Building the Hotdog Mk II for the LV LA Jack

I though I would record the steps I followed in building these hotdog-shaped totes for the LV LA Jack (they fit the LV LA Smoother as well). For those who wish to make one for the LN #164 and #62, the modification necessary is to the profile of the plane. The LV and LN profiles are different, as most are aware.

This build differs from the Mk I version, where I carved a hotdog tote out of a solid block of hardwood using a mortice chisel and a backsaw. That was fine for a one-off, but when I was asked to make some more for others, I needed a more appropriate strategy. This time round I chose to build the totes using a lamination of three pieces, which would allow the central piece to be shaped to accurately fit with the profile of the plane. Preciously I had created the mortice with a chisel by trial-and-error.

Step 1: Prepare the basic stock

Using the bandsaw, I prepared Jarrah stock 45mm wide x 20mm thick. These were cut to 170mm lengths. Two are required. There is a third piece, 45mm wide x 5mm thick. The latter is the thickness of the wall of the plane.

Three templates were constructed.

One for the plan of the hotdog approximately 135mm long x 40mm wide. The finished diameter is 125mm.

A second is the profile of the plane. This is necessary to position the mortice and to position the setscrew.

The third is the thickness of the sidewall of the plane, 5mm, to set up the bandsaw for accurate re-sawing. This is vital as the hotdog must be a tight slip fit. It must not be loose since it will then rely on the setscrew to hold it on the plane, and it must not be tight, otherwise it will not fit.

Step 2: Cut the mortice

Begin with a centered outline of the hotdog on the mortice blank.

Then mark out the mortice area.

Cut it out

and smooth off any rough edges with a file.

Step 3: Glue up

Glue everything together ..

And clamp it up.

Step 4: Prepare the way for the setscrew

Using the template again, drill for the setscrew. Go only as deep as the mortice. Note that this is a design for a right hander. Drill the other side for a lefty.

For setscrews I am going to use a 3/16 brass bolt that I will cut to length, then file smooth at each end, and saw a driver slot at one end.

Tap the hole now it will be tricky to do later when the shape is no longer rectangular.

Step 5: Prepare the way for turning

The mortice slot is vulnerable to breaking out when the wood is turned on the lathe. So keep the mortice offcut and now replace it in the mortice.

And here the blank is on my little Jet mini lathe. I do not use a template for the final shape just keep the original in sight and approximate it by eye. It is so basic that it is a close match each time.

Step 6: Add the setscrew

This may now be trimmed to length and fitted.


Here is the finished product on my LA Jack.

And a gaggle of hotdogs building up

Hope you have fun making yours.

Regards from Perth


March 2008