OldTools Archive

Recent Search Bios FAQ

270435 Chuck Taylor 2020‑04‑07 Re: Boxwood and Box Trees ( Was: boxing of planes)
Ed, Claudio, and other GGs,

Ed asked:

> Did you use the blunt chisel technique on the wedge?

Claudio asked:

> Bill Carter's techniques?  His videos are worth watching.

Both were referring to the build of the boxwood jointer plane I showed in an
earlier posting.

The answer to both questions is "No." 

I was taught by Robert Van Norman, who in turn was taught directly by James
Krenov at the College of the Redwoods. We flattened the bed itself using a
Stanley #80 scraper plane before the plane was glued up. Robert wouldn't let us
go on to the next step until the bed passed his inspection. The wedge was cut to
a 1:10 slope. The bottom of the wedge was IIRC flattened by running it over a
smoothing plane held upside down in a vice. The pivoting pin with a "D" shaped
profile was carefully installed and tuned to be exactly parallel to the bed.
Final fitting was between the top of the wedge and the underside of the pin. I
don't remember exactly how we did it (it has been 12 years now), but it did
involve the usual checking for high spots and taking them down. We probably used
card scrapers, but Carter's blunt chisel technique would have been a natural for
that job.

Robert said that "Jim", as he called his mentor, insisted that, after fitting
and before gluing up joints, the wood must be wiped clean with acetone.
Especially tropical hardwoods. After that we used ordinary white glue and plenty
of clamps.

The round pivots of the pivoting pin were cut by saw, chisel, and eye. We used a
horizontal boring machine for placing the holes for the pin in precisely the
right position. The various pieces of the body were aligned using dowels and a
horizontal boring machine. Krenov describes this technique in "The Art of

Everyone else in the class used a tailed router to excavate the recess in the
bed for the cap iron screw, but I insisted on doing it using hand tools. :-)

It was a 1-week class, and on Thursday afternoon we had a live conference call
with Krenov. (No videoconferencing back then.) He expounded on some technique
and then we got to ask him questions. It was a fun week.

Chuck Taylor
north of Seattle USA

Recent Search Bios FAQ