Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Abs of destruction - Part II


As soon as both sides were done, I took a break and finished the chamfering on the heel and toe of the plane. It was a perfect distraction from lapping. Here is a shot of the setup. Unfortunately - it went pretty quick so I had to return to lapping sooner than I would have liked. All in all the lapping went better than I expected. I used 32 sheets of 80 grit A275 paper. That does not sound like much except when you consider a smoother uses 4.



Lucas was on hand to help me unwrap the plane once the lapping was done.



And was quite excited to try the handle. I think the plane is as heavy as he is:)



So without further delay - here are a few shots of the lapped plane. If you click on them - a larger version will open.










Dan - this last shot is for you.

I am stopping at this stage - it will be coming to Boston as is. The sole is not "finished" in that I need to lap it again with a finer paper between the stages of filing the mouth open.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Michael Rogen said...

Konrad,
I must say that I've been a huge fan of your work ever since seeing seeing it and one of the things that gets me excited when I see a new work in progress is that you have kept the utter simplicity of the design intact. I feel that it is this simplicity in the lines of the plane that allow ones eye's to really focus on the "look" of it in it's entirety.
In a nut shell this Jointer is simply beautiful!

Thank you,
Michael Rogen

27 November 2007 at 23:51  
Blogger Philly said...

Wow!!!!!
What can I say - fantastic!
The polished chamfers really set it off.
Congrats
Philly

28 November 2007 at 03:13  
Anonymous dan dolan said...

Igor, It is aliiiiive!

28 November 2007 at 06:30  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Michael,

What a thoughtful and kind note. Thank-you. You have touched on something that is near and dear to my heart - design and simplicity. At some point - I want to do a comparison of this 28-1/2" jointer and the 22-1/2" version. The profiles are very different.

Thanks again,
Konrad

28 November 2007 at 07:46  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hey Phil,

Thanks buddy. The polished chamfers are really quite recent. When you get a chance to see it in person, the mirror dances from one end to the other - it is pretty cool. I even polished the ends of the sole, so the polished band wraps continuously around the plane.

Cheers,
Konrad

28 November 2007 at 07:48  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Dan,

Igor is coming to dinner!!!!

:)

Cheers,
Konrad

28 November 2007 at 07:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just brilliant Konrad

It just begs me to ask; what is it like to use? If function follows form I would guess it is a pleasure to work with.

28 November 2007 at 09:35  
Blogger jyatulis said...

Konrad,
That is a beautiful jointer! You have had us waiting a long time to see the finished product. The french polish makes the infill just pop out. A very nice contrast with the steel. The detailing work is awesome. Have you logged your hours on this one?

29 November 2007 at 23:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Konrad,

It was great to see this monster plane in person at the LN Boston event today. It is simply magnificent; the photos are great, but holding this monster makes the experience complete.

It was also great to get to ask you a few questions about your work today--you were very gracious in your answers. Thank you!

Keep up the great work!

--Brian

1 December 2007 at 21:07  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Brian,

Thanks for your very kind comments. It was great to have so many people ask "where is it?" at the show this weekend - it made all the lapping worthwhile:)

Warmest wishes,
Konrad

1 December 2007 at 21:41  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Jay,

Thanks. I suspect that this plane is about 3 weeks working full tilt.

Cheers,
Konrad

1 December 2007 at 21:42  

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Monday, 26 November 2007

Abs of destruction - Part I


With other equally appropriate titles like;

"Sometimes, there is not enough angry music!" and,

"Gonna cave and buy a surface grinder."



Drilling for the lever cap was pretty uneventful except for the sheer size of everything. I spent more time finding a place to stand than actually drilling!

Grinding the dovetails and the cross pins took several hours - I think I am going to need a new wheel. Then, it was time to tape the infill and start lapping. I could not procrastinate any longer.



And then I discovered a glorious benefit to building a 28-1/2" long jointer... the weight of this plane is so significant - I did not have to apply much downward pressure when lapping. All I really needed to do was get it going, steer and then stop it. No small task - but not having to push down really helped.



All the extra time spent getting the piening block perfect has certainly paid off. The sole is about half lapped, the far side is well on its way, and this side is completed. With any luck - the lapping will be finished tomorrow - stay tuned.... !

7 Comments:

Blogger Jim Shaver said...

Oh wow......That is amazing, bet the Tunes were blasting today!

