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Archive for the ‘Bamboo’ Category

My Block Planes and more

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So continuation on my previous post about my Honing Guides (1) and (2) for Block Panes – supporting tools – for Bamboo Rod Making, I make the following supporting notes.

Block Planes

Stanley 9 1/2: Stanley continues to update (retooling) their production line (to lower costs). My mine plane is circa 2000, which appears to be at least one major revision behind. To get it into prduction, mine (like all low cost planes on the market today) needed a lttle tuning, I removed some accessory stamped hardware to improve fit and spent some time on a plate-glass with sharpening paper to properly flatten the base. Once done, this tool has worked well.

Lie-Nelson: A fine tool. Upon receipt, I verified it was flat, change to a Hock High Carbon Plane and away I went. I did not have the plane base altered with a “rodmaker’s edge”, given I started without one and been able to manage the plane accordingly. If necessary, I was willing to add some think UHMW tape.

Lee-Valley now make a fine block plane that would be worth considering, but I have 2, and do not need any more. If I went this route, I would select an O1 blade with it, rather than order a custom blade from Ron.

I also have an ECE Wood Base Plane, a nice tool, but the wood base is not as durable, and is used in limited applications.

Plane Blades: Simple, remove the original blade (use it as a jig oor for hack jobs) and replace it with a Hock High Carbon Plane.


Suporting my standard honing guide, I have created some wood blocks with pre-defined depths to enable quick and repeatable angle settings to 40 degrees (21mm offset). I do have alternate jigs for ~25, 30 and 45 degrees, with 49mm, 39mm, and 15mm offsets, respectively.  In near future to compliment my new Workshop 3000, I am likely to make a jig at 37 degrees.

For The Kell Honing Guide, I use an adjustable flush protractor to set the edge I want. If this was my main-stay Honing Guide, I would take the effort to make the jigs.

Protective Considerations:

  • I never lay the plane on its base, except when it on the work piece and being used. Otherwise, it is on its side resting on some protective (scrap-recycle) upholstery leather or wrap in such scraps.
  • I have some protective fleece envelopes to hold the blades.
  • Planes, Jigs and the like are stored in a Tupperware Container.
  • Camellia Oil is used as a protective film on the metal, when in storage.
  • Keep some protective tight fitting gloves with me to reduce slivers from handling the bamboo.
  • And all (including the honing guides, but not the oil) is stored tightly in an old Tupperware container with dessicant.

And the water bottle in the above picture. I use it, when the waterstone are in-use. But that is for a future post.


Written by raspberryfisher

2012/01/09 at 15:55

Posted in Bamboo, Tools

Honing Guide Update

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In yesterday’s post, I “talked” about three different honing guides. To help illustrate the Pro and Cons of the 2 best solutions, I offer the following illustration.

To recap:

  • The no-name guide (top) enables an easy registration (create your own jigs) and ensuring a square face for repeatable edges. Though, with its smaller centered roller in the under carriage, you need to be careful that you do not roll side to side.
  • The Richard Kell guide (lower) is stable quality tool, but what comes with this is a wide base (need to work on glass with paper or wide stones (3″ minimum width)) and blade needs to supported as it wants to fall back.

I should note I have two different blades in – the top unit has a blade fitted for a “new era”  Stanley 9 1/2 Block Plane which is wider than the blade below for my Lie-Nielson Block Plane, Standard Angle.

Though I have included some links to other external websites, it is likely over the years, these links will break. Once they do, please “Google” it.

Written by raspberryfisher

2012/01/05 at 16:45

Posted in Bamboo, Tools

Honing Guides

with one comment

There are many good books out there on sharpening and many tools out there, but when building a bamboo rod, a sharp plane blade that can shave the hair off your arm is necessary, for a good rod.

So over this (and the next blogs?), I am going to post some notes on sharpening based on lesson that I have learnt.

Lets start with jigs and honing guides. I have used several amd here are my thoughts.

  • The standard vise honing guide as illustrated above is my goto guide.
    • Pro: Keeps iron square and with a simple homemade block, I am able to quickly able to get a repeatable. Also in-expensive.
    • Con: Roller wheel (under) is narrow and subject to rocking. I have considered (in my sleep) about finding a larger roller and adapting the tool for the wider blades that I use. 
  • All guides need care in handling and with application of power.
  • The Richard Kell Honing Guide, a beautiful tool and very stable, but best for low angles or short blades.
    • Pro: Solid tool that will provide you a nice square edge.
    • Con: The stability comes with the use of 2 low mounted guides to the sides of the blade. In doing so, there are a couple of inherit cons > 1) With the mount so low, putting in a steep angle the assembly becomes very top heavy and increases the complexity of holding. 2) Ensure your stones are wide or sharpened on glass-paper given the increase width of the assembly.
  • The Lee Valley Sharpening System (see picture below), no longer used (not recommended)
    • Pro: Can do a nice micro-bevel.
    • Con: Roller wears too easy (replaced 2), setting and maintaining a square blade is difficult with no guides and a screw down clamp; though the angle jig has presets in-place it is not simple to use and ensure a repeatable angle (replace with home jig).
    • The update guide from Lee Valley, the MK II , which I have not used,  includes a jig attachment for angles and what appears to be a bar to secure the blade. Appears to be real improvements over the previous noted guide, but I have not used it.


Written by raspberryfisher

2012/01/04 at 19:05

Posted in Bamboo, Tools