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Walt Quadrato of Brass City Records needs our help in his battle against cancer. Walt is an exceptional guy who has always done right by the hand tool community this web site serves. Family and friends are conducting a fundraiser for him they've dubbed "WaltFest". The following link is to their giveforward.com page.
Thank you for everything you have given so far. If you can help out, please do.
Sauer and Steiner
The flash of sapwood on the rear infill reminds me of the painted flames you would see on a hotrod - the three little white tails are my favourite part. It was tricky during shaping not to loose them in the process.
The Ziricote XSNo.4 is $1,750.00 Cdn + actual shipping costs.
For an orphan set, this one turned out wonderfully. There is an incredibly bright golden spot inside the front bun - you can see it below. That same spot also appears in the rear infill, but was hard to capture in a photograph (trust me - I tried!).
Feel free to send me an email if you are interested in either of these planes. email@example.com
This was a really, really fun set to make. A K5, K6 and K7 - all Desert Ironwood burl. There isn’t too much I can add beyond the photos - other than the technical specs.
The K5 is 5-1/2" long, with a 1-1/2" wide V11 blade, bedded at 52.5 degrees.
Ok. Maybe I can add a little bit. It is always fun to work on a set like this in one shot - all 3 planes at the same time. I try to maintain a very consistent look to all my work, but given the nature of handwork, I know there are little variations and evolutions from one plane to the next. Little things like subtle changes to chamfers, or the roundness or flatness to the top of a front pad, the level of polish on the lever cap... you get the idea.
When I can work on 3 planes at a time, I like to work on them so that one stage is repeated from one plane to the next to the next. Shaping the chamfers one after the other for example. It feels like I am really only filing one large set of chamfers - and subtle muscle memory changes transfer from one plane to the next insuring consistency. Blaring music (or the CBC) certainly helps keep the energy and focus level up, and I think it makes for an even more cohesive family of planes.
That plane has an identical twin - my own A6. This pair of planes have several important first. These were the first adjusters we used - were made by Ray Iles in England.
They have bronze sides - as opposed to brass. The lever cap screws are also much more refined with much better knurling and overall shape.
This plane has an 01 tool steel sole - we spent the extra money and started using a more appropriate steel than mild steel.
We continued to try different bed angles - in this case, 47.5 degrees. This is often called a ‘Norris pitch’ because Norris used this bed angle splitting the difference between the common pitch at 45 degrees and the 50 degree ‘York pitch’.
The sidewall profile also changed and the shaping of the front bun started getting better, both ergonomically and aesthetically.
We had always stamped the bed with a serial number and a maple leaf ( a stamp purchased from Lee Valley) and Joe and I started using our own unique serial numbers for our own planes. KP-12-03 stands for ‘Konrad’s Plane, No.12, made in 2003’.
One of the challenges with adding an adjuster was positioning the lever cap so there was enough clearance for the blade and lever cap to be removed from the banjo or cup. The head of the screw in the cap iron is captured in the banjo and is what allows the adjuster to move the blade and cap iron as shown below.
When Joe and I finished this customers plane, we sat on my workbench and just stared at it. Neither of us spoke for several minutes. I am not sure who spoke first, nor what exactly was said, but with this plane, we both knew we could do this - and do it well.
The sole and sides are mild steel - a horrible material for planemaking really. The metal deforms like crazy, it is very prone to rusting when compared with 01 tool steel, and does not look so great. There are only 2 benefits - it is really inexpensive, and very malleable... but for anyone interested in making a plane for themselves - please, spend the extra money and use 01 tool steel.
The blade is 2-1/4" wide and at a 45 degree bed angle. I think this is one of only a couple planes I ever made at 45 degrees. I did not make the cap iron, but I cannot recall where it came from.
The plane is infilled with Cocobolo. At the time, that was all Joe and I could find. And we got really, really lucky with this piece of Cocobolo. I bought it from Unicorn Hardwoods in Toronto - I don’t think they are in business any longer. It was a rather large piece that was sitting on their showroom floor. It was dusty and pretty crappy looking. I picked it up not because I knew any better or how to evaluate the age of a piece of wood... it was simply the only piece we could afford.
I say lucky because it was fairly dry. Again - we did not really know any better - but it has shrunk surprisingly little in the 14 years I have had it - other early Cocobolo prototypes have not fared so well.
If you look closely at the above photo, or click on it for a larger view, you can see the shrinkage to the front bun. Not too bad considering we had no idea how important old, dry wood was!
The lever cap was cast at a small foundry in Cambridge Ontario - I am not sure if they are in business either. They did a decent job, but had a tough time being consistent with color over the years, so I eventually switched to using solid bronze stock.
The screw is the most embarrassing part of the plane - not even knurled! The threads are terrible too - a regular V-thread as opposed to the ACME thread I use now.
Overall, the plane is not overly refined, but there are several things about it that I recognize as good early decisions, and are still present in my current work.
The first one is the relationship between the screw and the lever cap. There is roughly 1/3 of visible threads below the lever cap (contacting the cap iron), and 2/3 above. This may not seem like a big deal, but in my mind it is. It just looks nicer. It looks more secure - more tidy. And is way easier to ensure positive contact across the front edge of the lever cap when they are kept close together. Along those lines is the tip of the lever cap screw. It should be rounded over so it does not dig into the cap iron and start to cam out.
The other aspect is the shape of the handle. I can remember spending hours and hours shaping this one - I had never shaped a handle before. This one still feels pretty good. There have been quite a few little changes over the years, but this first handle still feels pretty nice.
The front bun is really uninteresting, and compared to the front bun on a recent plane, this one looks really crude.
The piening went well enough that there were not any gaps between the dovetails. That was a big relief and looking back on it, I think I got fairly lucky right out of the gate.
Oh, one other issue with mild steel - it is fairly soft and scratches much quicker than 01 tool steel.
P-02-02 - the second plane. There were several changes to this one. The most obvious being the brass sides. I was very interested to see what was happening during the piening process and using 2 different metals allowed me to see exactly how things were moving around. I also liked the idea of seeing the joints and construction of the plane.
This one also has a 2-1/4" wide blade, but the bed angle is 50 degrees - a ‘York pitch’.
It also has a new cap iron with a soldiered brass nut for the screw.
The Cocobolo infill came from the same block as the first plane and has also had surprisingly little shrinkage.
This plane taught me that piening 360 brass is not fun. It chips and work hardens very quickly... and it does not patina well.
This handle is a little nicer than the first plane - the shape is a little more consistent and fluid and overall nicer in the hand.
Both planes have nice tight mouths on them - something I still firmly believe in.
There was one early plane that really stands out for me - a plane for a customer in California. After we finished it, we just sat on my bench and stared at it - almost surprised at what we had done. With that plane, we knew we could do this. I will post photos of that planes identical twin a little later on.