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As Colin implies, there’s no need for it to be perfectly square, as long as you can adjust it to be parallel to the plane bottom with the lateral adjuster. I don’t like it if the lateral adjuster needs to be to the extreme on one side to be parallel, but I do expect to use some lateral adjustment. What I’m learning as my sharpening skills improve is to carefully and frequently observe the scratch pattern as you sharpen, particularly as you start out. By eye you should be able to see if you are establishing an appropriately “square” bevel.
Also, if you are doing major metal removal to establish the primary bevel, and you’re doing it by hand as opposed to using a grinder, then I find a piece of course sandpaper attached to a flat surface (like a piece of float glass) with spray adhesive cuts a lot faster than any stone or diamond plate I’ve tried. Again, be sure to check the scratch pattern frequently.
I discovered the same process of unscrewing the adjustment post, which has made a huge improvement in operation of the Veritas RP. But I didn’t think about pressing down on the adjustment knob before locking the adjustment in again. Sounds like a good tip and will try is next time I’m using the router.
I bought a 9″ Yost vice on Amazon about a year ago. Easy to mount to the bench, and the quick release mechanism works smoothly. I’ve been very pleased with it. Considering the mass of metal in it, I thought the price was quite reasonable as well. But I have no idea whether it’s available in Europe or not.
I also recently stopped using honing guides, and now sharpen plane blades and chisels free hand. Paul’s videos are great for learning how to do that as are Wood by Wright’s. The principal advantage is that you can be done sharpening a tool in less time than it took me to set up the tool in the honing guide. Also, diamond stones followed by stropping on leather with buffing compound is a lot faster than going through a series of water stones. I found the key to adjusting to free hand is to make sure you look at the scratch pattern you’re forming after just a few strokes to see if you have the right angle, and adjust as necessary. I always try to start out a little to flat and increase the angle as dictated by what I see. By looking at the scratch pattern you can also see if your rubbing in a manner that is not parallel to the edge and avoid skewing the blade. Then you just go long enough to raise a burr, then onto the next fine diamond stone. I also remove the burr before going to the next finer stone so I can tell if I’m creating a new butt. I also use buffing compound applied to a flat piece of maple for polishing the back of the blade, switching back and forth a couple times between the wooden and leather strops. This assumes you’ve taken the time to carefully flatten the back of the blade, after which you don’t want to work it on the stones except for a light swipe on a fine stone to remove the burr. I think it now takes me well under five minutes to sharpen a chisel or plane blade. FWIW, I still prefer water stones for sharpening knives however.
I think there is a certain pride to be taken in fettling a tool to make it right. I think it’s also possible to get way too obsessed over some of these things – a plane does not need to be perfectly flat over the entire surface (to say nothing of the issue of how to define perfectly flat). Finally, the issue of a plane costing a weeks wages back in the day is important as well. If you spent an hour working to flatten it to your liking it was probably well worth the cost that would have been added for it to be flat enough right out of the box. Of course with modern manufacturing methods it would probably be possible to market a plane with a flat enough sole without adding a huge increase in cost, but then again the market for people who really care about such things – we hand tool enthusiasts – is pretty small. Personally I don’t mind or even enjoy spending an hour to get my planes to where I’m happy with them.
I assume you’re talking about a Danish frame saw, and not a beast like Ruobo saw. You can find plans here for this type of saw and modify accordingly. https://www.blackburntools.com/new-tools/new-saws-and-related/danish-frame-saw-parts/index.html I think the oak, though maybe a little thin, could work for the uprights. But it’s a heavy wood, and I think you’d be better off with a lighter wood like pine for the stretcher. When I made the Blackburn saw that’s what I used, with ash for the uprights.
Well, that’s a good question to ask Jan. But the much greater length of the side with the wide side of the rectangle it makes it look more proportional to my eye at least. I’ve made the legs at this point, but very carefully examined the first one I made to ensure I was happy with the look so in essence I did do a full size mock-up at least of the legs.
Thanks for all the very helpful comments. I’ll be experimenting on some scrap pieces to see what I like best, but am keen to try the fillester plane with a very shallow cut to establish a nice straight guide for the rounding. I suspect I’ll wind up then cutting the round with a smoothing plane, but I’ve ordered a couple of hollow moulding planes off ebay to try and see which approach I like best. I’m new to moulding planes, but have wanted to get a few to try for some time.
I’m also going to put a bead on the bottom of the apron, and have already ordered a side bead moulding plane for that job.
I’m no expert on this, but I do know some Japanese saws including some of the top tier brands have a combination sharpening profile that is good for both crosscut and rip. Exactly how they pull this off I cannot explain. Check out the Nakaya web site where you can find more information on the M270 Kataba.