Monday, 11 May 2015

The new plane for Handworks

This new plane did not come about exactly like the K13... but very close. It started with a conversation and then a question, “have you ever thought about approaching a shoulder plane the way you did the K-series of planes?”

It was a great question and one I had not considered. The last 8 months have been filled with drawings, further conversations, and a whole lot of fun and tomfoolery. And it has been as much fun as developing the K13. 

It started with lots of sketches until something looked right, and then progressed to a full sized mock-up.

The first mock-up was made from 1-1/4" wide Walnut and was a pretty quick exercise. There were curves and radius’s everywhere, so the real reason for this mock-up was to see if what I had envisioned would translate into a 3D form. There comes a point where it is easier to make a scale model than to try and draw something... so I ‘drew’ in 3D. Working like this is always fun, and things come together very quickly (I wish planemaking was this easy!).

This was the first mock-up, and was pretty close to what I had envisioned. The scoop at the front was not right though, nor was the radius at the top of the nose.

It is very similar in size to a Norris No.7 shoulder plane.

I spent quite a bit more time on the second mock-up, going so far as to make Mahogany sidewalls and a sole - with Walnut infill. The curves are fairly complicated, and I wanted to simulate what would happen to them with 1/8" steel sidewalls. I did not want any surprised when I made the prototype.

I am glad I put in the extra effort - it gave me a much better picture of what it would look like and gave me the last little bits of information I needed before starting the prototype.

The most significant change was to the nose of the plane. The scoop at the front is curved on the inside and is very comfortable for ones thumb.  You can also rest the thick padded area below your thumb on the chamfered edge - just like on the K13. The top radius changed too, and provided the visual curve across the front that I was looking for (and is on all the K-series of planes).

The second mock-up is also wider - 1-1/2". I figured it would be the most challenging width to keep the curves looking and feeling right. A narrower plane should be easier to maintain because the curves are not as stretched out side to side. 

I had several opportunities to show the second mock-up to a few people. I was very pleased to see everyone go through most of the different hand positions I had imagined. It was time to make the real plane. 

The prototyping process was wonderful - it reminded me of the K13 all over again. I found myself in the shop late at night ‘in my spare time’, and stealing a few minutes here and there between other planes. I am very pleased with how it has turned out, both in the way it feels and the way it looks.

... and in the way it works. 

I am really looking forward to bringing it to HandWorks this coming weekend, and for lots of people to try it out and provide feedback. I am particularly interested in how people find its ergonomics, so if you are attending, please stop by and let me know what you think.

In keeping with the naming/numbering system started with the K13 (13 because it is 13" long), this new plane will be a KS-1.5. The ‘S’ for shoulder, and the 1.5 because of the width. I am somewhat embarrassed about how much time I have spent stressing about what to call this thing... but then I remember that I spent even more time stressing about what infill to use... so I feel a little better about it then. The sides and sole are 01 tool steel and the infill is African Blackwood.


Safe travels everyone!


Blogger Jeremy said...

Incredible! That is so very sleek & racy , I'll definitely be willing to give that a try later this week at Handworks. Absolutely perfect design, one-upped yourself again.

11 May 2015 at 13:08  
Blogger Pedder said...

Hi Konrad,

perfect design, very fast silouette!

Do you push the plane at the wedge?


11 May 2015 at 13:21  
Blogger Richard Wile said...

Nice work Konrad, looking forward to trying it out!

11 May 2015 at 15:37  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Jeremy - looking forward to your comments on the weekend.


11 May 2015 at 15:55  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Pedder,

Yes, you do push the plane at the wedge with one hand and the other is somewhere near the scoop.


11 May 2015 at 15:56  
Blogger Konrad said...

Looking forward to your feedback and comments Richard - safe travels to Amana.


11 May 2015 at 15:57  
Blogger Kevin Brehon said...

This one reminds me of waves on the water. I won't make it to Handworks so hopefully I get to try it out another time.

11 May 2015 at 23:56  
Blogger Kevin Brehon said...

This one reminds me of waves on the water. I won't make it to Handworks so hopefully I get to try it out another time.

11 May 2015 at 23:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, waves lapping. Your plane is beautiful.


12 May 2015 at 08:40  
Blogger natejb said...

Can't wait to try it myself at Handworks. Another beautiful plane, Konrad.

13 May 2015 at 09:10  
Blogger John said...

As much as I like the wave comparison, am I the only one who sees something else in this brilliant plane: a silver fox with a brown bushy tail that is pulled back as he runs.

