Hand Tools Archive

The plane in question *PIC*

David Weaver

Years ago when I was feeling around for what kind of tools I wanted to use, I considered buying one really nice premium infill and using it all the time.

Then I got into planemaking and bought a bunch because I want to make them (still do, but they're backed up behind guitars right now - i've made a couple, but would like to build perhaps 20).

The plane above was $127 from the UK. It had pitting on the sides but the cap iron is matching. It's been used. I draw filed the pitting off and flushed the wood to the metal and filled in any gaps that had appeared with sawdust and shellac or sawdust and epoxy or something, I can't remember). It didn't take more than two hours total for it to look like it does in this picture. It is a surprisingly GREAT user, but with a quirk. Tensioning the lever cap leads to a little bit more cut depth, so a user needs to learn its personality so that you can set it shy of what you want and tighten the lever cap and use it as a light adjustment.

I have a slater infill (less valuable) that has a wedge and a retaining pin/brass fixture integral with the pin. It's fine to use - in the trade of relieving the shelves of some weight, it wins the contest to stay because I want at least some of the builds in the future to be wedged infills.

I'm in the middle of dimensioning a bunch of wood for a large case, and this is a nice reminder that I have the chance to get these out post-jack work. When you get them waxed up and set the cut to something thicker than tissue, they're really a treat to use.

I don't have the BCTW stuff, anything from any premium maker (well, not counting norris) or anything I'd be afraid to drop in the shop. I like something a little interesting while dimensioning, so even my bailey jointers are an older record 8 and an I. Sorby.

I got a marples 4 1/2 this week (red one) from the UK. It's fun play. The two jointers cost me a lot of money for that type of plane ($500 together), but most of the rest of the stuff is pretty easy to buy and unload without losing much. It's harder for me to find something like this spiers (where it was listed poorly with poor pictures and I knew I could at the very worst rob the iron from it and put it in a norris. Turns out to be a much better plane than I expected. I hope it doesn't get marked up too much and the next person gets a chance to heat the sole up on it).

I just looked at my two A13s (I have a complete beater of a smoother A13 to go along with the expensive panel plane - one of only two planes I've ever bought that was close to $1000 - the panel plane that is ,the smoother was $200). They both have light surface rust on them - very light, but it's a reminder why I don't buy nicer planes. I can't have them upstairs in my house, my basement is dry, but we still have transition here before the A/C is running much that a couple of humid days will make for some light surface rust.

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