Never a dull moment
When Jill and I decided that we would take the plunge and pursue this road less traveled - I was worried that full time planemaking would get boring and heaven forbid... monotonous. In the beginning, the excitement and challenge of building infill planes was incredible - the thrill of actually being able to do it was more than enough. Some of that “thrill of learning” has dissipated over the years, but I am happy to report that I still love making them. And these last two A5’s perfectly illustrate why.
The first plane is stuffed with English Boxwood. This is the second Boxwood filled plane I have made - the first was an XSNo.4. As far as I am concerned - English (or Turkish) Boxwood deserves to be placed alongside Rosewood as far as workability and joy to use. I have a deeper appreciation as to why it is so prized by turners. Working with the Boxwood was such a fun departure from all the dark woods - I felt like I was building a brand new model.
The sole and sides are 01 tool steel, the blade is 2-1/4" wide high carbon steel and the bed angle is 50 degrees.
The second plane is also special because it has specs that I have not combined before. It is a really small A5 compared to all the others I have made. It is also extremely comfortable in the hand. The infill is Rosewood, the sides and sole are 01 tool steel.
What was “new” is the 47.5 degree bed angle coupled with a 7-1/2" long sole. Until this plane, all the 47.5 degree bedded smoother had a 7-7/8" sole. I have made a lot of A5's with 7-1/2" long soles - but they have all had a york pitch. The york pitch raised the blade just enough to allow for the handle to be pushed in closer to the lever cap. This in turn allows the sole to be shortened. This may seem a bit over the top -but when you are trying to fit a handle to a persons hand size - every 1/16" matters!