Something old, something new…

I’m finishing work on four No. 3 infills to take to the Lee-Nielsen open house next month in Maine – two in Honduran rosewood, two in Gabon ebony – and the wrinkle on the prune is that two of them come with more-or-less traditional knobs in front, displacing the “gasping fish” buns that have graced or, as some would have it, defaced my planes until now.

Here they are:





The rosewood fish-mouth plane won an honorable mention last summer in the Design in Wood competition at Del Mar, and as I happened to glom onto a quantity of ebony earlier this year, I decided to make a second No. 3 to match it, more or less.

There was some ebony left over – and some rosewood, too. So, what the heck, I decided to try my hand at making a plane with a knob.

Make that two planes, one in ebony, one in rosewood.

I sweated the details on these two planes, believe me; as always, my goal was find those points in my work processes which, if I improved on them, would produce a substantially improved plane.

If the proof is in the pudding, take a look at what one of the planes did with some ornery black locust:


Here is the same plane working against the grain:


The irons on these planes are made of A-2 tool steel, set at 45 or 50 degrees. The sides are mild steel dovetailed and pinned to bases of 0-1 tool steel.

I’m working on a No. 4 in Bastogne walnut in hopes of taking it to the L-N open house as well.


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