SIMPLY AFFORDABLE QUALITY IN HAND CRAFTED AUSTRALIAN TOOLS

Using a Dado Plane

n these picture the 3/4" dado plane is being used but the same principles can be applied to using any size dado plane. Your dado planes will cut up to 1/2" deep and you can accurately set any depth up to 1/2".

The top photo shows a wide piece of cedar from one side of a shelfing unit held flat on the bench with a tail vice. A large home made square is positioned where I want the dado cut and the plane runs up against the side of the square to form the dado. You can hold the square with one hand and plane with the other as show in the second photo or you can use a clamp to hold the square and use both hands as shown in the 3 rd photo. Either way ensure the square is sitting nicely on top of the wood, as any movement in the square will result in a rough dado.

Using a Side Rebate Plane

Your side rebate plane will cut up to 7/8" (22mm) for the life of the blade. You may be able to push this to 1" (25mm) in some cases when the blade is new but you will find the wedge will impede some shavings when cutting over 7/8". When trimming the walls of a dado or grove whether the walls are vertical or angled for sliding dovetails the depth of cut will depend on the width of the dado or grove. You will find for dados with vertical walls the depth of cut equals the width of the dado. If you are doing the groves for dovetail joints the depth will be slightly less than the width at the narrowest point. You need to allow for this when marking out your joints.

Using a Small Curved Sole Spoke Shave

The small curved spokeshave is designed to do tight inside curves. It is a difficult tool to control as there is no support in front of the blade so it wants to roll as you start to push.

If you use the photos and the information below you will learn how to master this very useful tool. You can do inside and outside curves, plus flat surfaces once you master this tool.

Using a Large Curved Sole Spoke Shave

The curved spokeshave is designed to do inside curves. It is a difficult tool to control as there is no support in front of the blade so it wants to roll as you start to push.

If you use the photos and the information below you will learn how to master this very useful tool. You can do inside and outside curves, plus flat surfaces once you master this tool.

The adjacent photo shows the hand grip where I get best control and results. When using the curved sole shave I always push it. The only part of my hand which exerts any great pressure is my thumbs. The rest of my hands have a light grip. I ensure I have set the shave for a light cut. I have a little weight down on the wood to ensure the sole is sitting flat to get a full width shaving. My thumbs then do the pushing and drag along the wood to help steady the body. My wrists are flexible so I can roll with the curves. The palm of my hands rests on the flat top of the handle so I can help stop the shave from rolling as the blade engages with the wood.

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Hey Terry,
What are you playing at?? This plane's no bloody good at all!
How can I possibly take something that pretty into a dirty dusty workshop and scratch up lumps of wood with it? Came up very nice he sez? What a master of understatement. It is so beautiful that I can't even bring myself to put grubby hands on it and try it out yet! I put it together and it's sitting beside me on top of a veneered quarter sawn silky oak bookshelf, which it puts to shame. And anyway I don't need to try it because I already know your planes will true up the edge of a postage stamp. And probably take the ink off the face without hurting the paper as well!
What a privilege to have someone of such talent make me such a tool. Particularly in these days when so many people don't even understand what true quality actually is. (Did you watch "Longitude" on ABC recently? Somebody understood why old Harrison spent his lifetime inventing and perfecting the maritime clock.) I thought your stock planes were brilliant, and then you made me the little one which is just extraordinary. But this time you have really excelled yourself. I wish my old Dad had lasted long enough to see it. Truly fine tools delighted him endlessly, but he was never fortunate enough to have anything like this.
I think I'll just leave it sitting on the bookcase for a few more days.
With very sincere thanks,
Ian.