Lately I have been doing a bit more custom/complex profiles for moulding planes. I thought I would show you a bit of how I go about doing it. I don’t know how the artisans of old did this. It would be interesting to see what they did. Did they cut the profile, grind it, or something else I am not thinking of. I don’t guess it matters. I am not constrained by there technology and I am sure if they lived now they wouldn’t constrain themselves either for any nostalgic reason. They would probably be excited to see our tooling and put it to use.
Once you have made your complex profile moulding plane with the profile cut in the sole and everything otherwise complete and fitted take your blade and coat it with machinist fluid on the top front edge of the blade, let it dry (duh!). Insert the blade in the plane. Set the wedge, then scribe the profile of the sole onto the blade. Try to do this in one pass, otherwise the scribe line gets harder to clearly see. A single fine line is much easier to track even if it isn’t perfect.
Here is what I currently do to cut the profile. I know it will change some as I like to refine and tinker with my methods. I think it is what keeps me interested in the craft. Below is my setup. You need a good light for this kind of work…Oh and coffee too. 🙂