Monday, August 22, 2016

My Planes are Finished; Well, Almost!

Today was the sixth and final day of the wooden bodied planemaking class with Scott Meek.  The class, held in Scott's basement workshop in Asheville, North Carolina, was a great learning device, not to mention a lot of fun!

Today we sharpened and honed one blade so we would know how to do it.  I already have learned to sharpen freehand on diamond plates so for me, this served more to get one blade prepared for a trial run with the new planes.

Here is the blade I honed, using a solution of Hone Rite on DMT's Diasharp diamond plates

Then we opened up the mouths of our plane bodies just so the blade would protrude through the base with enough room to spare for the desired shaving to pass through.

We spent additional time refining the shape of our plane bodies to fit our aesthetic objectives and also to fit out individual hands, given the differing ways we hold our planes.  They are our unique creations.  We didn't finish this part of the work and will further refine the fit and then the finish at home.

My 22 inch jointer plane, showing it rough shape; I'll refine it further after I put it to use
Finally, we put our planes to the acid test--taking shavings with each of them on the famous 2X6 Scott has taken to woodworking shows for years and that is now closer to a 2X2.  What a great thrill it is so see a wonderful full width shaving curl off the board and feel the mirror-like finish it leaves behind.

My Osage orange smoother, white oak jointer and teak jack planes

In addition to what I learned about planemaking, I got to use a Benchcrafted leg vise and plan to get and install one of these in my own woodshop.

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