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Alf

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Now you may not have realised this, but I have one or two problems with the design of the rear tote on the Lee Valley Veritas planes. I know, I’ve hidden it well… :whistle: It’s not like both L-V and I haven’t made efforts to come up with a solution, but no dice. So in between gazing at my hand in frustrated contemplation, I got to thinking of ways round the problem. Eventually the light dawned, the penny dropped, unto me was shown a vision and I realised the answer. Now I’m not suggesting this is something everyone should rush out and do, but I thought it might be of interest as most of it is applicable to making a tote for a Stanley, Record or whatever too.

First catch your wood. In this case Bubinga would have been the ideal, but I didn’t have any. But I did have an off-cut of Cherry skulling about, so I used that. The required thickness depends on the tote shape you want to some extent, but in this case I wanted to accommodate the shape of the casting at the base as neatly as possible, so it’s a little thicker than is perhaps usual - 27mm. Keeping it square to start with, I drilled and counterbored for the rearmost of the two bolts. Yes, that’s right; only one of them. :-$ Luckily I had a long bit that went right through, but theoretically you can drill from both sides and they should meet. Yeah, right… :roll:



Then I removed the existing tote, replaced the bolt and eyeballed the angle (danke, Mr Knight :) )



Seemed to be about 15°, so I cut off the bottom of the blank at 15°. Adjust to fit your own situation.



Voilà, one bolt hole at the required angle. Okay, so the tote shape requires a bit of work yet…



The next step was to relieve the base of the blank to accommodate the plane casting ; complicated by it being designed for a tote without a toe. A Stanley/Record/etc, and even the Veritas planes designed for the MkII tote, should be much easier. In order to make measuring as simple as possible, I took a mould with some Blue-tak. Taking care not to stretch it too much when I removed it…



Then using calipers I transferred the measurements to the base on the blank - more or less. It doesn’t have to be a perfect fit; in fact you need to allow a little space for the movement of the wood. Well that’s my excuse… 8-[



I removed the bulk using the Woodrat, simply ‘cos it was the easiest way. Boring out the bulk, then chisel and gouge would do just as good a job. In order to get the toe area to rest on the unmachined front area of the plane casting I had to do a little additional tweaking. I found rubbing the metal with a soft pencil, installing the blank and twiddling it a bit to transfer the pencil to the blank, effectively demonstrated where I needed to remove more wood with a gouge. Took quite a few twiddles to get it right though.



Next step was to draw a suitable tote shape. Easiest to draw round an existing tote quite honestly, but I’m not going to upset Rob any further than I am already by revealing the source of the donor tote in this case. :-#



That most useful of dodges to “cut” inside curves…



…and a little work with a bandsaw, and it’s starting to look much more tote-like.



I know people have had success using a router and roundover bit to break the back of tote shaping, but I prefer the less accident-prone approach of using rasps. That is to say, I’m less accident-prone that way. :oops: The Auriou’s slender shape was a boon on the inside curves.



The basic shape done and lookin pretty good to my traditionalist eye.



A good deal of sanding and shaping later.



Now as a rule I’d consider disembowelment too good for anyone staining Cherry, but I wanted to test this tote on its merits without being made unnecessarily conscious of it being different, so I figured hell and damnation was worth the risk to make it match the front knob a little better. Dark Oak and Mahogany stains, in different proportions, have proved equal to the task of replicating many a tool handle colour in the past, so if it ain’t broke…



Now the observant will have noticed I seem to be asking one single bolt to do the work of two. Not such a good idea on a plane the size and weight of the BUPP, as I think you’ll agree. But wait, what did Stanley et al do for all those years? Yep, a screw through the toe. Taking the opportunity of a pause between staining and polishing the new handle, I again used the ‘Rat to bore a hole for such a screw from underneath, fastened the tote to the plane, and scratched in the location for a corresponding threaded hole. Why from underneath? Simply because you can’t get to the toe from above because of the angle of the bulk of the handle.



So the scariest bit of all; drilling and tapping a hole in an otherwise perfectly good plane. I don’t recommend it for relaxation, but as long as you take care, it’s really not too bad. 8-[ I went for M6 size as being about right.



I started the tap off in the drill press, switched to using a tap wrench, and finally switched taps to a bottom tap in order to thread right to the bottom (more or less) of the blind hole. If you’ve not been exposed to the wonderful world of taps and dies, I recommend it. It’s very a handy thing to be able to do in all sorts of instances. Anyway, the result. C’est magnifique, n’est pa? Okay, so it’s just a hole. But it looked pretty darn fine to me by that stage, I can tell you. :roll:



Splashing out on a suitable brass set screw for the toe seemed justified, even at 72p a piece. :shock: I blame the fact they were packaged up for the Yacht-y market, which always puts the price up… :roll: Naturally it was too long, but a little hacksawing took care of that, utilising the dodge of threading a nut onto it to a point above the cut so the action of removing it cleans up the sawn threads a little.



