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Norris Planes


   
 

Making and Using Tools - Planes, Scrapers, and Shaves


 
  Miter Plane Construction by Richard Arnold 1 of 6  

The first plane I ever made was a low angle miter plane.

This may seem a bit of an odd choice for a first attempt.

 

In fact it does have some advantages over a conventional bench plane build. One of the major hurdles to overcome is finding the right materials, but with this build I hope I can show that by doing a bit of recycling it's possible to use some very high quality wood and steel without breaking the bank.

The first thing to look for is an old 22" wooden try plane, preferably one damaged or missing some parts. Here in the UK, try planes can be picked up for next to nothing, but the beech they are made from is always top notch, and due to its age is going to be well seasoned.

The other main component we need is a good iron. Again, old Sheffield laminated irons are plentiful on the second hand market, and are possibly some of the best blades ever made. It's important to look for one that has had little wear, and is preferably 7 3/8" or longer. The width is not to critical and anything between 2"-2-1/4" will be fine.

Traditionally mitre planes would be fitted with an uncut iron, but there is no disadvantages with using a cut iron for this project.

 The rear section of a try plane will generally give you a piece of timber just under 12" long for the body. The hight is dictated by how far the tote has been let into the body, bt hopefully it won't be much less than 2".

There are no real set measurements for this build as it's defined by how much wood you can salvage, and the width of cutter you are using.

The length can be optimized by leaving a small portion of the bed slope in. This can be incorporated into the rounded heel of the finished body. Don't discard the front end of the try plane, as this will be used for the wedge and mouth closer!

One of the things I have learnt from my plane making is how crucial it is to spend time making sure the stock is prepared as accurately as possible. It's very important that it is perfectly square and parallel before any setting out is carried out.


 
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W. & S. Butcher



Preston Planes



   

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