Self-Made Shoulder Plane
Well I did it..I started it at least...after a long time of putting it off and doing other things, I finally spent some time in front of the Milling Machine and began fabricating my first self-made hand plane.
I have had a few plane ideas floating around in my head for quite some time. I am an accomplished Machinist and did a stint at Lie Nielsen as well, so I am well versed in hand plane machining, but I decided to start out with a relatively safe design first. I saw a Shoulder Plane design I liked in a Shop Notes magaizine a few months back and decided to base my new plane off that. I did decide to change a few things however.
They made their plane out of carbon-steel and brass, while mine will be made entirely of stainless. There are two reasons for that. At work we have a ton of 316L stainless steel billets, flat bar and sheet goods, and because I love how shiny polished stainless steel can get. About the only other change was the sole. They dovetailed brass plate onto a mild-steel sole, while mine sole is machined from a solid stainless steel billet. This will add a little more heft to the smallish plane and be down low so the balance should be better.
Other than that I left my plane to be pretty much like it is in the magazine article. I figure machining a low angle plane can be tricky enough without adding a design of mine from start to finish. I figure my first try should at least have some semblance of hope to it.!!
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"