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Making the Wedge

Making the Wedge

For contrast, for a wood that isn't as hard as the wood used in the body of the plane, and because I had some - I chose a piece of walnut to make the wedge.  It should be 5/8" thick, 6" long, and about the same width as the opening, so you can plane it down to fit.  I started by marking it out with the same paper I used to mark it out on the side of the plane, then roughed in the angle on the bandsaw, staying about 1/8" proud of the line.  That allows me to bring it to final depth with my trusty old block plane, a lowly Stanley 220 (it was the first plane I ever owned, bought it new over 20 years ago):

I test fit the wedge in the opening with the iron in place to make sure I'm getting the angle right, and that the shoulders in the plane are even as well:

I then mark half the depth of the angle portion of the wedge and cut out  the center of the  wedge, leaving about 1/4" on each side. 

After chopping off most of the waste with a chisel, I use rasps and files to file out the remaining portion of the center of the wedge so it forms an angle twice as steep as the rest of the wedge or about 25 degrees next to the 12 1/2 degrees of the two "tongues":

This is a design feature that allows greater room for the shavings to escape that's been done on these old woodies since long ago.  Without it, the shavings would pile up in the bottom of the mouth and clog it up.  I then chamfer the top of the wedge, cutting about a 1/4" x 3/4" chamfer off of the top.  Then, using a wood file, I chamfer the ends of the "tongues".   The best way to show it might be a diagram, so here's one of the wedges final dimensions:

These are starting dimensions for the wedge - the finished dimension may change when tuning the plane for performance.  Next, Ill do the final fit of the wedge into the plane, and dress it up a bit.