Monday, 11 February 2008

Desert ironwood No.4

This is the first time I have ever had the pleasure of working with Desert ironwood - and I have to say - it was really, really cool stuff to work with! This was also one of the rare occasions where I used supplied wood from the customer. Which brings up an aspect of planemaking that is by far the most challenging... finding appropriately dry wood. This wood prompted the purchase of a moisture meter specifically designed for exotic woods. I will be writing about the meter in another entry - but the quick answer is this ironwood had a moisture content of 7%.

The wood itself is extremely dense - with a specific gravity of 1.20. To put that into perspective, pure water is 1.0 - so this stuff will sink. Here is a site that has technical information for most of the domestic and tropical woods.

Working with Desert ironwood reminded me of working with African Blackwood and Honduran Rosewood. It planes well - but will wear an edge quickly, works beautifully with rasps & files and can be sanded and polished to a stunning finish. A little stinky to work with though.

This plane has bronze sides, a 2" wide, high carbon steel iron and a bed angle of 52.5 degrees.


Anonymous Jim Shaver said...

That is beautiful, the ironwood looks perfect for the look on this one buddy.

I know the smell well of ironwood, I turn it now and then and use it on several pen designs I really does finish well doesn't it!

Take care,

11 February 2008 at 19:19  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hey Jim,

Thanks. I am quite pleased with how this one turned out. Have you found a good source for ironwood... I think I am going to need to get some more:)

Take care,

11 February 2008 at 22:35  

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