Mitre Plane Restoration By RS Woodworks Part 2

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Authored By:  – RS Woodworks

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So now that the plane is cleaned, and the sole and right side made true, I’ll next focus my attention on the iron and wedge.
The bed angle of this plane is 21.5*. It will be important to keep this in mind when I choose at which angle to sharpen the iron. It is, of course, a bevel up plane meant for primarily end grain cutting.

The blade that came with the plane is probably original, and has lots of life left. It’s an I Sorby blade with the “Mr. Punch” mark. It’s not the thickest blade I’ve come across, but it’s tapered and the business end is plenty thick and fits well with the existing wedge angle.

The wedge shape in this plane is, IMHO, terrible. So it will be reshaped. I can’t remember who said it recently, but someone making a plane said they like to look around the shop at other tools for inspiration on shapes. I did just that. I found a beautiful moulding plane made by Madox in the mid to late 1700’s. The shape of this planes wedge is as fine as can be with a beautiful round end and a “half smile” cove. I will use it as my template.
More details with the pictures. Thanks for following along!


Here is the bed angle.


The iron as it came with the plane. It will be cleaned and honed later.


I don’t really know why they call this guy “Mr. Punch”. But that’s his name.


The existing wedge shape. (Shudder…)


Tell me the Madox wedge isn’t a much finer shape?


The Madox mark, Mr. J Empson liked his name better I guess.


The wedges compared.


And seeing how the shape will look in the plane. I like it!


When cut down, I will lose the owners stamps on the wedge, losing a bit of its history. But a sacrifice I’m willing to make.


I tape up the wedge and then trace the Madox wedge shape onto it.


Ok now the fun begins. The point of no return. I clamp the wedge in my leg vise, and first follow the wedge angle back using my Japanese Kugihiki (flush cut saw).


Next, I cut down with my Veritas small carcass saw.


I make several cuts down to the line so I’ll be able to easily remove the waste. The mahogany cuts easily


Next, I use my Knew Concepts coping saw to follow the curves and remove the waste.


As you can see, I cut a bit too deep here


The rough shape is now cut out. Much better than the bulbous shape before.


I don’t have any fancy hand cut rasps (although I’d love to get some one day). So I just use files I have on hand. I’ve never bought a new file, but I’ve made some great garage sale finds!


I use a half round to refine the “half smile” shape between the wedge angle and the round.


I constantly check my work and mark the high spots so I know where to continue filing. The mahogany is relatively soft so it cuts easily.


Nearly there!


This is as far as I need to go. These surfaces are just left from my cheap files. I do the last few passes with a light touch and even a cheap file can leave a fine surface. The rest will be cleaned up with sand paper.


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