Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tool Thoughts.....

Hi Folks
Here's a picture of the rebate plane - I've put full step-by-step pics on my website. Hope you find them useful. Wooden planes are a real pleasure to make and an even bigger pleasure to use! Why is this?
Thinking about it I reckon its for two reasons. One, they are made out of our favorite material and feel warm and inviting in the hand. Low friction, smooth action.
Two, they are all specialised tools.
Why is that important? And isn't that really a negative thing?
The more I work wood the more I realise that tools that are specialised are the ones that work best. A side rebate plane trims the sides of rebates. Very well! It's not a lot of use for anything else but when you want to make a rebate slightly wider its your tool. It's the same for most tools - a smoothing plane is the only tool for final polishing of surfaces. You wouldn't use a jack for that. And at the same time you wouldn't use your smoother to reduce rough sawn boards to dimension.
So you can see that tools that are designed to do ne task, and do it very well are a quick and effective way to work. But does this mean you need a few tools in your tool chest? Yes, I guess it does. But if you are making them yourself it is not exactly breaking the bank, is it? Of course, if you ask Mr L-N to do it for you................... ;)
On another note - I finally took my 1/8th side bead plane out of the freezer (Remember I found some worm holes on the side? It was having the deep freeze treatment to kill off any nasties). Well, I took it out and let it acclimatise to the workshop. Upon removing the clingfilm I managed to knock an egg out of one of the holes. So it was a good thing I got it in the freezer quickly! Needless to say the egg is now dust.
A quick hone of the iron and the side bead was pressed into action. And it worked great -I'm a happy chappy! It does one thing (make a 1/8 wide bead on the edge of a board) but it does it splendidly! Cue satisfied feeling...........;)


Nick W said...

Another nice piece of work Phil.

On the orientation of the grain, I can see that using it the way you have might give a smoother running plane, but would have thought that the toe would be slightly weaker this way round. If you imagine the grain running at a steeper angle, the leading edge becomes short grain. But at the angle you have I'm sure thats not a problem.

BTW how long are these planes taking you? Then, how much could you sell them for? Then, are you in the right job? ;-D

Philly said...

Thanks Nick!
You're right on the grain thing but it is the traditional way to build them. It is quarter sawn material so is pretty tough - on old examples I've bought they are all made this way.
Plane sales?? Kinda "Philly Planes"?? I must admit I've have been giving it vague thought but need to come up with a suitable product. Time will tell ;)

Anonymous said...

Plane looks nice, Phil and those step-by-step pictures are really helpful.


Paul Chapman