Thread: Tips, Techniques and Theory
12th October 2020, 03:36 AM #46
Does anybody anneal their brass to make it softer for ease of peining?
Because I am using brass of unknown type that was previously a bolt-on lid/cover, I am assuming it will be the harder variety that doesnít pein easily. Just wondering if I should look at annealing it before I go too much further.Brad.
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12th October 2020, 07:07 AM #47
12th October 2020, 08:00 AM #48
12th October 2020, 08:37 AM #49
Your brass may be one of the harder compositions in the first place and also it work hardens. Most of the information on the web seems to revolve around reloading cartridge shells, but basically heating brass softens it (does not harden the material as with steel) so it may well help you. This is a link, just as an example, but I suggest you look up more information than this:
Understanding Brass Annealing - The Bloke
I would try a test piece as Matt has suggested. A while back I tried to fold a brass back for a backsaw. It was a disaster as the brass split, but I don't know what the composition was. While a 180 degree fold is more extreme it does identify the potential to fracture rather than move with ductility.
"Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely!"
12th October 2020, 08:52 AM #50
Yep, I'd advise testing any unknown brass. Just cut a sliver off a waste area and hammer the end. My rule of thumb is, if you can spread it to twice its width without cracking or flaking, it'll do nicely. (Have a look at post #2 here, where I've demonstrated some Chinese H62 (soft) vs C3800 (hard) brass.
I have read of people annealing the brass as they went along (Peter McBride for one). If you are happy to do that, it will give you more leeway, but even with the hard machinable brass (C3800) like I've used on most of my planes, you shouldn't need to worry too much unless you are making brass to brass dovetails, in which case you want at least one of the pieces to be fairly malleable. If you are dovetailing brass sides to a steel sole, both mild steel and gauge plate are more malleable than C3800, but you can still use the hard brass if you arrange it so most of the peening is done on the steel.
If you cut the 'tails' on the brass, and 'pins' on the sole piece and get a reasonably good fit, the brass is already locked in the pins in the 'vertical' direction just like wooden d/ts. The 'heavy' peening is done on the projecting steel pins, to fold them over the edges of the tails. After the tails are locked in, you switch to the exposed ends of the tails. These should only need light peening to fill the inside corners and close up any small gaps along the sides.
I've only had the brass chip on me once, & that was because I was trying to fill a very large gap on my first curved-side plane. It was also my first dovetailed plane, so it was pretty stupid of me to try curved sides on my first attempt! By the time I got the sides to fit on the sole, there were a coupe of gaps close to a mm wide. Gaps like that take a LOT of peening to fill! Eventually, I managed to get the steel pins over, but when I turned to the sole side, there were a few scary voids that the brass had to fill. I'm surprised only one corner chipped severely. Fortunately, it wasn't as deep a chip as I first thought, it left only a small depression after after cleanup, & after many years of use there are the usual minor dings & scratches, so my tiny blemish is now lost in the background noise....
I had many "O shirt!" moments on my first plane build, but we got there in the end....
Edit: I meant to say that looking back with a lot more experience under my belt, I'm amazed at how well that first attempt at a dovetailed body turned out. There are a few small gaps here & there, but you don't notice unless you look hard for them. It's well over 10 years old now, has had a fair bit of use & even a short trip to the concrete floor on one occasion, but none of the joints has moved ....IW
12th October 2020, 12:20 PM #51
Basic kit of metal plane tools.
First this is just what Iím using at present due to my circumstances.
And not to be taken as a moan,it is just what it is.
I have more an better tools at home.
So this is what Iíve been using,an to be totally honest it works it gets the job done, of course I get a bit frustrated , when I know I have other gear but Such is life.
So we a 300 mm Bastard file.
300 mm second cut(that really needs a vinegar bath).
Second cut 200 mm triangle Second cut
300 mm Rat tail Bastard cut.
A 200 mm second cut saw file with one face ground smooth.
A 200 mm square file second cut,with one side ground of.(safety edge)
A small square, small cheap micrometer(it sucks) small centre punch, I found a piece of small tool steal and made a chisel from that.
Blue markie pen thingy, blue is better than black to see a scored line in I reckon.
