Thursday, 31 December 2009

Abs of destruction part III

Lapping a 28-1/2" jointer is no walk in the park and it took me a few days to psych myself up to do it. Once it was all taped up and looking Smurfy - it was time to start.

After day one, I had one side just about lapped, the other side close behind and the sole was well on its way. I decided to pace myself and not even attempt to do it in one day.

Day two went very well - the plane is just about done. Both sides are lapped, the chamfers are completed and the toe and heel are fully rounded and polished. My impression was this plane lapped a little faster than the Ebony filled A2ss. I suspect the slight reduction in weight is what helped. The smaller front bun may have helped as well - it was easier to hold the plane when I was lapping the sides. Either way - I am glad the lapping is just about done.

Here are a bunch of photos.

This was the last plane of 2009 and a perfect ending to the year.

I switched from small bottles to larger ones. This one got finished while lapping the plane.

PS - The official lapping soundtrack was Joy Division’s - Closer.


Blogger Cody said...

Two days? Yow! Nice work sir! I just came upstairs after spending a couple hours planing my newly constructed bench flat, sweatily sat down with a beer, and read your lapping story. Now I feel like a sissy!

2 January 2010 at 21:02  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hey Cody,

Happy New Year. I trust your injury is healing up nicely. And given that injury... I suspect my lapping might not have been too much worse than your bench flattening. Nice bench vice too... I have one in a box waiting for a bench. Too many things to do.

Best wishes,

2 January 2010 at 21:38  
Blogger Cody said...

And happy new year to you too. The injury is healing nicely, I've been back in full operation for over a month now.

Dude, your planes are unreal. What on earth does someone do with a 29" plane? Have you ever considered or attempted a corrugated sole on those monsters?

3 January 2010 at 02:19  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Cody,

Glad to hear you are back at work and functional again. I noticed the saw stop under the bench parts.

It is a funny thing, but I was using the plane for the first time the other day and while it is heavy, it is incredibly balanced and is not nearly as awkward as one might think. I have never considered corrugating a plane before - I am not sure if there would really be that much of an advantage. Inlaying Lignum... now that I have thought about.


3 January 2010 at 11:20  
Anonymous LOU said...

Hello Konrad.Your work is simpley beautifull.If I may.How does one get started doing this,and have you ever though of makeing a try square or small block plane.Thanks,Lou.

3 January 2010 at 14:37  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Lou - and thank-you for the kind comments.

As far as getting started goes - do you mean as a person who wishes to make a plane or two for himself, or do you mean getting started in the business of planemaking? The answers are somewhat related, but very different. Most of the planemakers I know have websites and blogs and there is quite a bit of information on them. You will quickly see that we all do things very differently - depending on our skills, our personal preferences and how much risk we are each prepared to take. If you are planning on making your own planes, the start up cost is not too bad. The toughest things will be the lever caps and the lever cap screws. And finding suitable infill wood. I cannot stress this next point enough... buy and use only old dry rosewood. If you can find it - pay the money for it. If you cannot find old dry rosewood try Honduran mahogany or Claro walnut. These two species are quite stable and will make for striking infills.

I have not tried making other tools yet - I am just too busy with planes and various projects in the house. Some day I will make other tools though.


3 January 2010 at 18:35  
Blogger Tom said...

Hey Konrad... you should try using some sort of blue plastic for the infill.. It looks kinda cool :D

6 January 2010 at 08:28  
Blogger Brent said...

Forgive me if you have already stated the answer to this question. How much does it weigh? Oh and your site is wonderful, I just recently found it and am just loving it.

Take care,

7 January 2010 at 20:08  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hey Tom,

Believe it or not - I did look for some blue Delrin for the Titanium XSNo.4 a while back. Settled for white... and eventually ripped it out anyway:)


8 January 2010 at 07:59  
Blogger raney said...

I can't believe you did that in two days... I'm going to guess three 'sessions' per day?

Closer could only be better if Rhino got hold of it and included 'Love will tear us apart', but it seems a little muted for plane lapping to me. The 'recorded live in a storm drain' production doesn't help in that respect... I've been liking QOTSA's 'R' lately. And of course any Pixies.

Then again, I'm not man enough to tackle a 28-1/2" plane... maybe one needs a little 'just swung by on my way back to the crypt' vibe to provide some pacing?

9 January 2010 at 20:24  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hey Raney,

The first two days were the most intense - and were not enough to completely finish it. I spent a few hours each day over the next two days as well. That was about as much as my guts could take:)

I have been thinking about putting together a lapping play list on the iPod...


11 January 2010 at 23:23  
Blogger Brad said...

Wanted to take a second to chime in and say this site makes me warm and fuzzy inside.

It reinforces that there's a tiny, burning ingot of human craftsmanship and creativity "out there". Besides that, the fact that you appear to be creating and selling your tools at a pretty good rate underscores the appreciation for handmade tools that exists. Lastly, the very nature that the final object is a functional tool spurs the creation of more beautiful things to be made by hand.

Thanks for being vigilant about keeping the blog updated for all of us out here - the quality of your work is certainly worth sharing.

18 January 2010 at 14:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you need a new post! its been 23 days! jk. I really enjoy reading your blog. Hope all is well!

24 January 2010 at 00:55  
Blogger Peter said...

Konrad, is it safe to assume that your New Year's resolution was *not* that you wanted to update your site more often? ;-)

All kidding aside, I love reading this blog. I hope you update it soon, as it's always a pleasure.

5 February 2010 at 21:11  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Peter,

It is incredibly embarrassing to be honest. Today, my excuse is that I am in CA attending the LN handtool event at the Crucible. I will be posting several entries when I return home on tuesday. Thanks for hanging in there!


6 February 2010 at 10:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Too bad you didn't have time/weren't invited to attend the LN event in Phoenix. It would've been great to see you.


21 February 2010 at 15:12  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Hi Konrad,
Incredible work! Since discovering your site I've checked back often and have watched your renovations with interest. As someone who does a lot of finish carpentry I applaud your work! Especially that floor!
Question: what do you use as a lapping surface for such a giant plane? I'm working on an old stanley #7 and need to lap it...
And it was cool to see your lapping soundtrack was 'closer'. Was that on cassette? If you get a chance check out a film called 'twentyfour hour party people'. It's basically the history of Factory records but Joy Division is a big part of the story.
Let us all know what'll go on that lapping playlist!
Thanks and Cheers!

25 February 2010 at 08:02  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Russ,

It would have been a good show to attend - but it did not fit with my schedule. Next time maybe. Did you get anything?


25 February 2010 at 20:41  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Jeff for all your kind comments. Glad you are enjoying the blog.

The planes are lapped on an automotive sandpaper made by Norton. It is called A275. I buy it by the 50 sheet box (about $50 Cdn). I use super 77 (by 3M) which is a low tack spray adhesive. I spray a light dusting on the back of the sheets and line them up on the lapping surface. When they are worn out - just peel them up.

Closer was on CD:) Thanks for the film title - I will look it up.

Other playlist favorites are Rage Against the Machine, Tool (of course), Death from above, Jane's Addiction, NIN... you get the picture.


25 February 2010 at 20:46  

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