Slow Days at the Shop. #9: Fixing my Low $ Stanley Surform.

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Blog entry by fatman51 posted 04-25-2016 04:12 AM 1322 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: My Version of the Chisel Plane Part 9 of Slow Days at the Shop. series Part 10: New and Improved Tool Posts for my Tool Grinder »

So I was in my wood shop today, cleaning, organizing, planning the next steps for my current project, a cherry Foyer Bench for Ms. Customer’s front entry, and considering my next tool project, an infill scraper plane, when chance turned me onto a simple repair project that was probably too involved for a $12 tool.

I was in the middle filling out drill indexes and putting them away in my drill cabinet when I found that I was completely out of #59 and #21 drills. I jumped into my truck and drove over to the local hardware store only to find that their number drill selection was almost entirely depleted. They did have replacement blades for my 6 inch surform, however, and I remembered that I needed one of those. Interestingly, the replacement blade for the surform was $6.49 and a new sureform was $11.99. This became relevant when I returned to my shop to install the new surform blade.

At this point I will interrupt the narrative and explain that I have 7 or 8 different surforms that I use for rough forming artistic kinds of things, quickly shaving material for carpenter projects, grating beeswax, forming bondo, and various other tasks. The Stanley Surform™, Millers Falls Plane-R-File™, or a like product by any other name, can be a very useful tool.

Where my other surforms are somewhat marginally valued vintage tools from the 1970s, my 6 inch surform is more modern and had a plastic adjustment assembly, which I probably threw out with the broken blade. I needed to make something new. This was not too big of a deal, as I still had everything out for making the chisel plane. The pictures follow if you care to see what I did to fix the tool.

I cut a little piece of round stock in two when I made the pommel for my chisel plane. For the surform blade tensioner, I cut the remaining half in two, drilled and tapped a 1/4-20 hole for the tensioner screw, and then ground the excess material away from the inside corner where it protruded over the cutting teeth of the blade.

To make the tensioner screw, I found a knurled brass knob, drilled the center to 8/1000s under the diameter of the head of a 1/4-20×1-1/2 inch socket headed cap screw and pressed the knob on to it. I made a heavy brass washer, added an ordinary 1/4 inch washer, and assembled the surform, now better than new.

Thank you for reading!

-- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin

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