Konrad, you are designing and making tools that carry hand planes to new levels of beauty and precise utility.

15 May 2015 at 02:05  
Blogger pjped said...

I consider you the finest hand tool designer working today.
I'm sure your workmanship is at the highest level as well, but its your designs that strike me... they embody all that I was taught as an Industrial Designer many years ago, yet I've never created something as beautiful as these K-planes.
Above all you have impeccable taste, which is really at the core of great design.

16 May 2015 at 20:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a cool design for a shoulder plane. Looks like it is moving with that forward 'lean'. Reminds me of the 50's.

10 June 2015 at 15:18  

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Monday, 4 May 2015

May the Fourth be with you!

I am of a ‘particular age’. The first movie I saw in a theatre was Star Wars.  I went with my best friend Jeff Dyck and our respective fathers. We lined up and waited through at least one showing - a true block-buster. It may have been two showings - I cannot remember. I do remember our Dads took turns walking home to get food to tide us over as we baked in the sun. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and this one was a real doozie. For a first movie experience, you cannot get any better than Star Wars. I am not sure how many times I saw it that year - but I know it was over five. I still watch it from time to time, and while some of the effects are not what they are today, it still transports me to back to being a seven year old.

I had Star Wars action figures, bed sheets, and my parents even sprang for a few rolls of Star Wars wallpaper - enough to do one wall. I still have all my Star Wars trading cards - multiple complete sets I might add. For Christmas one year, Jill and the boys gave me a Lego Millennium Falcon and I am not sure who was more excited about it - me or the kids. I am still a sucker for Star Wars themed t-shirts and buy them whenever I see them.

When Episode One came out, our kids were the age I was in 1977 - it was perfect. I called my Dad and invited him to come with us. We sat there, all lined up in the theatre, and that first musical note gave me goose bumps - with my Dad on one side and the kids on the other - it was pretty awesome.

I woke up the other morning to a link from Riley - the time signature would suggest a stern talking to is in order - and confirms that we officially have a teenager - I am no longer the last one to go to bed anymore. It was a link to a trailer for the upcoming Star Wars movie. It looked pretty awesome - what you would expect from a Star Wars trailer, but I was not expecting the four seconds between 1:33 and 1:37. The voice was unmistakable, and the hair on my arms stood up - I think I may have started tearing up a little. I know that four seconds was aimed directly at me, but frankly - I don’t even care, and if I am totally honest, I love them for it. It was unexpected and set the stage for a great day (Jill would say I have a secret crush on Harrison Ford).

I thanked Riley and told him that I got goosebumps - he said he did as well. I then emailed the link to my Dad.

It seemed like an appropriate post for May the fourth (be with you). Yes - that is me on the left in my Star Wars shirt - Chewie with his crossbow and Han with his blaster - just like trading card No.111 (go on, betcha can’t stop yourself from googling it).


Blogger Richard Wile said...

"May the Fourth be with you". This is the text my wife sent to me this morning - we, my friend, are pathetic...


4 May 2015 at 07:40  
Blogger Konrad said...

Yes - maybe we are... but our numbers are great!

4 May 2015 at 07:43  
Blogger John said...

May the Fourth be With You on the Fifth.

5 May 2015 at 00:11  
Blogger Chris Bame said...

May the fourth be with you on Cinco De Mayo
From way South of our Northern border.
Greetings from Texas

5 May 2015 at 10:44  
Anonymous Narayan said...

Star Wars was my first movie too. I remember my dad asking me, "Do you want to see Star Wars or Puff the Magic Dragon?" and I asked what Star Wars was about. He said, "It's about a war... that takes place in the stars."

I am thankful that my first movie did not involve a magic dragon named Puff.

5 May 2015 at 12:14  
Blogger Konrad said...

and you on the 6th John :)

6 May 2015 at 18:17  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Chris.

6 May 2015 at 18:17  
Blogger Konrad said...

That is too funny Narayan - I am glad I was not given such an option... although my mother was mortified that dad took us to Star Wars... she would have much preferred another episode of Little House on the Prarie.

6 May 2015 at 18:22  

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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

happiness is...

...shaping wood and metal in a way that machines cannot.

It is also designing and making in a way that is not hampered by the limited capabilities of machines or mechanical processes - or ones understanding of them.

Design first, then figure out how to do it.

