Monday, 22 October 2007

Enough ebony dust already!



I have been working on a few A5ss smoothers, and while Ebony is a real treat to work with, there is nothing messier than the dust. My hands are stained black, and dust masks last 1/2 a day at best. Time for a change of pace.

A few weeks ago, I was at the Tools of the Trade show in Pickering Ontario. "Someone" handed me an old boxwood coffin smoother with a wink and a wry grin. No words were exchanged - but the purpose was crystal clear. And it was the change of pace my hands and dust masks were looking for.

It felt a little odd cutting up an old plane - but it really was beyond repair. In a few minutes, it was reduced to the rear infill and front bun for an XSNo.4 smoother. This is the first time I have worked with Boxwood and I have to say I fell in love immediately. It is a very odd wood - extremely strong and capable of taking incredible detail, yet saws and chisels cut it like a dream.

Here are a few shots of the dry fit infill.









Fitting the infill was very different. I am so used to using white pencil crayons for layout lines, squinting to see knife marks - this was a real treat! When it came time to do the final shaping of the front bun and rear infill, I fell in love all over again. Boxwood just works so beautifully.




Thankfully - I was able to purchase a really nice piece of European Boxwood a few years ago. After completing this plane, I cut 8" off one end to rough out a few more sets.




Better get back to the Ebony.

3 Comments:

Blogger Philly said...

Konrad
Sounds like "recycling" to me! Looks great.
It is a pleasure to use timber that responds so well. That's quite a piece of Box you have there, too.
Oh, and nice drive-by on the Jap Chisels... ;)
Phil

24 October 2007 14:04  
Blogger jyatulis said...

Hi Konrad,

looking further into that boxwood log pic, is that an even smaller plane sitting beside the Carter plane?

cheers, Jay

24 October 2007 22:05  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hey you guys... I guess I have to pay more attention to the background in the shots.

Good eye Jay... that is a little Carter plane beside the "bigger" Carter mitre.

25 October 2007 15:28  

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Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Sunroom update - the windows are in!


We have been puttering away on the sunroom over the summer and have reached a noteworthy stage - the windows are installed. We ordered casement windows from a local manufacturer, Strassburger Windows. Much to our pleasant surprise, they arrived the morning they said they would.

My friend Andy has been an amazing help with this project. He is the guy who helped me demo the original windows, jack up the roof and re-frame everything.

He was also on hand to help me hang the drywall on the ceiling and the section above the windows.


I was able to get the drywall taped and mudded the week before the windows arrived and Jill & the boys even managed to prime and paint it too.

Back to the windows...

We had decided that we wanted the windows inset 1" from the faces of all the posts. This posed a bit of a challenge in that the measurements needed to be a little more precise. I allowed for 1/4" clearance around the window in the respective opening - something the manufacturer was a little concerned about (they usually leave at least 1/2"). I assured them the we would take full responsibilty for the close tolerances. And if it was really bad, it would give me a chance to dust off my Stanley No.10 if I had to trim some of the framing.



We installed 1" cleates screwed flush to the outsides of the posts. This allowed us to install the windows from the inside and ensured that the 1" setback was consistent. Here we are installing the first window. Thankfully - it fit perfectly. The first one took a bit longer than the rest, but we quickly established a rythme and we had all 5 units installed in a few hours.



Here is a spliced together shot of the interior.


1 Comments:

Blogger Chris said...

Seems like an awful amount of power receptacles for a sun room. Is it going to be a part time workshop too?

;)

Very nice.

12 October 2007 10:53  

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Friday, 5 October 2007

A perfect ending to a perfect week


This past week was great. I started the week doing some much needed millling of plane parts... after becoming sidetracked with the jointer bun. I spent 2 days roughing out Ebony. It went extremely well and I managed to get a few more parts than I had hoped for. I roughed out a few Rosewood sets for XSNo.4's too.

Today was particularly great, and this will mark the beginning of a new weekly component of the site. I spent the morning working on the Ebony front bun for the jointer. It was just the right amount of time to make some solid progress. I have decided to spend one morning a week working on this plane, with a targeted completion date of November 28th - in time for the Lie-Nielsen show in Boston.

The scale of this plane continues to bring up new challenges. Thankfully - they have all been manageable and are allowing me to try new techniques. When I was designing this plane, it was not just a strait "scale up" of the 22-1/2" jointer. All the lines and proportions changed - and the front bun was no exception. Once this plane is completed, I will take a few comparison photos with the smaller jointer and point out some of the details.



The next step was to finish the shoulders that transition from the sidewall to the front bun. This is done with the bun in place. I was once again reminded of why it is worth paying for premium wood - it is strait grained, consistent and behaves perfectly. I used several chisels, a few hand scrapers and finally a bit of sandpaper to finish the shoulders.

I tried a new technique to finish off the very front - just in front of the raised deck. I usually pare this with a chisel, but given the size of this area, I decided to use a 1/2" wide by 3-3/4" long rebate plane. I just pretended the sidewalls were metal bench dogs holding the workpiece.



