Tuesday, 2 May 2017
New Jack Plane for Handworks, 17 days to go!
It's been two years since I retired from plane making, after making 800 planes I'd had enough.
However I've decided to make a small batch of planes to take to Handworks.
With all the restrictions on exotic timbers I've used some lovely UK timbers. For these two it's brown oak and some highly rippled ash.
Although the basic outline of these jack planes is the same as my previous design the shaping is different, instead of rounding everything I've used compound curves which come to a tactile edge where they meet the sides. This is all hand work (appropriately), starting with a spoke shave followed by rasps and then finished with specially made curved sanding blocks. It's time consuming and hard work.
The result is very nice to hold and the gentle curves remind me of the shaping of chair seats which only need a moderate curve to be comfortable.
I made a few others using birds eye maple and some nicely figured oak (one in brown oak). These had a more curvaceous front than the first two.
The maple and oak is a more subtle blend than with the brown oak, not sure which I prefer.
The figured oak is rock hard as well as attractive.
Here's a good shot of the intersection of the two compound curves.
All the planes are stamped on the curved toe, which needed to be done with care.
I finished the oak and ash with four coats of hand rubbed melamine lacquer which was used to fill the pores of the open grained wood. This was then sanded smooth and five coats of Liberon finishing oil applied (one every two days) for a lustrous sheen.