Friday, June 15, 2007
So here it is - the completed plane! Not the prettiest I've made, but certainly the most testing. I can see why these planes are rare on the second hand market.......;)
The tote was a lot of fun to make - 1/2 an hour with rasps, scrapers and some sandpaper. It is a "four-finger" tote - I've obviously been spending too much time with the Veritas bevel up family ;) I have gone for the vertical grain configuration - I feel this makes for a stronger handle (and Mike Dunbar agrees with me!). The nicker is real high tech - a jig saw blade ground to a crescent profile. The wedge for this needs little real pressure to hold it, which is a good thing - it is a pliers job to remove it!
The main wedge has a simple "Vee" profile - this plane passes such vast shavings it needs all the help it can get. Not pretty but it works. Oh, and the skew blade angle gives you the most bizarre looking wedge you can imagine. It looks very spidery and delicate - treat with care.
So how does it work? Pretty darn well! The sole has a fence built into the left hand side which butts up against the work. The sole isn't sprung so you hold the plane vertical, like a bench plane. And you plane away, trying your best to keep the plane vertical. As the profile emerges the shavings become wider and the plane becomes more difficult to push - I found it was worth taking a ranker cut at the beginning and then resetting the plane to a lighter cut as you near the final shape. The plane features a stop on the right side of the sole so when you reach the completed profile the plane stops cutting - pretty neat! You can vary the width and depth of the profile by tilting the plane (sometimes on purpose!)
So I am happy at last with this plane - it was challenging to make and presented a few head scratchers, but to see it working happily gives me a good feeling.
Plans and step-by-step directions for this plane will be featured in the August issue of "The Woodworker"magazine.
Have a good weekend,