OldTools Archive

Recent Bios FAQ

63925 Don McConnell <Don.McConnell@a...> 1999‑06‑12 Re: The ideal moving filletster
Scott E. Post wrote:

Snip of Scott's fruitless search for a left-handed moving
filletster and decision to make his own. Which leads him to
ask a series of questions:

>What makes the perfect filletster?
> Fence:

The common fence affixed to the sole of the plane with screws is
relatively unobtrusive and effective. And relatively simple to
make.  The one difficulty I've experienced with them is that
tightening the screws will sometimes shift the setting. This can
be kept to a minimum by cleaning the brass plate and screw heads
of any irrregularities.

If you were to consider one of the alternatives, I'd suggest either
a bridle or sliding fence type plane so that you don't have any
arms projecting on the working side of the plane.  This may not be
totally critical, but keeping the arms to the off-side of the plane
will give you more clamping/holding options - especially for
smallish pieces.

You might be surprised how many times this becomes a consideration.

Also, consider the fact that an "armed fence" type plane will alter
your grip at the toe of the plane.  Without the arms and fence, you
will be able to grip the plane much as any rabbet/rebate and/or
moulding plane. With the arms and fence, you will likely wind up
gripping it more like a plough plane. Both work, but you may want
to consider which grip is more comfortable for you in the long run.
This is of some concern as the "toe" hand [I'm trying to avoid
left-right references :-) ] provides your primary vertical

> Depth stop:
>    - simple slotted stop screwed into side of plane (ala Stanley #78)?
>    - screw stop mortised into the plane (see fig. 5:16 of Whelan's book)?

Both will work, though, of course, the simple slotted stop is
easier to install. The main advantage of the mortised screw stop
is that it can be adjusted without any tool. Again, the simple
slotted stop may tend to shift slightly as the screw is tightened

I'd avoid any arrangement which might risk impeding shaving
clearance. While having a depth stop is handy, it's almost always
best to rely, in the final analysis, on working to a gauge line.
Speaking from "bitter" experience on this one!  ;-)

> Knicker:
>    - dovetailed?
>    - held with a wedge?

I haven't worked much with the dovetailed knickers, but have to
admit that I don't much care for them.  In part, I guess this is
because the small amount of wood left holding them seems very
fragile. Also, I don't like the idea of having to fiddle with the
fit as it's shortened through use.

The cranked/wedged type is probably more difficult to fit, but
that would be my personal choice. It does need to be carefully fit
so that it can't shift (as the holding of the wedge is some
distance from the edge), but the fit shouldn't need to be fiddled
with once the initial installation is accomplished.

> Boxing:
>    - full?
>    - just the corner?

How big a piece of boxwood (or other suitable wood) do you have? ;-)

While full boxing would obviously give more wear protection, I guess
I wonder to what extent this might introduce more of a tendency for
the entire stock to warp due to differential expansion/contraction?
For what it's worth, my primary moving filletster (Varville & Son,
York) was boxed at the corner. The boxwood had deformed over time
(needing a bit of attention) but the stock had remained fairly true.

What have others observed regarding this?

>How about the width of the plane?  Is there a width you find particularly

My Varville & Son is about 2 1/16" wide, with a maximum width of
cut of 1 1/4". This size feels "just right" to me -- possibly
because I've become accustomed to it.  I also have an Auburn Tool
Co. moving filletster which is about 2 7/16" wide which can take
about 1 1/2" width cut. It's not bad, but feels somewhat unwieldy
by comparison.

If you anticipate wider rabbets/rebates, you might want to make
yourself a "lefty" panel plane as well.  :-)

Don McConnell
Knox County, Ohio

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