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Gunmetal File-To-Fit Handplane Y-Lever

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Gunmetal File-To-Fit Handplane Y-Lever / Yoke


Custom made in Sheffield for Workshop Heaven, these extra long Y-lever castings are designed as the ultimate bench plane upgrade for those who like to indulge in a little bit of hand plane fettling.

As the name suggests, you file the rough casting to fit your particular plane, precisely!

Much of the ‘feel’ of a bench plane comes from the fit between the Y-lever, the adjustment wheel and the cap iron. Fine tuning these relationships to closer tolerances can transform a standard Record or Stanley bench plane into one that truly feels hand built.

You are aiming for a ‘close running fit’ between the contact surfaces of the adjustment wheel, pin, cap iron and Y-lever. The sum of the tolerances in those areas will determine the amount of hysteresis (often incorrectly referred to as ‘backlash’) in the mechanism as a whole.

As well as the additional shaping on the tab, we have also added some extra meat to the ends of the arms, so that the fit with the adjustment wheel can be fine tuned. The position and diameter of the hole is also crucial to keeping just the right amount of slop in the mechanism: present, but minimised.

We took the foundry owner's advice on the best available grade of gunmetal to use for the castings, quite a bit more expensive, but it is absolutely gorgeous material to work with hand files and laps. Brass would have been cheaper, and fine for a component that won't have further work done to it, but it clogs up your metalworking files a treat, rendering them all but useless - you wouldn't have thanked me for that.

Gunmetal is a traditional planemaking material common in infill planes, possibly for the reasons outlined above, it is also self lubricating, corrosion resistant, and when finished and polished looks the business!

Good quality Bahco files available seperately.

Customer Reviews

Written by: Michael
It does the job
I upgraded my old Stanley jointer plane with new Hock blade and chipbreaker. The old Y lever is too short. It would only move the blade a small distance before its arc took it below the notch it fits into. The new Y lever took only a few days to reach me here in Arizona, U.S. Be aware that every mm of this piece will require work. The two arms are too thick to fit over the saddle and have to be filed from the inside. The round discs at the end of each of the two arms have to be filed just so. The front and back of the tongue have to be considerably taken down to fit into the notch in the blade. Finally, the hole for the axis pin has to be drilled in exactly the right place, and has to line up with the holes it fits into in the frog. All of this took me 3-4 hours, but the end result is worth it. The new Y lever functions perfectly.

For those thinking about it, I will note that I tried first to extend my old Y lever with JB Weld metal epoxy. That fell off with first use. Then I had the idea to cut a slot in the tongue, insert a piece of metal that would then extend high enough to reach the notch, and surround all this with more metal epoxy, which would then be filed down for a perfect fit. This also failed.
Written by: William
Replaces the original part nicely
I own a record N0 7 plane which I dismantled when it arrived in my workshop in 1995 in order to fine tune the sole, sliding beds, moving parts... I fitted it with a thicker blade to reduce chattering .... what a disaster when that wee part broke last week. Thank god someone still sells a replacement
Written by: Trevor Singleton
It's too short
Unfortunately it doesn't fit my pre-war Record 041/2 which I have fitted with a Victor iron; it's too short and too thin so I have to stick with the original which is sloppy. Does anyone make an oversized one which could be filed to suit. The Victor iron however is superb.
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