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Chamfer and Polish. Traditional shoulder planes had a small chamfer on the edges. Besides adding a nice detail, it makes the plane more comfortable to use. A file makes quick work of adding the chamfers (upper right photo).
To finish up, I used some abrasive pads to polish the brass (lower right photo). A little oil gives a nice finish on the infill and wedge.
Once you've done this, you're ready to give the plane a try. The box below shows how to use your shoulder plane. After taking some time to get it set up just right, you'll be amazed at the results.
m Stopped Chamfers. Use a
flat file to form the chamfers on the edges of the plane.
■< Final Polish.
Use abrasive pads and wet/dry sandpaper to give the plane a polished look.
A Shoulder Work. The shoulder plane excels at slicing the end grain of a tenon shoulder. For best results and to prevent tearout, work from both sides toward the center.
A Smooth Cheeks. Remove saw marks and sneak up on a snug fit using the shoulder plane. Shave equal amounts from both cheeks to keep the tenon centered on the workpiece.
trim out cornerwith shoulder plane
Using the Plane
She ulder planes get their name from —•e r ability :o slice the end grain on a tenon shoulder (Figure 1). They're designed for fine-tuning joinery. Since the plane iron is a hair wider than the plane, it can get "into a corner" for professional results.
Tenons. When I want a perfect fit with mortise and tenon joinery, a shoulder plane can't be beat. I use it all the time to trim the cheeks of a tenon to get a snug fit in the mortise. And a couple of cuts on the tenon shoulders gives me nice, tight-fitting joints.
Rabbets and Dadoes. As you can see in Figures 2 and 3, a shoulder plane is also ideal for fine-tuning rabbets and dadoes. You can fine-tune the thickness of a rabbet by sneaking up on the fit. And it works just as well for cleaning up the shoulder.
A dado blade is a great way to cut grooves and dadoes. But there's a problem. The bottom of a dado or groove can be rough. But a shoulder plane makes it easy to clean up the bottom of the dado.
Since the shoulder plane excels at working into corners, it works great on lap joints, too.
A Width and Depth. Clean up the face of a rabbet and fine-tune the depth using the shoulder plane as shown. Flip it on its side to dress up the shoulder of the rabbet.
A Clean Bottoms. A pass or two with a shoulder plane is all it takes to get rid of saw marks and create a smooth bottom in dadoes, grooves, and lap joints.