Hand Tools Archive

Re: Tell me where I'm wrong..(skew shooting infill

david weaver
Not that anyone is looking at this (I can tell, the posts where you talk about making something don't get much press - but that's sort of understandable given that they're more statements than anything else), but in case someone wonders why there's a stub pin on one side of the plane and not the other, here's why:

The sole of an infill plane needs to end with pins on both ends. The mouth area also needs to have pins on each end of the mouth. Normally, you'd take a straight-ironed plane and lay out the pins and tails on both sides and mark them at the same time. If this plane had brass sides, it would look funny (but the stub pin side is the side that will be down on the shooting board), but brass is sticky feeling compared to steel, so I didn't use it. It is a bit easier to work with using only hand tools (cuts really easily, you can literally cut it with a coping saw).

Anyway, on a skew-mouthed plane, you can't lay the pins and tails out identically. you have to lay out the pins at the sides of the mouth and then work from there. For me (laziness), this becomes a situation where I stop and go back up to my computer and lay out the pins and tails precisely by taking the remaining measurements between the three must-be-pins at the ends of the plane and at the mouth and doing a neat job dividing up the space, or ....more realistically, I just lay them out by eye, flip the plane over and if I end up with a pygmy pin or tail, that's just the end of it. I don't intend for the dovetails to show after draw filing and finishing the metal, so they should be invisible. I have a lot of planes on my rack.

The more important thing is that the pins and tails fit the files that I have on hand. Pen and paper and calculator (or spreadsheet) would've been required if the sides were brass. I'm not using a mill, so the pins don't all have the same angle, either. I cut them square and then file the tail taper on them by eye (pins first).

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