Sunday, November 02, 2008
For quite some time I've been working on a shoulder plane design. I know when it comes to planes you are re-inventing the wheel, but I really want to make a plane that I am proud of - and that is visually identifiable as a "Philly Plane".
I have plenty of sketch pads full of drawings and ideas. But I really can't "see" a design until I get to hold it in my hands - a potentially time consuming affair, especially as so many designs just don't work once they become "3D". So I have started to make mock-ups from scrap timber - they take minutes to produce, thanks to the bandsaw, scroll saw and sander. And you can instantly tell if you like the design - it is immediately obvious to the eye and hand.
So I have a growing pile of shoulder plane ideas, rendered in wood. And after much work, I have arrived at a design I am happy with. The finish is still drying on the prototype, so you'll have to wait until tomorrow for a photo. But I have attached a picture of some of my mock-ups - hopefully, this will inspire some of you to try this approach. It also works well with furniture designs - a hot glue gun and some offcuts will soon help you see your design in the flesh.