Building a Infill Shoulder plane
I while ago I picked up what I believe is a MATHIESON copy of a shoulder plane. I decided to copy the copy.
Here is a Mathieson Guide
- Sides are 1/8″ steel
- Lower inside is 1/2″ steel (making the sole metal)
- Pins are 1/4″ brass rod
- Infill and wedge is rosewood
I ordered this metal from Enco. 1/2″ thick for the center, and 1/8″ thick for the sides.
Here is the Enco stock numbers.
- 415-1701 1/2 X 2 1/2 X 24 LOW CARBON FLAT STOCK
- 415-0221 1/8 X 5 X 24 LOW CARBON FLAT STOCK
I’ve had this bandsaw for a long time. I don’t remember where I got it, but its extremely handy, but if you don’t have one, a hacksaw will work as well.
Note the marks for the escapement is laid out but not cut yet in this image. Once the escapement is cut and the plane assembled, the wedge can be fitted. In thi image it is rough out large for final fitting later.
This point it crucial: you must get the mouth opening correct. This will depend on the angle, the thickness of the blade and other factors. I lay this out and mark it. You want to error on to small of an opening because the bottom can be milled up. Milling up will open the mouth. When I made this, I did not yet have my milling machine, so milling would have meant a belt sander. I wanted it right on.
Put the sides together along with the back bedding. Once that was bolted together I slid the front sole piece in, use a clamp to hold it, and did another dry fit with the cutter.
Note further down I mention I used the cutter from the original shoulder plane. That was thicker than the blade I made. Its best to make the blade first.
Cut the parts as shown. The total width will need to be the width of your plane. In this case, we have 1/2″ center, and 2 sides 1/8″ each for a 3/4″ shoulder plane.
I dry fit with bolts. The take the bolts out and peen the brass rod.
I was a bit concerned about the space between these joints, but so far my concerns have been unfounded. The blade protects it enough no shavings ever hit it.
This was rough cut one each individual side. Once fitted together I filed it smooth and even.
Reem the holes from both sides. The taper helps hold the plane together. When you peen the rods, it expands the metal to form a wedge.
I leave the ends long until it’s together and cut it all at once to ensure it’s even.
The bedded angle on this plane is 12 degrees.
Final fitting of the wedge should take it to slightly above the top edge if the bevel.
Notice the wedge slides down a little to far. That’s because I used the blade out of the original plane as I was making the plane. Then I made a new blade out of an old planer blade. It was thinner metal, so the wedge goes in a little to far. Eventually I’ll find a thicker blade, or make a wider wedge. Lesson learned.