Lapping can really only be accomplished with supporting Rock music ..... what is your cd of choice these days?

26 November 2007 at 19:07  
Blogger Andrew Dix said...

I'd imagine by now your abs look like a well used washboard. :)

I am kinda disappointed that you didn't finish it. I was expecting the finished plane to be the last picture of this post. Waiting for the final product isn't much fun.

Have you finished the capless No. 4 yet?

26 November 2007 at 19:25  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Jim,

They certainly were blastin! It was a mix of Death from Above and my good old standby "Tool - 10,000 days".

Cheers,
Konrad

26 November 2007 at 20:15  
Blogger Jim Shaver said...

Tell You What, leave the door opened this weekend, I can drop over and finish lapping it for you, my new hip is up to the task!

26 November 2007 at 20:17  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Andrew,

Well used yes.... washboard... not so sure:)

I was disappointed too - but it was getting late in the day and I decided to stop before I killed myself.

The capless No.4 is set to have the mouth filed tomorrow. With any luck - it will be double post day.

Cheers,
Konrad

26 November 2007 at 20:18  
Anonymous Dan said...

Very nice, it is great to see your work in progress.

Do you use the paper dry when you lap?

27 November 2007 at 17:01  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Dan,

I am just sitting down sorting the photos of the completed A2. I do lap the plane with dry paper. It never gets hot enough to worry about it.

Cheers,
Konrad

27 November 2007 at 17:08  

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Saturday, 24 November 2007

The next logical plane


The XSNo.4 has been such a wonderful plane to use - it was only a matter of time (and a customers willingness) before I tried a full sized No.4 without a cap iron. This plane has a bed angle of 52.5 degrees and a matching shorter, rounded iron - to match the XSNo.4. The iron is high carbon steel, 3/16" thick and 2" wide.

I am quite excited to file the mouth and try it out - a few more coats of French polish and I should be good to go. Stay tuned...


Here is a detail shot of the amazing grain in the front bun and then the rear infill. Rosewood is a truly remarkable wood to work with, and I fully understand why it was so heavily harvested. When I am roughing out plane parts, I always try to find a section that has those amazing, telltale black lines.

2 Comments:

Blogger Paul Kierstead said...

That is looking fabulous! I look forward to seeing wispy shavings :)

25 November 2007 at 18:25  
Blogger Philly said...

Ahhhhhhhh....Nice!!!
Glad to see the cap iron discarded - single irons rule :)
Cheers
Philly

Member of "Woodworkers against Cap Irons", or WACI.(pronounced "wacky" ;) )

27 November 2007 at 02:39  

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Friday, 23 November 2007

*NM*

8 Comments:

Blogger Philly said...

Ooh - is this the Ebony Jointer???
More pictures!!!
Philly

24 November 2007 at 03:42  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hey Philly,

The stainless lever cap is just fit in that photo - I have to run out and buy a new bit to drill for the pin. I should have it installed by the end of the day.. with an appropriate pic:)

I am also just finishing up an A5ss - pics of the pair should be pretty sweet!

Cheers,
Konrad

24 November 2007 at 08:28  
Anonymous Dan H Dolan said...

Konrad,

I love the highly polished chamfers. I'd love to see a polished ss lever cap.

Dan

24 November 2007 at 08:57  
Blogger Konrad said...

Good morning Dan,

Thanks. The polished chamfers is a new deviation for me - and I really like it. It is done with 2000 grit wet/dry paper (done dry). It does not have the same polished effect on bronze though - only the steel. The lever cap is polished more than I normally do as well - but not to a mirror as the chamfers are. You will have a chance to critique it in a week.

See you soon,
Konrad

24 November 2007 at 09:35  
Blogger Jim Shaver said...

I have been waiting for you to end the tease, Pictures of the finished work please

24 November 2007 at 14:30  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Jim,

Sorry - I had to get "something else" done first. I will post again tonight maybe.... pics of the jointer monday?

Cheers,
Konrad

24 November 2007 at 17:39  
Blogger Chris said...

Very nice. SS is the new Brass.

I am going to dig up some titanium scrap to make ferrules for a turning tool that I need to re-handle.

25 November 2007 at 23:40  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Chris,

It certainly appears to be! Stainless has made appearances in planes before - but I think these are the first to replace what was traditionally bronze or gunmetal with stainless. It is a brutal material to work with - but the pain and suffering is certainly worth it!

