Ever do something stupid in your shop?
I have a molding plane set that I purchased from Time Warp Tool Works a while back. The
rabbet plane chattered quite a bit when I first tried it out, and the reason was that the blade didn’t bed properly. The blade tang was probably bent when I was trying to remove it the first time I went to sharpen it – I can only guess it was because I tapped it too hard when I was trying to drive it in to loosen the wedge.
And in keeping with the theme of hitting things too hard, the wedge broke off when I was smacking it to try to bed the blade. Bad idea as you can see from the picture above. At any rate I was sick to my stomach having done this and anguished about the way to recover. I thought about gluing the piece back on, however there is another chip that was lost in the shaving, which just left the top hanging on. I had a scrap piece of cherry and decided to try to make a replacement wedge.
I used the original wedge to layout the pattern with the grain on a 1 3/4″ block of scrap – I figured that would give me lots of spares if I needed them. I cut out the profile on the bandsaw, and then resawed off the first wedge to fit. Because I stayed just outside the marked line, I was able to plane down to the original size, and rasp, file and sand the shape into the top of the wedge. I used a chisel to make sure the leading ramp at the tip of the wedge would help clear shavings.
The end result really fit well – I was completely surprised at how easy this was. I wouldn’t hesitate to replace any other wedge that I find doesn’t work well in the future. I also straightened out the blade by gently pressuring the tang over the edge of the workbench. I kept moving the blade back and fort and gently pushing down, and checking with a straightedge until the blade was flat. I then checked the bed on the plane, and found a small section that was higher than the rest. A quick few passes with a 1/4″ sharp chisel registered along the bed path cleared that right up. Finally, I re-flattened the sole, as the toe sloped up at the front, reset the blade, and now it is working like a champ. There is a tiny bit of chatter left that I still have to figure out, but the rabbet plane is now 100% serviceable as I continue to play with creating my project moldings!