This was a fundamental idea when I was in school. We were taught how to design first and then educated on the various tools we had at our disposal to see that design come to life. At the time, there were no computers used in design - we did everything ‘by hand‘ (with the exception of the darkroom and other photo-mechanical tools). We made scale drawings, scale mock-ups to test if our ideas on paper would fit with the real world. We would go back to the drawing board and tear pieces off our mock-ups to make changes. It was an incredibly tactile experience - and I think a tremendous amount of exploration and learning happened during that process. There is something about feeling the materials with your hands, the texture, the weight (visual or physical), and the interplay of the various pieces as you tried to coax them to work together. It was pure heaven.

And all that is missing from the computer.

I spent an hour this morning shaping some African Blackwood. I drew some layout lines, grabbed my favourite files and rasps and started shaping. Watching the scratches and shadows told me when my curves were right. Flip the piece around and do the same thing to the other side - then compare the two sides to make sure they are symmetrical. Not mathematically symmetrical - visually symmetrical. Reach for a finer file once the coarse shaping is done and refine it down further - checking the highlights, shadows and negative spaces often. 

It was an hour of pure happiness.

Of course it doesn’t hurt that spring is finally here, the sun is out, the shop door is open for some fresh air, and Schism is turned up to eleven on the stereo.

Life is good.


Blogger Jeremy said...

Excellent post, computers are so bad for my designs, it's just so hard to get those free flowing curves out of it and stay away from straight lines and simple arcs. Does these pics go along with the previous? If so then it should be really interesting reveal at HandWorks.

14 April 2015 at 13:22  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Jeremy,

Glad the post struck a chord with you. The pics do go with the previous post... I am not sure if I will be able to wait until handWorks to show it off... I am pretty excited about it.


14 April 2015 at 13:46  
Anonymous Narayan said...

Your experience matches mine. The designers I miss working with the most are the ones who worked in print. That said, as much as I miss that era, I am consistently inspired by the creativity of younger, digital-only designers and artists. They simultaneously make me value and enjoy my "old school" skills more while giving me comfort that the next generation of creators have a broader horizon of possibilities to strive for.

14 April 2015 at 14:24  
Blogger Bartee said...

Great post. 11 is always good...

14 April 2015 at 14:24  
Blogger Richard Wile said...

Up to 11 and snap the knob off!!

14 April 2015 at 15:38  
Blogger Peter McBride said...

Hi Konrad,
what an inspirational post...
I find that many folk looking at handmade articles seem to react to them positively without knowing why.
Over the 40 years I've hand made jewellery, what has become obvious to me is that when a maker knows how the viewer looks at a piece, the design can be used to encourage an automatic and unconscious flow.
When that flow is in pleasing direction, and is satisfyingly resolved in the viewers mind, they just seem to love the design.
Other factors completely separate from the design can influence some people, and the most influential force I know is the price ticket.
I don't want to denigrate the wine label reader who will spend money and actually taste the description, because they are another group who support makers.
However, when a maker feels they have got it just right freehand, I describe it as like dancing on a tight rope. Risky and rewarding.
I find that as I look at your plane designs, my eye wanders back and forth, and does resolve itself in a satisfied way on a featured element in the design.
Articles made on computer controlled machines, making a design reduced to the simplest of curves, surely must be no more than a reflection of the machine that has made it.
Peter McBride

14 April 2015 at 18:19  
Blogger Paul Bouchard said...

I was admiring the planes you set up for Tools of the Trades and couldn't figure out how you're able to carry the line of a curving chamfer from metal into the wood without marring one or the other. Particularly inside of the front bun of the coffin smoothers; they're pretty complex curves and it's hard to imagine that you're able to get the metal part perfect before starting on the wood.

15 April 2015 at 00:30  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hey Narayan,

I think what I am lamenting a little bit is that I wish the tactile experience I had in school was still being taught. I suspect there are many students out there who are kinetic learners - and learn by using their hands more thoroughly than by reading about it.

I have met many younger designers and makers who are very inspiring... I just wonder if their skills and enjoyment might increase with a tactile component as well.

A good conversation for HandWorks!


16 April 2015 at 21:23  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Peter,

Thanks for your post. Interesting observations about comparing jewelry to planemaking. There is a lot of overlap in materials and working within a somewhat pre-determined space. There are expectations about jewelry the way there are about planes - and deviating can be immensely rewarding - and challenging.


16 April 2015 at 21:27  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Paul,

The easiest way to explain the chamfers and wood blending together is to ignore the fact that they are 2 different materials. Ignore the joint between them and treat them as a single element. I have said it many times, but metal is just a strange wood with strange working properties... that somewhat simplistic and maybe even naive notion affords me all sorts of processes and techniques that just seem to work.


