Thursday, 14 April 2016
Gerd Fritsche Hand Planes
Stuart, a good friend, recently purchased this thumb plane from Gerd Fritsche in Germany and he sent it to me to try. Gerd has been making a wide range of dovetailed planes for a number of years and I have one of his 1/2" shoulder planes, you can see his website here http://traditional-handplanes.com/index.php
His planes are remarkably well priced for the work involved, this one was 584 euros with an adjustable blade and mouth. So how did it measure up?
It has real weight in the hand and the wedge nestles up into the palm of your hand which makes it very comfortable to use. The metal work was excellent although the wedge could do with a more in depth sanding and a good coat of finish, no doubt a compromise on the price but easily remedied. The blade was nice thick D2 steel which sharpened well and should hold a very good edge. The Norris style adjuster worked well, working much better on a bevel up plane with the blade at a low angle. The adjustable mouth section wasn't flush with the sole, but again this would be easily rectified with abrasive on some float glass. Personally I would prefer the model with a non adjustable (tight) mouth which is actually even cheaper at 456 euros.
If you are prepared to do a little tweaking one of these would be a great introduction to the world of hand made planes, being both beautiful and very useful.