Friday, November 21, 2014

T-Shirts are Back

The Brese Plane "Just a Plane T-Shirt" is once again available. At one point we had discontinued offering the shirts even though we were still shipping them to customers that ordered planes and sometimes including them with planes as they were shipped.

We have restocked them in the Old Gold color and decided to offer them once again. These are heavy weight t-shirts of very nice quality.

Available on this blog page, see buy buttons below, and on the Brese Plane Web site Apparel page.

 1 ea. for $18.95 shipping included in the conus or anywhere a flat rate USPS package goes

Qty 1 Select Size Below

2 ea. for $34.95 shipping included in the conus or anywhere a flat rate USPS package goes

Qty 2 Select Size Below


"Don't let schooling interfere with your education", Mark Twain

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sometime Opportunity Knocks at Exactly the Wrong Time, Part 2

In an earlier blog post I featured the acquisition of a 1966 Powermatic 90 lathe that seem to make itself available at a time when the last thing I needed to do was stop to purchase a major piece of machinery. However It was apparent that I would be needing to upgrade my capability in a turning machine and sometimes you have to react when the right machine presents itself whether it's a convenient time or not.

The picture below shows the lathe as I received it. Not bad really but missing a few key components. It had received a paint job sometime in it's life in a high school shop and it was obvious that it was done by a student who was assigned the job for disciplinary reasons.

Don Gieger of Geiger solutions knows a lot of people in the turning community and he was kind enough to make a few phone calls in an attempt to locate a PM 90 tailstock for my lathe. He was successful and not only did he find one, it was for sale and it was in Atlanta less than 2 hours drive from me. That was the good news. The bad news is I paid more for the tailstock than I did the entire machine and it was a rusty nugget that needed a complete restoration including straightening the scroll screw.

The problem with having a fairly small work facility is there is no room for extra machines to await attention. When I bring something of this size into the shop I have to make time to do what needs to be done to make it serviceable so that I don't have to navigate around it for a month. Fortunately I sold my old lathe the next day.

I turned the knobs I would need for the planes I had in process at that time and then broke down the machine to do the functional part of the restoration. New headstock bearings, new 3 phase motor driven by VFD,  and new drive pulleys and belts. Yes my New/Old lathe would have digital variable speed in lieu of a Reeves drive.

While everything was apart for the functional repairs it made sense to go ahead with the cosmetic part of the restoration. No need to have to take it back apart again for painting.

Even though the paint it had received at the hands of the student was certainly not the neatest paint job I've seen it did however adhere very well so I just sanded the old paint, applied primer and 2 coats of the final color which is Rustoleum Sage Green.

I replaced all the assembly hardware. I purchased button socket head screws in a black oxide finish. I then polished the heads of the screws and applied gun bluing twice polishing them with steel wool between applications. Then I polished them on my buffer until I had something that looked like black chrome.  I acquired red fiber washers to accent the black.

I have the drive set up for a speed range that suits most of the work I turn on a regular basis. If I decide to branch into turning larger diameter items I may have to add a lower speed range option.

I found the outboard hand wheel on the auction site. Those do come available periodically. The PM 90 tail stocks not so much. Finally all the pieces of the puzzle were back together.

Even though this machine came along at exactly the wrong time and imposed on my shop schedule more than I wished I'm quite please with the end results of this restoration. Its ready to use and it resides in a permanent place in the shop. My shop has regained it's organization and I'm once again able to concentrate on plane making.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Lately at Brese Plane

I've not posted any new info on this blog in a while. I apologize for that but really it just means I've been quite busy.

As always work on planes is a constant and ongoing endeavor and the most recent plane completed is a custom version of the Winter Panel Plane.

The customer requested this plane with a plane body made from 440C stainless steel.

The brass bits of this plane were polished to a satin finish and then oiled and cured in my drying kiln. It makes the brass much less of a maintenance issue.

The wooden bits are Desert Iron wood. This is certainly a challenging wood to work. Besides the odd smell it requires much more diligence. It seems every process with this material takes 3 times longer as compared with other dense hardwoods.

There is nothing that looks quite like Desert Iron Wood. As I have often said, the results are worth the effort.


The quotable quote this week is from my 7 year old Granddarling even though she may have picked up this saying from her mother.

"You get what you get and you don't pitch a fit",     Katherine Mason