16 April 2015 at 21:29  
Blogger Konrad said...

Ah, Richard... that is what happened to the knob on my receiver!


16 April 2015 at 21:30  
Blogger John said...

One of the things that makes us human is that we are conscious. But our consciousness is what makes us aware of and afraid of things. This creates anxiety and depression. When we can train our conscious on something that connects with all our senses and focuses on the present activity we can feel joy. It seems to me that this is what you were doing when you worked on the plane. Next comes a few dance steps.

18 April 2015 at 23:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am betting we will se reveal pictures here on the site before Handworks. Keep your eyes open.

18 April 2015 at 23:46  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks John - that is a perfect description of what happens... minus the dance steps of course!


19 April 2015 at 19:30  
Blogger Doug said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Konrad. Very thought provoking. See you in a few weeks in Amana.


21 April 2015 at 12:43  

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Thursday, 9 April 2015

new plane for handworks

(the attic before moving in)

It has been a bit of a scramble the last two months. Pre-renovating our attic, two slow moving, but very exciting woodworking-ish projects plodding along, one heck of a cold winter, and a new plane in development.

(mock-up with Mahogany sole and sidwalls and Walnut infill)
 The new plane is another customer driven request/‘throwing down of the gauntlet’ project and I am really excited about it. I am hoping to have it completed for HandWorks next month. It will be a bit of a run for the roses... but everything has been coming along very nicely, so I think it will be done in time. I will post photos of it once it is done... I don’t want to get too ahead of myself in case I screw something up!


Anonymous Martin said...

Hello Conrad,

Good to see your new posting this morning after a few months of silence. It made me wonder if you had started working on the book you've hinted at... But being involved in an ongoing renovation project myself for the past 4 years (along the dayjob, spendig time with my family and some first fumblings with planemaking in my sparetime) I fully understand that "pre-renovations" Always take a lot more time than the casual by-stander would think:-)
Kind regards, Martin

10 April 2015 at 02:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happened to Nathan Green?

11 April 2015 at 00:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

are you holding back on us Konrad?

11 April 2015 at 00:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds like somethings cooooookin

11 April 2015 at 00:15  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Martin,

Thanks for your patience. Time has a habit if flying by, and the older I get, the faster it seems to go. The renovation was not too serious, but was a fair amount of work for all of us. It is amazing how emptying one room (or in our case, a whole floor) results in the rest of the house swell to the point where it barely functions. Other than the improved living space, the next best thing was it forced us to evaluate the 'stuff' we were keeping and decide what to keep, what to donate to a local thrift store, and what to toss.

best wishes,

11 April 2015 at 07:03  
Blogger Konrad said...

Things are cooking, and I am holding back somewhat... for a big reveal and Nathan Green has not been forgotten - just part of a bigger picture post I have been picking away at. Hopefully soon...

11 April 2015 at 07:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the new tool is a block of wood? i don't get it.

12 April 2015 at 00:43  
Blogger Kevin Brehon said...

Does the mahogany sole mean an all-bronze shell?

12 April 2015 at 09:32  
Blogger Konrad said...

The blade is wood too... cool eh?

12 April 2015 at 12:21  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Kevin,

The Mahogany sole is just to simulate the 1/4" thick steel sole - I figured if I am going to go through the trouble of doing a mock-up with a different sidewall material, I may as well go all the way and do the sole too. In hindsight, it is the best way to do it - it revealed a lot of information about how the shaping on the leading edge of the mouth will look. In for a penny...


12 April 2015 at 12:23  

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Saturday, 17 January 2015

less is more

It is easy to be seduced by highly figured woods - I have certainly fallen prey to them many, many times. Curly Rosewood, Birds eye Boxwood, Desert Ironwood burl - all incredible materials. They are visually complex and draw me in every time. The color, the pattern of grain, the chatoyance - it can be overwhelming sometimes. There are times when a particular piece of wood is too outrageous for a type of plane - a burled handle for example, or the front bun on a traditional panel plane or jointer - those shapes are too complex for a highly figured wood - they compete with one another. 

Part of the reason the K-series of planes evolved was to simplify the front infill for ergonomic reasons but also as a better showcase for a perfect piece of wood. 

The last plane of 2014 reminded me that sometimes, ‘showcase’ also means subtle. My friend Raney wrote about this a while back, and I was reminded of it when working on this plane.

