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Thread: Exotic Handplane Material Question

  1. #1

    Exotic Handplane Material Question

    As you guys all know, I am privy to some pretty interesting exotic materials, and with machinists skills and access to a machine shop, I can build pretty much anything. Time is another factor, but one such material I have at my disposal right now is some Carbon Fiber. It's pretty thick and of a sizable amount. I have been machining it all week and now I am wondering if you could mill a plane out of the material? I guess the question is, are the properties right for a hand plane?

    About the only thing I know about it is that it is super light, strong and makes you itch like crazy when you mill 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!"

  2. #2
    Travis

    If you're itching, I hope you're wearing a mask!

    Don't know anything about the material so I'm interested to see what others say. My uneducated guess is that even if it is possible the light weight might be a downside. I notice that when I use my heavier jack plane I have a easier time even though the blade is wider than its smaller "brother"

    Jay

  3. #3
    Alan DuBoff is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    I think it would work. I don't think it's used mostly because it's not common material, and for small QTYs it probably cost $$$s. It's stable material though, so there's a possibility it will work fine.

  4. #4
    Yeah it may be the stuff. It seems rather odd that they would use such expensive material for hoods, but if they want to reduce the weight of the truck, then yeah they might use it. The last I knew they used fiberglass which is a lot different stuff.

    I know they use carbon fiber to make sailboats, or at least we do at work. Very light stuff for its strength. But as many boats as we have built over the years, only two have been carbon fiber boats. As I said, its very strong, but expensive stuff. I think it exceeds aluminum in strength but I am not sure.

    The weight issue does not really bother me as I have learned that adding strategically placed lead in just the right areas can balance the plane exceedingly well and is very easy to work with. That would give it the heft I need, but with some control.

    I just thought a carbon fiber plane might be kind of different.
    Last edited by Travis Johnson; 08-04-2007 at 11:15 AM.
    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!"

  5. #5
    Alright...bad idea, I will scrap this one.
    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!"

  6. #6
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    Would it be worth trying for knobs & totes? I would think the stuff might be darn near indestructable???
    --------------------------------------------
    Link to my ongoing ClearVue DC Install on CV's site: http://www.gallery2.clearvuecyclones...s-Mini-CV1400/

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Johnson View Post
    Alright...bad idea, I will scrap this one.
    What ended up being the deal-breaker? (Sounded kind of cool to me.)
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    What ended up being the deal-breaker? (Sounded kind of cool to me.)
    I think its just the wrong type of material, properties wise, for what I would want out of a hand plane.
    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!"

  9. #9
    Alan DuBoff is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    Travis,

    Check out this thread over on cnczone, while not exactly what you were talking about, look at the mold that was milled. Seems to resemble a plane, in a way, if you squint in a dark room!

    Seriously, I think what you suggest could work. If it will have enough weight or not, I don't know. But that mold looks similar to what you want to do, other than it doesn't have a blade in it.

  10. #10
    Interesting, I never thought of making a plane out of glass!! Just kidding of course, but a carbon fiber plane might be doable. I have been getting a lot of work done on my hand plane. I set it down for quite awhile, but finally picked it back up again and starting fussing with it.

    The hand plane I am referring to is the shoulder plane I started some time ago. I had some issues with it and have been working with it some to get it up to par. So far I have turned a adjuster knob for it, that way every piece on it is polished stainless. I added a stainless finish nut underneath the brass knob which I am considering re-turning out of stainless...again just to have an all stainless steel shoulder plane.

    I got a couple of ripples in my brass rivets and I am rethinking of redoing the rivets as well. I am not sure though. I could improve the plane, or all the pounding could mess it up even worse. You can see the dimples in one of the pins in the picture. Its to the far right, just underneath the adjuster. The smaller brass pin.

    I had real high hopes for this plane, but now those hopes are starting to fade. I guess I should not be to discouraged though, not to many woodworkers make their own hand planes starting from scratch, and I suppose the first try won't look like jewelry!

    Here is a picture of it though as it now stands. I placed a quarter in the picture so that you can see this plane is polished to a mirror finish...

    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!"

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