A Roman Plane - my 21st century re-creation

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Blog series by YorkshireStewart updated 06-08-2008 02:45 PM 4 parts 15384 reads 50 comments total

Part 1: Preparing some steelwork

06-08-2008 12:45 PM by YorkshireStewart | 14 comments »

It must be about four years since I first had a vague idea of reproducing this Roman plane from around the second century AD. The original has an ivory infill body, and is remarkably complete. I gained permission from the curator of the Guildhall Museum in Beverley, East Yorkshire, England, to take some measurements and photographs when the plane was removed from its environmentally controlled cabinet for its periodic inspection. This blog is where I originally touched on the subject, an...

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Part 2: Finishing the plane body

06-08-2008 01:49 PM by YorkshireStewart | 6 comments »

Ivory proved difficult to source <g>, so I chose a piece of sycamore that was to hand. I thought the colour wasn’t too different & it’s quite nice to work. Again deviating from the Roman approach I resawed and cut out the throat block, forming the quite steep 65° ramp. The sycamore infill ready to try in its soleplate. Removing the waste for the finger-holds. And smoothing with shop-made sanding sticks. Here the body is beginning to be shaped. ...

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Part 3: bringing it all together

06-08-2008 02:14 PM by YorkshireStewart | 7 comments »

I sacrificed a 1½” chisel to make the plane iron. Well, some form of sacrifice seemed appropriate for a Roman plane! It cut up quite easily with the angle grinder/cutting disc. Contours taking shape with the grinding disc. I used the throat cut-out to stiffen up the assembly when I riveted the cross-pin in place. I was quietly pleased with that bit of resourcefulness! Roughing out a wedge.. Nearly there.

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Part 4: Towards the first shaving..

06-08-2008 02:45 PM by YorkshireStewart | 23 comments »

Having finally fitted the cross-pin and riveted the end over, I could do a trial assembly of the whole plane. After polishing the iron and honing its cutting edge, I was able to set up the plane ready to see whether it was going to work! With trepidation and excitement, I put a piece of oak in the bench vice, ran the plane over it and was thrilled when the first shaving emerged from the mouth of the plane. It was a little bit on the coarse side but a slight adjustment resulted in...

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