Following the glue-up, I clamped the plane for several hours. But I could not wait longer – if you have ever been in the maternity waiting room at the hospital, waiting for your first child to be born, you know what I mean.
I removed the clamps, cleaned up the glue on the bottom, inserted a temporary wedge to tension the plane, and squared the bottom to the best side on the jointer. After that I sanded the bottom using 150 grit paper on the cast iron table on the table saw; this is the first time I actually brushed off the fine dust after every two strokes of the plane on the sandpaper. Finally, I drew some outlines, freehand, on one of the cheeks, and cut to the lines on the band saw. A little shaping with rasps, and I ran out of patience – I had to try it out!
The first trial, on one edge of a walnut scrap:
This shaving looks good, but is it thick, or thin? I wondered, as I looked at it:
The shaving was just under two thousands of an inch (0.002″) thick:
Then I had to tinker with the shape a little more, until time to go to the house:
The mouth is still not quite right, as sometimes shavings will jam. I shaped the mouth opening to run almost parallel to the surface of the iron:
As you can see, I got careless with the file, and chewed up part of the cheek during two misplaced strokes (the unsafe edge…). I can barely see a little light between the tip of the iron and the front of the mouth, so I still have some room to refine the shape. I will keep playing with this new hand plane, and will use it in one of the projects I am working on. I’ve got to work out the kinks in the mouth!
The Brese Plane iron is great – I did not even touch the sharp edge prior to this trial run!