Hand Tools Archive


david weaver
..which is why I said I knew I was chancing it based on your advice.

My wear pictures suggested I was getting away with it until the bark inclusion.

The real question at the edge for maple (to me) other than knowing it generates more heat, is does it go beyond that. It really doesn't matter, though - unless it appears to affect test results - I had less than stellar experience planing it years ago and put it aside then. Heat isn't its only bad habit and a little bit of planing from rough should send most people looking for something that is more hand tool friendly.

I made a couple of planes from it later, and figure it's got other bad habits. It doesn't pare nicely, it doesn't float neatly, and when mortising, it resists penetration by the chisel more than fruitwoods.

A friend of mine who uses only power tools loves it. It tablesaws crisply and sands nicely.

The strange alternate comparison of this with beech, though, is that beech appeared to work bits of metal loose from the powder iron away from the edge. The overall wear of those was less than carbon steel (A2 suffered the same fate at the edge after a while, but less neatly than the powder metals). Point being, that without the bark inclusion, the wear rate of these two woods appeared to be not that far apart, but probably for different reasons. I'd have preferred better predictability from the maple for a simple reason - i don't have a use for the wood, and would rather work through it doing these tests than working through what's essentially my plane handle stock.

I don't think heat was an issue in the maple in this test, though - it could certainly be in other planing. Especially smoothing a wide panel where the plane would get less of a rest than me taking a couple of steps backwards.

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