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Sauer and Steiner
Updated: 50 min 56 sec ago
A friend stopped in a little over a year ago with some show-and-tell... a block of dyed and infused Box Elder burl (more commonly called Manitoba Maple in these parts). He had several pieces - different sizes, different colors, but this one really stuck out for some reason. The price was fair for what it was - and no different than what a good quality piece or Rosewood or Ebony of the same size would sell for. So I bought it - curious to see if this would be a suitable infill material. The color was outlandish - but in a good way, and I figured that if it would work, an all steel plane would be the right way to to. A K6 or a K7 seemed about right - shown above with my K6 prototype.
The block sat for almost a year. I picked it up every couple weeks or months, rotated it, tapped it, and put it down. Then for some reason I decided to see if I could plane it. I was surprised that perfect little blue shavings came through the plane - and the blade was not destroyed in the process. That was what I needed - some indication that this material would feel and ‘work’ like many of the exotic woods I use. It was a quick trip to the bandsaw to rough out the front pad and rear infill for a K7. It cut on the bandsaw like wood too... another good sign.
The next real test was working with handtools - how would it saw, would chisels work - and would the material kill the edges? Once again, I was pleasantly surprised - felt an awful lot like the materials I was used to.
Once the rear infill was fit, I knew this was going to work - and was really excited to see the plane to the end. The pace quickened and I was back in the excitement of prototype mode again. It was a great feeling after almost a year off as my shoulder healed.
The inside of the front pad was the first surface that I ‘finished’ - no french polishing required. I sanded to 2000 grit and then buffed with a polishing pad and a quick coat of paste wax. The surface felt and looked wonderful!
The front pad and rear infill installed.
Finalizing the bed and blade fitment.
I used to think the Pink Ivory K7 prototype was outlandish looking... it looks pretty pedestrian compared to the blue Box Elder.
The top of the front pad roughly shaped on the bandsaw.
The continuous chamfer completed and polished.
And finally the finished plane.
I could not be happier with how it turned out. The sides and sole are 01 tool steel, the lever cap and screw are stainless steel.
I will continue to experiment with different species and different colors, and am really excited to incorporate this new material into plane making. I know it will not be for everyone, but I for one am really excited about all the possibilities.
I have decided to offer this plane for sale – $2,950.00 Cdn + actual shipping costs. Roughly $2,415.00 USD based on the current exchange rate. send me an email if you are interested.
Categories: Hand Tools