I made another radius bottom plane.
This one was to be a small smoothing plane but I didn’t like how things were going so I curved the bottom; kind of like making an egg souffle and then deciding that, since it wasn’t working, an omelet would be nice.
Also, I used some O1 steel I got from a supply house and heat treated the steel.
Starting out, I chose some Jatoba for the bed and toe of the plane and some maple for the sides.
I cut into the maple sides to accept the blade and a wedge. Here you can see that the bed has shifted forward during clamping. Not happy about that.
I cut off a length of O1 steel and rounded the end with a bench grinder and file. I put a rough bevel on the other end. The business end was then heated in the flame from a gas torch to heat it up. I got it orange hot, maybe a bit hotter than the cherry red that is optimum. An old speaker was used to test the magnetism of the blade as it gets lost when the blade is at or above the right temperature.
A quick dunk in some used motor oil. I didn’t have some peanut oil handy. The motor oil did smoke, but didn’t go on fire. I had an extinguisher handy, before you ask.
The blade was then put into a pre-heated toaster oven at 350F for an hour. To test the temperature gauge, I put in a spoon of sugar on a sheet of aluminum. Sugar typically melts at around 360F. Here you can see that I got the sugar to melt down. I didn’t eat it. Might me nice on some ice-cream.
I took the plane body out of its clamps. Not happy with alignment. I think I might drill an aligning rod through the body next time I make a plane. Or add salt to the glue for some gritty holding power. Something.
I planed the top of the body flat and rounded the bottom with saw, rasp and file.
I cut the plane blade to match the curve of the bottom of the plane and shaped the wedge. Then I coated the lot with some Danish Oil.
Here is the plane next to its predecessor. I have since used them both to shape a stool seat. The larger one is for rougher work and the new one is for smoothing.