Posted on August 03 2018
Do you often wonder how planes differ in design? In this article, we are going to explain how the HNT Gordon Hollow and Round planes were designed, and our thought processes behind those decisions.
Firstly, the wedge mechanism we designed is unique to us and has significant advantages for blade adjustment and removal as this design overcomes the problems associated with wood movement. As you can see in the image below – the wedge is held in place adjacent to a swivelling brass abutment, which locks the wedge and blade in place. This overcomes many issues with traditional wooden wedges slipping and loosening whilst in use because of wood movement – which is due to changes in relative humidity. To loosen the wedge, you can simply hit the brass abutment with a small mallet and you can remove the wedge and blade. Old moulding plane bodies and wedges will show signs of heavy hitting with a mallet for blade adjustment and removal because this wedging system has no allowance for wood movement.
The plane bodies are made from gidgee (which is an extremely hard, dense timber that is kiln dried and stabilised). Traditionally, moulding planes amongst other tools were made from woods such as beech - which over time wears considerably more and is less stable. Using gidgee saves you time not having to re-shape the sole on a regular basis.
Like most of our planes, we use a higher blade pitch to allow a tear out free experience on hard and soft woods with reversing grain. The bed angle is set at 60 degrees with a 5 degree skew which is good for ejecting the shavings on the right hand side of the plane (seen in the photo below). The blade bevel angle is set at 30 degrees for optimum edge retention. The blade geometry offers a large clearance angle behind the blade which minimises how often you have to sharpen your blade.
Here is a customer review and his thoughts on the design of our moulding planes:
I have been using moulding planes for about 40 years working with restored antiques. So I am very familiar with the problems traditional moulding planes have. As I was studying your planes on the internet (one does tend to study things before laying out several thousand dollars!), I came to appreciate that, from what I could tell from the pictures, you have solved the basic problems with the traditional design.
First, having a blade that does not taper is a 1000% improvement. Trying to adjust a traditional plane with a tapered blade with any accuracy is hit or miss
(even after 40 years of use) - and frustration with a wedge that is either too tight or too loose after an adjustment is monumental. So excellent move on that
Second, the fixed brass wedge is simply amazing. Working in tandem with the wooden wedge, I find it simply does not come loose during the adjustment
process. Perhaps this is primarily the lack of a tapered blade, but it seems to be the fixed wedge plays a key role here.
Third, perhaps because of the 5 degree skew, the planes seem to have no problem with ejecting chips. I suspect I could get it to clog, but with "normal abuse'
it doesn't seem to have any problem.
Fourth, the brass boxing on the sole is great. My traditional snipes are almost always out whack and seem to need constant turning of the sole. So to have a
more durable sole on the most crucial part of the plane is fantastic.
Thank you for reading :) You can find specifications on each hollow and round plane that we sell here.
If you have any questions please contact us here.
HNT Gordon & Co.