Cheers,
Konrad

26 November 2007 at 08:26  

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Wednesday, 14 November 2007

hollow grinding Nirvana


That may sound a little extreme - but it is accurate.

While I was in Calgary I had the good fortune to stay with a friend. During one of our many tool fetish moments, I noticed a pale blue wheel in his grinder. So I asked about it. He said it was the best grinding wheel he has ever used - it does not produce any heat. That was a pretty tall order - so I asked if I could give it a try. I have a 1725RPM Baldor grinder with 2 Norton white wheels on it - both 60 grit. They are fantastic wheels, but they can produce heat and even burn steel if you are not careful.

This wheel is completely different. The first thing I tried was a huge high carbon steel iron from a jointing plane. I gave it a pretty light touch and was amazed at how much metal it took off. I did another pass and pressed a little harder - expecting to feel a little warmth in the iron. I felt nothing and started worrying that my caloused fingers were loosing sensation. The blade wasn't even warm! I was going to take another heavy pass, but realized that I had already completely re-ground the iron. Holy smokes this thing was fast!

So I grabbed another iron, and had similar results - fast cutting and no heat to speak of. Then I realized I was using some pretty stout plane irons - I wonder what would happen on a small chisel? So I tried a little 3/4" "blue chip" that was in pretty rough shape. I started again with a light touch. Fast cutting - no heat. I pressed harder... even faster cutting - still no heat. At this point I was totally sold - this was fantastic! So we finished up the chisel and a few other tools that needed some work. There was not a single instance where I felt any warmth in any of the tools we were working on.

I ordered one of these wheels (Norton 3X, 46 grit) from Joel at Tools for Working wood in NY.

2 Comments:

Blogger rookster said...

Thanks for posting this. I've been fiddling with the idea of getting one of those low RPM grinders for the shop, but it sounds like investing in one of these wheels will solve the problem of heat more effectively for much less money!

15 November 2007 at 13:58  
Anonymous jeroen elswijk said...

hello konrad

thanks for sharing your expiriences with this stone, i am thinking of buying one myself
but i am wondering if it is not to coarse?
with how many rpm does your machine work?

3 December 2007 at 07:08  

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Friday, 9 November 2007

Worth 1,000 words.




But in case you want more details...

This was another "piece of a lifetime" find. I was at the Calgary woodworking show this past weekend and through a series of innocent and casual conversations - found myself staring at this huge piece of Ebony. The previous owner (I was told) was a rather eccentric lady who traveled the world collecting large pieces of exotic wood. When she returned home to Calgary she would decorate them with painted faces. After hearing this story, I had visions of rather fantastic artwork. This piece did not have any faces, but given the random application of blue paint and banana stickers... I think it's better that I saw nothing. And hey - at least it wasn't more General green!

The paper tag on the end was a great little touch to the story - and I will be sure to keep it attached to the 1" off-cut I take from the end.


2 Comments:

Blogger Andrew Dix said...

Holy Cow!!! That thing is mammouth. Some guys just have all the luck :) Have an excellent weekend.

Andrew

9 November 2007 at 21:21  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Andrew,

Yeah - it is pretty massive. Thankfully, the person at the Canada Post drop-off in Calgary took pity on me because it exceeded their maximum weight by 1/2 a pound.

Have a great weekend too.
Konrad

10 November 2007 at 00:05  

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Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Who was I kidding.


There is no way I was going to be able to stick to one morning a week on the 28-1/2" jointer. Even when I was working on the Boxwood XSNo.4 this plane was calling me.

Here are a few shots from the last week or so...


Using a 22-1/2" A2 jointer to dress the rear infill was not totally necessary... but it sure was cool.

One of the things I am constantly struck by is how much more work a plane of this size is. There appears to be a magical point where adding inches to a planes length becomes exponentially more work. The jump from a 16-1/2" panel to a 22-1/2" jointer is nothing compared to jump from 22-1/2" to 28-1/2". The individual parts are just that much bigger. The rear infill is so long, that without careful attention - I could have planed a twist into it. I am glad I had done the "perfect board" exercise when I was at Rosewood Studios. The front bun was similar. Keeping all the curves parallel and consistent was much harder than on a smaller jointer.




Thankfully - fitting the handle and cutting the adjuster mortise and slot went like they always do.



Which brings me to a cross-road...






... bronze or stainless steel? I have a week to decide while I build up coats of french polish on the infill - but I honestly have no idea which to use. Any thoughts?

