Friday, February 8, 2008

Spill Plane Part II: Shaping the Blade

I purchased a .125" x 2" x 18" piece of O-1 (oil hardening) tool steel from MSC Direct to make the blade for the spill plane. I'm making the plane iron for several reasons: 1) it's less expensive than buying a finished one, 2) it's something to blog about, and 3) I'm trying to overcome my fear of propane torches.

After shaping the blade, I'll temper it with propane & mapp torches. I have done this several times before but every time I do, I'm convinced the tanks will blow up in my face and I'll have to change my blog name to The Village Dark(wo)man.

Dab layout fluid onto the steel and mark your cut. I like a rounded end on an iron, so I used a compass with a pencil. You can also mark it with an awl. Rough cut the shape with a hacksaw and clean it up on a grinder.

Incidentally, if your grinder is not shooting sparks, it has glazed over and you need to redress it.

I ground a 25 degree bevel on the cutting edge, but did not grind it sharp so that the end is not so fragile when I torch it. At this point, you do not have to be careful about overheating the blade since it still needs to be tempered.

14 comments:

amish said...

Hey! I really want to get into making my own plane blades but the heat treating part is still a mystery to me. So I'm hoping your next blog will have this process in detail :)

The Village Carpenter said...

Yep, I will definitely show how to do that...if I can find someone brave enough to take photos. ; )

amish said...

haha! how about firing up the bbq and sticking the blades in there instead of a torch?

The Village Carpenter said...

I've actually thought about building a fire pit of some sort out back. Is that allowed in suburbia??? I'm already pushing it with my neighbors and my noisy tools. A fire pit might get me kicked out of Mayberry. :o)

Shazza said...

This is cool stuff I have to say.

If I lived closer I'd volunteer to take the pictures of you with the blow torch VC.

I have no fear!!!

The Village Carpenter said...

Shazza, there's a house for sale right around the corner from us! :o)

Shazza said...

Hmmmm...we'll have to check it out!

Anonymous said...

Nice finger nail!
FL

Vic said...

Hey VC,
I'm not sure I'd have the patience to cut even O1 steel with a handheld hacksaw. I'd either pull out the reciprocating saw or the jigsaw. What can I say, I'm lazy. And yes, how do you work in a shop and keep your nails looking so good!?!? My hands are always dinged up.

The Village Carpenter said...

I don't blame you for using the recip or jigsaw, Vic. It did take a little while to cut through the blade with a hacksaw, mainly because my arms got tired and I had to keep taking breaks!

My nails don't get dinged up because they're zinc-coated.

Gye Greene said...

Good Darkman reference. (A good -- but somewhat obscure -- movie.)


--GG

BryanS said...

I'm really tempted to try this. I made my first woodie from a Steve Knight kit and loved it. I'm now working on a dedicated shooting board jack from scratch. I have realized Hock blades will cost me about $200 for all the blades I will need and I have to deal with milling slot for the chip breaker screw with hand tools. I've been doing some research and started thinking about making a mini forge from basic junk.

It doesn't look like you annealed the steel, does it come in the softened state already? Also, are you using flat ground stock or just regular stock.

Thanks Kari

The Village Carpenter said...

Bryan, you can rout the chip breaker slot if you make a template and use a collar, but it's easy to make the slot with handtools. Just scribe the outline with a knife and use a chisel or router plane to remove the waste. Keep deepening the outline with the knife as you remove the waste so the shoulders/walls are crisp.

The steel I bought from MSC Direct was already soft—so it was easy to cut/grind to shape—and the steel was flat ground.

BryanS said...

Thanks Kari,

This doesn't look too hard. I think I have a good idea how to put together a propane powered mini forge with some fire brick and a weed burner, order some O1 steel and I'm in business