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 Post subject: Grooving plane
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:03 pm 
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Koa
Koa
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:43 am
Posts: 601
Location: Bozeman, Montana
Focus: Build
gaah So I made my very first laterally offset headstock this week. I had inlayed a center strip in the headstock overlay to compliment my color scheme and despite my best efforts the center of the strip skewed slightly during glue up. I ,of course, did not notice this until I was all done carving the head stock and slotting for the tuning machines. I was admiring my work and noticed that the headstock was crooked! At least I had not attached it to the guitar yet. My problem was that doing the inlay before gluing on the overlay makes gluing it straight and on center absolutely critical. A solution is to wait until the overlay is glued on and then complete any inlays. Hmmm..... I like doing work before attaching things to the guitar in case is mess up. I mess up a lot so this is wise. Still, if I mess up an overlay after it is glued on but before I shape the headstock it is pretty easy to start over with little fuss. I usually use a laminate trimmer to route a groove in the guitar back and the headstock overlay. This works but there is just not enough room to balance the trimmer on the completed headstock for routing. I pondered this as I began constructing a new neck and I came up with a hand plane to do the job.


This plane cuts a 3/8 wide groove that in +-1.5mm deep. These dimensions are fixed. If I want a different groove size I have to make a new plane. These dimensions work for me and are what I usually do for both the headstock overlay and the back strip inlay so I built the plane to match.

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To make your own is a pretty simple affair. Irons for plow planes are available at Lee Valley and a plane can be constructed around them. I made my iron but that is hard to do if you are not familiar with heat treating.

This sort of plane is worthless without a guide as shown above. Having a good straight edge to guide the plane is critical. Also make sure that you start planing near the end of the groove and work back to the starting point. Working in small bites helps to cut a clean channel.


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 Post subject: Re: Grooving plane
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:24 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:08 pm
Posts: 1953
Location: Missouri
First name: Patrick
Last Name: Hanna
State: Missouri
Country: USA
Hey, Stephen, that's a nice idea. Very straightforward and simple. I do have a question, though. Seems to me if there's a bit of run-out in the face veneer or in the back, you'd be planing against the grain on one side of your groove. Has this been a problem in any of your practice runs, or do you have a trick or technique to make that go easier? I'm not being critical here, just interested. I think it's a very nice little plane.

Patrick


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 Post subject: Re: Grooving plane
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:27 pm 
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Koa
Koa
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:43 am
Posts: 601
Location: Bozeman, Montana
Focus: Build
Hello Patrick,

Your concerns are valid. I found that by tilting the plane very slightly during the first couple of passes I can define the edges of the channel with the corner of the iron. From then on tear out is always possible but the plane is set very fine and I use very light cutting pressure. I do not anticipate any real trouble because of this but if things go poorly I will figure out a way to make something work I am sure.

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 Post subject: Re: Grooving plane
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:24 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:08 pm
Posts: 1953
Location: Missouri
First name: Patrick
Last Name: Hanna
State: Missouri
Country: USA
Thanks, Stephen. I assumed it would be just about that easy. In my thoughts, I was going towards scoring the sides of the channel to full depth in some way. I hadn't yet figured out "some way". But assuming that could be done, I figured the registration fence could always be clamped along the other side of the cut, using the plane itself as a reference in the groove. Better still, a fence on both sides of the proposed groove. Then planing a stroke or two in the other direction to clean up the fuzzies. Anyway, I can see that it worked for you and I was just wondering how you got around that potential problem. I like planes and I like to make plane shavings (reminds me of whittling when I was a kid) and I think this is a cool little tool.
Patrick


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