Monday 4 January 2016

New low-slung smoother

For this plane I decided to simplify things further by eliminating the chip breaker. This allows the user to resharpen and get back to smoothing without too much fuss. Also the plane is extremely easy to set up and adjust using a small plane hammer.

I made the blade from 6mm thick 01 tool steel. A 3/16" thick (4.76mm) or 5mm thick blade would be sufficient but I had heaps of 6mm tool steel off cuts. The infill wood is another beautiful piece of ringed gidgee, the blade is 1 1/2" wide and the plane is 6 3/4" long.

Here are some more photos (click on any photo to enlarge).

I have decided to include a short video to show how simple it is to set up this plane using the "flat block" technique. This is not something that I came up with. A lot of woodworkers use a flat block to set up their planes that do not have mechanical adjusters. The mistake that I see repeated however, is that the block that they are using is not actually flat. This will result in the plane taking too heavy a cut and/or the lateral adjustment will be off. To set up the plane, I used a 25mm thick MDF off cut that has been quickly lapped on my engineer's plate using some 400 grit sandpaper. I flattened the MDF piece about 8 months ago, so it is not something that you would do every time you set up your plane. MDF works well because it is stable and the surface is durable but not too hard on the cutting edge. In the video, I am taking a shaving from a piece of wood a little less than the width of the blade to better demonstrate the accuracy of this technique.

Happy New Year.