Saturday, 4 May 2013
Lignum Vitae Jack Plane
I've been meaning to make myself this jack plane for a while. I wanted something that was as handy to use as a smoother but a bit longer for flattening work, as well as on the shooting board. It is 12" long with a 1 3/4" Hock blade.
I made it from Lignum Vitae which is probably the best plane making wood available, if you can get large enough chunks. Timberline in Kent usually has good stocks. It is very heavy, with an SG of 1.3, the plane weighs in at 2.5 lbs and feels nice and hefty in the hand. Lignum is also very oily so it planes with the minimum of friction. This blank was bang on quarter sawn so any shrinkage will have minimal effect on the sole flatness. It's not a pretty wood and its very expensive so I haven't used it on any of the planes I sell.
I decided to shape the plane straight from the band saw in Krenov style. This makes it very tactile and adds a little more 'grip'. I worked carefully to get the shaping just right, you can always take away but you can't add back!
It surprising how deft you can be with a 2 tpi blade.
The mouth opening is a slither, just how I like it!
The test run on some hard birds eye maple, I think we are going to be good friends.