This first thing to do when you want to flatten the sole of a plane is to check whether it needs flattening at all. There are two reasons that you might choose not to flatten the sole 1. It is too far gone to be worth bothering with 2. It is perfectly flat enough for your purposes.
I employ two tests to before deciding what to do. First, I make sure the iron is fully retracted and I lay the plane sole down on a flat surface (in this case a ceramic tile that I’ve checked with a straight edge). I then use a 5 thou (.127 mm) feeler gauge and se if I can slide it underneath the plane at any point. If I can, then I probably won’t go any further with flattening, I’d consider turning it into a scrub plane, for really rough work (something that I might do with one of my #4s or my#5½).
Before we begin our restoration project, I thought it would be appropriate to talk a little about our hand plane, and to find out some information about it. It turns out that there are two important numbers associated with Stanley hand planes – one tells you their size, the other their age.
This box began as merely an exercise in practising dovetails. I had no idea of my first efforts at dovetailing would be good enough for this project to be anything other than scrap. Now I’m not saying that my maiden dovetails are perfect, or even that they are good. All I know is that they are not bad, and so I thought that they would be good enough for something.
Then, it came to me. I have a number of small tools that I use for marking out – dividers, compasses, square, knife, and my dovetail template among them. This box would be perfect to store them in. It could sit on my bench, keeping dust and moisture off these tools until they are needed. Continue reading “Lid inlay – Dovetail box #3”→