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.