I’ve been very busy with work and other projects and haven’t had much chance to take this plane any further, but it is now nearly complete.
I’m surprised I didn’t notice this when cutting or filing the wedge, but I could sure tell when I started sanding – the wood for the wedge is made of Teak, not mahogany as I had thought. Still, a nice enough piece of wood.
I finished scraping, sanding and fitting the wedge. The original angle was just fine to hold the iron tight, so I didn’t change it.
I then sharpened and honed the iron. I have developed a method for sharpening my irons that works well for me. I’m not going to get into the process here as there is enough info and debate on how to do this already out there. Just choose what works for you. But I chose to create the primary bevel at 22.5*. With the 21.5* bed angle, this gives a 44* cutting angle, with a very slight secondary bevel, we’ll call it 45*.
Once sharpened, I wanted to install the iron and do some test cuts to ensure that the iron stayed snug in use and could produce fine shavings. It did! I used a piece of cherry and repeatedly took very fine end grain shavings on the shooting board and guided by hand only.
The last step was to finish the wedge. The shape now is sure far more pleasing then the original shape, don’t you think? I refined the shape of the wedge tip to match the profile of the bridge. Then, after sanding the wedge, the bottom only to 150 grit, and the rest to 220 (it doesn’t need to be super smooth), I gave it a good slather in red mahogany gel stain. Maybe some future owner will once again be fooled into thinking the wood is mahogany!
Thanks for following along!
The back of the iron flattened and smoothed. It took quite a while to achieve this, and there is still a bit of pitting in the one corner, but it will do for now.
The bevel, my camera didn’t want to focus on it, but you can still see my Ashley Isles chisels and a drawknife hanging in the background. A mirror shine.
The completed wedge shape.
The first test cuts!
Super fine end grain shavings!
I need to refine the wedge end to match.
Nearly complete and working fine!
With its original inspiration, the Maddox plane in the background.
Time to darken up the wedge a bit. I’ll post pics later of the final result!
Mitre Plane Restoration – Final Update
Last I left you, I had slathered some red mahogany gel stain onto the wedge and left it like that. After wiping the extra off, it was quite red. I then added a coat of ebony stain to darken it up. Once dry, I sprayed on 2 quick shots of shellac. Then rubbed it out with Georgian Mahogany paste wax using 0000 steel wool.
The final result is, I suspect, about as close to the infill colour as I can get without a great deal of effort. The plane looks a lot better after this restoration, and its square and works perfectly for shooting! Thanks for following along!
Adding a second stain can have a very nice effect. The first stain colour becomes a base or background colour, which will show through more or less, depending on how much and how quickly you rub off the second stain.
Here is the final wedge colour. About as close to the infill colour as I think I can get.
A close match, time and use will add the dings and dents.
The original wedge.
And the new wedge!