Hand Tools Archive

Re: I couldn't confirm it...

Not that you brought this up David... Someone's honesty relates in part to their starting point. I remember stating on this board that I had a plane that would take a shaving of 5 tens. I had it when I was still using my parents basement, so that would be in the early 80s. Basically got called a liar, though nicely. Now nobody bats an eye at that level of performance.
I couldn't find when Hotley started, but it is quite possible he started when standards were low. My 5 tens plane was my second Japanese plane that I made (I also had made a few Krenov planes back then), and it was really bad. You can press the blade in by hand, but those light cuts make it workable, and I have never fixed it. So any decent quality plane, that took a 5 tens shaving, and looked really nice, 20 years ago, would have been a marvel. A guy could believe he was a master on on the basis of standards few would miss today.

" I think it is unlikely anyone who follows me will achieve the same quality and precision, as there is no financial gain or reward with these objectives, I just survive." Quality is a meaningless term other than to suggest you aren't at the opposite end of the spectrum, and precision is also somewhat meaningless. That 5 tens plane of mine was enormously imprecise, but the sole conditioning (um... done on sandpaper) and the blade and mouth were good enough. So if he cuts the best dovetails, that really isn't significant in any performance measure. Something rather loosey goosey like an adjuster with zero backlash would be nice.

And even then, I would be far more interested in the guy who came up with a plane that took easy 1/8" shaving in maple, was warm to the touch, and didn't weigh all that much. Finishing is too easy.


I think the case for Western thievery aside from passing masses of bad paper, is more that China has introduced it's fair share (according to them) of technologies and they don't feel they ever got the benefit of those gifts. Some other countries that may move into China's place as prime producers may not have the same claims.

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