February 2013 – I knew these old machines could turn useful again one day…

 

As far as I can remember, these milling machines have been waiting, useless, in a corner of the Liogier workshop. They date back from the periode when my grandfather was producing, besides hand-stitched rasps, some milled teeth files for car body repairing (yes, at this time they took the effort to repair the bodywork of a car after an accident, they did not replace the part immediately…).

 

I’ve never been able to bring myself to scrap them, perhaps waiting unconsciously a reason to restart them one day.

The opportunity came thanks to some of my english speaking customers (from UK, Australia, Canada & USA) that kept asking me if I could make them some « floats ». It took us some times to understand each other because these tool strangely never existed in France !

 

So here it is now !

After overcoming the difficulties of transcontinental understanding and many technical difficulties, the first model of Liogier float, a standard flat joinery float, came out the workshop.

 

The joinery float popular among patternmakers and cabinetmakers of the past has regained popularity among modern hand tool users. This joinery float is ideal for smoothing wood surfaces, such as the cheeks of tenons or the sides of mortises; anywhere that a flat smooth surface is desired.

 

This float has a broad face which makes it easy to register on a surface ensuring your work-piece stays flat and helps to avoid round-overs where they are not desired. The float can be used right out of the case, however a quick sharpening with an extra thin taper file will improve the cut. The float should be sharpened occasionally with use to maintain a keen cutting edge.

 

Spec : Width : 25mm (approx 1″) / Thickness : 4mm / Working length : 180 mm (approx 7″) / Total length with handle : 330mm (approx 13″) / 9 tpi / €28.00 in the webstore

 

I am currently working on extending the range. The next model may be a cranked tang float (a bit like an ironing rasp) or a thiner flat one. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have an advice about floats or an idea on which models can be useful. Thank you !

 

Noël Liogier

 

Edit 23rd of February : I have found a solution to do the straight floats in both version, push strokes or pull strokes. In addition, doing a crancked version was fairly simple : so we know have 4 different floats now !

 

Edit 25th of February : Richard Wile from Canada shares with us a video about these floats.

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