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post #1 of 6 Old 03-29-2014, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Making moulding planes?

Hey folks. I have about six feet of 3/4" maple that I bought for a project and decided not to use. It's about 6" wide, flatsawn, unexpectedly free of cup, twist, or any other warping, and appears reasonably dry: I don't have a moisture meter yet, though I'm planning to get one soonish.

One option I'm considering is making some moulding planes. I know that I want a set of match planes for 3/4" stock, so this seems like reasonable wood to start with, although I'd have to add a fence to both, possibly by laminating on some half-inch maple. I'd also like some hollows and rounds, although that looks more complex. The match planes seem like a relatively simple place to start (make a grooving plane, then use it to shape the tonguing plane), and I can work my way up from there.

Obviously quartersawn 4/4 or thicker stock would be better, and beech is traditional, but does anyone know of a good reason why this couldn't be made to work? It'll be a while before I try starting this project, since I'll need to get irons and I'm planning to buy the "Making Side Escapement Planes" video and watching it before starting the project. But I'd like to be thinking about it if it's possible, with an intent of starting in a couple of months if I'm going to.

Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-29-2014, 06:20 PM
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Andy, I've never made any, but my only reservation would be the flatsawn instead of quartersawn and the potential for movement.

I guess if it were me, I'd go ahead with construction and see what happens - any lamination you do will help. Worst case scenario, wood moves some and you need to replace plane bodies. You will still have irons/wedges that are good as well as the experience of having built them once.

BTW - I assume this board is hard maple not soft?

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post #3 of 6 Old 03-29-2014, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! That was more or less my thinking as well; the odds are good that these won't be perfect, being the first I've made, but the irons should be close to it and can be reused.

As to hard or soft... I found it on a clearance rack at Home Depot, and got it for a song, which is why I bought it without thinking the project through. The label just said "Maple". The end grain is a consistent light color, with no streaks, and I can't leave much of a mark on the corner with my thumbnail. Based on that I'm inclined to guess that it's hard maple, but I really don't know for sure.
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-30-2014, 07:19 AM
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Andy why not what do you stand to lose, just a bit of your time really.

Its only when you start making tools that you realize just why it is that they are made the way they are. Things that you just do not notice like the irons on moulding planes are set at a different angle to bench planes, and while hollows and rounds may seam easy to start with there is actually a formula for working out the cambers involved and it is not add hock.

I really like strike buttons on wooden planes they stop the plane and the iron from getting beat up.You don't really see strike buttons on moulding planes but why?

They are both set up in the same manner, in fact it was the endless tap, tap, tap that first put me off wooden planes a long time ago.
I still use wooden planes but very specialized planes like spar planes, ship planes, scraper planes with serrated edges and my scrub plane.

Most of the journeymen that I leaned from had at least a half set of hollows and rounds and other shapes of moulding planes in their tool box's but they would only come out now and again for odd shapes that there where no knifes for the machine, but they had the knowledge of how to use them and mark them with set of angle because not every moulding plane is held up right when in use.

Any way have fun enjoy it. Billy
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post #5 of 6 Old 04-01-2014, 08:13 PM
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Hello Andy
I use hard maple for my planes everyday. As far as movement I run across planes Leon Robbins (my mentor and friend) made 15-20 years ago and they work as good as the day they were born.
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post #6 of 6 Old 04-01-2014, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! I know I'd seen a recommendation for maple for benches, suggesting it shared many characteristics with beech, but I wasn't certain on planes.

How much does flatsawn versus quarter sawn matter, do you know?

Money's a bit scarce this month (over $1000 in unexpected expenses in March, so I'm making up in April), but I'll probably treat myself to a few irons in May. I may grab some 3/4" pine to work out sequencing before I get the irons, though.
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