Graduating planes

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by powerbass, Sep 25, 2011.


  1. powerbass

    powerbass

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    I am about to start carving a top for my bass and I am wondering what are some hand plane recommendations - what sizes and where to order them? Thanks
     
  2. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Supporting Member

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    There are many makes but something like the curved sole Ibex 18mm blade would probably do to start with. The smaller sizes can be useful but not for plate graduating, more for edgework. Sold everywhere including Amazon and ebay!

    You'll need big hefty gouges to do the big work. I also use a 7" timber plane with a modified curved sole, and I make my own thumb planes.

    have a look here. if you can't make something like these, you probably can't make a bass! MyDesign Finger Planes
     
  3. DC Bass

    DC Bass Supporting Member

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    Beware of inexpensive tools- they will not hold an edge. Sure, spruce is a pretty soft wood, but you'll have to graduate maple too for the back unless you are making a flatback.

    Cheap planes are seldom true, and will require LOTS of work to make them so. Good gouges and chisels cut like BUTTAH! :)

    I'll try to get back to you with some brand names, but in the mean time please consider buying the best tools you can get your hands on- you won't regret it!

    The only drawback is that the good stuff aint cheap- not by a long shot! :bawl:

    Oh yeah, don't skimp on the equipment you'll use to keep them sharp too! Also expensive- but worth it.

    Good luck!

    Joe
     
  4. powerbass

    powerbass

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    Thanks for the reply. I have made several hand planes and I thought about making these planes, though I will probably purchase 1-2.
     
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  6. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Supporting Member

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    Sure. Just that I found that the usual violinmakers planes are rather too small for bass work!
     
  7. powerbass

    powerbass

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    Matthew, that is what I was thinking! It looks like those dinky planes would take forever to do graduating. In an antique shop near me is a really nice small wooden bodied hand plane. It has a beautiful thick blade about 1.5" wide. I was thinking of purchasing it and shaping the sole into a curve, keeping the blade square. It would work better ergonomically and allow me to remove more wood quickly. I made a curved soled plane - the curve is across the blade, many years ago. I thought this would work well for the top face. James Krenov was a famous furniture maker who advocating making hand planes - I have made several based on this pattern and they are a joy to use
     
  8. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Supporting Member

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    Sounds good. I line the inside of an old Wok with 80 grit sandpaper and use that to shape the plane sole in all three directions. Blade is ground and honed to match the curve of the sole.

    I have two Krenov books - one given to me by my father and one lent to me by Bill Paulin. They are often dipped into for inspiration.
     
  9. George700DL

    George700DL

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    I should have done this before making my bass. Instead I improvised with 1 gouge and 1 Ibex violin plane.

    Is it wrong to think about making another bass, just because I see a web page on making your own graduating planes?

    George
     
  10. powerbass

    powerbass

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    Interesting technique, I will have to try this!
    I visited Krenov and the school where he taught back in the late 80's. I was considering moving there to study furniture making but decided not to.
     
  11. powerbass

    powerbass

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    I decided to make a plane. I actually had the plane sitting unfinished for over 10 years so I thought it was a good time to put it together. I made the sole curved in both directions. The little test I made on scrap wood is promising, hopefully it will be useful for carving the top.
     

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  12. 360guy

    360guy

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    That looks very nice. How about a photo of the sole?
     
  13. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Supporting Member

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    looks very nice. you'll probably need another one about 2" long too, for the areas around the end blocks where the curves on the inside are more pronounced, and for the recurve area on the outside of the top plate.
     
  14. powerbass

    powerbass

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    Mathew, I checked out the planes you made, they are great, why the 60º angle? That is almost scraper plane angle. I have always used 45º for basic smoothing type planes. I like the blades made from scrapers, did you anneal the steel to cut it to shape? The blade I used is a Hock blade which is too big for a small plane you describe. The Hock folks make very nice blades and tool steel, I bet they could make some very nice blades. As for the plane sole, I basically eye balled the curve length wise, the blade is curved so the radius of the body cross wise is determined by the blade. I was limited to some extent by the thickness of the sole blank. It is 3/8" thick bloodwood, if it was thicker I could have made the curve steeper. I used a block plane, rasps and files to shape the sole, it is not an exact, precise thing. The use of this plane is for roughing out and smoothing to certain degree, I think it will work fine in this regard.
     
  15. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Supporting Member

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    The link I posted wasn't my work.

    But this is.

    This is an old plane adapted to curved sole for roughing out after gouging

    [​IMG]

    Tnis is a small plane hand made using the technique I linked to, and using a thick power-hacksaw blade ground to shape as the blade. I did not anneal the steel. The sole on this one is flat and used for smoothing outside curve surfaces.

    [​IMG]

    this was and still is my favourite, with an arched sole and a wider nose than tail to make the grip easier. Can also fit a palm-rest into the back of the plane when the going gets tough. Sole is rather worn now though. Need to make another one rather urgently.

    [​IMG]

    i think I just used a 45º angle, curved the sole first and ground the blade to match.
     
  16. powerbass

    powerbass

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    The old hand plane is exactly like the one I checked out in the antique store! Those small planes are great. I may get distracted making planes instead of working on my bass. I like the idea of using a piece of a scraper for blades, I have a few scrapers that are not very good which I could try cutting. The Hock people could probably also make me a few blades.
     
  17. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Supporting Member

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    scraper blades I would think are rather too thin for plane blades. Power hacksaw blades are about 1.8mm thick. or you can buy a small bit of tool steel from a metalwork shop.
     
  18. powerbass

    powerbass

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    I just completed a new plane, 3.5" long 1.75" wide w/a 1" wide curved blade. Made from yew and mahogany
     

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  19. powerbass

    powerbass

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    Sorry about the photo - good luck twisting your PC
     
  20. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Supporting Member

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    That's very cute! Can you show us the bottom too? What did you use for an iron?
     
  21. powerbass

    powerbass

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    I purchased an Ibex replacement blade from StewMac. I'll post pics later
     

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