Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sven In Action

A couple folks wanted to see a video of Sven in action. He works pretty well, but after a bit of a break-in period, I think he'll be even better.

I have no idea why the shavings are accordioned. Nothing is obstructing their exit and they don't bunch up at all in the throat. Maybe it has something to do with the higher bed angle. No clue. He works. And that's good enough for me.

To see the video in HD, click here.

The song is "Heartbreak Express" by Dolly Parton.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Horned Smoother Part X

Herein lies Sven's last post.

Totally fun project. I added a little decoration to the wedge by carving my initials in the top portion and carving a curvy element at the bottom of the ramp.

The finish is a couple coats of BLO followed by a couple coats of wax. Sven's already gotten a nice suntan from sitting by the window in my shop, but after a few years of use, he should have an even richer color.

A few words about the jig. I built it as a clamping device that would allow me to flip the blank around quickly without having to fuss with actual clamps. It was worth its weight in that alone, but it proved to be an excellent work holding device when working with the blank on end or on its side. I made a few spacer blocks to hold the blank more securely during those times.

To make the jig, I sat the blank on top of a board, slid the clamping blocks up to it, and screwed them in place. This made for a very tight fit. So tight, that the first few times I removed the blank from the jig took a little muscle. After a bit of use, however, because the blocks were pine and the fibers compressed, it became much easier to remove and reposition the blank.

The clamping blocks that were positioned along the sides of the blank have a space between them so that I could see my layout lines.

Sven's dimensions are 8.5" long x 3" wide x 2.25" high. From the sole to the top of the horn is about 5".  I decided to leave a little extra length to the heel so that my hand wouldn't come in contact with the iron.

Now....what to build next?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Horned Smoother Part IX

I'm not sure how 18th-century planemakers attached horns to planes, but I decided on a sliding dovetail for strength.

Thinking it would protect the fragile corners of the dovetail, I added shoulders so that it would sit back from the front of the plane by way of a shallow recess.

The dovetail is hidden because the horn covers the joinery. I have no idea if this matches the method used 300 years ago, but it worked really well.

Even though there is a cross-grain situation with the horn and plane body, I glued it in place. We'll see what happens over time.

I had thought to circumvent any cross-grain issues by burying the bottom of the horn in the body and cutting a deeper mortise than necessary to allow for movement.  Changed my mind for whatever reason, but I do think that's a viable option.

The last two photos show the horn with oil applied. It also shows the decorative border I carved along the lower portion of the plane and the final shape of the plane's body.

I should have glamour shots of Sven ready on Thursday. The oil is drying, then I'll apply some wax to the outside surfaces.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Horned Smoother Part VIII

Here is how I carved the scrolls on the horned plane (whose name is Sven, by the way).

It turned out to be much easier than I expected, so it's no wonder Dutch planemakers added them as a design element. It's a cool feature that doesn't take all that much time to make.

After I carved the shapes with chisels and gouges, I touched them up with files. I use a ton of files in my shop; they're invaluable with these types of projects.

I'm actually finished building Sven, so the three shots at the bottom of this post show a couple coats of boiled linseed oil worked into the wood and the carving I added to the top of the plane.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

We All Have A First Project

This is Get Woodworking Week—the thoughtful event initiated by Tom Iovino of Tom's Workbench.

Tom has reached out to bloggers, podcasters, and magazines to help generate enthusiasm for our craft. Hoping that maybe, just maybe, we can provide the gentle nudge for someone who's been thinking about picking up woodworking as a hobby.

I thought for days about what to write. Then I remembered the value of "show, don't tell."

So, for your viewing pleasure, I present some of my very first projects from 20 or so years ago.

Am I embarrassed to show them? Heavens, no. Looking through these old photos, I can still recall the excitement I felt when I built them. How proud I was to unveil them to family and friends.

So, my advice is, no matter where you are in your journey, be sure to photograph everything you make.

We all started somewhere—even master woodworkers who are making extraordinary pieces embellished with marquetry and inlay all had a first project.

Okay, yeah, I might be a little
embarrassed about this one...

Years from now when you look through your old photos, you'll be surprised at how far your skills have advanced.

Maybe you'll have the chance to share the images with someone who's been wondering if they might be able to build something if they just put their mind to it.

And you'll become the gentle nudge they've been waiting for.