In thinking about the hardware for this project I had more or less settled on a solution for the blade. I have a #5 ½ blade that had been sharpened so many times that it was well past its useful service life as a plane iron, but would have been suitable for this project, albeit a little wider than necessary. However, the chap who commissioned this project had a better solution. He had previously tried himself to make a Biltong Slicer, but found that he couldn’t do it. His intention was to build several of them and sell them on, and to that end he had a number of blades made up. He suggested that I use his blades instead. They are a little tarnished and the bevel has been crudely ground with and angle grinder, so they will need a little honing and polishing before they can be pressed into service, but I think they will be more suitable for the project than the plane iron.
The slicer that I was loaned at the start of this project had its blade attached at and angle to the side of the handle with two bolts – two bolts being necessary to stop the blade from swiveling away from the desired angle. My design, because it makes use of a mortise hole to house the blade, will only need one bolt to secure it and I happen to have an old saw nut, salvaged from the beat up tenon saw that I used to make the plate for my Kerfing Plane. Again, it is a bit tarnished but it should buff up nicely with a bit of elbow grease.
The tarting up will have to wait until later however. First I need to concentrate on the mortise. Using my sliding bevel, set to the correct angle, as a guide, I chopped out the mortise with my one and only mortising chisel – an old beat up specimen that just happened to be exactly the right width. Then I drilled for the saw nut; a 12mm counterbore for the heads, then 5mm from one side, 7mm from the other.
With the blade installed I turned my attention to the hinge. I have decided to use a piece of 6mm brass rod which will pass through the handle and be glued into blind holes in each upright. Then it was onto the holes for the dowel joints. Using dowel centres for accuracy, I bored 8mm holes for the hinge uprights, 3 dowels each, and 5mm holes for the chopping board, before dry fitting. Next I’ll need to cut out and refine the final shape of each component. Hey! Maybe I can use my new Turning Saw! Happy days!
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