I took a break from my hand tool cabinet project in order refurbish a 605 that I found at a flea market. The tote and knob were in somewhat sorry shape. And rather than repair them, I decided to make new ones. And rather than make just one set, I decided to make two out of bubinga and one out of cherry.
A while back Clint Jones (Aka: Leonard Bailey) posted a very simple method for making totes. When he posted it on Woodnet, I immediately converted it to a MS Word document and printed out a color copy. It's such a simple process that I figured even I could do it!
I also used some tips gleaned from other posts. One tip was to wrap a piece of wooden dowel in sand paper and use that like a "fine" rasp. That worked wonders!
The other was to use a piece of all thread and some hex nuts as a holder for the tote. I was using my machinist's vice to hold that all thread. But after a while I found I wasn't getting the work piece positioned as well as I'd like.
It was then that I remembered that I now owned a Veritas Carver's Vice. So I took the time and made a plywood stand/holder for it. And once I attached my all thread "tote carving post" to the pedestal, it was an almost magical experience. I was able to move that work piece around and get every angle.
My other great "discovery" while making these totes was that a 2" dia velcro packed sanding pad held in a drill press works just as well at sanding totes as it does bowls. I was sanding "shoe shine fashioned" with strips of cloth backed sandpaper. But that was slow going. The drill press (on slow speed) made short work of the sanding. Here are some photos of the almost completed tote. I still need to sand a bit more (on the base). But it's nearly completed.
Turning the knobs should be a piece of cake. An old pen mandrel will work perfectly for this applications. I'll probably end up making a set of bushings so that I can automate the process more. I have a lot of planes that would look cool(er) with new totes and knobs!
See ya around,