Bob LaCivita hosted the first meeting of this seasons Woodworking Fundamentals sub group in his shop at The Mills at Salmon Falls on Saturday October 5th. The main topic was bench planes.
Bob gave a quick historical overview of planes, noting the first planes had bodies of wood, with the first known metal bodied plane discovered in the ruins of Pompeii, destroyed in the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD. The modern era of woodworking planes starts in the mid to late 1800's with Leonard Baileys designs. The Stanley Tool company purchased a number of Baileys patents, leading to a large and varied line of bench planes. The core elements of Baileys design are the body, frog, blade, chip breaker, and cap iron. A web search will turn up thousands of articles on tuning, restoring, adjusting and using these tools.
Bob demonstrated the process of flattening a rough pine board that had a cup in it. He began working the surface with the cupped side up. Removing the wood from the higher edges, he worked towards the lower center of the board. Cross hatched pencil marks indicated low spots and clearly showed where wood should be planed off. Bob uses the plane itself (instead of a strait edge) to test for flatness. After the surface was flattened Bob worked the edge to a right angle. To flatten and make parallel the opposite face, a marking gauge was used to strike a reference line around the four edges of the board.(Picture below) This face would then be flattened to the reference mark, providing a useable board.
Following the demonstration Bob addressed subsidiary topics including renovating older planes, sharpening blades, and adjusting and prepping new tools.
The next meeting will take place at Bobs shop on Saturday December 7th. The main topics will be shooting boards and shop made jigs.