Making buns - a little more Mathieson and a dash of Norris
The front bun of the 28-1/2" A2 jointer has a few modifications to it. The “bun” portion has been pulled forward, which allows it to be lowered and creates an area just behind it for a thumb grip. I made a quick mock-up out of basswood - man is that stuff easy to work with! This forward and lowered bun is pretty typical of the Mathieson jointers I have seen.
I usually have an Ogee on the inside of the bun facing the lever cap (ala Spiers), but we wanted that inside ramp to be a bit steeper so it reached the sidewall before the small curve. This detail is typical of Norris. Softening that area is helpful when the back of the bun is used as a thumb hold.
Once the mock-up was done, I sent it to the client to make sure all the details were right. Everything was great so I proceeded with the real bun.
Shaping the bun uses quite a few tools. Fitting the block is done with handplanes - a few thou at a time. It has to be perfectly square - all other dimensions and measurements are referenced from these faces. Thankfully - I have a few decent planes to use. I use my bandsaw, tablesaw, lots of chisels and sandpaper to do the actual shaping. I do not use a router because very few of these profiles lend themselves to router bits, not to mention the idea of 20,000 rpm’s on dense brittle endgrain strikes me as an invitation for disaster. Plus, it would be really slow.
Here you can see the inside ramp and the transition area to the back of the bun.
Here are a bunch of photos of the fully shaped front bun. The next step is a dozen coats of french polish.
The french polishing went extremely well and the color and grain of the wood really came alive. At this stage, the infills and lever cap have been installed.
Next... lapping - aka abs of destruction part III.
One of the funny things about these massive planes is they are hard (for me) to photograph properly. Here is a quick photo to try to give a sense of scale.