Finishing the mitre plane
With the french polish on the wedge completed - it was time to get off the pot and decide how to finish the top edges of the sidewalls. The Norris A11 has chamfered edges, and while it looks nice on that model, I didn’t think it would work along the front edge of this plane (the A11 does not have a piece of metal across the front). The other typical mitre treatment is to round the edges over which is what I opted to do. I was surprised at how quickly this went - much simpler than a beveled chamfer.
Here are a few shots of the finished plane and a few detail shots of the adjuster and the inside of the front bun.
And for the grand finish - the first engrain shavings...
At the time of this post, I had used this plane for a total of 1/2 an hour... but there were a few things that immediately stood out.
As I was building this plane it started to feel a little “big” and I was concerned about it. Joe Steiner stopped in the other night to keep working on his XSNo.4, and brought a wonderful Moon mitre plane with him (at my request). It was quite a bit smaller - and added to my fear about the size of this mitre. The Moon had wonderful rounded edges - including the perimeter of the sole. It was extremely comfortable to shoot with. At this stage, I had not yet decided on the edge treatment and all the edges were still quite sharp from being lapped - so my mitre felt quite uncomfortable in comparison. The experience with the Moon really informed my decision to round the edges as opposed to chamfering them.
With the edges rounded - it feels like a completely different plane. It is very comfortable to hold now and the mass is wonderful in use. Once again, I am reminded of why it is so important to “prototype” a plane first. There will be a few small tweaks to the production model, but it will have more to do with my building process than the final result.
I am going to be in Oakland CA next weekend attending the Lie Nielsen show at the Crucible and will have this mitre plane with me for anyone who wants to try it out.