Thursday, November 05, 2009
The traditional timber choice in wooden planemaking is quartersawn beech. The main reasons for its use are its toughness, ease of availability (at least in the UK) and, when quartersawn, its pretty stable. Beech is a very plain looking timber - white with faint grain markings and very tight grain. The pores are virtually invisible. But when quartersawn the medullary rays appear and transform this plain timber into something quite wonderful - to my eyes the ray figuring gives the appearance of scales on a fish, shimmering and darting. A coat of oil makes the effect pop right out of the timber.
I find getting hold of quartersawn stock to be extremely difficult, but the search is well worth it. The picture above hardly does the timber justice, but hopefully gives an impression of how handsome it can look.
On other matters, I've started work on a second "Inphill" plane. A slightly different design to the A6 inspired original, but I'm very excited about it. Hopefully it'll be ready for some pictures in a few days and you can tell me what you think.
To the 'bench.....