Hi Russ, I was looking on your web page and noticed that a person
named Eric had contributed to the kingshott pages, and since he
mentioned my list I wanted to respond to it- you are free to add
it to your page if you wish.
>4) I think his dovetailing procedure could be improved for the
>neophyte(me, and I assume most of his audience) by telling us to
>cut the dovetails in side and sole BOTH a bit proud. It makes more
>filing, but you can peen both a bit and really tighten up the
>joint appearance, which for the first plane will probably be
>useful. If you end up with pins a bit to proud it is a lot easier to
>file them down than to lap the whole side when one is a tad short!
>Also his description of the procedure and the pictures really
>need some editing to make the steps understandable.
>7) he doesn't tell you the lever cap width should be the same as the
>distance between the steel sides(-.002 or so). Chumps like me who
>haven't seen the real thing, and are used to the stanley lever caps
>end up making them too narrow.
Then Eric writes:
>I find point number 4 from
>Mike Lindgren's comments to be a little misleading.
>The dovetails on both the sole and the sides _must_ be proud because
>both are compound dovetails, to be peened over. If only you could cover
>up your inadequate dovetail work in wood as easily!
I don't know why this is misleading, since we are saying a similiar
thing, and it is different from what Kingshott says in pages 105-108
in the section on dovetailing. I would have to disagree with the
part about "_must_ be proud because both are compound dovetails, to be
peened over" The second splay means that only the ends of the
tails extending from the side plates need to be peened, in the event
that you have made perfect dovetails. That is, the ends of the
pins visible from the sides of the plane only need to be peened
to cover the imperfections in your dovetail cutting, not to provide
the locking action of the second splay.(which is in the other direction
On page 105, in the intro to this section, Kingshott says:
"The big difference is that they are splayed in both directions: this
is of course impossible in wood, but steel, being malleable, can be
peened to fit the SECOND(my emphasis added) splay."
His procedure is to peen the ends of the tails cut from the sides.
To emphasize this point, on page 106, when talking about the sides,
"Because the tails on the sides are splayed both ways when completed
by peening, ... Spare metal will be needed to form the second
bevel, so the tails are slightly longer than the thickness of the
Here at a critical point, he uses the precise "slightly longer" to
describe how much is needed. Then below, when talking about the
sole, he writes:
"I allow extra width so that there is some metal to file away after
assembly; 1/64" on each side is plenty."
Note he doesn't say anything about peening these, and 1/64" isn't
enough to do any substantial peening with in any case. What I
originally wrote is wrong about "kingshott should tell us to leave
both a bit proud", when I meant to say that for a first timer who
hasn't done a lot of metal work the pins should be proud
of the sides only slightly less than the tails are proud of the sole.
1/64" is probably fine for an expert, but for a first timer you will
be way ahead leaving more like 1/16"(god, here I am complaining
bitterly about 3/64 of an inch, what have I come to...) Oh well,
as long as I am complaining, he says "slightly longer" to describe
the critical side tails, from which you have to peen to fill an
intentionally filed gap, and below he equates 1/64"(16 thou!) to
"plenty". I call that an invitation to cut your side tails too
short to fill the second bevel. It is only a mistake you will make
on one plane however!
In the assembly section on pages 107-108, he details how to peen the
ends of the tails cut from the sides. He has the body clamped in the
vise so that you cannot reach the ends of the pins to peen them. He
"These packing pieces should be made level with the face of the sole
to prevent the sides from bending during peening."
He then finishes by talking about filing the ends of the tails and pins
with no mention of peening the ends of the pins.
>I disagree w/ Mikes point #7, there are drawings of lever caps in the
>book. Otherwise, I agree with Mike 100%. Particularly, I think the
>section on peening the dovetails could have used a few more pictures.
I agree I should have been able to figure it out, but someone
like me(rank amateur) who is used to the stanley lever caps
that are narrower than the body may not figure it out without
it being spelled out in the text. As soon as I saw a real infill
I slapped the side of my head and said " Oh yeah, that makes sense!"
Then I could see from Kingshotts books photos that they were done that
way. But one sentence to the effect that the lever cap width should
be the same as the distance between the cheeks(minus say .01") would
have been appreciated. His drawing 13.11 on page 111 shows the lever
cap fitting into the body, and it seems to me that the gap shown there
is larger than I have seen on the few infills I have fondled so there
would have been some slop. I just wish in the short section on the
lever cap in chapter 13 that he would have included more details that
would help me make one instead of blathering on about how he got
some place to laser engrave his cap.
I have read this book several times, and this section always confuses
the devil out of me. It is possible I am still not reading these
sections carefully, and since I know more now I see kingshott dropping
hints where I could not before. If Eric reads this and disagrees
with what I wrote above I would certainly be happy to exchange email
about it with him. I don't know his email address, can you forward
this to him? Or not, if I come off as being some kind of strident
jerk in it.
Best regards, mike
I'd have to say that Mike is right about the way kingshott does his
dovetails. I must have mentally edited his techniques. This does show
very well that Kingshott could explain his methods more explicitly. I do
think, however, that double splaying both sets of pins works better,
especially because neither splay has to be as extreme, and you can pull
the parts together better if you happen to have bent something.