This is a K13 infilled with another ‘mystery Rosewood’. I cannot identify it through my usual methods. Everyone who sees it thinks it is Brazilian - but it is not - it does not smell right. Anyone who has had the pleasure of working with Brazilian knows the smell I am talking about. This is very different - not sweet at all. If I were to guess, it is more likely an odd variant of Kingwood or Cocobolo... but that is just a guess. And, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter anyway - it looks sensational regardless of what it is.  

It is a fairly standard cut of wood - no curl, no burl, no figure at all - just long, straight grain, almost pedestrian when compared with some of the woods I use. But the color and texture of it is incredible, and, in my opinion, more than make up for it. There are a few of those tell-tale black ink lines that show up in Rosewoods from time to time - three of them running through the front pad and two through the handle.

In time, the wood will oxidize further and darken down a bit more. It is hard to imagine this material looking even richer than it already does, but I know it will. I used some of this material for my K6 prototype and it looks amazing. The orange coloration darkens to a deep red tone - like the red in the photo below.

 The customer who commissioned the plane described it best when he said it was a ‘very masculine wood’.  It is - and if it were at all possible to wear a smoking jacket while planing - this would be the plane to use.

This plane also confirms something I firmly believe - that old wood (30+ years) really is different from the material we have available today. I know there are a lot of people who think I am nuts and that I have bought into all the hype about old wood (bring this up on a luthier discussion forum and just sit back and watch the show!).  But I truly do believe there is something different about it. Just go to your local big box store and buy a piece of white pine. Then find a piece of old growth white pine and compare them. They may as well be different species. Or go to an exotic wood store and find a piece of plantation grown Indian Rosewood and then go into the instrument department and find a set of non-plantation grown Indian Rosewood backs and sides and compare them (and if you are remotely inclined to ever build an acoustic guitar, buy a few old East Indian Rosewood guitar sets now, because in ten years, you won’t be able to find them). Night and day difference - and I am not just talking about tonal qualities. The color is different, the texture, the density, workability - everything.

We are seeing the end the truly remarkable woods in the world - good wood does not grow on trees anymore.

The question of inspiration has come up several times lately (vintage Porsche’s anyone?), and having the privilege (and responsibility) to work with these fine materials is inspirational. Knowing how rare and unique they are inspires me to use them to the best of my ability. To not waste them on something stupid, and to use them for something that will have meaning and a life beyond my own lifetime. Maybe I am just trying to justify it to myself, but I think that using them in planes is a worthy use.

Another worthy use is musical instruments. I have started setting aside pieces for instruments - whether it is something I make, or I save it for someone else to use down the road - I am not entirely sure, but I have recognized that there are pieces that are best suited for instruments.

The next blog post will likely be another example of inspiration - in a different form. The cryptic clue - ‘Nathan Green’.


Blogger David Barron said...

That is a very beautiful plane, the wood just enhances it.

17 January 2015 at 14:42  
Blogger John said...

Please tell me where this plane is. I need to drive over there right now and steal it.

17 January 2015 at 16:21  
Blogger Konrad said...

Depending on your last name John - you might not have to drive too far!


17 January 2015 at 16:27  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks David.


17 January 2015 at 16:28  
Anonymous Narayan said...

Outstanding piece of wood in that plane, Konrad.

"Nathan Green". Uh oh. Look out!

18 January 2015 at 18:03  
Blogger Chris Bame said...

You are so right Konrad. Great wood is getting harder to find. Even domestic Walnut and Cherry is hard to find in any thickness over 8/4. Looking for 16 /4,Good Luck. Just glad I started saving big Mahogany boards a decade ago.I've got some nice ones

18 January 2015 at 22:48  
Blogger Tom Fidgen said...

Great article Konrad- this is a very real and little horrifying topic. I was speaking to an arborist a few years ago and we were discussing "Frankenfruit" and the things being used in the food and agriculture industry through the use of hormones etc..simply put, to make fruits and veggies grow faster/better/stronger/ ( less 'food' like... ;o ) he said that if I thought that was bad, I couldn't even imagine what they're doing to tree species in that industry. Supply and demand. They're 'making' trees that grow 5 times faster than they did 50 years ago- full of chemicals and hormones to resist disease etc... but as makers, I think our supplies are also being affected in ways we don't often appreciate.
You're in a place to see/feel/and smell the differences, but the average Joe would never know what some old growth wood feels like when working it compared to the 'wood like products' you find in a big-box store.
Strange days we live in....another beautiful plane and another great blog post. Thanks for sharing !