A bit of dowel and double sided tape,that I rap wet and dry paper around.
With wet and dry I use from 60 grit to about 2000 well that will be my plan!!
And either use water or WD40 as a lubricant.
I also had a 300/600 smooth tile as a basic lapping board.
My cordless angle grinder because now I get frustrated walking all the way to the van to grab an extension cord(my first world problem [emoji3064]).
A steel ruler.
A hacksaw with 24/32 TPI blades
My scribe was a piece of round brass I found, I drilled a hole with a 3 mm drill bit, then stuck it in with some liquid nails and ground a point on it.
$3 protractor from Amazon I think.
A hammer and a cheap Ball peen hammer from Super cheap.
A set of drill bits(You donít need a full set I just have a full set in the work van).
Little pair of dividers too.
I like Wiltshire Files that I either Father in law has gifted me(I wonít discuss how he kept them [emoji35] but I am great full)
I have also brought them second hand,
Nicholson Hand Files 4" Half Round Bastard (coarse) 04695 Made in American (USA) | eBay
Or there these guys
Jewellers Supplies Tools & Equipment | Australian Jewellers Supplies
Hope that helps an gets some of you going
12th October 2020, 12:32 PM #52
12th October 2020, 01:19 PM #53
12th October 2020, 01:47 PM #54GOLD MEMBER
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- Dandenong Ranges
Hi Matt I have some old files I would like to see if I can clean up. Have you used vinegar before? I am a bit of a fan of citric acid but happy to add to my arsenal.
12th October 2020, 02:39 PM #55
Matt, I edited your post in Brad's thread about files so it brings you to this page rather than page1 of the thread. I didn't think you'd mind my not asking permission, but if you are upset, I beg forgiveness.
That is a really good post you've put up, I reckon, because it shows you are getting by with a less than optimum lot under your current restricted circumstances. While I'm sure you would add several more to the arsenal if you were at home, that lot is getting the job done for you. There's usually a file that's perfect for any given job, but lots of other files a little bigger, smaller, finer or coarser than the 'perfect' one can be almost as good. For example, I like using a large chainsaw file rather than a rat-tail, because they are a constant diameter, and I can use it to evenly draw-file the curvy bits. And where you are using a couple of 12 inch (300mm) files, I'd use a 10 inch bastard & second-cut, simply because I find that size suits me better. One size down also has a slightly finer cut, so they are a tiny bit easier to push around (gets to be an important consideration on a long filing job as aged muscles start to fade!). I also like to have a 10 inch smooth "mill" file for final cleaning up after the rough work has been completed with the coarser files. Mill files are cut much finer than "flat" files (stupid naming 'cos they are both flat), but even big places like Blackwoods seem to be carrying fewer sizes in mill files these days & it's getting hard to get the ones I want.
I presume the small flat file is for filing the mouth? Maybe we should have a bit of a chat about that at this juncture:
When you are making the mouth & bed-bevel, you usually begin by cutting a slot across the sole (I'm only talking bevel-down blades atm, BUs are another matter & I'll go there shortly). The width of the 'starter' slot is mostly determined by the blade you intend to use. I start by making the slot as wide as the blade is thick, or just a tad wider. The opening is eventually going to be wider than this because the blade will be coming through at an angle (for example, the mouth needs to be 1.414 x blade thickness on the sole side for a 45 degree blade to just fit through).
When you start filing the bed angle through your mouth slot, you need to begin with a very thin file. I use a 6" bastard cut "warding" file, which is ~2mm thick, about 2/3rds the thickness of a typical 6 inch flat file. This will fit through a 3.2mm blade slot with enough room to spare that it can be tilted down to file the back of the slot. It's almost impossible not to graze the front of the mouth with the file when you begin, & make a bit of a ragged mess of the front of the mouth on the sole side. That's why I like to leave a bit of extra meat there. Once the infiill is in place & I'm setting it up, I straighten & finesse the front of the mouth.
The first couple of blade beds I made I did entirely by filing, which takes slightly less than forever (and is almost enough to make you give up the whole stupid idea on a large plane & just go & buy a Holtey!). So I started cutting out as much waste as I can with a jewellers saw for a small plane, or use the jewellers saw to cut out a chunk so I can get a hacksaw in & finish it with that. It's difficult to keep the bevel cut on track so I stay well clear of the lines, but it still gets 80% or more of the waste out of the way & saves a heap of filing!
