I spent some time in the shop this weekend, but I have to say I’m really frustrated with my pace on this coffee cup cabinet.  It should be a relatively simple project, but I’m moving in slow motion for some reason.

I made the parts for the back of the cabinet out of Maple, I had just enough scrap to get this done.  It was a lot harder to cut the rabbets for the ship-laped back with my Stanley #78 in Maple than in Pine.  I spent some time flattening the back of the blade and sharpened it to the best possible edge I could and that helped.  In fact, I ended up tuning up and sharpening several of my planes which felt good.

Cutting the rabbets for the ship-lap cabinet back

Cutting the rabbets for the ship-lap cabinet back

One of these days I’m going to upgrade this to a #278 or the Veritas equivalent with the skewed blade, I know that would do a nicer job.

I’ve been thinking about why this project is taking me so long.  I’d imagined getting the carcase glued up this weekend, but ran out of steam.  The problem is the details, and right now the main detail that has be stalled is installing the knife hinges.  So far, everything on the project has gone reasonably well – but I’m afraid of screwing up installing the knife hinges.

I’ve looked at several articles that describe different approaches to installing knife hinges, but I’m stuck. I think I need to do a couple of practice pieces to get past this block.  Most of the articles I’ve seen involve using a router to clear out the waste, although I’d rather not use that approach.  I’ll have to do some experiments and see what works for me.

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5 thoughts on “Stuck

  1. When I get stuck there is usually some underlying stress such as a step in the build process which I am anxious about; usually a big potential screw up. Good luck. 🙂

  2. Practice on scrap before you do the real think and you’ll be fine

  3. handmadeinwood


    The metal fillister type planes are often problematic – at least mine was, hence the large number on Ebay!

    I have the record version with twin bars. It doesn’t mind hogging large amounts of softwood, but does struggle and passes its stress on to me when attacking hard woods, such as Oak.

    I see that you are using it bare-fenced; I did notice a big improvement in control on mine when I added a wooden face to the metal fence, about 1” deep and trimmed to be at right angles with the sole. Not only does it sit more firmly on the edge of the work, but it will also take an occasional wipe of candle wax.

    I also have a skewed Veritas…. A fine plane, but the fence arm is secured with a collett that in turn is fixed with knurled nut arrangement. when tightened by hand it has a strong urge to regularly work loose and needs tightening with grips to overcome this.

    Good luck.

    • I haven’t had a problem with the fence on mine, the main problem was pushing the thing through the hard maple. Pine is a breeze, even with a less than perfectly sharp blade and a beefy cut.

      On the maple a sharp blade made a big difference, as did a lighter cut. The tradeoff of course was that it took a lot of passes to get the rabbet done. I noticed it also tended to over cut the depth at the far end, I could compensate for that by taking fewer passes on the far end.

      But in the end, it’s just not a very comfortable plane to use, there isn’t a good place to put my off-hand.

  4. Jeff, MV – I’m sure some practice on scraps will get my technique sorted out on the knife hinge. I *hate* getting stuck on this sort of thing (the only thing I hate more is not having been stuck and screwing up the installation, so maybe this is a Good Thing?)

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