19 January 2015 at 07:34  
Blogger Christian Braithwaite said...

Great work, as always, Konrad. I have an acoustic guitar, Brazilian Rosewood Back and Sides, from the 1970's. It was involved in a car accident (car backed over it) and snapped the neck clean off. The back, sides, and soundboard are in pristine condition though. My great uncle was a luthier, and kept it around but never got to refinish before he passed. I can't wait to, one day, re-finish the guitar, and let that "old wood" do it's thing!

Thanks for sharing your wonderful work!

6 February 2015 at 17:11  
Blogger Christian Braithwaite said...

Btw Konrad - are you going to be attending the AWFS Woodworking Show in Las Vegas this Summer?

9 February 2015 at 13:48  
Blogger Christianna said...

Konrad, I found myself missing you today. I hope all is terrific, Chrissie Dyck

6 April 2015 at 13:21  

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Saturday, 3 January 2015

Holiday inspiration

When I was a kid growing up, my two younger sisters and I would sleep under the Christmas tree. I am not exactly sure when this tradition started - or what on earth possessed my parents to allow it, but we did this every year until I was too old to be doing it anymore. Kind of like teenagers going out for Halloween.

The last year under the tree was marked by ‘Santa’ running over my arm with my new bicycle.

This Christmas, Lucas expressed interest in sleeping under the tree. I don’t recall this request in previous years, but was secretly pleased at the suggestion - and glad there were no bicycles on the ‘list’. We were worried he would not fall asleep - concerned about Santa’s tight schedule. But we agreed, and said that if he was not asleep by 11 - we were going to pull the plug. Neither of us expected him to fall asleep, but I ran out to the shop to get my tripod just in case. If he did manage to fall asleep... I wanted to be prepared.

Through some small miracle, he was fast asleep when we checked on him. I am not sure if he will ask again next Christmas - but secretly - I hope he does. There was nothing earth shattering about this event - but witnessing this little moment reminded me of the importance of family, and the whole point of it all.

I hope everyone was able to take some time away from their busy schedules and enjoy the company of family and friends.

Happy New Year everyone. 


Blogger Narayan said...

That's a great shot, Konrad, and a great story.

4 January 2015 at 20:46  
Blogger John said...

That's some great looking wood moulding in the background.

6 January 2015 at 00:26  
Blogger Chris Bame said...

That's what it's all about. Nice story Konrad
Happy New Year!

7 January 2015 at 10:28  
Blogger pmelchman said...

those were the days!!! Happy New Year

patrick melchior

7 January 2015 at 21:59  
Blogger Nathan Harold said...

"...reminded me of the importance of family, and the whole point of it all. "


8 January 2015 at 16:45  

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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

2 spare XSNo.4’s - Ziricote & Desert Ironwood

I have a bit of a confession to make.

I enjoy making spare planes more than I thought I would. Don’t get me wrong - I love making custom planes, but there is something rewarding about walking to the shelves of roughed out parts, pulling a few down, and seeing what the possibilities are. I was surprised at how much I liked the naval brass with Ziricote and decided to continue exploring. This time, another Ziricote set with some sapwood on the corner, and a Desert Ironwood set that has been sitting for a very long time. This was an orphan set in that it was all that remained from a larger piece of Desert Ironwood.

Both planes are identical in spec - 5-1/2" long, with a 1-9/16" wide, high carbon steel blade and a 52.5 degree bed angle. Naval brass sides, lever cap and screw with an 01 tool steel sole.

The flash of sapwood on the rear infill reminds me of the painted flames you would see on a hotrod - the three little white tails are my favourite part. It was tricky during shaping not to loose them in the process.

The Ziricote XSNo.4 is $1,750.00 Cdn + actual shipping costs.

For an orphan set, this one turned out wonderfully. There is an incredibly bright golden spot inside the front bun - you can see it below. That same spot also appears in the rear infill, but was hard to capture in a photograph (trust me - I tried!).

The Desert Ironwood XSNo.4 is $1,800.00 Cdn + actual shipping costs.

Feel free to send me an email if you are interested in either of these planes.


Blogger Richard Wile said...


Sapwood by design, hmmmm. Seems you have completely gone to the dark side!!



10 December 2014 at 18:08  
Blogger Konrad said...

What is it that Vader said to Luke... "you underestimate the power of the dark side?"


10 December 2014 at 19:49  
Blogger Kevin Brehon said...

Given that you were once considering plastic as an infill material sapwood hardly casts a shadow!

13 December 2014 at 10:47  

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