Sunday, December 7, 2008

Wish I Had A Plow Plane

The sawbuck table I'm reproducing has a drawer with runners that slide within dadoes that are cut into the sliding dovetailed stretchers.

I wasn't able to tell from the photo of the original sawbuck how the runners were applied to sides of the drawer and I wanted to try to be as true to the original as possible.

Roy Underhill brought his workbench to the WIA Conference and as luck would have it, a little drawer was to be found beneath the work surface like the one on the sawbuck table (Roy's bench, top photo). I figure that Roy's drawer runners are historically accurate, so I'll make mine the same.

I laid out the dadoes with a marking gauge and had planned to cut them with a router plane as I've done before, but as a seeker of variety, I wanted another option.

"Sure wish I had a plow plane."*

Then I remembered a tool I had bought at a farm auction for $25 about 15 years ago that I had never used. When I bought it I had no idea how to fix it up or sharpen the blades, but it was a cool-looking tool at a cheap price so it followed me home. And lucky for me the guys at the auction were more interested in plows than in plow planes.

I found out later that it's a Sargent Combination Plane—a cheaper version of the Stanley Combination Plane. There are 21 cutters with different profiles, including ones used to cut dadoes. For more information on combination planes, check out the Cornish Workshop, here and here.

The plane and cutters need to be cleaned of dirt and superficial rust, but I took it for a test run nonetheless and it worked very well. Some of the cutters look as though they've never been used.

*I wonder if I wish for a Lie-Nielsen jointer plane I'll suddenly remember that I have one!