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Comb. Planes


Shop Fun with Scott Grandstaff


The Lowpocket

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Here is something you have never seen before. To my knowledge its the only one in existence.

I happen to like the "pocket planes" (if this is not their official name, it should be). The Stanley #102 and #103 planes, and the equivalent Sargent models.

These planes are about 5" overall, and fit in my hand just right. (My mitts are not the biggest. I wear a size 8 glove, average size. Not a size 11, an 8.)


They also fit in an apron pocket or toolbelt very neatly.

While the standard planes are capable of a surprising amount of work and I use them frequently, there is a cut off point when the wood grain gets too squirrely and it wants to tear out.

The throats on Stanley #102 or #103 planes are not adjustable and they are not tight. The same situation is with Sargent models. Also, the blade beds of these planes are all standard 22 1/2 degrees.

Several years ago I started a project to modify mouth of these planes. I used a milling machine to cut the bed of a Sargent down to 12 degrees or so. Then I baked on enamel paint.

Unfortunately, I never finished the plane. It was put on the back burner.

A few days ago I found this little plane and decided to finish it up. The bed was great. The problem was - the mouth of the plane was wide open. You could throw a cat though it. It was bad before my modification, but now it was totally unacceptable.

So the first thing I did was take files and flatten the part of the plane body at the leading edge of the mouth. Stanley in their wisdom had made it curved or cupped a little. Sargent too.

Then I had to basically carve a block of metal to fill the gaping maw. It had to fit the plane body and also match the angle of the bed of the plane, very nearly filling the mouth. A number of metalworking tools were employed. Hacksaws and files, among others.

There is one exact angle you can use to go though the mouth block, and into the plane body, without breaking through anywhere. Just a very narrow parameter in height from the bottom.

The plane body barely thick enouhg to hold a #5 screw. When I got my measurements, and marked out, I first drilled the mouth filler block. I counterbored the holes to fit a couple of small screw heads.


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Plow Planes


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