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Preparing the Blank


Preparing the Blank cont'd.

The front of the mouth is drawn on the bottom of the plane 3/8" in front of the line drawn previously at 3" - in other words, at 2-5/8". 

Note:  Now that I'm done building it, I can see this was a mistake to make the mouth quite this wide.  Doing it again, I would simply continue the line made from the front line of the iron assembly, something closer to 1/4".

The front of the mouth is drawn at 75 degrees, and is carried to 1-1/8" above the bottom, where it intersects a 55 degree line that defines the front of the opening in the plane:

These lines are carried across the top of the plane, where they define the opening to be cut in the body of the plane, shown marked out by pencil.  The outside parallel lines are the width of the iron plus 1/16",  and define the outside edge of the wedge pocket.  The inside lines are 1/4" inside of each outside line and define the inside edge of the wedge pocket.  The wedge will register against these when installed.

To try make it easier to envision the final shape of the opening, I drew up this diagram that shows a cutaway view of a smoother next to a complete one:

Notice how there are several angles that need to be worked within the opening, which can be hard to keep straight in your head - I'll refer to this diagram again.


To prevent tear out when the chisel begins to reach the bottom of the pocket, I remove about an 1/8" of material from the mouth on the bottom of the plane.  I try to stay within the finished line of the mouth, and am extremely careful to only remove material at an angle that does not interfere with the design of the mouth, as shown by the angled lines drawn on the side of the plane.

I then turn the blank over again and remove a large portion of the material through some rapid chopping with a bench chisel, again being careful to stay well within the lines drawn out previously:

Don't worry, I'll clean it up in just a bit.  The object here is just to remove as much material as quickly as possible - I'm simply getting the biggest portion of the material out of my way.