Sunday, August 26, 2012

Shaped planes, Part III

In the shaped planes business we have now made two planes, a hollow and a round. The former is convex and the latter concave. Confusing, isn't it? But the object of all this is to make picture frames. Today I made a section of a frame in scrap wood. To see what I am aiming at, I urge you to watch a video.

I have been trying now for fifteen minutes to get this stupid editor to put in the correct reference, but is seems incapable of doing so; I add that this is not my first rodeo. So go to

Google, do you ever listen? Do you wonder why so many people are moving over to wordpress? Be warned. Your editor is awful.

Anyway, if you watch this video you will see how a real pro does it. Note all the planes he uses. Note the way he roughs it out before he applies the shaped planes. This is what I attempted to replicate.

So I found a piece of scrap pine, left over from some of John's projects, and proceeded to copy the video. I am quite pleased with the results.
It takes quite an arsenal of planes to do the frame, at the bottom of the picture. There are two commercial planes. Obvious in the picture, topmost and bottom-most. They are rabbet planes from Veritas, one about a 18mm wide, at the top of the pic. Very bottom is a tiny duplicate no more than 6mm wide. In the video the artisan uses a plow plane, but although I have one it is of no use in a piece this short, ohh 15 cm long. Fence won't track properly. I use it to cut grooves, as I would use a plow if only the fence would track. . Strange name, "rabbet." It is actually a USA corruption of the British name, "rebate." The bottom-most edge of the "frame" has been rebated (on the wrong side, too. This is why we do practice pieces). Purpose of the rabbet/rebate is to give you a shelf into which you put your priceless painting.

Then there are my two shaped planes. The hollower gave me a lot of trouble but it did, in the end, its job. I am going to have to remake the hollower. Well, live and learn. I made so many mistakes with the hollower that I can't begin to count. I think I will resort to a simpler design given in David Fink's book Making and Mastering Wood Planes (q.g.). It will use a much more rigid blade cut out of a circular saw blade. Different approach. Stay tuned.

But in summary I am quite happy. I have learned much. For one thing, if you had to make a real frame with four sides to it, your chances of getting exactly the same profile on all four sides, done independently, are nil. It will never match up. I will have to cut the profile in a piece of wood long enough to do the whole frame. Interesting. Of course you could do the sides and top/bottom in different profiles, but how do you match up at the corners? Lots of stuff to think about.

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