You might need to relieve the toe a little to get the screw head to sit flush.



…and a few coats of shellac later:



Not too shabby, in my opinion. It’s certainly already proved to be worth doing as far as I’m concerned, although Rob assures me it’s a step backwards, design-wise. He’s probably absolutely right. But then I’ve always had a suspicion I’m a bit of a backwards design too…

Cheers, Alf
 

ydb1md

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Wow, nice job Alf! And darned ballsy, I might add. I'll have to add tote-making to my list of future projects -- although the drilling and tapping part will give me nightmares for a while. :roll: I might try to get by with just the rear bolt initially as it would appear to provide the majority of the strength when one is pushing forward on the tote.
 

MikeW

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Turned out really nice, Alf. Do report back after you've had a chance to use it for a while, though I suspect the report will be a big "Ahhh, 'tis so nice..."
 

Philly

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Bravo!! =D>
tapping another hole in your plane-you ARE brave! :lol:
So how does it feel??? Was it worth the effort?
It certainly looks good-Rob still talking to you? :wink:
Cheers
Philly :D
 

J.A.S

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Outstanding, Alf. Very useful even for those who don't own LVs, particularly given the little 'dodges'.

I take it that your aesthetic soul could stand no more... :lol:

Jeremy
 

Alf

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ydb1md":zdn60me1 said:
I might try to get by with just the rear bolt initially as it would appear to provide the majority of the strength when one is pushing forward on the tote.
Well you might get away with it, I suppose... :-k Personally I doubt it, but I guess you'd have a second bolt to use if the first one got bent. :wink:

MikeW":zdn60me1 said:
Do report back after you've had a chance to use it for a while, though I suspect the report will be a big "Ahhh, 'tis so nice..."
Will do, although a certain amount of use this weekend suggested less "Ahh, 'tis nice..." and more "Tote? What tote? Never even knew I was holding it it's so comfy...". :wink:

Philly":zdn60me1 said:
Rob still talking to you?
As my grandmother used to put it - "Not angry, merely grieved" I think. 8-[ ]

J.A.S":zdn60me1 said:
I take it that your aesthetic soul could stand no more... :lol:
My aesthetic soul remains knocked-out, but my Freaky Hand is rejoicing, carousing and generally having a ball. :wink:

Tony, I was indeed reminded. I was thinking of it when I mentioned using the roundover bit and drilling from both ends. :lol:

Cheers, Alf
 

Mcluma

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Álf,

Nice job, but why did you not countersink the brash bolt on the front, this will be hurting the fingers (little pinky)

McLuma
 

dedee

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Alf, totally excellant and very brave.

How about a side-by-side photo so we can see just how different the two totes are?

Andy
 

Chris Knight

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Alf,

Super job (you are welcome btw).

Very brave too as others have said. I agree with Mc Luma - it would be nice to use a countersunk machine screw at the front.
 

Rob Lee

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Philly":2ypnh3on said:
Bravo!! =D>
tapping another hole in your plane-you ARE brave! :lol:
So how does it feel??? Was it worth the effort?
It certainly looks good-Rob still talking to you? :wink:
Cheers
Philly :D
Hi Philly -

'Course I am....

I wish more people would take a rasp/drill/file to tool handles. Goodness knows - carvers do it all the time (modify handles, that is...)... :lol:

In parts of our range (the spokeshaves...) we go to extra effort to enable buyers to make/modify handles.... we've still got to figure out how to do that economically for the planes though...

Cheers -

Rob
 
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Alf,

You did an excellent job. :D I'll bet alot of the LV planes will be user altered if they see your post.

I have a Stanley 607 Bedrock that has a broken off handle bolt in the bed. Looks like someone tried to spot weld a new one on. I haven't got up the courage yet to tackle fixing it correctly so it sits unused. :cry:

Cheers.
 

