True confessions: I’m a tool addict. I love tools. I could almost imagine being a tool collector, but that doesn’t quite ring true for me. I like using the tools and making things too much. But it’s that close.
I like to make tools too. I made a few chisels and wooden planes years ago when I was doing power tool woodworking. I gave away most of the chisels as gifts, but I still have this one. It’s O1 tool steel on the bottom, forge welded to a steel and nickel damascus billet. I shaped the handle to fit my hand, with the idea of using it to pare joints.
Lately I’ve been thinking about making some metal bodied planes. My first thought was a “Lancashire pattern shoulder plane” like this one. It’s an interesting design and I haven’t seen a lot of them around. I’ve been collecting pictures of them, and there is a lot going for this design over a standard shoulder plane – like the skewed blade and the handle.
But lately I’ve been leaning toward a miter plane. Since I had my CAD software fired up last night to program the toolpaths for the plane adjusting hammer I started doodling around with some ideas for a Scottish Mitre plane.
I started with the basic geometry, 15″ long, 10 degree bed angle, bevel up, 25 degree primary bevel, 1/4″ thick by 2″ wide blade. The throat is 1/3 of the way back from the front. I mapped out the basic dimensions in SolidWorks and then just roughed in a design. I’m not totally happy with it, but it’s a starting point. I need to look at more images of traditional infill mitre planes, and just stare at this one for a while. I think it needs to be a bit wider, and I want to play with different shapes for the side profile. Some mitre planes are flat across the top, I think that would help with the alignment when shooting. Since I a low bed angle I need to have the back cut away for the blade to exit. But this is how design works for me – I get a first cut done, then make alternate versions and see what works visually.