Thursday, 24 October 2013

New Planes in Solid Lignum Vitae


To date I've been making most of my planes with a Lignum Vitae sole. From now on I'm going to be making the high angle smoother, 9" smoother and jack plane from solid Lignum and I've just completed a batch. It is a wonderful wood, very oily, extremely hard wearing and very heavy, the perfect plane making wood. It's also very attractive in a manly way.


Here are the high angled smoothers. I made a batch of 4 for the European Woodworking Show to see how they went down, I sold them all and came away with back orders.


The 9" smoothers are longer wider and quite a bit heavier, although they may not appear so in the photos. The one in the front has a touch of sapwood which I always try to include if possible.



The jack planes have a real weight to them and feel great in the hand.


All the blanks are made from quarter sawn timber to minimise movement in service, I also like the look. This one was bang on the quarter.



The reversing grain picks up through the planer although it responds well to machine sanding, that is until it clogs the abrasive, which doesn't take long!


All the planes are now branded with my stainless steel name badge. There are so many curves on my planes there weren't too many options as to where this could go. Although the Lignum costs more to buy, I'll be holding the prices (for now!).

14 comments:

  1. REALLY nice addition. If you can get it, I would say GO FOR IT in the qrtr sawn stock. Looks nice, and has a great story behind 'why is your plane green?'

    Big +1 from me.

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    1. Thank you, I get to choose my blanks from a huge pile so I can pick out the quartered stock.

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  2. I have a lovely desk, a very gorgeous work place that most would envy. I purchased the desk from a office furniture Melbourne store, and it was on sale.

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  3. The lignin vitae must be hard to finish due to the high oily content. What do you recommend for a finish?

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    1. Yes, if I'd used oil I'd still be waiting for it to dry! The finish was four coats of melamine lacquer applied with a cloth and then cut back with 600 grit until smooth and then waxed. Shellac would work just as well but would not give such a durable finish.

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    2. That makes sense. Especially the durability of having constant use.

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  4. Hi David! You had made very nice planes. I'm have a question to you, you said that those planes made from solid Lignum. But on the second foto we can see a joint on second plane from front, or this is an a defect of the wood? And on four picture we see similar line and shift of wood structure on first plane.
    So i just wanna to understand is this really a solid sole or i'm misunderstand something?

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    1. Thank you! You have eagle eyes to spot the joins.The planes are made from solid lignum but are made using the laminating method, ie cutting off the sides, shaping the interior and gluing back together incorporating the cross pin. I hope this helps.

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    2. Yep, thanks! I'm right that this made to prevent deforming of wood and for making price little bit lower?))

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  5. Have your stopped making your planes? I was looking for a high angle smoother?

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    1. I'm afraid I have, I just couldn't keep up with demand, sorry.

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  6. These don't look a bit like lignum vitae, they are almost certainly verawood

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    1. They were sold to me as Palo Santo which is a type of Lignum Vitae. It makes great planes. All the best, David.

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