Monday, October 19, 2009

Mini Coffin Smoother, Part 3

Planes are just chunks of wood with a piece of metal captured inside. What's to get excited about?

And yet we do. Our hearts beat a little faster—almost as bad as first date excitement, but without the "please don't let him/her have a weird toenail fungus fetish" anxiety—when we see anything from the most basic, old, unusable bench plane to the most elegant, artistic planes available today.

And whether we see it as a tool that performs a service or we admire it as a piece of usable artwork, we can all agree that handplanes are objects of our desire.

16th c. Dutch planes with chip carved ornamentation, antique European planes that are carved as faces and figures, and reproductions made by toolmaker David Brookshaw make my palms sweaty.

I'm trying, with baby steps, to get to that level. So here's a baby plane with chip carving. I still need to tweak the blade and the fit to get it to work properly, but the outside is done.

Now for the hardest part: finishing. This is where I screw up most projects. I'd like for the plane to look old, so I'm open to suggestions.

Waiting for it to occur naturally in 300 years is not an option.