email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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Hand-operated Planing Machine
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built by Richard Wilson -


Built between 2005 and 2012, by Richard Wilson in England, this 80 kg hand-operated planer is based on a design by Francis W. Shaw first published in the magazine 'Model Engineer and Amateur Electrician' in April, 1899. With additional pointers taken from the Tom Senior No. 3, the planer was constructed with the intention of producing a practical, useable workshop machine tool, but with no attempt to dress it up with an exhibition finish (though as a concession to obtaining the correct "vintage" appearance, a set of early-type, large-head Whitworth nuts was made up). However, also incorporated were a number features (some hidden) that are alien to the original including machined facings on the back of the bed to allow a later conversion to power drive, micrometer dials on the feedscrews, provision for locking the vertical and cross slides and thrust races under the cross-rail elevating screws. The bevels gears for the cross-slide elevating mechanism were cut by the builder, who also decided to make the bronze nut on the front elevating screw adjustable, so allowing, as wear develops in service, for the cross-rail to be reset so as to remain parallel to the table. The rate of cross feed is adjustable, down to 0.003" per stroke, depending on how many teeth on the driving wheel are 'gathered' by the ratchet. Arranged to pivot 90 each side of upright, the tool slide carries a clapper box than can, itself, be pivoted through 25 degrees - and also locked down to prevent lift when tackling 'pull' cuts for internal keyways. Degree scales were cut with the help of a rotary table made from castings by College Engineering together with an engraving device from Hemmingway Kits.
As is normal for a new example of this machine type, once built and assembled the planer's first operation was to perform a finishing cut across the table; using a HSS shear bit and the finest possible rate of feed the finish obtained approached that possible with a grinder - while being superior to that expected from most vertical millers. Without even being bolted down the planer has proved perfectly happy taking 0.050" cuts at a 0.009" feed-per-stroke rate on cast iron and, while popular intelligence says that carbide tipped tools should not be used on a shaper or planer (their brittleness might not take the impact at the beginning of a stroke) Richard has found otherwise. Perhaps because the scale of forces is so much lower than those experienced by a heavy industrial machine (where carbide might well prove unsuitable) on both the planer and a hand-operated Ormerod shaper that the builder owns, decent quality tipped tools have performed perfectly (on cast iron) - with a change to a high-speed steel bit being made only if the final finish should require it. A note of caution: Richard reports that he has not tried replaceable-tip tools, so cannot comment on their suitability. The planer's first real task was to cut an internal keyway in a flywheel and machine the crosshead guides for a model compound marine engine - though, with a table 22" long and 6.5" wide it can also manage larger jobs with workpieces up to 18" long, 8" wide and 9" high within its compass.
Sabine Bros. of Swadlincote produced a set of excellent iron castings from patterns made by the builder (self-taught in this skill) and, although the majority were in ordinary grey iron, because of its superior tensile strength it was decided that the two uprights (properly called "standards") and the top bridge piece would be in Spheroidal Graphite (SG). Machining was done mainly on a Raglan Little John 5-inch lathe and Centec 2B milling machine - the only parts farmed out or bought in being ball handles, slide locking screws, spring-loaded oilers and the main table rack with its matching pinion gear. An absorbing project - and, the builder believes, a very worthwhile result.
Similar planing machines covered in the Archive include: T.Taylor, Milnes, Senior, Fomm, Selig Sonnenthal, Kennan, Hesketh Walker, Brittain, Kennan, Britannia - as well as some by unknown makers.





email: tony@lathes.co.uk
Home   Machine Tool Archive   Machine-tools Sale & Wanted
Machine Tool Manuals   Catalogues   Belts   Books  Accessories

Hand-operated Planing Machine
-
built by Richard Wilson -