with the well known planemaking firm, John Moseley & Son, and may have worked there at some stage. Indeed some of Armours’ advertisements from “Work”, as well as various markings on his hand planes, stated “From the Original John Moseley & Son” but the exact connection is not known. One thing that is certain is that his knowledge of plane making is quite considerable and very sound. In the introduction to his articles, Amour stated his intention to cover five areas of planemaking: flat (bench) planes, moulding planes, stop work planes (ploughs, fillisters and dado grooving planes), coachmakers tools and iron planes, and planes made to drawings. The methods described in making flat planes, moulding planes and stop work planes are quite detailed. However, making planes to architects drawings, and making sash templates are decsribed briefly at the end of the section on moulding planes (Part II). Unfortunately coachmakers tools and iron planes are not covered at all, and there’s a possibility that the intended final chapter was either not written or not published. Likewise there are no later references in “Work” to the missing section and the last advertisement for W.J. Armour tools appeared in March of that year.
I learnt a lot from those articles when I started making wooden planes.
 

tibi

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I learnt a lot from those articles when I started making wooden planes.
Thank you very much John,
I will take a look.
 

Jacob

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Thank you very much John,
I will take a look.
The main thing is to get your hands on a few old woodies whatever the condition.
Then copy, copy, copy.
The first rule of good design is to copy. You can learn more from the real thing than from any number of videos.
 

D_W

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my videos are the real thing. The videos are terrible, but all I did was lift the design ideas from the best of the planes. One doesn't ignore several hundred years of pro use and start winging it on tools. More or less just documentation of how to make them like the old ones without shortcuts.

But the point is correct otherwise - if I have such a thing as a mentor, it's a former toolmaker here in the US (he's generally retired). Copy and figure out (and in my case, try things, experiment, and don't make excuses as to one experimentation can't be done).

Most bad work is done by people who operate off of bad suggestions from others or self suggestions ("my time is too valuable and I can't try this or experiment to get a better result".)

Anyone with time too valuable to learn something shouldn't be in the shop - they obviously have something far more important to attend to.
 

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