HOLDING AND USING A PLANE

A WOODEN smoothing-plane is hold by curving the left hand round the front end and straddling the right hand over the back behind the iron, or curving it round the back end. A jack has a toat or handle at the back for the right hand; the left hand grasps it with thumb pressing on the near side and the fingers curving over the top.

The pressure should be greater on the front of the plane when beginning a stroke, and be transferred to the baok towards the end. Except with smoothing-planes, used for trr.ing up a surface locally, the strokes should be long and steady to remove a continuous shaving, which will show, by the constancy or variation of its thickness, whether the surface has approached truth or not.

When working over difficult places, such as round knots or across the grain, the plane may work better if held somewhat obliquely to the direction of motion, to give a drawing or slicing cut.

HINTS ON PROCEDURE DEFORE planing a board examine both L sides and select the better as the face side, that is, the one which will be the basis for working from, and will be arranged to show if only one side is to be visible when the board is in position. First, the face side is made quite true. Then the face edge is planed quite straight, and square to the face side. The marking gauge is then used to fix the width and the other edge is planed square down to this mark. Finally, the other face is planed. Should its unplaned thickness vary in different places the gauge will be used along the edges from the working face, and planing be done down to the marks.

Before planing a board wipe it over with a handful of shavings to remove any grit which, if left, would blunt the cutter. Then examine the run of the surface fibres of the saw marks. The plane must be used in the direction of the fibres, as indicated by the arrow, until the surface is smooth.

The grain here rises to the surfaoe in both directions, and to avoid splintering the wood the plane must be worked outwards from the centre of the patch to suit the clifforent runs of the grain.

TEST FOR TWIST

IF a board has a twist in it, planing the surface smooth will not necessarily produce a flat surface. To test for twist or wind, as the joiner calls it, two strips of wood, with their edges perfectly straight and parallel, are stood on edge across the board. A sight taken over their tops will show at once whether the parts of the board on which they rest are in the same plane or not. Planing must be persevered with until the top edges of the strips are parallel, wherever the strips be placed. The surface will then be out of winding or perfectly flat laterally.

The face side finished, the face edge is taken in hand. Or the stock can be slid over the face side till the blade touches the edge.

The other edge is gauged off from the face edge and squared in like manner; and the second side can then be worked down. If planed to gauge marks on both edges, it should be slightly bevelled down to them both ways from the centre , and the hump then removed.

PLANING ACROSS THE GRAIN IF a plane moving across the grain comes A off over a square edge it will most likely splinter the corner. As already mentioned, oblique strokes are useful in cross-planing.

The precaution of running over the back of the grain is needed when bevelling the end of a board.

Do not rely on the eye.

REBATING

A REBATING plane has a cutter as wide as the body, and a throat open at the sides to allow shavings to escape. Its purpose is to make rectangular cuts in the edges of pieces into which glass or panels have to be sunk.

Say that a rebate I inch wide and inch deep is to be cut. The board is first gauge-marked for width and depth of rebate, and a perfectly straight strip is tacked or clamped ½ inch away from the edge to guide the plane. The material is then planed away down to the depth mark. Care must be taken to keep the plane vertical and well up to the guiding strip all the time.

PLOUGHING AND ROUTING THE plough plane is for cutting grooves in or near edges. It has an adj ustable fence on one side to fix the distance of the groove from the guiding face or edge, and a vertical screw to regulate the depth of the cut. With the plane is supplied a set of 8 cutters, ranging from ½ inch to f inch in width. It can be used for making rebates, by ploughing two narrow grooves to the depth and width of the rebate at right angles to one another till they meet.

A router is in effect a flat plate from which an L-shaped cutter projects, the bottom of the L being bevelled to an edge. Its function is to remove the waste between two saw-cuts made across the grain and form a groove for a shelf, etc. The wasto is planed away in stages by setting the cutter farther out after each journey until full depth is attained.

Here are a few hints regarding the care of planes : Never lay aside a plane right way up, for if the cutting edge struck metal it would be chipped. Lay it on its side.

Before putting a piano away, retract the cutter into the body.

Ketain a smoothing-plane for finishing only; do not use it on a rough surface.

A little grease or oil on the sole of a piano will make it run more sweetly.

Plastic Wood. This is a kind of putty, made by mixing wood powder with certain chemicals. It clings very firmly to any clean wood surface to which it is applied and hardens very quickly on exposure to the air. When hard, it can be planed, cut, carved, stained, polished or varnished. It does not powder nor blister, and, having no grain, it does not split. In fact, it possesses so many useful qualities that many readers who do not already know of it will be glad to make its acquaintance.

The material is sold in tins and collapsible tubes. The latter are the more convenient for small work, as the putty hardens very quickly, and by capping a tube immediately after what is needed has been squeezed out of it, the contents remaining are protected against hardening. In the case of tins, however careful one is to replace the cover, air must be enclosed.

Plastic wood which has partly set can, however, be softened again with the solution sold by the makers for the purpose. Some of this solution should be procured, as it is also useful for cleaning fingers and tools used in the application of the putty.

Plastic wood is excellent for filling up deep dents, holes and cracks in wood, and for mending corners which have been damaged.

If a considerable bulk is to be used in one place, it should be applied in thin layers, each being allowed to harden thoroughly before the next is laid on.

The putty may be used for plugging holes in walls to hold screws.

Being highly inflammable in its soft State, owing to vapour given off, it should be kept away from a naked flame.

Plugging Walls. Heavy objects such as bookcases and cupboards which have to be hung on walls should be held to it by screws. These cannot of themselves get a grip on plaster or brick, and the only safe course is to insert them into wooden plugs driven into holes made for them.

A hole should pass through the plaster either into a joint of the brickwork or into solid brick. If partly in one and partly in the other, it will give trouble in the drilling, and the plug may not hold. The position of a joint can be found by probing with a fine bradawl, which will be arrested by brick when it has penetrated half an inch or so. Plugs inserted in brick hold best.

If the wall is papered, the paper is cut on three sides round where the hole is to be, and the flap is pinned back to expose the plaster. Drilling is done with a chisel sold for the purpose or a tubelike jumper with serrated end. To guide the tool, a circle rather larger than the hole will be, should be scratched on the wall before the plaster is disturbed. The tool is given part of a turn between every two blows, and while penetrating the plaster should be used gently, to avoid breaking the edges away. When brick is reached hard blows are needed.

Make the hole 2½ inches deep, and clear it out well. A square, slightly tapering plug, preferably of oak or other hard wood, is cut, rather less than 2i inohes long. Its end corners and four side corners are chamfered off slightly. It should then be just too large to enter the hole. Hammer it in flush and drill a hole in the centre for the screw. Then replace the paper, after making a hole in it opposite the screv hole.

The positions for other plugs are now fixed by measurement or by using the thing to be hung as gauge, and the plugs inserted in the same way as the first. But screw-holes should not be made in them until the article has been anchored by the one screw and supported in the correct hanging position, when the holes in the hanging attachments used will be safe guides to follow.

A well-set, hard plug should never come out. A soft-wood one, which was a little on the small side to begin with, may loosen by shrinkage and compression, and this is an argument in favour of hard plugs, which, if large enough to be fairly difficult to drive, should never give trouble.

For fixing screws into bare brick, marble, stone, or concrete, there is much to be said in favour of patent fibre tubes, which are not much larger in diameter than the screw itself and are expanded with great force against the material in which they are sunk by the wedging action of the screw. They require onty small holes, less than ½ inch in diameter for the smallest size, and these are quickly made with the special tool provided in an outSt.

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