Hand Tools Archive 2009
>I see I'm going to need some kind of milling machine for this job.
I have a mill so I tend to use it if at all possible. But this project could be done without one; it was vital for shaping the lever cap and frog but if you keep the Norris lever cap shape and have a fixed mouth, a drill press will suffice. The lathe may have been more important (for center drilling pins, threading and making the cap screw).
>I haven't been following your updates, Craig. Are threaded inserts standard fare for attaching the wood to the body?
No, I haven't seen them although I used them on my last infill smoother, from the sole. In this case, what look like inserts are actually stainless 3/8" rods that extend though the bun. The rods space the sides and provide rigidity to the shell. The bun "floats" on the rods, it isn't fixed to the shell. Other infills use hollow [brass or steel] rods in infills and pein a pin though the rod. I got my idea from Rob Brese's planes, he uses aluminum rods, peins over the screw head and files them flush so you don't see them. Very pretty. In all cases, the idea is to prevent wood movement from moving the sides of the shell (for wood shrinkage anyway).