Rounder Plane and Taper Auger

If the spoke pointer is like a pencil sharpener, the rounder plane is like an endless pencil sharpener. The stick gets shaved down to a certain size and then passes through a hole in the tool. You can work as far as you want, making just a tapered tenon on the end of the stick, or unwrapping shavings down the whole length.

A rounder plane often gets named after the item it shapes. Ladder makers call it a rung engine, but rake makers call it a stail engine, after the name for a rake handle. Boat builders call it a spar shave. When made in two parts with hand screw adjustments, the rounder can shape different sizes or, with continual adjustment, shave a taper. In America, these adjustable rounders are called witchets.

It's slow going, though, so try to do most of the work with a drawknife. The wood will emerge very rough if the rounder plane iron is set too deep, and the rounder plane will be very hard to turn if the iron is too shallow. Candle wax rubbed in the opening is a great help. A rounder plane will follow a curved stick very well, sometimes too well. If you leave a longer, noncutting, cylindrical passage on the trailing end of the hole, the rounder will tend to straighten a crooked path.

Taper augers cut conical holes for coopers, ladder makers, wheelwrights, and Windsor chair makers. They are side-cutters, and should only be sharpened on the inside edge. Starting with a taper auger, you can make the taper rounder to shape the matching tapered tenons. The positive makes the negative.

Scraper-based taper reamers are simple to make. Turn a tapered hard wood body, saw it down the middle, and insert a thin, tapered steel blade. This square-edged scraper working within a circle will still have clearance, but you can make it cut faster by filing a relief angle on the trailing side. Adjust the exposure of the blade by adding spacers between the end of the saw cut in the wooden body and the scraper blade. Marvelously, this type of scraper blade is self-centering.

The tenon cutter or hollow auger.
A cooper's bung borer shapes the tapered hole to make a rounder plane.
Use constant pressure to keep the nose, or shell, auger cutting.
The screw-pointed, spiral auger draws itself into the wood.
A brace and bit makes the boring continuous.

As violin and Windsor chair makers know, a long, tapered tenon gives tuning pegs and turned legs a tenacious grip.

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