Friday, October 9, 2009

DL Barrett & Sons Toolworks

Two other plane makers I spoke with at the WIA conference were Dan Barrett and his son, Kyle. DL Barrett & Sons are relatively new in the handtool market but are securing a name for themselves as makers of finely-crafted reproduction planes, using "the old tried & true methods of plane making."

The workmanship is impeccable and the planes feel comfortable in your hand. I took one for a test drive—it worked perfectly. To hold the front of the plane, I hooked my thumb over the front arm and wrapped my fingers beneath the fence, much like I would a wooden bench plane. Kyle has a different grasp as you'll see in the short video clip.

I asked Dan what makes his planes special. Here is his response:

"To be honest we try to build to the standard that has already been set hundreds of years ago. The design of our planes reflects the planes of master tool makers from the past and those who are making planes today.

The only difference I would say our planes have from other makers is the details that reflect our style. For instance the arm end ferrules are our design. Just like the other makers, we spend an incredible amount of time on the details—always tweaking them.

We are for now, just a part time company and it takes a while to get the planes to our customers. The plan in the future is to go full time and offer a complete line of planes, including simpler ploughs, rebates, dado's, molders and bench planes. We have also started talking to woodworking schools about making planes to be used at the schools by the students taking a specific course."