A new plane making jig & some upcoming shows
For the first time in a long time - I had a brief head scratching moment, and I have to say... I loved it! This was a little moments in a 793 step process - but it was great. I am working on a new variation of a smoother - an African Blackwood filled No.5. It has a coffin shape, 50 degree bed angle, 2-1/4" wide blade, but no adjuster and no cap iron. The head scratch happened when I went to clamp the rear infill in place for fitting the cross pins. On an A5 or an A6, there is a mortise cut for the adjuster and I have a very simple little block of wood that I place in the mortise and it gives me a parallel surface to clamp the infill (the top of the wooden block is parallel to the sole). In this case - there isn’t a slot, so I needed to come up with something else. A few scrap pieces of 1/2" baltic birch plywood - an offcut from the scrap box - and I had a great little jig. I lined the edges with leather so as not to mark the french polished surfaces.
Here is a profile shot for another view.
Right after the Blackwood infills were installed - I started on a new model - a SNo.4. The above photo shows the sole of the new plane in the middle. The plane at the top of the photo is a No.4 smoother - with a 7-1/2" long sole and a 2" wide blade. The plane at the bottom is the XSNo.4 - with a 5-1/2" long sole and a 1-1/2" wide blade. And thanks to a wonderful customers request - there is now going to be a plane between the two with a 6-1/2" long sole and a 1-3/4" wide blade. Man, I love my job... and my customers!
There are a few other bits of news to share - traveling news. This next weekend is going to be busy. I will be at the Lie-Nielsen hand tool event in Waterloo Ontario on Friday April 4th from 12 noon until 6, and then again on Saturday from 10 am until 5. I have participated in quite a few of these shows over that last several years and they are always fantastic. They are free to attend and very, very low key. What is so great about them is the spirit in which they are done. The focus is learning about hand tools and to provide an opportunity to try tools and ask questions. There are often several small toolmakers that Lie-Nielsen invites to attend - a great opportunity for us little guys to get out there and meet people and show our stuff. I am looking forward to seeing Deneb again, and visiting further with Sean Walsh - the Canadian LN rep.
Then on Sunday, it is off to Pickering Ontario for the Tools of the Trade show. I have been attending this show for years as well. It is a great show and the perfect place to find antique tools either for collections or for use. I keep a running list of things I am looking for on my chalkboard. There are often several of each item to choose from at the show - the selection is that good.
If you are attending either show, please stop by and say hello.