Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sticky Shim

Thanks to a comment by Gary Roberts, there is a blog post today. Gary asked in my last post why I hadn't, instead of removing the bulk of the waste from the lap joint with a chisel, used a rabbet (rebate) plane instead.

According to Gary, "skewed rabbet planes were used for hogging cross grain material, particularly the wider width planes. The large mouth, curved escapement served to allow the coarse cross grain material to be ejected without clogging the plane. The outline of the lap was sawn to the line, the waste was hogged with the rabbet plane and finished up with a chisel or if narrow, with a router."

Suggesting that I use a handplane for a particular joint is like setting a plate of doughnuts in front of Homer Simpson—way too tempting. I love using handplanes.

Since I don't have a skewed rabbet plane, I dusted off my #78 and took a few passes within the layout lines of an untouched lap joint. Handplaning is a mesmerizing experience for me and sometimes I shave more than I should. In my state of handplaning delirium, I completely forgot about leaving a section in the middle of the waste area to support the router plane in final clean up. By the time I realized what I had done, the center section was 1/32" lower than the surface of the workpiece, which would result in sloppy joint with a scalloped bed.

Nothing that a little tape can't solve. 4 layers of masking tape, burnished flat, equals 1/32". It supported my router very well but did get a little chewed up toward the final passes.

Still, a sticky shim saved me from a sticky wicket.