Friday, 18 January 2008

A refreshing return to tradition

Part way though this plane I realized this is the most "traditional" infill plane I have made to date. It was great to return to the roots of British infill planes. This is a 16-1/2" long A1 panel plane - infilled with Rosewood, 01 tool steel sides and sole and a bronze lever cap and lever cap screw. This combination of materials is the epitome of British infills.

I was also reminded why Rosewood was the infill material of choice - it is one of the finest woods to work with. The front bun on this plane was roughed out in 2003 and I have been waiting to use it ever since. I knew the figure would be good... but this really knocked my socks off!

One of the challenges of having such a great piece of wood for the front bun, is continuing it to the rear infill. The black streaks that run through the rear infill and handle certainly tie it all together.

Coming off the heels of two large jointers - lapping this plane was a real treat. For what it's worth... the lapping music of choice was Ministry & I used 12 sheets of lapping paper.


Blogger Praki Prakash said...

This looks wonderful! I love the Brazillian Rosewood in-fills.

I do have a question. What finish and process do you use for the Rosewood?

19 January 2008 at 11:13  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi there,

The finish is french polish - about 10 to 12 coats. My shop is kept very dry - about 40% humidity, and I find I can apply a coat first thing in the morning and then another at the end of the day. I use mineral oil (from the drug store) as a lubricant.

Take care,

19 January 2008 at 11:38  
Blogger MattJ said...

Just when I start to get mildly annoyed about not finding an update to the site, you treat me to this! It was worth the wait.

Amazing work... Keep it up!

19 January 2008 at 20:22  
Blogger Praki Prakash said...

Hi Konrad,

Thanks for the information on the finish. I have been inspired by it and will have to try it out on one of my boxes.


20 January 2008 at 19:38  
Anonymous Jim Shaver said...

Incredible figure in the bun, wow

21 January 2008 at 21:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the front bun and rear infill are not from the same piece of wood? I presumed, as with the ebony cutouts that you'd be using pieces from a contiguous blank.

Do you find it difficult to match when using different source blanks of the same type of wood?

22 January 2008 at 12:55  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Chris,

A good question - and my post was missleading. The front bun and rear infill are from the same piece of wood. What makes for a great front bun often does not make for a great rear infill - heights are different, surface areas etc. And then there are the usual inclusions - blemishes etc to work around. It is very rare that I have a piece of wood that is perfect like that ebony was. I suppose I should post a few photos of what is typical. I am not dealing with sawn lumber planks - but rather odd shaped chunks of wood. They have much more interesting grain to them - but are also more work.

Sorry for the confusion.

22 January 2008 at 13:06  
Blogger Rich Stevens said...


I have been following your postings with eager anticipation each week. These are visual treats and your observations on the process of creating these marvellous tools most enjoyable.

Question - have you considered using root walnut for your planes. I have seen this wood used by the gunsmiths and the grain and colour is outstanding. Tell me - is it absolutely mandatory to have heavy dense wood to stuff infill planes with?

Another question - I am also watching with much anticipation the refurbishment of your TV room upstairs. Well done on your achievements to date - but more updates please.... :))


24 January 2008 at 00:04  

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