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Adventure of the Low Angle Shoulder Plane #2: Second Run

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Blog entry by Carl6108 posted 11-02-2018 03:39 AM 596 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: First Attempt Part 2 of Adventure of the Low Angle Shoulder Plane series Part 3: Finale »

For the second run, I went with metal sides and sole pieces.

Years ago I picked up from a pile of refuse a 4×4 sheet of metal that I was pretty sure was aluminum. I didn’t have an immediate need for it, but thought it might come in handy sometime. I still have most of it, having used only a square foot or less of it in the twenty years or so that I’ve had it. It had markings to indicate what it was, which I looked up; turns out it was 7075-T6 aluminum, used primarily in the aerospace industry for highly stressed parts. That 4×4 sheet retails for over $400 – not bad for a scavenging trip! Should do fine for the sides of my shoulder plane.

For the sole I had some hardware store variety steel bar, 3/16” thick. For the upper bars that would get drilled and tapped for the knobs I had some ordinary 6061 aluminum bar stock. And finally, for the infill I went with a piece of white oak as I had some with enough thickness to make the shoulder plane a total of 1-1/4” wide.

With everything cut and semi-sized, I glued it up with epoxy (the slow-set type) and tapped the pins in.

Also glued in the upper aluminum bars.

Once the glue had cured, a few minutes on the sanding machine and it was looking pretty good.

I guess I’m glossing over one detail on the sole piece: I cut the bevel at 12 degrees on it with a milling machine. I realize this may get out of the realm of most hobby woodworkers, but I have been branching out some into metalwork of late, so I happen to have a milling machine on hand. The bevel could be done on a grinder and maybe cleaned up with files.

But now, how to attach the sole? A bit unorthodox maybe, but I decided to try epoxy there too. I’ve always had pretty good results with epoxy. What’s the worst that could happen?

Well, I found out pretty quickly after that batch of glue had cured. Once again, inserted the blade and the wedge, I’m not sure I even tapped the wedge with a mallet, it might have been just a little shove and the sole fell off in my hand.

For the first time I could remember, epoxy had let me down hard. I could see there was absolutely no adhesion there at all.

So, here again, I had discovered another wrong way of doing it.

Thinking about that a bit more carefully, I can see that that spot, where the wedge presses the blade against the sole, is going to be the focal point for a lot of stress, so even if the epoxy had been at maximum adhesion, it probably still would not stand up to the stress that was going to be exerted on that spot.

Time for something really radical…

-- C. A. Jones, Millington, TN



1 comment so far

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

3596 posts in 2162 days


#1 posted 11-02-2018 10:57 AM

I enjoy your posts…keep at it and expect to see a successful plane soon.

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