Alf

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Mcluma":19f7xc71 said:
Nice job, but why did you not countersink the brash bolt on the front, this will be hurting the fingers (little pinky)
I considered it, but it'd mean carving it out freehand ('cos of that overhang again) and I was pretty sure I'd muck it up, so I thought I'd try it first. As luck would have it my hand doesn't come into contact with it at all, so I can leave it in all it's brashness. I'd have preferred a round head (dome head if it's a bolt?) really, like the older Stanley's and Co. but all searches proved fruitless. :( I dunno, it's almost certainly just me, but I think a countersunk head at the toe looks awful. That abrupt flattening on what should be a nicely rounded toe area just makes me squirm. Now s'cuse me while I bludgeon the aesthete into silence again... :lol:

Andy, here ya go (not that I'm suggesting we start making judgements between the two [-X ):



Now c'mon folks; it wasn't that brave. If it was I wouldn't have done it! Besides, I don't want to be scared off doing the same to the BUS...

Cheers, Alf
 

ike

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Alf,

What a super job!

My tuppenny worth about the front fixing. A countersunk front fixing introduces an expanding force which could increase chance of splitting the toe?. Counterbored would be stronger but might mean increasing the depth of wood slightly at the front.

What sort of a difference does it make to planing?

cheers

Ike
 

ydb1md

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Is the bolt angle in a Lie Nielsen handle anywhere close to the LV bolt angle?
 

Alf

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ike":24jjl46y said:
My tuppenny worth about the front fixing. A countersunk front fixing as wouldn't work as it'd introduce an expanding force and and split the wood.
That's an interesting point, Ike. So maybe I don't like it 'cos of a sub-conscious feeling that it's a Bad thing? Heck, that sounds much better; I like it. :D

ike":24jjl46y said:
What sort of a difference does it make to planing?
How it planes? None at all. How much longer I can plane with it at a time without feeling uncomfortable? Well from 0.01 second to as long as it takes for my arm to drop off (not that I've actually tested it to that point... :lol: ) I was swapping between the BUPP and the BUS at the weekend and the difference in feel to my hand was amazing. I wasn't thinking about totes at all when I was using the jack; switched to the smoother and suddenly I was noticing it and the tote was impinging on my concentration. It really wasn't until that point that I realised it made a lot more difference to me than I'd ever thought. It's really been one heck of an eye-opener to me; I'll probably be much more inclined to customise my tools right from the start now, rather than waiting until a part needs replacing or fixing.

ydb, no idea without checking.

Cheers, Alf
 
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=D> =D> =D> =D>
Bravo!

It's a bit shocking to contemplate doing this but you pulled it off beautifully.
 

ydb1md

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Alf":3a8ulmu3 said:
I was swapping between the BUPP and the BUS
I finally figured out what BUPP is. We need to get a dictionary going so I can keep track of all these new acronyms. :roll: From my understanding:

BUPP = Bevel Up Panel Plane = LV LA jack (?)
BUS = Bevel Up Smoother = LV LA smoother (?)
BUSS = Bevel Up Super Smoother = LV bevel up smoother (?)
BUJ = the forthcoming LV bevel up jointer (?)

Lemme know if I'm amiss so I can keep my acronyms straight. :lol:
 

Rob Lee

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ydb1md":oly4ngj8 said:
Alf":oly4ngj8 said:
I was swapping between the BUPP and the BUS
I finally figured out what BUPP is. We need to get a dictionary going so I can keep track of all these new acronyms. :roll: From my understanding:

BUPP = Bevel Up Panel Plane = LV LA jack (?)
BUS = Bevel Up Smoother = LV LA smoother (?)
BUSS = Bevel Up Super Smoother = LV bevel up smoother (?)
BUJ = the forthcoming LV bevel up jointer (?)

Lemme know if I'm amiss so I can keep my acronyms straight. :lol:

Hmmm....

Would this mean that the medium shoulder is a type of BURP ?( :oops: -'scuse that)

(Bevel - up Rebate Plane.... :lol: )

Cheers -

Rob
 

Alf

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:lol: Sorry, I just get sick of typing it all out in full. And bearing in mind I go under an acronym (kinda) myself, it comes natural like.

ybd1md":14ywg5wd said:
BUPP = Bevel Up Panel Plane = LV LA jack (?)
Check

ybd1md":14ywg5wd said:
BUS = Bevel Up Smoother = LV LA smoother (?)
BUSS = Bevel Up Super Smoother = LV bevel up smoother (?)
Not exactly. The BUS is the #164 1/2 H, bevel-up, or Heavy Smoother. The low angle smoother gets no acronym 'cos I haven't got one! Arbitary and unfair, I know, but tough. :p How about BUSS for Bevel Up Smoother (Small)...? :lol:

ybd1md":14ywg5wd said:
BUJ = the forthcoming LV bevel up jointer (?)
Well I can't pronounce that, so I was thinking of upsetting Roger and calling it the Bevel Up Trying plane, or BUT. Wadda you think? :-k

Cheers, Alf
 
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