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W. & S. Butcher


UK Planes and their Makers

  The Stop-Chamfer Plane by J. F. T. Bailey, 1883  

Some few weeks past, looking through Volume I. of AMATEUR WORK, I lingered over the handsome designs given at page 453 of the "Lily" Overmantel Mirror, and determined to hazard the attempt to make one.

Without difficulty I cut all the "Fretwork;" but not being by any means a practiced hand with tools, and in the real sense of the word only "An Amateur," I had to give up the idea of "mortising" in the frame, and adopted the plan of jointing, employed in the making of "Oxford" picture frames.

This, with due care, I successfully accomplished, producing as close joints as a "mortise." I cut my frame of 1-1/2 inch yellow pine, and secured each joint with glue and 1-1/4 inch screws from the back.

When the frame was made, it appeared to me it would relieve the straight edges if "stop-chamfered." Here I was in a dilemma. How was this to be done? I knew that unless all the "stops and chamfers" were perfect, my frame would be spoiled.

In my difficulty I consulted a friend who had just finished a "Lily" mirror from the same designs; he at once introduced to my notice the very tool I needed - viz., a "stop-chamfer plane," which he procured from Messrs. Booth Brothers, 63 Upper Stephen Street, Dublin.

I was incredulous that any so-called plane could cut both "stop and chamfer;" but I took it home, and on a spare piece of wood tried it, when, to my delight, I found it perfectly successful at the first trial.

This tool is the same as I find noticed at page 402, in the June part (1883). It will cut any chamfer from 1/8 inch to 1-1/2 inch, by means of the movable block "A," which regulates the size, the iron behind of course being moved with it.

I required for my frame a inch chamfer, and regulated the plans accordingly; then pencil-marked the points from, and to, which the chamfers were to be cut; put each piece of the frame on the edge of an ordinary kitchen table (in the absence of a bench), and with a penknife cut a small V-shaped nick about inch on the pencilmarks; placed the plane on the edge of the wood, about 4 inches in front of the V nick, and drew back the plane, the iron touching the edge lightly until it met the nick, into which it at once went.

This, then, was the starting-point of both "stop and chamfer". A forward movement, then, as with an ordinary plane, to within a short distance of the other end, and off came the first shaving beautifully, this movement repeated from each end, each time bringing back the iron to the starting-point or nick, until no more shavings will come off; a most perfect "stop and chamfer" is produced, such as I have not seen equaled by any other means, from the hands of even the most skillful carpenter, as each "stop and chamfer" must be at the same angle and same size when this tool is used.

It was thus I "stopchamfered" my frame in a most perfect manner, without having previously used the plane. No experience, no trouble, not even extra care, is required to enable the veriest tyro, by means of this plane, to make as good a "stop-chamfer" as is possible to be made.

Certainly no amateur can afford to be without one, and it would be a most valuable addition to the stock of even the most expert workman. And I am confident that every amateur who uses it, will say with me, in his difficulty of "stop-chamfering," that this plane of Messrs. Booth is a perfect solution in this case of the problem, Quod erat faciendum.

I hope you will excuse my lengthy remarks on so simple a matter, but my desire is solely to aid my brother "amateurs," as I desire being aided myself; for oftentimes I fear that meagerness of details interferes to prevent many amateurs attempting some pretty work which otherwise they might successfully accomplish. I am pleased, however, to admit that this drawback is not to be found in the pages of AMATEUR WORK.

1883-Amateur Work Illustrated-Vol.3, November, 1883 (London: Ward Lock & Co.)

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