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Re: Bookbinding Plough

        I pondered the same problem a couple of years ago, and as you note none of
the illustrations seemed to reveal the trick.  If I could get my "Paint"
program to "Insert" in an e-mail message I would draw one.  But let me try
to explain what I think I found.
        Assuming that you are doing a standard plough, not a vertical one: the
bottom of the blade section has a cut-out the width of the blade and
exactly the depth of the blade's thickness.
        The blade itself has a hole drilled through it (1/4" or 5/16" should be
adequate) which has been counter-sunk thusly \__/ so that a flat-head bolt
can sit down inside it.  A similar hole (should be just larger enough to
allow the bolt to fit easily inside it) is drilled up through the wood.
The blade, with the bolt inserted, is fastened into the cut-out slot and
held in place by a wing-nut, over a washer of course, on the top.  It is
best if these holes can be drilled on a drill press in order to keep them
square to the working base.
        The one thing I could not figure out is how to keep that blade sharp.
Since I did not have a plough I made a substitute from a very good quality
3/4" wood chisel which I laboriously ground down to a plough-blade's
cutting shape, and tapered the thickness way back - perhaps as far as 1
1/2".  Then I removed the handle and had a local welding shop weld a piece
of steel about eight inches long to the top of the chisel's tang as a
handle.  The original handle was too close to the end of the blade if I had
a thick book to trim.  The cutting edge I ground down with an India stone,
then an Arkansas stone, and finally with a strop.  I did the cutting with
the book firmly inside the finishing press I built, and using the forward
section's top as my guide surface.  It worked, but it seemed that I needed
to re-strop the edge at least once or twice while cutting through, since
paper is notoriously tough on cutting edges.
        With the plough blade, the repeated stropping or sharpening could be a
drag.  It may be that the commercial blades sold with regular ones are of a
different steel, but they DO need to be sharpened.
        Anyway,. maybe this answers your basic question about how the blade is
attached - at least on one plough I had a chance to examine closely.
Charles Schermerhorn

> From: Ang Cheng Siew <johnacs@PACIFIC.NET.SG>
> Subject: Bookbinding Plough
> Date: Monday, June 15, 1998 9:07 PM
> Dear book arts friends,
> I do bookbinding as a craft and am attempting to make a plough. I have
> most of the components done except the part where the blade attaches to
> body. I based my design on photographs I've seen in books. There seems to
> be no detail drawing of the blade attachment, only decription. Can
> please help by providing a diagram of the blade attachment?
> John Ang Cheng Siew
> email : <mailto:johnacs@pacific.net.sg>

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