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Shepherd Infill Plane Kits(with pics)

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Ian Dalziel

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With Chris’s recent purchase of the Sauer& Steiner, I really fancied one and was about to order when I came across the shepherd infill kits. Being a hands on person I decided to give it a try. I did a bit of checking about the web and spoke to David Charlesworth about his. Most people I spoke to didn’t have great things to say about them (company not the planes) the early model kits required a lot more work ie around throats etc but modern cnc and laser cutting has taken a lot of the difficulties out of the process.
I bought 2 kits:~ thumb plane (see pictures)and the 24 ½” jointer (will be run in GWW)
Emails and phone calls were transferred and it took 8 days from order for the kits to arrive from Canada with the usual customs bite. Not well packaged and a few bits missing but an email sorted that and the missing bits appeared a few days later.

Adequate instructions for the thumb plane but the wrong instructions for the jointer

They estimated 8-10 hours build time for the thumb plane…I took around 40-45 I stopped counting but I did make the the other bits from scratch which itself took more time than I thought. In all fairness it was a basic kit with no woodwork What it did do was give me a good feel before I start the jointer…I also made a few changes ie adjuster and lever cap.
The kit itself comes straight off a milling machine, not quite what I expected but I suppose how else would it come. What I didn’t like was the square slot for the original bridge and the holes were predrilled which were in a bit of a state, these are obviously done before the rolling process and they weren’t nice round holes after. The front bun hole I got to drill which made a difference. Also when peining the dovetails together the base twisted around the mouth area which made honing a long and laborious process. I didn’t notice how bad until I started to hone The jointer kit has nice round holes. The blade kinda shocked me as it was ‘as is’ just out the heat treatment and took a fair bit of honing and its very hard. I wanted to drill it for the adjuster but cobalt drills wouldn’t even mark it so I had to grind a half moon slot for the adjuster mechanism
I’m glad I tried the thumb plane first as it has given the insight into how the double splayed dovetails work and also what not to do when building it.

The infills and wedge are rosewood, polished with shellac

It weighs about the same as my LN block plane and is lovely to hold and use, I have given it a 0.5 thou mouth which I might open but for now I’ve had enough filing.

For anyone contemplating one you are looking at a lot of filing but they are lovely little planes


Ian


 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Ian

There must be tremendous satisfaction in making your very own plane.

Is there no end to your talents. :wink:

Cheers
Neil
 

devonwoody

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Yes very nice piece of tool making.

Are the internal fittings fixed to the side plates by filed off rivets?
 

Chris Knight

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Ian,

Well done indeed. Given the advertising blurb, there seems to have been a large amount of unexpected work but OTOH, various folk including DC have commented on how much work was actually involved in getting their kits finished, so I suppose in that sense you have not been disappointed at all and at the end of it, have a very nice little plane to show for your efforts. I shall be very interested to hear how the larger one goes.

Konrad let slip that he has just posted a rather nice plane to Peebles, so if it wasn't you, I wonder if any of our other UKW Scots brethren are sitting on a gloat?
 

tombo

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Ian,

:shock: wow that is way cool well done! i had now idea such a kit even existed

I was momentarily inspired to have a go myself till i saw the cost of the kits! If i was spending that much i would just buy a LN and have done with it though i am probably missing the point somewhere (normal for me) :whistle:

Tom
 
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Anonymous

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Lovely job Ian :wink: Looking forward to the GWW review
 

Wendell

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I have one of these thumb plane kits on order. I was too chicken to start with a brass side plane though. Your's looks very different from the catalog web page. Could you describe what you modified in the original kit? Also, could you list out the tool kit you used to finish out the plane? I am trying to figure out what types of files I need to buy to build the kit. While I am at it, any "lessons learned" that you care to share?

Wendell

P.S. - What is GWW? I assume this is a British woodworking mag, but I can't figure what the "G" stands for.
 

Ian Dalziel

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wendell,
I used minimal tools....an electric drill...3 files and a set of needle files...2-4-6 and 1200 grit wet and dry and some 60 grit paper
the brass knobs were brass 8mm bolts inserted in the drill which was vise mounted horizontally and filed until round then polished then parted off with a hacksaw. the lever cap was a bit of 2" brass bar which i hacksawed.. filed.. flattened and shaped then tapped. the infill was just filed then sanded. i used a 1/2" round flange as an anvil
i did this at work in my spare time and have no special tools and what i do have is borrowed and begged.
the adjuster was a worktop joining bolt with the head cut off and another filed down bolt reathreaded into it.
I do have better tools at home this was just a taster for me.
I had no problems with it except the predrilled holes and lots of honing to get it right.
a dremel would be handy and get the files they recommend in the instructions
hope that helps

Ian
 

Wendell

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Thanks Ian for the additional info. The lever cap looks nice. Why did you decide to make a lever cap instead of sticking with the original bridge? Do you think the lever cap is something you have to add before the shell is built or could you go back later and rework the plane to add a lever cap? While I really like your lever cap addition, I am not sure I am ready to tackle the fabrication just yet. I am definitely not ready to take on making my own adjuster.

Wendell
 
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Anonymous

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Hello Ian;
Lovely work again--saw your post of the jointer in general woodworking and loved it.
It is nice to see someone take a very basic kit and turn it into a work of art--well done.
Best regards
Ben
www.shepherdtool.com
 

cambournepete

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A timely post by Ben - they have a sale on and if you spend $225 you get a free thumb plane kit or $400 and a free chariot plane kit. Looks tempting, if only I had more time...

Cheers,

Pete

Edited to remove stupid question, the answer to which is on their website anyway :roll:
 
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Anonymous

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A long time ago (about three years) we made some small lever cap castings for a chariot that we never moved forward with. They just may be big enough for us to use on the thumb. Hmmm...

Cheers,

Doug
 
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