Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pin up

So years from now *touch wood* I'll probably look back at the indignities that I've subjected my planes to with a certain amount of embarrassment, but for now, it is what it is....

Japanese planes are subtle creatures imbued with a quiet dignity. Or they are a chunk of wood with a big piece of metal inserted into the top, I'm not sure which. While I no longer feel any particular passion for those super expensive infill planes that look like jewelry and cost a second mortgage, I am not entirely immune to a bit of flair (and I don't need 37 pieces to show it!).

Out with the old...
Yeah, kinda flashy, I know. I live on the Oregon coast where everything rusts and/or turns green. You should see my car. I wash it twice a year, whether it needs it or not, but if I wait a bit longer, it should be fine with a quick mowing. This is brass or bronze brazing rod and WON'T rust, at least. It WILL turn green, however. It comes in 36" lengths and costs about $10/lb. That works out to about $0.20 I think. A decent welding shop will have a suitable size diameter. Probably not perfect, but surprisingly close, not being metric and all. The piece I used was just a teeeny bit small.

Use a small hammer
I peened over one end to tighten up the fit.

Use a nail set to get it where you want it

Now it's too tight, go figur'

And the gap is uneven

So, back to osae-gane 101. Pull the blades and figure out how to get the fit that you want. I tried messing around with peening the ends of the osae-bo just so and thought about just bending the bugger, but decided that the cleanest route would be to use a judicious bit of file work to get it perfect. Or good enough, as the case may be.

Remove material here

Nice and even
The holes for the osae-bo appear to be a bit off center and the original pin had been filed already. As you advance the osae-gane towards it's final position, it showed a slight tendency towards some left side drift and also showed an uneven wear mark on it's upper surface. You can see that a few pictures up. Obviously, I'm not the first person to decide upon the file route for this fix. It is sooo cool that someone, who knows how long ago, used this thing and thought "If I file riiiight here, it should be about right." Adjusting the fit of the pin also meant adjusting the fit of the blade to the sub-blade. More tap, bend and file work.

It works, but needs improvement
This is my rough jack style 55mm, a chu-shiko I suppose. It leaves a good finish, so not too rough, but not finish quality. I leave it set for a pretty fat shave, as you can see. If you check the shavings, you can see that they are a bit uneven in thickness and have a forward curl. Earlier in the day, the shavings were coming off clean and light, floaty (my word, I call dibs!), so the fitting work introduced a slight tension somewhere that still needs to be discovered. Or the stars are no longer in perfect alignment, that could be it!

I am really working on my sharpening and finish plane tuning and will be writing at length (Goody!) on that soon. This tuning thing is endlessly entertaining to me. It is REALLY incredible what these planes are capable of, but they are far from set-it-and-forget it tools. No such thing exists and that is a cruel joke played upon the gullible. Throwing money around doesn't help either. You can buy the nicest tool available and it will only work well until you sharpen it, if even that long. I love this stuff! My kind of puzzle.

Oh yea, I do build things on occasion....

pine box 10/10/2013
(Knotty) Pine box
A simple pine box based on a Japanese crate/ toolbox design. Bamboo pegs (yea!), glue (boo!), shellac and wax (yea!). Nothing special, I just love making boxes. What's in it? I'm not telling. Magic, maybe? Everyone loves boxes, right?


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Like all of us, I am figuring this out as I go, so when you see something that is incorrect or flat out wrong (and you will!), let me know. This is a learning process. Real people and names, please. Constructive comments and questions are very welcome, but hate speak/politics are not! Life (get one!) is too short.

Thanks, Jason