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Metal body bench/block plane for woodworking?

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I am looking for plans for metal body bench and block planes. As an avid woodworker, I have wanted to make a couple as projects and thought I would ask here.

The publication Shop Notes had a couple - here they are. Any tips to sources or perhaps examples you've done would be appreciated.

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Dave Paine

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Nice pictures. I do not know about plans. I have not yet built my own infill plane, but I milled a really bad Stanley #5 knock-off to be the body for my first attempt.

Don at TimeTestedTools has made some nice infill planes. He likely does not have plans, but you can read his posts on building his infill planes.

TimeTestedTools infill planes
 

mikey

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Japanese Kanna! If you haven't tried them, you should.
 

mksj

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You might look at the site below for ideas. Looks like you could use a steel shoe with brass or bronze sides, and dovetail the two together given that you have a mill. The other alternative is to have the body cast at a foundry, you could design the body maybe with a 3D printer? Years ago when I was building boats I fabricated molds that we sent to foundries to cast bronze healing bearings for the rudder, and other parts. Was fun to see the process and the end result. There are some posting of individuals casting iron planes, but need to get the correct metallurgy. Some of the plane parts are available the online vendors like Woodcraft. I have an assortment of planes from many decades ago, my go to plane is still a Japanese hardwood pull type (same as the Kanna) that must be 50+ years old.
http://sauerandsteiner.blogspot.com/
KPA5-2.jpg
 

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Eddyde

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Never built a plane but I do know how to sharpen and tune one up, nothing more satisfying than getting one perfect shaving from the entire length of a board...
 

TerryH

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I've no plans to build my own plane although I have several Bedrocks and such that I restored. Those are seriously gorgeous though!
 
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You might look at the site below for ideas. Looks like you could use a steel shoe with brass or bronze sides, and dovetail the two together given that you have a mill. The other alternative is to have the body cast at a foundry, you could design the body maybe with a 3D printer? Years ago when I was building boats I fabricated molds that we sent to foundries to cast bronze healing bearings for the rudder, and other parts. Was fun to see the process and the end result. There are some posting of individuals casting iron planes, but need to get the correct metallurgy. Some of the plane parts are available the online vendors like Woodcraft. I have an assortment of planes from many decades ago, my go to plane is still a Japanese hardwood pull type (same as the Kanna) that must be 50+ years old.
http://sauerandsteiner.blogspot.com/
View attachment 267351
Thanks for the inspiration Mark. I checked that blog out and the examples there are spectacular.
 

pacifica

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I've built a number of hand planes, I would recommend pining the sides, not dovetails.
Match the sides to the base, drill and thread holes, attach with screws.
Process is not as easy as it looks, but with precision you can end up with a plane as good as the most high end products by sauer and steiner, Holtey, Ron Brees., though probably not the first time:apologize:
Or you can buy a kit to build one.
 

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Pacifica, very, very nice!

How is the stairstep nose done? How 'bout anohter photo or two? Many thanks.
 

Joez71

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Try "Making and Modifying Woodworking Tools" by Jim Kingshott, ISBN 0946819327
There are plans and instructions for two different dovetailed planes as well as a plethora of other tools and wooden planes.
 
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Try "Making and Modifying Woodworking Tools" by Jim Kingshott, ISBN 0946819327
There are plans and instructions for two different dovetailed planes as well as a plethora of other tools and wooden planes.
Thanks Joe, a very good tip.

I actually bought that book a few days ago based on a tip from another forum. As you may know, it is out of print and they can be a bit pricey now. I did find one in decent shape on eBay and have it on the way. Here's a lisitng photo of the one I bought and it is in the mail (have a tracking number).

1526347565757.png
 
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You might look at the site below for ideas. Looks like you could use a steel shoe with brass or bronze sides, and dovetail the two together given that you have a mill. The other alternative is to have the body cast at a foundry, you could design the body maybe with a 3D printer? Years ago when I was building boats I fabricated molds that we sent to foundries to cast bronze healing bearings for the rudder, and other parts. Was fun to see the process and the end result. There are some posting of individuals casting iron planes, but need to get the correct metallurgy. Some of the plane parts are available the online vendors like Woodcraft. I have an assortment of planes from many decades ago, my go to plane is still a Japanese hardwood pull type (same as the Kanna) that must be 50+ years old.
http://sauerandsteiner.blogspot.com/
View attachment 267351
Mark, I have been enjoying the Blogspot you linked. It has archives in it, other links and it is great to see all the work through the lenses it provides. It is astounding.

I am wondering how they make the coffin planes. Looks like some of the bodies may be derived from a steel blank? Wondering if it is CNC'd and then polished or how they go about it.

BTW, your idea to print a mold blank and get some bronze castings made is quite interesting. The issue of course is the lack of foundrys now. I need to look into the mold idea a bit deeper.

It's been fun to dig into all this and dream a bit. Thanks!
 
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mksj

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There does seem to be quite a few small scale specialty metal foundries that cast a wide range of materials. I did note that some use 3D printing, although in the past I have used wood molds and lost wax method. The 3D would allow more intricate work and would be pretty easy with your Fusion 360 abilities. Some of the bronze alloys are very durable and corrosion resistance. Might be interesting to also look into SS alloys or other materials. If you have access to a 3D printer you could do some prototyping to get the size and feel you want. Might see if any other individuals would be interested for multiple castings.

A few examples of what seems small scale one off foundries.
https://monettmetals.com/
http://www.texasmetalcasting.com/index.php
http://www.montclairbronze.com/foundry/
https://www.patriotfoundry.com/services/alloy-casting/

It been a long time since I did fine woodworking, and I forgot about Lee Valley Veritas which had a lot of quality specialty wood working items.
On the coffin plane, seems like some form of hardwood is the preferred material, lots of online information on making them and parts.
http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/Page.aspx?p=71379&cat=1,230,41182,46334
 

pacifica

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I believe attaching sides to a base yields a superior plane. easier to square sides to base, metal selection(360 brass, aluminum bronze, 260 brass, o-1 steel, 1018 steel, 4140 steel, ...you get the idea). No warpage( we're dealing with thousandth's tolerance for a great plane), no movement like wood,
easier to customize.

Casting yields to multiples of the same shape, more of a factory style.

You can buy the base which has already been casted, but are limited to design. https://www.stjamesbaytoolco.com/

check work by karl holtey, anderson planes, lazarus toolworks, Sauer and Steiner,Daed toolworks,Juan vergara,Marcou planes to see some of the latest work(sorry jim kingshott)
 
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