It worked extremely well - here is a quick photo of the planed front area.



With the joints between the metal sidewalls and the bun finished, I could remove the bun to finish it. I rounded the corners of the top of the bun and then finished everything with sandpaper. I use the same Norton A275 paper for this too. I start with 220, then 320, 400, 600 and then 1,000 grit. Here are a few shots of the finished front bun... and just in time for lunch with Jill and Lucas on the patio.



6 Comments:

Blogger John said...

Beautiful work. Thanks for the blog updates. I enjoy reading each and everyone. I know you are a busy person but they are enjoyed and worth the effort. John

10 October 2007 06:47  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi John,

Thank-you for the kind comments and glad you are enjoying the blog. I have to say I am really enjoying writing it and while it does take a bit of time - it is time I really enjoy.

Cheers,
Konrad

10 October 2007 07:20  
Blogger Philly said...

Wow! That is just fantastic!
Did I mention how jealous I am of your timber stash?? ;)
Looking forward to the next part of the series,
Phil

10 October 2007 11:54  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hey Phil,

Thanks Man. Yeah - I know... the timber stash is pretty sweet. Wait till you see the XSNo.4 infilled with Hondruan Rosewood burl!

Cheers,
Konrad

PS - I am waiting for those emails about operation Norris:)

10 October 2007 12:57  
Anonymous RyanC said...

Wow Konrad. Just when I start to think that I might be able to make a decent infill I see some of the work from one of the modern infill makers such as yourself. Sigh, oh well. Gives me something to strive for!

10 October 2007 19:27  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Ryan,

Thanks for the very kind words. There is a pretty big learning curve... but keep in mind we all started right where you are now. Read a lot, ask a lot of questions and go slowly.

Best wishes and good luck with your infill project.

Konrad

10 October 2007 19:55  

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Monday, 1 October 2007

Sidetracked


I was planning on roughing out some more infill sets – but got blissfully sidetracked. My goal was to rough out a few more Ebony front buns for some A5ss’s, a few more A1 panel plane handles and front buns and a couple XsNo.4’s. As I was gathering the various pieces of Ebony, I noticed the massive 9” long Ebony front bun for the 28-1/2” A2 jointer. It was one of those moments where I saw the negative space outside the chalk lines and thought “hey… I wonder if the off-cut from the front is big enough for the front bun for an XSNo.4?” So I put down the Ebony 2x4 in my arm and walked over – with my head cocked over to one side wondering “Hmmmmm….”.

“Well I’ll be darned – it’ll work!”

Note; this was phase one of the derailment.

So I figured I had better remove the front section of the bun just to make sure :) … you can see where this is going right.

But in order to do that… I had to square up the front bun for the 28-1/2” jointer – so I would have 3 sides square… it would make things so much easier. And if I was going to take the time to square the front bun… may as well fit it too.

Now entering phase 2.




The fitting went extremely well – a snug fit over the entire length… something I was a little curious about. With the block fit… it was time to remove the front bun for the XSNo.4 – what I started doing in the first place.

I gotta tell you – with that front “off-cut” removed (the XSNo.4 bun) – the jointer bun started looking pretty cool. I checked the time… yeah – I could do a little more.

A few cuts here, a few cuts there and it started looking even cooler. So I marked and dated the XSNo.4 front bun… that surely bought some more time on the jointer bun?

Firmly planted in phase 3.

The shoulders that transition from the tops of the sidewalls to the bun were next. Boy, they were long - about 8-1/2”. I removed as much as I could with a handsaw and then switched to chisels. This is some pretty sweet Ebony and it cut beautifully. Of course my Imai chisels worked flawlessly – whether I was striking them with a mallet or paring by hand.

With the shoulders done, I could further refine the bun shape. Here is where I left it at the end of the day.



5 Comments:

Blogger Chris said...

Gorgeous!

1 October 2007 19:51  
Blogger jyatulis said...

Hi Konrad,
Great post. I notice you are coating some parts of the bun in process. Is this to protect the exposed end grain? The last few posts have been very good. I really enjoy the behind the scenes stuff. Also, the Carter handplane is real neat.

cheers, Jay

1 October 2007 22:35  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Jay,

Thanks. I do put a quick thin coat of shellac on freshly cut endgrain... just to slow down any moisture loss (or gain). I am not sure if I need to or not - but it makes me feel a little better:) Most sets are roughed out and then sit for at least 6 months - depending on the age of the stock the set came from and the species of wood.

Cheers,
Konrad

2 October 2007 06:56  
Blogger Philly said...

Nice way to get sidetracked, Konrad!
So I take it you have recovered from all that lapping? ;)
Phil

2 October 2007 17:30  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hey Phil,

Yeah - the jello has at least "set". Although the thought of lapping 28" of 01 makes me ache! I may send this one out:)

Cheers,
Konrad

3 October 2007 18:38  

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