17 Comments:

Blogger Andy said...

Since you asked... I vote for stainless. Looks like it will match the rest of the plane. I don't see any other bronze on the plane - will there be any other bronze accents? If not, I think the sharp yet consistent contrast between the steel and the dark wood is really classy.

Looks great! Always love looking at your pictures,
Andy

7 November 2007 at 00:22  
Blogger Philly said...

Looking awesome!!
I say go for the stainless adjuster - love the stainless/ebony combo :)
Cheers
Phil

7 November 2007 at 02:44  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks guys.

So far - there seems to be overwhelming support for stainless. I should have clarified that by "stainless" I meant a stainless knurled adjuster, lever cap and lever cap screw... following the A5ss. But somehow... I think you already knew that:)

Cheers,
Konrad

7 November 2007 at 07:55  
Blogger Chris said...

Another vote for stainless. I love brass on tools, but that stainless really shines when contrasted with the ebony. Very nice looking.

7 November 2007 at 12:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I vote for stainless also! For me it complements the ebony beautifully. Fabulous work Konrad! Enjoyed your presentation at the SAWS meeting in Calgary last week. I envy/admire your ability to create such works of art. Awesome!!
Bill

7 November 2007 at 12:50  
Blogger Wiley said...

Gotta be stainless!

Which reminds me....we need to talk about a stainless panel. Am thinking a narrow one this time--2-1/4" blade.

Wiley

7 November 2007 at 14:19  
Anonymous Matt said...

I am chanting a la Ruprecht from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels "Stainless Steel, Stainless Steel, Stainless Steel!"

7 November 2007 at 15:24  
Blogger Konrad said...

Oooh Wiley.... now that sounds like a great plane! What length were you thinking - in the 13-1/2" to 14-1/2" range? That length feels about right to me. Interestingly... the next blog entry will shed some light on my Ebony supply... :)

7 November 2007 at 16:01  
Blogger Wiley said...

I was thinking of a junior try plane, as opposed to a true panel. So maybe longer than 14-1/2", but still narrow. With infill and bedding angle selected for best balance--really what I'm looking for is a jr. try with great balance.

Wiley

7 November 2007 at 19:02  
Blogger jyatulis said...

That is an awesome jointer. Definitely SS for the adjuster. You'll have to let us know the final weight when lever cap and iron are in.
I like your "Lee Valley monthly woodworking flyer cover photo" ;)using the Tucker vise to dress the rear infill. How do you like the vise? Does it compare to the Emmert vise on your new/old bench?

cheers, Jay

7 November 2007 at 19:03  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Wiley,

That sounds like a really great variation. Maybe a york pitch and 15-1/2"? I have a standard 14-1/2" A1ss to do in a few months - it will be interesting to see where the balance point is on it. I will keep you posted.

Best wishes,
Konrad

7 November 2007 at 20:55  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Jay,

The Tucker is fantastic. Lee Valley was kind enough to bring a spare bench for me to use at the Calgary show this past weekend... and it had a Tucker too. I think I may have sold a few for them:) I have not finished restoring the Emmert yet.... but I suspect it will be rather amazing. Stay tuned!

Cheers,
Konrad

7 November 2007 at 20:59  
Anonymous Dan said...

Hi Konrad:
Stainless for my vote. Polished if possible.
Great site, excellent photos.

Dan

14 November 2007 at 14:26  
Blogger TerryG said...

I hate to be the lone dissenting voice but I actually prefer the bronze. It seems to me to be a little crowning glory on that flagship. But then again I'm predisposed to little touches like that.
That thing needs a postal code.
Terry

14 November 2007 at 21:18  
Blogger TerryG said...

I would hate to be the lone dissenting voice, but I actually like the bronze. Its seems to be a little crowning glory on that flag ship. Maybe its just me!!
Terry G

14 November 2007 at 21:19  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Dan,

Polished... hmmm - how polished? I have been experimenting with really polished chamfers lately - maybe the lever could use a bit more polish too. Hmmmm....

Cheers,
Konrad

14 November 2007 at 21:22  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Terry,

A postal code... now that's funny!

I hate to say it - but you are certainly in the minority... but I do hear what you are saying. I have decided on stainless... but I hope someone orders one with bronze so I can compare the two.

Cheers,
Konrad

14 November 2007 at 21:24  

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