Hand Tools Archive

Re: Let's Plane
Response To:
Re: Let's Plane ()

david weaver
I've made four planes with cocobolo now (two infills and two coffin smoothers). It's just not quite right for wooden planes - it's a strange combination of some really hard wood (late wood) and sometimes some sketchy areas (earlywood - really brittle in spots).

Much better for planes than ebony, I think, but not as good as rosewood.

I've made a plane out of purpleheart, too, and thought it was quite nice to work, but it's a bit ugly due to the pores. https://postimg.org/image/6ljctwu57/

The other nice thing about PH is that you can find it (same with padauk) kiln dried in reasonably large bowl blanks, which means it won't be that expensive compared to stuff that's sold for more exotic purposes. I have a block of padauk that will be going into a brass and steel A13 copy.

Indian rosewood is nice to work, but the plantation stuff is highly variable in terms of density. Some of it feels about as dense as beech, and some more. It bears no resemblance to vintage stock that I've seen at Hearne (they sell both there), but the vintage stock at Hearne is reserved - by price - for people who need to match something vintage. I believe it was $125 a board foot when I was there for a very small log (which means that there'd be a fair amount of waste in that log). Cheap compared to some gross looking brazilian they had there for $2K in a very small board.

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