New Irons for the Record 44 plow plane

I am in the middle of working on a tool chest which I will post later based on some Paul Sellers plans.  Making the drawers required a groove for some 1/4″ plywood.  Of course most of us know 1/4″ plywood is not 1/4″ plywood, its actually thinner. So my plan was to file down a iron for the Record 44 to match up to the plywood.  Didn’t seem right to do that with an original set so I ordered up a new set from Ebay in the UK.  Yep, the UK and they arrived in 7 days!  Pricing was still better than buying them from Veritas (could use in the record 43).

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Turns out I didn’t need to grind one down, I got away with the 3/16 and a little planing of the panel on the edges.  A very nice set of irons for the Record 44 and they fit great!  So now my plow planes are all set.

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Working Wood 1&2 Hand Carved Spoons

After making the spatulas from Paul Sellers book I decided to try my hand at making a wooden spoons.   I broke the last wooden spoon I had and figured I could give this a shot and make some new ones with larger handles.  I stopped into Paxton Lumber in Denver and founds some maple cutoffs in the 50c per board foot box. Score!

I had a set of two plastic spoons that I do like that I used for a template.  I would go with bigger handles to make them easier to hold and harder to break.

Tools used:

  • Band Saw (trimming down blanks)
  • Record 151 Flat Bottom Spokeshave
  • Record 151 Round Bottom Spokeshave (optional)
  • Two Cherries Carving Gouge 7/20
  • 180 Sandpaper
  • Record Vise
  • Mallet

First step, trace out the spoons. You can see I fit 5 on this board.  2 small ones and 3 large.

 

 

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Using a Two Cherries 7/20 gouge I started to carve out the spoons.

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I got lots of practice as I had 6 to work on.  Much easier to get it all out of the way while the board clamps solidly in the vise.  I used the smaller spoon as the inside template for the large spoon.  For the two small spoons I just moved the small spoon I was using as a template and retraced it a few times until I had a good 1/4″ boarder.  The gouge laughed at the maple and cut through it without much trouble.  I have not learned how to sharpen the gouge yet, it made it through the spoons without dulling.

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The first 5 spoons carved out ready for the bandsaw to trim them out.  2 blanks that are ready for the spokeshave.

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The other board was extra thick so I made a deeper spoon.

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Roughed out and ready to go.  I did take this one back to the bandsaw to trim the top as maple is hard wood and that is mainly end grain. The large spoon I trimmed the handle as well since this one would be a flat handle unlike the others which are round.

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Let the trimming begin.  Sharpened the Record 151 flat bottomed spokeshave and got to work.  First starting with a thick cut and then fine tuning for the finish work.  Maple is not the softest of woods but this sharp spokeshave made quick work of it.  Grain direction was elusive sometimes, I was changing directions regularly until I figured things out to minimize the tear-out.

I started with the spoon part first, doing one side then the other.  I would occasionally use the round bottom Record 151 spokeshave for the tight curves where the spoon met the handle.  The round bottom was much harder to use but I am starting to get used to it.

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Once all the trimming was done I would finish each spoon off with a scraper to remove any tear-out and spokeshave lines.  Made for a pretty good looking spoon.

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The final set of 6 ready for finish, most likely mineral oil.

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Are they perfect, no.  I could have sanded the ends of the handles on the belt sander for a nice slick round end.  I chose to round them instead with the super sharp spokeshave and leave them uneven.  The Record 151 did quite well on the end grain.  I have seen places recommend a low angle version for end grain.  Maybe down the road I’ll try a low angle spokeshave or get a kit like this one from Tools for Working Wood.  In the mean time,  a very sharp 151 works just fine.

The spoons got better with each one I did.  I did a rough pass and then a fine finish pass to clean things up.  Multiple rounds with the scrapers and putting them in the sun to see marks.  Maple is quite hard and did not make things easy but the results are well worth the work.

I did sharpen 3 times I think throughout the process.  Maybe overkill but I am just getting used to both the tools and the sharpening process.  Each honing took about 3 minutes, just enough to bring em back on the water stones, 1000/4000/8000.  Possibly a strop is in order next time I get to Tandy to bring back the edge a bit without honing.

Record 44 Plow Plane Arrived From England Today

Well I had a Record 43 plow plane I picked up from Jim Bode Tools for 75 bucks with shipping included.  What is a plow plane you ask?  It is a plane that cuts a groove in wood, like a dado blade on a table saw or  a straight bit on a router.  The blog Hand Made in Wood had a nice post on the Record 43.  Then as I am watching Paul Sellers Woodworking Masters Class (15 bucks a month, an absolute steal!!!!) on building a tool chest I see I need a 3/8″ plow plane.  Well crap, my Record 43 only goes to 5/16!  I read I could fit a 3/8 iron in my Record 43 but I could not find any on ebay.  I think I could have stuffed a chisel in there as well but what fun is that.

So the search began for a Record 44 when I found one on Ebay in England for 30 pounds.  No one bid on it, apparently Records are all over England and the locals must have thought it was over priced.  Well it was right priced for me.  Shipping was 20 pounds.  So a grand total of 87 dollars.  2 1/2 weeks later Fed Ex delivers it to my door 🙂 from across the ocean.

I didn’t realize it came in the original box, the top was not attached to the box as the tape had worn out but otherwise it was a barely touched plane with all the cutters.

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The cutting irons all the way from 1/8″ to 9/16″  and I am told you can go bigger but who needs more than that.  I can also use these in the 43.  The grooves provide for depth of cut adjustment on the Record 45, very cool.  The irons are not razor sharp so I have some honing to do.

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The plane in parts.  It came with both short and long guide bars for the fence.  That pesky lever cap that holds down the irons needs to be tied to the handle, they have a habit of jumping ship.  So much so you can find the plans to make a replacement here http://www.oocities.org/plybench/levercap.pdf. The site also has some Record history here http://www.oocities.org/plybench/record.html.

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Here it is with the short guide bars installed.

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And another shot of the box.

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This is going to be a user.  For 162 bucks I got 2 plow planes and complete sets of irons.  They can cut grooves for panels, moldings, etc.  Its quicker and easier to set up than my router.  Alas I could have bought the Lee Valley, its pretty but its new and 275 dollars plus shipping and only adds 3 wider widths (advantage, they make left handed versions).  Can’t wait to start on Paul’s tool chest.