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Tools for plastic


The tool described here is used for making well defined edges and square angles to pieces of plastic card. It is developed by Peter Clark a well known member of the 2 mm Scale Association and specialist in tooling matters. It consists of a set of planes with accompanying working platform called "shooting board". The shooting board exists of a base plate and a straight edge along which the planing tools are moved by hand. There are two planes, one for square edges and one for 45 degree angles to make mitred corners.

The shooting board exists of a 3 mm base plate with a bit narrower 6 mm thick topplate that forms the working surface. The two are connected into one unit with 6 M4 screws. The original items are made of steel which results in a stable working platform. This shooting board won't shift around if you use some heavier card of 2mm thickness. A slot is milled in the top plate, which is used for the end stop to hold your piece of plastic. This stop is fixed with again 2 M4's making up the total of 8 holes.
The basic requirement on this tool is that the topplate has a durable straight edge along which the planes can slide and that the stop is at right angles with your straight edge. Of course there are alternative materials possible if you cannot handle metals this heavy. You can improvise with pieces of 5mm MDF with brass angle profile as straight edge as an alternative approach.

The planes exist of 2 main pieces: sole and body. The sole of brass is the lower part that slides over the shooting board. This has the same thickness as the topplate of the shooting board thus the cutter can shave the full height of a piece of card pressed against the stop. The body sits on top of the plane and is a piece of square steel bar. There are 2 milled slots in this piece of bar on right angles at facing surfaces. The lower one is for holding the cutter. The cutter is fixed with a M4 socket screw that is inserted in the hole facing the top of the plane. The other vertical slot is for removing the cut material. The depth of the cutter can be fine adjusted with the knurled screw. The fixing of body and sole is by 2 M4 screws. These are about 5 mm out of the centerline of the piece of steel bar in order to miss the hole in top. The plane for mitred corners also has a small edge taken off of the steel bar. The photos make the various parts more clear. The drawing gives all the details. You can download a 1:1 drawing in PDF format.
Extension of the tool is possible for making straight edges with different corner angles. For instance by clamping 2 mm thick precut aluminium plates against the stop with angles of 30,45 and 60 degrees for the tops of façades.


This view shows how the tool is used and details of the plane for 45 degree corners. Note the 45 degree facets on plane and cutter, the location of the 6 mm slots in 2 faces and the offset from the centerline of the screw holes in the sole.


View on front end and working face.


The top view of the straight plane with the knurled screw for depth of cut.


download as PDF drawing (104 kb)
detailed drawing

copyright: Henk Oversloot date: 15 januari 2002