Friday, October 19, 2007

Not Ready for Primetime Planes

I have built a total of 7 handplanes, which does not make me a plane maker. I'm not sure what the magic number will be when I can claim that title, but I figure I will know it when I get there. That big pile of shavings was my attempt to plane the perfect shaving: no breaks and the full length of the board. Alas...

I learned to make handplanes from David Finck and Tod Herrli. David makes planes in the Krenov style and has written the best book on plane making available. Tod is a master of making moulding planes and panel raisers. The panel raiser class I took from him at Olde Mill Cabinet Shoppe was four exhausting 10-hour days and worth every second.

While I still am not able to achieve the "perfect shaving", all of the planes I've made at least produce a shaving that you can read through.

Of the woods I've used to make the planes, bloodwood, osage orange, and beech have worked the best as far as durability (not wearing from use) and holding a sharp edge (meaning, when shaping the planes themselves, a cut into the wood will produce a crisp, clean edge). Applewood smells like cider when you cut it, but the wood moves a lot and I have to re-flatten the sole twice a year. Maple's great, just kind of boring.


Shazza said...

That sheer shaving is impressive!

Can you plane a really short board to achieve your perfect shaving, or is that cheating in the carpenter world?

I tried to plane the edge of a door once. It was a plane ol' disaster.

There isn't enough sandpaper in the world to repair the damage that I did.

Hat's off to you!

Kari Hultman said...

I had thought about using a shorter board, but I figured other woodworkers would say that planing pine was cheating enough!

Sorry about your plane mishap.

Frontier Carpenter said...

I really love the plane with the horn. Did you make it from a single piece of wood? Is it laminated? Would love to see some more pics of it. P.S. Love your site

Kari Hultman said...

Thanks Ron. It is a single piece of wood and even though it's only 4" long, it still took me about 12 hours to make! The other bench planes are all laminated but the panel raiser and molding plane are both single pieces of wood.