The lower the bed angle and the thinner the blade, the more difficult it becomes to file the bed angle without making a mess of the front of the mouth. Spiers & Norris used very thick blades, I'm sure for other reasons as well, but a mouth for a thick blade gives you a lot more room to file comfortably.
If the bed angle gets to less than about 35 degrees, it's not practical to try and cut the mouth in a solid sole with simple hand tools, so for low-angle, BU beds, the sole is generally split at the mouth, the bed formed & the two pieces fitted back together with a vee joint or a tongue & groove joint. I've always used a T&G joint, but lately I've been thinking the Vee joint would be a bit easier to adjust to get the two pieces fitting back exactly co-planar.
So there you go, filing that blade bed is possibly the most difficult part of the build, but if you take your time & use care, you'll get there. It's important to get it as close as you can because the blade bed plays a huge part in how well your creation performs...
12th October 2020, 02:43 PM #56
Yes I first tried Vinegar from that place weíre Karren didnít wear a mask, it was a cleaning Vinegar it was useless.
Than Doug 3030 put me on to this
Highly recommend it,actually I refund you(Only You)
the $3 Australia dollars if your not happy lol.
I soaked some files for about 48 hours, then just put them on some kitchen towel to dry out.
For me it worked really well, they feel sharp,you can feel the teeth grab the skin off your hands.
There not new files and Iím not expecting them to cut like new files but Iím still pretty happy with them.
12th October 2020, 02:52 PM #57
If you are stuck in lockdown & have no choice, I guess you are keen to try even desperatemeasures, but give them a good clean & try these damaged files before you do anything, so you can compare the results of "sharpening". If you get an improvement, I'll be surprised, but also very happy for you....
Edit: Well, there you go, two bits of conflicting advice, so take your choice. I guess you have little to lose but a bottle of vinegar, & much to gain if it works for you.
And you can always take up pickling to while away the hours if the files don't improveIW
12th October 2020, 03:15 PM #58
I might as well put my 2c worth in on the vinegar too.
I have put files in vinegar a few times with mixed results. At best they cut better but they are never the same as brand new - not even close. Other times they don't cut at all after. Might be some difference in the manufacturing. THe ones that yield a bit more life after a vinegar bath tend to be the older ones.
I do find old files useful for recycling into other tools as IanW suggested. To do this they need to be annealed first. To do this I put them in the forge when I am forging or heat treating (an)other blade(s) and just leave them in the forge to cool down when I turn it off. The slow cooling anneals them and they become soft enough to cut/file/mill/drill etc. Then you can heat treat the item you make them into for their second life.
As an aside, I once saw a bloke demonstrating HSS drills at a camping show, by drilling holes into files. This was impressing people and he was selling heaps of them. The only way this could have been happening is if the files were annealed. No, I didn't buy any.
14th October 2020, 10:50 AM #59
Tips, Techniques and Theory
Iím reluctantly asking for opinions, my reason for being reluctant is Iím easily lead, and Iím sure eventually in this challenge the gloves are going to come off, and it will be all for one and one for all.
With many a partner having there ears assaulted lol.
Currently my little Cubits bow top edge is square to the face,
Iím inclined to think I should file the top edge to be horizontal with in line of the soul, this will give it a visual look of being thicker than it is.
My dearest and partner in crime thinks not!!!
Second issue how to attach the front piece to the sides,originally I was going to dovetail it to the sides,
once the sides are attached to the sole,
Difficult yes ,but not impossible!
I would cut the dovetails before assembly.
(Ian mention this in my build thread.)
But ,what Iím now thinking is, I will file the sides and the front piece at 45 degrees, making a mitre joint then screw them together using a M2 bolt from either side made in brass, then Peen the head flush.
This way I hope to get a neat looking joint from the top.
Opposite to this look
Iím heading towards the mitre look.!
Sorry forgot to mention Brass is 6 mm think.
14th October 2020, 11:09 AM #60GOLD MEMBER
- Join Date
- Oct 2018
- Dandenong Ranges
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